Summary: Benefits of using God’s blessings to bring glory to Him
Stories Jesus Told - 2 "The Minas"
INTRO.: Have you wondered if living the Christian life is worth the sacrifices and effort required? This story answers the question.
Historians tell us this parable is unique among the parables of Jesus because it makes reference to an actual historical event. When Herod the Great died, the heir to the throne over Judea was his son, Archeleus. However, the Romans ruled Palestine and it was necessary for him to appear before the emperor to be recognized as king. After he left for Rome, the Jews sent a delegation of fifty men to inform the emperor they didn’t want him as their king. The emperor, Augustus, made him ruler over Judea but did not allow the title, "king." Jesus was in Judea and anyone hearing this parable would recall this recent history.
The story is told near the end of Jesus’ earthly life as He is making His last trip to Jerusalem to face the hostility of the religious leaders and the death of the cross. For the first time He is going to enter Jerusalem with a crowd. Some in the crowd may think they are about to witness His overthrow of the Roman authorities and the beginning of a rebellion that will free Judea from Rome. Passing through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem, He stays overnight at the home of Zacchaeus. It is not unlikely this story was told in or near the home of the famous tax collector.
Read verses 11-15
I. Let’s look at some details of the story: 11-15
A. The king who is going away to receive a kingdom. - Jesus
1. He came to earth born to the royal line of David. He was of noble birth.
2. Now He is on His way to Jerusalem and the crowd thought the Kingdom would come immediately.
3. He tells them He must first go away to receive His Kingdom, and He will return. Heb. 9:28
B. The Mina. A strange word you may never have heard.
1. Hebrew or Roman currency or precious metal worth about three months wages in Jesus’ day. Probably translated "pound" because the KJV was translated in Britain and the translators wanted readers to understand it is money.
2. Not a lot of wealth, but enough to determine the worth of his servants. Signifies responsibility.
3. It came with instructions. "Put this money to work."
C. The servants and the subjects.
1. "Ten Servants" are those committed to the Master. In our time, they represent Christians.
2. "Subjects" are those He rules, but they reject his rule. It referred to the Jews of Jesus day.
3. Today, subjects include the entire world’s population which does not submit to Jesus..
II. Three aspects of the story we need to consider:
A. The trust. 12
1. The master gave his servants the money and trusted them to put it to work. He didn’t interfere in any way or insist on any particular investment.
2. God gives us many blessings and each blessing is an opportunity to glorify Him.
3. What "pounds" has God given you? He gave you a life. Live it for Him. If children, raise them to His glory. If wealth, use it to advance His Kingdom, etc.
B. The test. 13
1. Every blessing you receive is a test of your faithfulness and love.
2. Not much wealth was involved, but how we handle the "little things" shows our worthiness for the larger tasks. God is concerned about the little things.
3. Jesus is an example. He spent 30 years in a carpenter shop in the tiny village of Nazareth before God sent Him on His task to save the world.
C. The reward. 16-19 ILLUS. "The Pony"
1. The good servants were not rewarded with retirement. They were given more work to do.
2. In the working world, promotions go to the ones who do their work well. They receive more responsibility.
3. If we begin a business and do it well, then it will grow and there will be more work.
4. If we are faithful in what God gives us, we will be trusted with more opportunities to serve Him.
III. An important principle for living is seen in the third servant. 20-27
A. To those who have, more will be given, etc. 25, 26
1. A time of accounting is coming when Jesus returns.
2. Those who have been faithful will be rewarded with eternal life in the Presence of God.
3. And those who reject Jesus will suffer in eternity.
B. The principle holds true in this physical life as well. It is not just about Heaven.
1. Even in athletics, if we don’t use our abilities we lose them. If we use them, we increase them.