Jesus tells this parable for those who suppose that the kingdom of God is to appear immediately. How we need this reminder often today. Too many times, well-meaning Christian people are confused by claims that the end times are about to come to an end, and Christ will reappear on a set date. We know neither the day nor the hour. Even with Jesus physically present then, the kingdom of God still has further to advance before Jesus’ return.
The story tells of a city that hated its ruler and opposed him. The ruler gives ten of his servants various amounts of money or “minas” (a “mina” was about three months’ wages). When the ruler or “nobleman” returns, he calls the servants to account. The servant who was only given one mina has done nothing with that mina. And his mina is taken away and given to the servant who has ten. And those who attempted to rebel against the king are brought to justice.
The point of the story is that while Jesus’ return is still to come, when he returns we will be held to account for how we have lived with what we know about Jesus, and the gifts he has given us. Those who refuse to submit to Christ will be judged and condemned. Those servants of his who are faithful with what they have been given will be rewarded. The servant who does not invest his talent, perhaps afraid that he will mess things up, will receive no reward. So often it is the person who thinks they do not have much to offer that fails to do anything with what they do have! Take the time now to ask God to make clear to you your gifts and responsibilities. Are you a mother with children? A father with children? Do you have a job to which you are responsible? Brothers, sisters? Are you called to an office in the church? These are God-given and called opportunities and responsibilities, and it is our task, by prayer and faithful commitment, to make the most of what it is that God has given us. So often, the enemy of this commitment is looking around at others who appear to us to have been given more, and so not doing anything with what we do have! But Jesus asks us to be faithful with what he has given us—not do nothing with that and long passively for the gifts that others have.
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