The Parable of the 10 Minas is illustrative of key kingdom principles (Luke 19:11-27). A mina was a unit of money equal to about 100 days of labor. In the parable, a nobleman was going to a far country to receive a kingdom and then return. As he was leaving, he gave 10 minas to each of 10 slaves and charged them to do business with them until he returned.
When the king returned, he sent for the slaves to give an accounting. One reported that he had made an additional 10 minas. The king complimented the slave and gave him authority over 10 cities. Another had gained five minas. Again, the king complemented him and gave him authority over five cities. But another slave did not have any gain, nor had he tried. He was afraid of the king because he thought him to be exacting and someone who reaped where he did not sow. The king took the unfaithful slave's minas and gave to the one who already had 10 minas.
The parable is often used by teachers to illustrate the importance of our Master someday saying to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant." It has also been used to illustrate the calling of business and stewardship. It is rarely used to define the King's enemies, but this parable is one of the few places where Jesus defined His enemies.
Shortly after the nobleman left to receive his kingdom, the Scriptures say a delegation of "citizens" followed declaring that they did not want this nobleman to rule over them. When he returned, after the accounting of the 10 slaves, he asked that these "enemies" of his, who did not want him to rule over them, be destroyed. Note the Lord's use of the term "citizens" and "enemies."
"But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us" (Luke 19:14).
"But as for those enemies of mine, who would not let me reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me" (Luke 19:27).
In the Parable of the Tares (Matt. 14:24-30, 36-43), a man (the Lord) sowed good seed in his field (the world). But later it was discovered that the field also had tares that were sown by the enemy (the devil). Since small tares look similar to young wheat plants, the man told his servant to let them grow together so the good seed would not be destroyed. But at harvest (the end of the age), the tares were to be gathered in bundles and burned, and then the grain would be gathered (to the kingdom of the Father).
"But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away" (Matt. 13:25).
"The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels" (Matt. 13:39).
"Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear" (Matt. 13:43).
The kingdom of God is anyplace where the King rules. From the parable of the minas, we learn that some citizens don't want the King to rule over them. These citizens are called enemies by the Lord. From the parable of the tares, we learn that the enemy places imposters among the people of God. These agents of the enemy, early on, can look similar to the real thing. James also indicates that anyone that wants friendship with the world makes themselves an enemy of God (James 4:4). A number of implications can be drawn.
First: Do we really want the Lord to reign in our ministries, our vocations, our families and our lives? Could some prayer and deep soul searching determine whom we actually want to rule? Are our actions and deeds congruent with our desire for the Lord's reign?
Second: Is our ministry ordained of the Lord, or is it an imposter? Would the Lord consider us a valiant son or daughter of God or an imposter? Are we transparent? Are we honest and truthful? Do we try to present a false front?
Third: Does our ministry teach and model fellowship with the Lord, or do we chase the world's accolades? Is the Lord's or the world's approval most important to us? Are we willing to take a stand against ungodly worldly norms? Are we trying to straddle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness? Do we want the world's friendship?
"For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, how much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by His life" (Rom. 5:10).
"Then comes the end when He will deliver up the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He will reign until He has put all enemies under His feet" (1 Cor. 15:24-25).
Dr. James Russell is a professor of economics at Oral Roberts University.
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