The Parable Of The Ten Minas


‘While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.’ Luke 19:11

A few commentators suggest that this parable is Luke’s version of the parable of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30, however, although there are some similarities, they are different.

First of all, they are spoken in different places, this one is spoken in Jericho while the other is spoken in Jerusalem, one involves only servants, this one involves also hostile subjects, one has three servants, this one has ten servants, there are also different amounts of money and different applications.

We must remember that this parable is part of Jesus’ discussion at Jericho where he specifically spoke of His mission on earth. As he gets closer to Jerusalem, the disciples are thinking about what they assumed would soon happen, that is the coming of the Kingdom of God.

Many people believed that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, but they didn’t understand the nature of His kingdom and the purpose behind it. and so, Jesus who is coming near the end of His ministry teaches a parable to help clear up any misconceptions.

The King

‘He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.’ Luke 19:12

The nobleman represents Jesus, the Messiah. He meets the credentials of a king and He is worthy to be king. But His kingship will not begin here where He is. He travels to a distant country far away to receive His crown and begin His reign, to have himself appointed king.

This was pointing out to the disciples that Jesus would not immediately establish His kingdom during the coming Passover at Jerusalem. Later in the upper room discourse, the disciples were perplexed and sorrowful when Jesus spoke to them about going away, John 16.

Where was this ‘distant country’? Was it the grave, at His death, or heaven at His ascension after His resurrection?

The best understanding points to His ascension to the Father as the time He would receive the Kingdom, Daniel 7:13-14 / Matthew 28:18-20 / Acts 2 / Ephesians 1:19-21.

Jesus’ parable pointed forward to 50 days after His death at the Passover, on the Day of Pentecost, when the church or kingdom of God began through the coming of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of the authority of Christ. After His resurrection, Acts 1:3-8.

The Servants

‘So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ Luke 19:13

In preparation for His reception of His kingdom, the nobleman entrusts his ten servants with the responsibility to do business on His behalf. His journey to the distant country provides an opportunity for His servants to show their faithfulness and loyalty to Him.

For them, the issue is one of stewardship and responsibility. While the master wanted them to make money with what he provided, the amount of money is insignificant in this parable.

All received the same relatively small amount. The question was whether each would faithfully work and submit to His authority. Therefore the authority of the King is in view. Some servants will be faithful, but not all are willing.

The Rebellious Subjects

‘But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ Luke 19:14

There were some other subjects who hated the nobleman. They went as far as sending a delegation to denounce His authority over them, and attempt to sabotage His reign. But the enemies of this King would have no such success.

David prophesied of the Christ, Psalm 69:4. Jesus warned His disciples that they would be hated because He was hated. Later in the parable of the wedding feast, Jesus spoke of those who treated the servants of the king spitefully and killed them, Matthew 22:6. Jesus was clearly pointing out that His authority would be rejected.

But the hatred and rejection would not preclude His reigning over them. Notice that he returns in verse 15, ‘having received the kingdom’.

His kingship wasn’t postponed because of their rejection. Rather, the accountability He established with His subjects before He left was still intact, and when He returned He came to exercise judgment.

They rejected the chief cornerstone, Psalm 118:22, they rejected the very one who came for them, John 1:11-13.

The Judgment

‘He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’” Luke 19:15-27

The authority of this king would be exhibited in His willingness and ability to judge His servants. There would be an accounting which is proof that He was in charge. Those servants who are responsible and use what they are entrusted with, are rewarded.

Those who are faithful in little are given power over much, from 10 minas to the rulership of 10 cities. But for the servant is fearful and reproachful to the King there is only punishment. What he was given will be taken away. God demands that we use what He gives.

But then the story turns back to those subjects who tried to sabotage His kingdom and hated Him, His enemies, Luke 19:27. The King has them destroyed.

There is an accounting for those who reject the King. Jesus’ words may have been a prophetic pointer to the coming destruction of the city of Jerusalem as God’s punishment of the Jewish nation for the rejection of their Messiah.