From One Mina to Ten Cities -- Luke 10:11-27

From One Mina to Ten Cities — Luke 19:11-27. UBC, May 16th, 2021...


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Richard Graham (
Sunday, May 16, 2021, 12:29 AM EDT


From One Mina to Ten Cities — Luke 19:11-27. UBC, May 16th, 2021.

The Parable of the Ten Minas
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.’ ”

The first thing that needs to be said is what this parable is not like. This parable is not like the parable of the Sower and the Seed, and it is not like the parable of the Talents. This parable is an entirely different parable. Jesus is not doing in this parable what He was doing with other parables, even though in some ways they may be similar. All of the parables are the same in the sense that the investing brings outcomes—whether sowing seed, investing talents, or investing minas. But there are major differences, and we need to recognize those in order to understand what Jesus is really saying in this parable.

Next, the nobleman is Jesus. The rebellious people in this parable are the lost people in this world, who refused to have Jesus to be their king. The ten servants are all believers. All the servants are saved Christians. The mina in Jesus’ day was money, and its value was about three months’ wages. It wasn’t a huge sum of money, but neither was it a small sum of money like the widow’s mite.

The next important thing to understand is that Jesus was telling this parable because the crowds were assuming that, because Jesus was headed to Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God was about to be created. Nothing was further from the truth, and Jesus knew that. He was going to Jerusalem to die, not become the King of Jerusalem. He was going to die, be buried for three days, be resurrected (PTL!), and after 40 days he would go to heaven to be seated at the right hand of His Father. Only much, much , MUCH later would he return as the conquering King.

And when He did return, it will not be as the sweet, all-forgiving King that a lot of people had in their minds. Instead, it will be as King of the Kingdom who will be the Judge! This King and Judge will demand that His enemies be destroyed. This destruction will be the destruction of hell for all who are lost. It is like Jesus said in Matthew 7:23, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of iniquity!”

Jesus will also be demanding that His servants be brought before Him. These are the Christians who have been saved, the believers, the church. We are to be brought before Him, and we will be required to give an account of how we have used the resources that He gave to us during our lives!


Do you not know that each of us, who are believers, will give an account of our lives, and how we have used the resources that Jesus has given to us? Yes, we will. Jesus will call us before Him, and even the words we have said in life will be reviewed, and we will have to give an account of them, and of everything else that God has given to us! And all that He has given to us was given so that we would invest it in the business of the Kingdom of God! That is the business of every Christian!

Another point that we must say is that this parable, like many that Jesus told, is a parable of a reversal. What does that mean? Remember, Jesus was a master teacher, a master trainer, and a master storyteller. In His teaching and training of the disciples, He created amazing stories that He used to make major points. Many of these stories had moments in them where Jesus would made a sudden reversal, a sudden twist in the plot. This was designed to both surprise and educate the people who were listening to Him. That is one of the reasons that the people loved to listen to Him. He was a much better storyteller than the Pharisees, and they loved Him for it.

So in this story, like many of His parables, He seems to be going in one direction, and then suddenly, He turns and goes in another direction. In this parable of the minas, for a while everything is peaches and cream. The servants came and reported of the good results that they have achieved. The master celebrates with them, and then he rewards them with amazing rewards: He gives them entire cities for them to rule! From a mina, worth about three months’ wages, these servants are being rewarded with the rulership of whole cities! The more minas that they earned by their hard work, the more cities that they were given to be the rulers of them! Can you imagine that? Neither could the people listening to Him! Whole cities to rule, just because you have been faithful with three months worth of money? What an amazing master is this master!

But then a foolish servant comes up. Instead of working hard, and investing his master’s mina, he hides it away in a handkerchief!! Why? Because he is afraid of losing it. He is scared of his master. He thinks of his master as a hard man. Believe it or not, he thinks his master is basically a cheater, a cheat, a man who wants to be given money that he has not worked for, money that others have worked to achieve. So he thinks, “At least, when my master comes, I will show that I didn’t lose it, and I can return it, safe and sound, to him!”

And bamm, the master is furious! He has been called a cheat to his face. And his mina, that he entrusted to this servant, has not earned anything! Now remember, in Jesus’ parable, the master represents Jesus Himself. Jesus is saying here that when He returns, and finds a servant who has not worked to invest his Lord’s resources in the Kingdom, He will be mad! He will be furious. You and I are Jesus’ servants. He expects us to invest the resources that He has given us in His Kingdom’s work! And if we don’t, He won’t be be peaches and cream in His response to us. He won’t be all sweetness! He will be angry. He will be stern. He will be furious. And He will jerk away everything that we have been given by Him, and give it to someone else!

Will we still be saved? Yes, we will. The lost people are the ones who are the rebellious citizens in this parable. The servants are the ones to whom the master has entrusted all that he has. Listen to what 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 says. Paul is writing, and he says this,
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

So Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says the same. All believers will have their words and works tested by fire. Those of us who have built with good resources will have blessings and rewards from the Lord as a result. But those of us who have built with inferior resources will see those burned up completely. Those people will still be saved, but they will not get any rewards. Wow. Kinda scary, isn’t it?

So why did Jesus tell this parable? At least, three reasons:

  1. He wanted the crowds to know that they were completely wrong in thinking that Jesus is about to usher in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God IS coming, but this moment is not the time for it!

  2. Because this moment is not the time for the coming of the Kingdom, He wanted them, and the disciples, to know that this was the time for something else. What is this time for? This is the time for working very hard to use the resources that God has given to us for a very important cause: the Kingdom of God! Both then, and continuing until now, and continuing until Jesus returns, is the time to invest everything that God has given to us, to bring people into the Kingdom of God! And if we invest what He has given us, not only will


we see the results that Jesus wants to see, but we will one day be rewarded in tremendous ways for the

work that each of us did for the sake of the Kingdom!
3. By the way, did you notice that no where in this story does the master nor Jesus tell one servant to criticize

another servant? I have seen a critical spirit hurt more churches than any other sin, including hidden sexual sin! And that includes criticizing the brother or sister who has a critical spirit. Let God deal with them! Paul said each person will answer to their master, not to each other.

A few weeks ago a man named Doyle Braden died. Several years ago he retired as the Director of Missions of the Orange County Southern Baptist Association. At his retirement ceremony, I had the privilege to say a few words. I stood before Doyle, Rick Warren pastor of Saddleback, Mike Proud who was Doyle’s successor, and a large crowd of people from the state Baptist convention and the churches of that association. I had prayed, of course, and so I said that day what I felt God wanted me to say. I asked a question: Have you seen how God trusted Doyle Braden? God trusted Doyle Braden with 25 years of leading the Orange County Association. And then I asked another question: with what has God entrusted to you? And when your time comes to retire or die, what will God say about the things He entrusted to you?

I want to ask the same question this morning: with what has God entrust to you? What has God given to you to use in the work of His Kingdom? We could mention many things: money, buildings, land, and positions, but I want to tell you one thing that I think is the greatest thing God has give to all of us, to use in His Kingdom’s work: relationships! Who are your relationships? Who are your FRANS? Who are your friends, relatives, associates at school and work, neighbors, and strangers you see every day? And how are you influencing them for God? A certain day will come with every person that you know. On that day , you will say the last words you will ever say to them. When the day comes that you say the last words you will ever say to those people, will you be satisfied with those last words? Will those last words point them to Jesus?

’Tis one life, will soon be past, only what we do for Jesus, will last.

[(?) Have you ever heard the story of the three marbles? Elderly storekeeper in the days of the Great Depression, and three young boys who came to trade their marbles for food for their families. They didn’t know any better, and the old man let them think he was willing to trade the food their families needed for marbles!]

By the way, if God offers you ten cities, or five cities, which ones would you pick for Him to give you as rewards? If He gives you ten cities, I suggest you pick them out like this: Let’s see. I’ll take Carson, Torrance, Long Beach, Wilmington, Catalina Island, Anaheim, Fullerton, Riverside, Barstow, and Signal Hill!” Which five cities would you take? Let’s pick five more cities. Wow, I’ll take Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Pico Rivera, Seal Beach, and (pause) Disneyland!

I’m joking, of course. We should not want to serve God just because He is going to reward us with wonderful things. He will reward us with wonderful things, maybe even authority over entire cities. But we should serve God because we love Him! For God so loved the world He gave His only unique Son, that whosoever trusts in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life!
He first loved us, so we would be able to love Him!

Now how can we apply this parable to us today? God has given every one of us many things, including the relationships of our lives. How can we influence those people for God?
Now, I am very happy that I am talking to United Baptist Church. This church has a long history of doing everything you can to share Jesus with everyone you can! Johnlou puts devotionals on FB, the cantatas of the music ministry, the mission trips to the Philippines. I remember that my wife and I, and the association, had the privilege of buying mules for the pastors you were helping. There is still mission work now that you support through the association and the Cooperative Program. And I believe if I talk with everyone of you, I would find a lot more work being done in God’s Kingdom!
Here are some more ideas (briefly):

1. Listen to God for those things which He wants you to share with other people. When you study the Bible, or listen to a sermon, or listen or teach a Bible study in Sunday School, or read a Bible verse that speaks to you, and goes down into your heart, don’t let it sour! There is a proverb that I sometimes hear: too many believers sit, soak, and sour. What does that mean? Too many believers sit in their pews, soak up what they have heard, and then go home and let it sour. They don’t do anything with it. They never share it with anyone. That is what sit, soak, and sour means. It is not wrong to sit and soak, but it is wrong to let those Bible truths sour in our lives. What can we do? Sit, soak, and share! Take the Bible truths we hear from Pastor Go’s sermons, or your Sunday School teacher’s lessons, or your own Bible devotions, and look for things you can share with other people! JohnLou puts a Bible devotional on FB, and I read them. There is

some good stuff there. What could you share that would help other people, especially the lost? Say to

them, “Hey, I heard something at church that really helped me. It was ....” And tell them.

  1. Tell your testimony. Tell other people what Jesus did for you. Tell them how He saved you from being a

    terrible sinner, and made you into one of His children!

  2. Get simple, interesting tracts, and give them to people whenever you can. In the past two years, we gave

    away over 1,600 tracts. That’s about 2 a day. And it is very simple to do. Just take a tract in your hand, hand it to someone, and say to them, “Did you get one of these?” And when they take it, say, “It’s a Gospel tract. It tells how Jesus changed my life.” That’s it. We give them to clerks, RV park people, strangers on the street.

  3. Give away Gospels of John. You can get these from Pocket Testament League, very easy. Say, “Did you get one of these?” You have just shared the Gospel! Give them to neighbors, teachers, car mechanic, grocery store clerk, everybody.

  4. Put the “Share Jesus Without Fear” app on your phone. It has videos that explain how to use it.

  5. Invite someone who is not a believer to church, invite them to dinner, invite them to a BBQ, a ballgame, to

    play cards, whatever. Just invite someone to be your friend.

  6. When you see a need in your neighborhood, fill it. Welcome new neighbors to the street where you live.

    Help the elderly on your street. Mow their grass, change their oil. And tell them why, tell them about Jesus.

And Jesus has promised that He will reward everything that a Christian does for His Kingdom. “In all things God works for good, to them who love Him, who are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28


  September 2021  
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