Summary: The parable of the ten minas in Luke 19:11-27 teaches us about faithfulness.
Jesus told the parable of the ten minas while passing through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem.
11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’ ” (Luke 19:11-27 (quickview) )
Jesus was on his final trip to Jerusalem. He would soon enter the city on Palm Sunday. He had to pass through the city of Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. As Jesus drew near to Jericho he encountered a blind man, whom he not only healed physically but saved spiritually as well (Luke 18:35-43 (quickview) ). Then Jesus entered Jericho where he encountered Zacchaeus, whom he also saved after having stayed at his house (Luke 19:1-10 (quickview) ).
Perhaps while Jesus was staying at the house of Zacchaeus he could see the winter palace of Archelaus, who had ruled Judea shortly after Jesus had been born.
When Herod the Great died in 4 BC, his son, Archelaus, assumed that he would be appointed king over Judea. Only the Roman Emperor could appoint him as king. So, Archelaus travelled to Rome to be crowned as king. However, the Jews sent a delegation to the Roman Emperor beseeching him not to make Archelaus king. When Archelaus returned he executed all those who had been unfaithful to him. It was this historical background that prompted Jesus to tell the parable of the ten minas.