Summary: The Parable of the Ten Minas.
A Study of the Book of Luke
Sermon # 53
“The Parable of the Investments!”
I believe that one of the great heroes of the faith in our day is Dr. Billy Graham. Although he is now in his 80’s and battling Parkingson’s disease he is still preaching the gospel. In 1996, he and his wife were awarded the Congressional medal of honor for their service to America. After the presentation, Dr. Graham was being interviewed by Diane Sawyer. In his characteristic way he turned the attention on Jesus when he said, “Ruth and I are humbled to receive this award. But the only recognition I am looking forward to is when I stand in before the Lord Jesus Christ. My greatest reward will be to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” What Dr. Graham is referring to is a phrase from the parable that we are going to be looking at today.
What we have before us this morning is the only parable that Jesus told that was based on an actual historical event. The story that Jesus told must have really grabbed the attention of the people. In 4 B.C. Archelaus (the son of Herod the Great) traveled to Rome with the hopes of being crowned ruler of Judea. When Herod had died there was confusion over his will (he had written six of them). Two of his sons, Antipas and Archelaus both claimed the throne. Archelaus traveled to Rome with the hope that Caesar Augustus would confirm him as the ruler. The Jews were outraged with the prospect of Archelaus being the king because he was as cruel and brutal as his father. Therefore they sent a delegation of 50 of the leading citizens to Rome to oppose Archelaus being appointed the ruler. The result was that Archelaus did not become king of the entire region but was appointed ruler of Judea (in fact he had his palace in Jericho), Galilee was given to his brother Antipas, and Jordan was given to his other brother Philip.
Verse eleven begins with, ““Now as they heard these things,” Perhaps Jesus had been discussing with His disciples what had happened at the house of Zacchaeus. They heard Jesus say to Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house.” (v. 9) They has also heard Jesus say, “The Son of Man has come to seek and save that which is lost.” (v. 10). We are told in the remainder of verse eleven tells us exactly why Jesus tells the parable of the pounds; “He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.” As he is drawing near to Jerusalem the expectation rises that he will establish the kingdom immediately. So he tells the parable now to correct the mistaken idea of the immediate appearance of the kingdom. Also clearly Jesus wanted them to know what they are to do while the king is gone and before he comes back.
Notice with me three important facts.
FIRST, THE MASTER HAS GIVEN US A JOB
Jesus begins his story in verse twelve, "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. (13) So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, "Do business till I come.’”
He gave them ten minas – (the equivalent of 100 days or a little over three month’s wages). He told them to according to the KJV “occupy until I come.” The word means to “do business.” The Greek word (pragmateuomai) is the word from which we get our word “pragmatic”. To be pragmatic means “practical.” And I find it very instructive that “pragmatism” is the doctrine that ideas have value only in terms of their practical consequences and that results are the sole test of the validity or truth of one’s beliefs.
There is confusion between this parable and the parable of the talents found in Matt 25 (vv. 14-30). The parable of the Talents found in Matt 25 teaches us that we all have been given different spiritual gifts and abilities. But in this parable, that which is given to each servant is equal – one mina. The comparison of the two parables helps us to understand that although we do have different gifts and abilities, there are some things that we have all been given equally by God.
First there is time. We are not talking about the length of life, because that varies. Some live well into their nineties and beyond but others die relatively young. But each of us has the same amount of time in each day – 24 hours, it is what we do with it that matters.
Truth. Every Christian has been “entrusted with the gospel.” (1 Thess. 2:4, 1 Tim. 1:11, 6:20, 2 Tim. 2:2