Summary: Why does Jesus tell us that each servant received only one mina? (as opposed to the parable of the talents). And what does this parable tell us about our role as stewards of God’s gift?
OPEN: A famous preacher once delivered a powerful sermon on the subject of “God’s Ownership” and – since it spoke of the things we have belonging to God - this made a certain rich member of the church a little upset.
The wealthy man took the preacher to his home for lunch, and then walked him through his elaborate gardens, woodlands, and farm. When the tour was completed, the rich man smiled and said “Now are you going to tell me, that all this land does not belong to me?”
The preacher though about that a moment and asked “Ask me that same question a 100 years from now.”
APPLY: Last week we touched on the fact that everything that we have belongs to Jesus. When we declared that Jesus was our LORD – we were saying He now owns us.
• He owns my bank account
• He owns my home, my car, my family
• He owns the shirt on my back
IT’S ALL HIS!
And God expects me to use those things (which He now owns) for Him.
The parable we read this morning looks at that truth from a slightly different angle:
Jesus said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’” Luke 19:12-13
The point of this parable is this:
When Jesus returned to heaven to become King of Kings and Lord of Lords He left us with something special - a gift that He wanted us to “invest” for Him.
He refers to that gift He gave us as a “mina.”
Now we don’t use “minas” today, but back in the day of Jesus a Mina was a very valuable commodity. It was a form of currency which weighed about 14 ounces and its monetary value equaled approximately 100 days of manual labor.
To put in terms of our present society, a mina would be worth somewhere between $8000 and $10,000.
Now, that’s a fair amount of money.
If someone came up to you and gave you $10,000 and asked you to invest it for him would you be impressed by that?
In fact, I’d be fairly overwhelmed by fact that person trusted me with so much money.
And that’s the first thing that occurred to me as I read this parable:
Jesus trusts us.
He’s placed a gift of tremendous value into our hands.
This reminded me one of my favorite passages. Ephesians 2:4-10
Look there with me.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions— it is by grace you have been saved.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Verse 10 of that passage is the one that really catches my attention. Before you and I became Christians, God prepared “good works” for us to do. JUST FOR US!
ILLUS: Back in Genesis, God created Adam and Eve and placed the entire earth under their dominion. But now that’s a lot of territory to work with so God prepared a special garden for them (Garden of Eden). He made this garden especially for them.
Genesis 2:9 says “And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground — trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food….”
It was literally a paradise on earth… created just for them.
And that’s the image that comes to my mind when Ephesians 2:10 says that we’ve been “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance - for us...”
It’s like He’s created this special garden just for us, and this garden is filled with all kind of “good things” we can do. And what’s really exciting about this is that when we do THOSE good things (things God prepared in advance for us to do) we’ll be doing something of value… something that will last for eternity.
And, when I do those “good things” God prepared in advance for me to do I am giving Him a return on His investment in me. In God’s mind, the “good things” He’s prepared for me to do are worth a great deal.