He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ Luke 19:12-13
“The nobleman of course represents Jesus Himself, who went to a far country to receive a kingdom and then returned to reward His servants. The parable has obvious applications to stewardship of spiritual gifts and ministries that Jesus entrusts to us, but in order for the parable to make sense, it has to assume that good stewardship, in God’s eyes, includes expanding and multiplying whatever resources or stewardship God has entrusted to you. Surely we cannot exclude money and material possessions from the application of the parable, for they are part of what God entrusts to each of us, and our money and possessions can and should be used to glorify God.”
Wayne Grudem in Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business (Wheaton: Crossway, 2003) 42-43.
Jenni and I flew to New England last night and arrived at the home of dear friends, Mark and Kate Whitsitt. This weekend Jenni speaks at the Women’s Retreat at Camp Spofford and I get to speak at the Men’s Retreat next weekend. She will focus on helping women breathe deeply from God’s Word to make it a rich part of their lives. My speaking will relate to the integration of faith and work. This is one of many texts that relates to my topic.
The parable of the ten minas is found in Luke 19:11-27. In summary, ten servants are given a mina, which is three months income, and instructed to put it to work. We hear the report of of three of the servants. Two servants multiply God’s resources and return them to Him while the third sits on the mina and is condemned for not putting it to work.
What about the other seven servants? I concur with many biblical scholars who think they represent the rest of us. Why was the one servant condemned? It was not for making bad financial decisions. In other words, savvy business does not win us a spot in heaven, obedience does. Knowing and doing God’s will, that is.
What’s the significance of the mina? That’s hard to pinpoint, but broadly, it represents what a servant needs to get to work and be fruitful. Jenni and I live on a float of three months income and store up the rest in heaven. We have found that a mina represents sufficient resources for living fruitfully, while maintaining a posture of dependence on God.
How do we apply the lesson of this parable in our lives? God made us to work, to be fruitful, and return the fruit of our labor to Him. It’s not ours. We can’t sit on our hands or on the money God has entrusted to us. By putting ourselves and God’s resources to work and returning the fruit of our labor to Him, we show our obedience and show others how to live.Read more