What Does The Parable of the Minas Mean?

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

Jesus frequently used parables to teach his disciples important concepts about the kingdom of God.  We, as Christians 2,000 years removed, often have difficulty interpreting the meaning of these parables.  Fortunately, with some effort we can recover the major thrusts.

The Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:11-27) is spoken by Jesus just before he enters Jerusalem for the last time.  There are five major characters.  The characters are: (1) the man of noble birth, (2) the subjects who hated him, (3) the servant who earned ten minas, (4) the servant who earned five minas, and (5) the servant who earned nothing.

Each of these plays an important role.  The man of noble birth is clearly meant to be Jesus, himself.  He is to receive a kingdom and then return.  The subjects who hated the man of noble birth represent the Jews who have rejected Jesus, and especially the religious leaders.  The servant who earns ten minas and the servant who earns five minas both represent exemplary disciples of Jesus.  The servant who earns nothing represents an unfruitful disciple of Jesus.

With the characters identified, we can piece together the meaning of the narrative.

A man of noble birth (Jesus) prepares to travel to a distant country and receive his kingdom (the kingdom of God).  Before he leaves, he gives a single mina (responsibilities, abilities, opportunities, gospel message) to each of his servants (disciples) and instructs them to put the money to work (be fruitful with what Jesus has given them).  A delegation of subjects who hate the man of noble birth (unbelieving Jews) protest his reception of the kingdom.

Upon the man’s return (Jesus’ second coming at the consummation of the kingdom of God) he finds two servants (disciples) who invested (used their God-given abilities and opportunities) wisely.  To these, he gives cities (heavenly rewards).  The servant (disciple) who does not invest the mina (use the abilities or fulfill the responsibilities Jesus gave him) is reprimanded and has his mina taken from him and given to the servant (disciple) who earned ten minas.  Finally, the subjects (unbelieving Jews) who hated the man of noble birth (Jesus) are executed (judged) for their rejection of the king (Jesus).

There seem to be at least five major points that the parable communicates.  First, Jesus will leave his disciples for an undetermined amount of time.  Second, Jesus will return to consummate his kingdom some time in the future.  Third, disciples of Jesus who are good stewards in his absence will receive incredible rewards from him upon his return.  Fourth, disciples of Jesus who are poor stewards in his absence will have their rewards taken away and given to the disciples who are good stewards.  Fifth, those who reject Jesus as the rightful king will face a terrible judgment upon his return.

That’s my take on it, after studying it for a couple weeks and reading some good commentaries.  Anybody see something different?  What are some applications that we can take from this parable?

59 thoughts on “What Does The Parable of the Minas Mean?”

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  3. I think you nailed it. I gave your URL to a Muslim who tried to use this passage to show that Christianity was a violent religion. He took it out of context.

  4. Growing up in church, whenever I heard any one preach on the parable of the minas or the talents it has always been about not wasting ones talents or being a good steward with money. And whilst I agree that we should do both of those I disagree that either of these parables have any thing at all to do with those subjects. I agree with you how ever that it does have to do with the stewardship of the gospel.

    Christ’s servants were given their charge to go forth and preach the Gospel, through word and good works. The minas represent the gospel message being planted into the hearts of those folk that we come into contact with, and in so doing they will hopefully become followers of the Name and in turn plant the gospel seed in others.

    I came up in a prosperity church where Kenneth Copeland and Jessie Duplantis were very good friends of our Pastor and were one our board of directors. So the prosperity message was abundantly preached in our church. And this of course was twisted, perhaps not purposefully, but twisted nonetheless to fit into that prosperity propaganda.

    So I can tell you how pleased I was to have been reading one day, the Parable o The Minas, and the true meaning of this scripture just hit me. And it was so obvious.

    A lot of times when I bring this up to other people they say well it interprets different for different people. Which is a total crock. I am sorry but I really don’t think God is that ambiguous about things. And when Jesus spoke, even though it was in coded Parables some times, the message it self was pretty straight forward.

    And this whole different interpretations for different people is some thing that is not supported by scripture and is not supported any where in scripture.


  5. Is it possible that the meaning of this parable lies in its most troubling verse? Jesus sums up the story when he says (to the chagrin of those listening),” I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.” (NASB Luke 19:26).

    On the surface, this is an outrageous statement, disdainful, perhaps, to anyone with a sense of social justice. But a deeper look at the parable reveals a different meaning.

    In this story, men are entrusted with a mina apiece and are instructed by the king to, ‘Do business (or trade) with this until I come back.’ (NASB 19:13). The king expects increase.

    So let us ask ourselves, in order to turn a single mina into five, or even ten, what would we need to do? What would we need to “have” in order to do so?

    The answer to the first question is given in the king’s instructions: to do business, or
    to TRADE – that is, to relinquish possession of one thing (a mina) in return FOR another thing of GREATER VALUE. Repeated transactions of this type will lead to significant
    gain – and the pleasure of our king.

    Then, what do we need to “have” in order to make these successful, gainful, profitable trades? Well, we’ve been given a mina. But that alone will not result in increase. What else must we “have”?

    The answer is twofold. First, we must ‘have” THE ABILITY TO VALUE RIGHTLY – the way the king would if he were here. To trade gainfully we need the capacity to weigh and measure comparative values the way the king does – by his standards. Then, like the 5 and 10 mina makers, we prove ourselves worthy of his delegated authority.

    Secondly, and perhaps more crucially, we must judge the king’s nature rightly. Because,
    as in the case of the man who, out of fear, neglected to trade with his mina, we will
    be judged by king in the way we judge him. If we value him wrongly, we lose everything.

    Doesn’t Luke 19:26 read differently now?

    “I tell you that to everyone who has (the ability to value rightly), more shall be given (through gainful trade), but from the one who does not have (the ability to value rightly), even what he does have shall be taken away (through trading for loss – or failing to trade at all).” (NASB)

    Somehow, this is the essence of the Kingdom.

  6. I’d like to know if I can copy part one paragraph on this post (with your name attached) to explain the characters identified in this parable. I am not going to use it out of context…I merely think you said it better than I could have.

  7. I think that most have interpreted the parable of talents/minas in a very western-industrial-materialistic way. They think it is really about money or abilities and what we can produce with it. Everyone just skips over that fact that the 3rd servant notes that the master is bad (reaps where he does not sow etc) and that the master acknowledges that he is bad.

    So then, if the “lazy” servant (actually it is clear he is simply afraid of the master) does not obey the bad master, what does that make him? If you gave me $100 dollars at the airport as you were leaving for safe keeping, would you expect me to buy stock and return to you $150? Would you be upset if i gave you back $100 on your return?

    In, addition, if the master represents the going and return of Jesus, why would the author depict him as bad? Further, the master suggests that the servant should have given the money to the lenders (such as the table-turned lenders at the temple) for usury. Why would the master, representing Jesus, ask his servant or follower to collect usury or interest when usury is illegal in the Hebrew faith?

    I believe the meaning of the parable is much deeper than the common (and somewhat shallow) meaning commonly given it. I would say it is time to go back to the drawing board, or in this case, the Greek/Hebrew text.

    Blessings, Pastor Tom

  8. Pastor Tom is on the right path. Our materialistic Western perspective puts us at a distinct disadvantage with this parable. This parable has served as the justification for much “running to and fro” as well as our justification for the dangerous level to which we have allowed the spirit of mammon to mingle with The Spirit of Grace… a little yeast if you will.

    Notice the following:

    1. The master is unjust (hard) and a thief. This is not our Master of Creation as it would be impossible for Him to steal or reap anything not His. Also, He is perfectly just.

    2. The increase earned by the two “worthy” servants was substantial and must have come at the significant loss of other unnamed parties.

    3. The “wicked” servant is in the minority, yet we know that the majority is using the wide path that leads to destruction.

    4. Notice in Matthew 25, we have the ten maidens parable beginning with “the Kingdom of Heaven is like.” Here He is describing the last days, not the Kingdom, and says “it will be like”.

    5. Consider the possibility that the “wicked” servant took the “mammon” out of circulation and essentially neutralized the damage it could do to others and ultimately to his own soul.

    6. Notice the “wicked” servant is being cast out of the city where he will be cold, thirsty, naked and hungry. Trying to step out of such system could easily land one in prison too.

    7. Notice how Matthew 25 ends with “The Final Judgement” discourse. The goats are not accused of being bad “stewards”, rather they are accused of not taking care of the thirsty, naked, imprisoned, etc.

    Our so-called “wicked” servant is actually a conscientious objector, who values his eternal salvation more than the approval of men. He accepts being naked, thirsty and poor and we, on the other hand, face eternal condemnation for being so intoxicated with mammon and “what we can do for the kingdom,” that we consider his plight his own fault and pitiable. Our rags truly are filthy!

  9. “And as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king–bring them in and execute them right here in front of me.” -This shooked my faith. Why would Jesus ordered such horrible act? Can someone explain before I lose my faith?

  10. Ed,
    This is a parable, which means it is not to be taken literally. Jesus was trying to communicate the gravity of the situation for those who knowingly reject him.

  11. Because the people who wrote the bible wants you to be afraid of jesus and just convert all the people you can, because if you don’t, there goes: Luke 19:27

  12. I believe the previous two stories play into the reason for Jesus telling this parable. Notice that the Blind man and Zachaeus both are not accepted by the crowds as deserving Jesus’ attention. However, Jesus comes to each of them and they both make their own confessions of faith, either calling out Lord or giving what they have to the poor. It is moving from a spoken faith to a realized faith. It seems like these two men understand what kind of disciples God is calling people to be. So, Jesus tells this parable that has two meanings. #1 – Understand the kind of disciples I am calling, those who are willing to give up what they were to follow me. #2 – Those who do not accept me will be judged at the second coming.

  13. Wow…. I have always struggled with this parable – till today. Thanks!!

    In my initial understanding I thought it was ‘mean’ to take away from the one that has least to give to the one who already has plenty. But on reflection… I understand NOW that the mina was the seed of God that has been planted in each of us.

    We all have the seed. But like all seeds it needs nurturing and tending to.

    The man that nurtured the seed and it grew to 10 times did well and OF COURSE the Master was pleased. Even the one that multiplied it by 5 did well.

    But the one that put the seed on the shelf… well, he disappointed.

    In this day and age of the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor, it is easy for the true meaning to get lost. This is nt about earthly possessions like money…NO!!! But growing in faith whilst Jesus is ‘away’ …. He shall return and we better have a sizeable interest growth in faith in Him when that time comes.

  14. The mina is the Word, when we sow seeds, or the word, who reaps the reward? In the parable of the sower, the word falls on different ground and doesn’t produce, but one seed on good ground produces a hundred fold. But who reaps our efforts once our seed has been planted on good ground and produces a hundredfold? The Lord will reap at the harvest. Hence, in this parable “…and reap what you did not sow”. Or the statement elsewhere in the gospel of Our Lord…”One sows, and another reaps”.

    “Why did you not put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?” If you couldn’t sow the seed, or spread the Word, why not give it to someone else who would have done so on your behalf?

  15. Pastor Tom it could be that even though the third servant believed the master was “bad,” it was not his position to judge. Matthew 25: 15-29 doesn’t state that the master is a thief, but only shows that the third servant thinks this and the master repeats what the servant has said in a non-factual way “You knew, did you, that I reap harvests where I did not plant…” To relate this passage to Jesus as the master, a lot of people did not believe he was a king and thought he was a fraud. However, we shouldn’t overlook that the other 2 servants seemed to think the master was good and were willing to help him earn money. The master also rewarded them. I think the passage is a lesson relating to the apostles and spreading the word of God.

  16. Although a parable it is to communicate heavenly things in a earthly way.
    Those that reject Jesus will go to hell.
    Remember God is the potter, he can do what he wants, he’s the boss

  17. I found the following explanation I ran across of the parable by Rev. Lowell very compelling:

    “Parable of the Whistle-Blower’

    Three years ago I did some study about this parable of the talents and wrote a sermon based on the remarkable scholarship of William R. Herzog, II in
    his book “Parables as Subversive Speech.” That sermon is on our web site at this address: http://www.stpaulsfay.org//lowellsermon111205.pdf

    Herzog says that these characters would have been recognized by Jesus’ listeners. They were the retainers of wealthy, absentee landlords. According to the law of Hammurabi, they were expected to make a minimum profit of 100% on liquid assets. Beyond that, they could keep part, maybe even all of the excess income. One way they invested was to make loans to peasant farmers so that they could plant their crops with interest rates ranging to 60 percent and perhaps as high as 200 percent.

    Jesus’ hearers would have been familiar with these retainers. Some peasants may have lost their lands through forced foreclosure when their crop was not
    sufficient to cover their loans to the retainer. The retainers’ work was dirty work. And they were hated by the peasants.

    These retainers were very powerful businessmen. But when Jesus calls them slaves, he exposes their vulnerability and dependence upon their master.
    Describing powerful men as slaves must have surprised Jesus’ listeners. Maybe Jesus wanted them to re-think their attitudes toward these retainers. Especially the third one, the one who hid his talent.

    This retainer talks back to the master in an insulting, manner, calling the master out to his face and speaking of his dirty business in public: “I knew you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed.” Today, he might be called a whistle-blower.

    And though this retainer was afraid, he buried the money. He took the aristocrat’s money out of circulation and hid it in the ground, where it could no longer do harm. He opted out of a corrupt and oppressive system.

    He was right to be afraid. He is thrown into the outer darkness, away from the influence and protection of the aristocrat and other retainers, and into the world of the peasants where his skills are useless and their
    resentment toward his type of people is great. His is a desperate and vulnerable position. Yet it may be that Jesus is framing him as some kind of hero. Maybe Jesus is encouraging a peasant community who would
    otherwise be hostile toward any retainer to give this one a break.

    Maybe Jesus offers this parable to encourage acts of integrity, justice, and public consciousness raising, especially when such acts are costly. We can ask ourselves, how are we trapped into cooperating with systems or relationships that are unjust or sucking the life out of us and others? How should we opt out of such entrapments, burying our participation instead of using our talents wrongly?

    But more than that. It seems to me that Jesus is telling the community of his listeners to open their hearts with compassion and to give some support to those people who take such risks. Some people are able to
    leave a destructive situation when they believe that they have even just a little backup or understanding out there somewhere. We can be the community that takes the fallen retainer out of the outer darkness he
    been thrown into and befriends him.

    Even if that retainer seems to have made a mess of his life thus far. Even if he was someone we pointed toward as one of the “bad guys.” Now that he has stood-up to the oppression that also trapped him, he needs our friendship…. see more at: http://lowellsblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/parable-of-whistle-blower.html.

  18. I wonder if the one who feared the King, in stating that he reaps what he does not sow and and takes up what he does not lay” is a reference to Nephilim. The books of Enoch and Jasher tell us of the abominations of hybrid Nephilim that were “sown” or “laid” upon the earth “in the days of Noah” then subdsequently destroyed in the flood. These were transgenic hybrids who were also found on the earth AFTER the flood as well. Jesus Himself stated in Matthew 24 that at His second coming, “so shall it be in the days of Noah.” This is a direct reference to the transgenic movement of today and mixing of not only animal species but human/animal hybrids. God did not “sow” or “lay” these beings, and they will once again all be burned in the Great Judging of the day of the Lord.

  19. In this parable, there are many clues in identifying the deeper context of what Jesus was telling His listeners. If more Christians would read the books of 1Enoch, Jasher and Jubilees, they would see much more profound truth’s in the Scriptures.

    For starters, notice that the first two men are addressed in a numeric fashion. The “first” man with the 10 minas (Vs. 16) and the “second” man with the five minas (Vs. 18). When it comes to the third man we don’t see “third” but rather “another” (Greek: heteros). In Jude, we find “hetros” referring to the fallen angels in the context of those in Sodom and Gomorrah going after “strange” (hedros) flesh. The Greek word “hetros” according to Thayer’s can be defined as “one not of the same nature, form, class, kind, or different. So, what is “different” about this last so called “man?”

    1. He is of the “fellow countrymen”, which hated the King (Vs. 14).

    2. He is one who did not want the King to reign over him (Vs. 14).

    3. He is an “enemy” of the King, who again is not willing for the King to reign over him (Vs. 27).

    4. He is termed a “wicked servant” (Vs. 22)

    5. He “feared” the king and knew (had knowledge) that he was “harsh” man (Vs. 21).

    6. He makes the statement regarding the King that; “you are reaping what you do not sow” (Vs. 21).

    7. He did not have the rational sense to even deposit the mina into a bank.

    8. He did not produce any return for the Kingd or (fruit).

    As we will soon see, this “strange” or different “man” in this parable is not a man at all. It is a fallen angel appearing as a man; “as in the days of Noah.” In Genesis 6 and 1Enoch especially, we read extensively about the fallen “Watchers” or bene elohim, who came to earth (as men) and corrupted all flesh by having sex with women. This resulted in angel/human hybrid offspring called “Nephilim.” This was not the end of their corrupting of flesh. In order to provoke the Lord, they taught the mixing of every species of animal including human/animal hybrids. This is some of what we see in the transgenics movement today! This is why God destroyed ALL FLESH. Because these hybrid offspring of the fallen angels were of primal origin combined with human DNA, when they died in the flood, they became what we know as the unclean spirits and demons 1 Tim. 4:1. The book of Enoch outlines all this in much detail. The epistles of Jude and II Peter quote much of Enoch in regards to the fallen Watchers. Paul himself spoke of Enoch in Hebrews. This is a very important book which needs to be read to understand Who Christ was and is as well as why He came and did what He did for humanity.

    Therefore, this parable, like the sower and seed of Matthew 13, applies to what Christ will find occurring on the earth at His second coming. As He stated in Matthew 24, “as in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man.” This is not merely speaking of eating and drinking and marrying of humans! If you want more info, search Doug Hamp and Thomas Horn. .

    So, considering the enumerated points above, lets identify who this “third man” is:

    1. First, the “far country” that the King had gone to is speaking of His (Christs) celestial kingdom after His resurrection. There is a citizenship there who oppose Him and a subsequent battle that will occur among the celestials in the day of the Lord. This battle is dual and will occur on earth as well (Eph. 6:12). The spiritual forcec include both fallen angels and unclean spirits of the Nephilim. They have advanced transgenic knowledge today and have been corrupting the earth for some time now. These are rebellious “sons of God” (bene elohim) masquerading as men and even “aliens.” Jesus Himself is a “Son” but He was THE “Firstborn of every creature” including the angelic Divine Council of God in heaven. He came to correct the corruption and redeem mankind from the rebellion that occurred in the beginning. In Luke 11:18, Jesus contrasts Himself with the “sons” of the Pharisees being these fallen sons. In Ephesians 2:1-3 Paul calls these “sons of stubbornness.” Psalms 82 tells us these will die “like men.” If these die “like men” it means they are not men!

    2. They do not want the King to rule over them. In Jude 1:8 it states these fallen angels “repudiate lordships. In Jude 1:12 it states that these are “fearlessly shepherding themselves.”

    3. As in this parable, the context regards “sowing and reaping” so is it in the parable of the sower. In Matthew 13:25, 28, 39, it is the “enemy” who sows the corrupt seed, producing the “tares.” As in the days of Noah, the tares represent non-human entities and beings NOT created or “sown” in the image of God.

    4. The book of Enoch tells us that it was only a small group of angels that descended to Mt. Hermon to take women for themselves. Prior to this transgression, these were “angels of the sons of heaven” (Enoch 6:2). As other angels are often spoken of as “servants” of God throughout Scripture, so were these before the fall; hence “wicked servants.”

    5. What kind of knowledge did this “man” have in regards to the harshness of the King? The reason he “feared the King” was due to what occurred in the days of Noah and the flood when God destroyed their offspring, the Nephilim and all the genetically corrupt flesh that was not created in the image of God. The same will occur in the day of the Lord by fire (See Enoch 10:12).

    6. In the beginning, God created all plant and animal life “according to its own kind.” What God does not “sow” upon the earth, He will reap and destroy just as in the days of Noah. This includes GMO’s, and all hybridization of corrupt men and fallen angels. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring (seed) and hers” Gen. 3:15. The “tares” in the parable of the seed and sower represent the bad “seed,” which will be reaped and burned.

    7. The irrational characteristic of this “different” one is also described in Jude 1:10 and II Pet. 2:12. Here we find the Greek word “alogos,” which translated means; “irrational, destitute of reason or absurd.”

    8. Yet another descriptive term of these fallen beings is “unfruitful” (Jude 1:12).

  20. You’ve all got it wrong…The hero in this story is the servant/viceroy who didn’t invest through unjust taxes and refused to be as cutthroat and corrupt as the king/nobleman and the other servants/viceroys.This is a parable about Herod’s son, Archaleus, who was sent to Rome for three years. This parable is based on historical fact and Jesus is saying it to the disciples to warn them about the terrible suffering that he and them are about to go under. If you dare to go against the world this is what will happen. If you are as corrupt as the world then you will be rewarded. We have read it wrong because we have read it through our biased western capitalist minds

  21. This is why I love Yeshua’s parables in the Holy Scriptures. If there is any confusion or question, the best answer is usually, blatantly right there in the scriptures. Let’s take a look at the pre-text given, under which Jesus says these things and to whom he is teaching these things to, and why. Ok, In my NIV translation I’ve got, “While the people were listening to this (Jesus had just finished telling Zacchaus to come down from the tree and that salvation has come to his house.) Jesus 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.” So the people surrounding Jesus (disciples and other followers and bystanders) were probably getting impatient and antsy nearing Jerusalem thinking that the Kingdom of Heaven was going to appear. So the the ultimate purpose of this parable, like other Jesus’s parables (Luke 17: 20-25), is to explain how the kingdom of Heaven is, how it operates, and how the follower’s gain access (non-followers or ”non-sowers of ‘mina’ gaining no access at all!). As we see this is Luke’s construct of the context for this parable. Praise Power And Glory Be to Our Almighty Prince Of Peace Yeshua! see also Acts 1:6 for further reference/ comparison to context.

  22. Janelle! I think you answered Pastor Tom correctly. The scriptures tells us that Jesus spoke in parables, so the the truth would be hidden from them. Mark 4: 10-13

  23. Deconstruct Tradition, as I said earlier to Janelle! Jesus spoke in Parables so that they would not understand ( the truth hidden from them).

  24. Ed, Jesus was merely pointing out what will happen at the final judgement. To those who did not believe! Everyone will be taught the gospel before he returns; therefore not one single person will be able to say iv’e never heard of this person Jesus, or this Good News…. So don’t let this shake your faith! But let it strengthen your faith, as by your faith you will understand these parables and by the words in the scripture! If you believe you will be saved!

  25. I think we must remember why he told the parable.
    The scriptures state that,”While the people were listening to these things, Jesus proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.”
    He told the parable because:
    1. He was near Jerusalem
    That explains why the parable included, people that rejected the king and people being slaughtered (Ed, that was a prediction into the future not a mean God that wants to watch people being slaughtered. Do not lose faith)
    2. They thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately
    -since the kingdom of God was not revealed to them immediately that lets us know that there was doubt in the minds of the citizens and the slaves. This is a parable so it can’t be taken literally. Jesus was not referring to money. Instead he was referring to anything that helped spread his kingdom. Rather it was miracles, preaching, showing love to your neighbors,etc. basically their goal was to make believers or Christ followers.
    Something else the scriptures stated is that the citizens hated him and did not want Him to be king over them. The kings instruction to the slaves was to do business. Who do you think the slaves would have to do business with?…. The citizens! So if the citizens did not want Him to be King then it would be very difficult to do business as the slave of the king. So for the slaves who made a return, they did so with courage (because the citizens hated the king) and faith (because the kingdom was not yet established). The slave that was afraid, did not make a return bc he was influenced by the citizens. The called him a severe man because he withdrew what he did not deposit and reaped where he did not sow. In other words Jesus preached with authority and performed miracles but where did he get his power from? He was not a priest or an important religious leader. He was just a carpenter. How could he preach with authority?
    Then the king told the slave he would judge him by his own words (therefore the king was not admitting to being a severe or wicked man he was simply using the slaves words to teach him).
    He basically told the slave if you knew I was making money unlawfully then why didn’t you make money for me in a lawful manner, like putting money in a bank. So he proved to the slave that he did not have any excuse not to make a return for him. To explain the parable, Even if the disciple did not have faith, and he believed the citizens (Jews) that the king was a severe man, then why didn’t he do the things he knew were right. If Jesus gave him the power to heal the sick. Why not heal the sick? He did not have to believe Jesus was the Messiah, he should have healed the sick because it was the right thing to do. In conclusion, there are many who do not believe Jesus is the Messiah, but whenever He comes back, there will be no excuse for anyone because rather you believe in Him or not, we all know what is right and what is good.

  26. I see you completely misunderstood what was taught here and substituted your own meaning based on your own hatred and nothing else.

    How is it antisemitism to speak of your own people you nut? Jesus was a Jew… I just don’t get you peoples’ hatred… it’s like it blinds you to obvious things. JESUS WAS A JEW. How can he hate himself?

    Furthermore, violence?? Apparently you haven’t done any research on the Bible at all and are only going by what you heard from others, meaning you don’t know how to think for yourself.

    It says right in the Bible what happens when you sin and are unfruitful. All you have to do is be fruitful and try your best not to sin. Man brings about his own destruction. God doesn’t do it. And God only brings about the final destruction to the people who chose their own destruction willingly.

    Yeah, anything else I can humiliate your hatred on with simple research and common sense?

  27. If you don’t realize that the Bible is full of God-inspired violence, not to mention genocide, slavery, and misogyny, then I challenge you to read it more thoroughly.

    And yes Jesus was a Palestinian Jew, however his followers have regularly embraced anti-Semitism. Surely this is indisputable.

  28. Kevin,
    It seems that you haven’t spent any time on this blog reading other posts. We address most of the issues you raised in your comment, and if you are really interested in looking at a book-length treatment of the issues you’ve raised, I would recommend Paul Copan’s Is God Moral Monster?

    My suspicion is that you’re not interested in hearing the Christian response to your claims, but I’m hoping I’m wrong.

  29. Imagine a man who has a son.

    The son has a cute little kittycat that he loves very much.

    The man tells his son that in order to prove how much he loves his father he needs to cut the cat’s throat and kill it…

    Sound familiar? That scenario is the founding moment of your faith.

    Christians love to bemoan the wickedness of the world, but perhaps we are a violent and schizophrenic people because for centuries the dominant religion, the Christian, has asked us to worship that violent and schizophrenic deity sometimes known as the God of Abraham. Or to accept the parable above as anything other than completely unacceptable.

    “Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.” – Thomas Paine

  30. Yep. Suspicion confirmed. You aren’t interested in actually knowing what Christianity is about. I won’t be wasting any more time with you until you can convince me I’m wrong.

  31. The story begins like this: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.” Then it continues: “So…” where the man of noble birth calls 10 of his servants and gives them 10 minas each. The confusing part to me is, does he call his servants in heaven or on earth? If he’s already on earth when the story continues, it’s a rather sudden change of scenes. Makes it feel like he could still be in heaven, assigning his servants THERE duties before he returns to them from his “distant land” trip. But supposedly he’s already on earth – assigning his servants THERE the minas before he returns to heaven – telling them he would “COME BACK” (which indicates he would RETURN to earth again for an accounting?); He then RETURNS to heaven (the passage says he “returned home”). But he does not RETURN to earth as the story continues (like he said he would). Instead – FROM “home” (heaven) he SENDS for the servants and again SENDS for his enemies. A lot of detail, but slightly confusing.

    This “sending for” also adds to the number of characters in the parable. Who are the ones he “sends” mentioned in this story? The ones he “sends” for the servants (v.15); and the ones who are “standing by”, converses with, and again sends to bring his enemies to him in verses 24-27. I assume it’s his angels.


  32. My husband and I spoke of this and he added that God will reward everyone who works but if you don’t believe and your heart is not right those people will still perish at the end. None of them wanted Jesus to be King so even the one’s who were rewarded perished just as the one who didnt produce anything..because they all were against Jesus. Example: A drug dealer normally reaps financially but will it last? Only what we do in Christ and for Christ will last.

  33. Thanks for posting this! Very, very helpful, you apparently have a talent for seeing to the heart of parables my friend.

  34. Just like redinkedarmy said: those who reject the kingship and lordship of Jesus will be judged, and the verdict from that judgement will result in the second death-hell.

  35. I think that we that call our selves servants of Christ should do the work of the Lord. In what is of interest to the Lord. That is to go to the world and preach the gospel.
    So that if we want to gain life we should give it. And those who do not give their life to God shall also lose it.

  36. I didn’t read the other comments so if it was answered already, I apologize: The third servant, who had the one mina saved in the napkin – when the King said for him to give it to the first servant who had the ten minas, but then the crowd pointed out that he, himself, also already had ten minas = This is the part of it I don’t understand. I’ve read three commentaries (and wouldn’t give up of course, though thankfully,yours offers questions answered in comments!) Meaning I need help with is: How did the man who saved only the one original mina end up with ten minas after all? Would that be perhaps – he was ordered to give the one mina to the man who had ten = didn’t gain special rewards..then the crowd yelled that he DID have ten minas (Luke 19:25) Could that possibly mean that he still kept his Salvation, but earned no extra jewels for his crown for example? Thank you for your blog, it is so very helpful and I am glad I just found it! I’ll be using it often, no doubt! Also, thank you in advance for any help and God bless you!!

  37. I believe that verses 10 and 11 set the context of this parable. Jesus is heading to Jerusalem. He is about ready to “officially” present Himself as the long promised Messiah/King of Israel. He will ride down into the city as was prophesied in Zachariah. The multitudes will repeatedly shout, “Hosanna!”, which means, “Save us now!” Well, the sad reality is that all they wanted was Jesus to lead them in rebellion against Roman domination and oppression. They wanted the blessings of an outward, physical kingdom, with all the prosperity that comes with Jewish supremacy over the idolatrous heathen, but they did not want to repent and embrace the internal righteousness that is at the heart and core of God’s economy. And so when Jesus failed to fulfill their expectation, they quickly turned against Him, and would soon find themselves crying out, “Crucify Him!” How fickle they were. The irony is that they end up rejecting their long promised King. And, of course, the blind religious Jews were the primary instigators, for they felt threatened by Jesus, and wanted Him silenced.

    But we know what happened. The stone that the builders rejected became the head of the corner! God used the sinfulness of man to perform His redemptive provision for humanity. Yup, they killed their King, the Lord of glory, but He rose up from the grave! Anyways, Jesus would appear to the disciples for 40 days after His resurrection, leaving the disciples to ask, “Will, you now restored the kingdom of God to Israel?” (Will you now deliver us from Roman oppression and eternally exalt Israel?). But Jesus told them that that day would come, but not yet. He would command them to preach the Gospel in all the world and then ascend back to heaven. They were to preach while awaiting and looking for His glorious and triumphant return over the world. In ascending to heaven and taking His place at God’s right hand, it was as if He “went to a far away country to secure a kingdom” and would eventually return in glory. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus will indeed reign until He makes every one of God’s enemies His footstool.

    Now, at this present time the nation of Israel is yet in a state of blindness. Most Jews today still reject the person and work of Jesus despite the high degree of light and revelation God has poured out on them. The point of verse 27 is that God will hold people, especially His chosen people (the Jews) accountable for the light they received but did nothing with. And because they did nothing with it, but just buried it in the ground as the parable describes, they will suffer the wrath and condemnation of God. Think about how unbelieving Jews are going to feel when they come to realize that to them were given all the privileges of divine revelation (from the tabernacle to the Scriptures, etc), but they ended up rejecting the ONE that all these things spoke about and pointed to! They will wail and gnash their teeth in absolute anguish when they see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom, along with a multitude of Gentiles, but they themselves will be cast out!

    So destruction upon those who refused to let Jesus reign over them will occur when He steps back down from Heaven to establish on earth the kingdom that he went to receive when He ascended to heaven in triumph over the grave to appear in the presence of God for sinners as the eternal Redeemer, King and Lord of all.

    The big question of this parable is: What are you doing with the light you have received?

  38. Oh my heavens…..Anti-Semitic much? Sheesh. Why does Christianty continually allow this in the church? The “unbelieving Jews, are the ones executed” “The Jews aren’t swooped up in todays very young,100 year old rapture theory..” Guys. Judah is your brother if you have forgotten. I implore you to sit down and give yourself the Duet 13 Test and take a long look in the mirror.

  39. Sadly I think you’ve misunderstood Jesus intention in sharing this parable. The parable isn’t an example of what happens to believers when we aren’t good stewards. That makes our salvation conditional. It is vitally important that we always rightly divide the word of truth. We must never just take what we read on face value and create doctrines upon it. The parable that Jesus shares here is actually based on real events that had occurred in Jerusalem only 30 or so years before Jesus shares this parable in the house of Zaccheus. When Herod lay in his death bed in 4BC he bestowed the kingship upon his oldest son Archeluas. But Rome wasn’t aware of this fact. So Archelaus has to travel to Rome to petition Caesar to make him King of Judea. Now we all know that Herod was a brutal ruler. And Archelaus continued that brutality. The Jews in Jerusalem had rise up in insurrection, and as a result Archelaus had ordered the deaths of 3000 citizens. Because of this Archelaus was despised by his subjects. Now while Archelaus is in Rome petitioning Caesar for the throne, the Jewish leaders send a delegation to Rome to inform Caesar of their hatred toward Archeluas. They tell Caesar that they don’t want Archelaus as King. Sound familiar? Anyway, this delegation is partially successful, because instead of naming Archelaus King, Caesar names him Ethnarch, which is basically a chieftain. This would surely have enraged Archelaus. Now, before Archelaus left for Rome he had entrusted his financial affairs to several of his servants, and in particular one servant named Phillipus. Now for the name of a simple servant to be recorded in the annuals of history means that this servant had to have done something of note. Perhaps he was the servant who had increased his master’s riches ten fold and was subsequently given lordship over ten cities. Or perhaps he was the servant who had hidden his master’s money and as a result had his position taken away from him. Either way, he had to have done something noteworthy to have his name spoken about 2000 years later! So, when Archelaus returns he orders the arrest and execution of those who had sent the delegation to Rome to petition against his kingship. Again, does this sound familiar? We can see that rather than Jesus sharing a story about himself He is instead reminding those present of what had happened in Jerusalem only a relatively short time before. It’s even possible there were some in that room who took part in the uprising. So why then did Jesus share this story? Well the answer is in verse 11 “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”. We know that many of Jesus followers believed that He was the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy that a King would arise and throw off the yoke of bondage and once again sit on the Throne of David. So they believed that Jesus would overthrow Roman rule and assume the earthly kingdom of Judea. But Jesus knew the Kingdom of God would not be an earthly Kingdom but a spiritual one, at least until He returned and once again sat on the throne of David in Jerusalem in the Millennial Kingdom. So Jesus shares this parable as a warning to the people of what the earthly consequences of living under an earthly King can be like. He is not sharing a parable on stewardship, although being good stewards is important, but is instead sharing a story based on a real historical event.

  40. I don’t think he was talking about just the Jews or the religious leaders — this seems to be quite the common interpretation. I personally believe, knowing Jesus as I do (loving all in spite of our faults and weaknesses), that he was talking about everyone and anyone who still denies him upon his return, Jew and Gentile alike. For there are many lost sheep on both sides yet to be brought to the fold. The pharisees, I personally believe, are just used as examples, but that’s as far as I think it goes. We are all equal in the eyes of God are we not? As he is no respecter of man, Jew or Gentile.

  41. I don’t think a just God would be so cruel as to exact a punishment for under performance in his absence….and this from a God who has been teaching mercy all through his other parables. Makes no logical sense. As for example the slave who just stored the mina explicitly told the master why. It was not out of his lack of respect but a fear for the fact that he thought the master was unfair. He says “reaps what he does not sow” does that sound like a benevolent master to you? A merciful God would have a level playing field. He did not feel like gambling, maybe the others did not know of the master’s reputation or were not as sensitive to the outcome. Criminals have little fear of outcomes. Maybe the first slaves threw caution to the wind and that isn’t exactly a respectful position. They just lucked out. The scared slave was taking all facts into consideration and he still got the short end of the stick. Does that sound fair to you???? Sorry but I don’t think you have the correct interpretation. This is a cryptic one for sure.

  42. Jesus is not advocating to be like the slave. Maybe it’s the other way around in this case. Jesus is always defending meekness. I think he is praising the slothful slave and is in fact saying when you play fair and act accordingly you will always get the short end of the stick. Scholars have got his parable all wrong. Otherwise your Muslim friend is correct. It’s like the kettle calling the pot black. Jesus in this parable is on the side of the slothful slave. Even the author of the passage may have not know that. I figured it out because of Jesus’s teachings in previous sections. They have to follow the law of excluded middle, Jesus can’t be praising the humble sinner and the meek and lowly on the one hand and praise people who throw caution to the wind to win the game on the other hand and at the same time have the master use violence to punish his subjects. It would be contradictory to Jesus’s teachings.

  43. You say “the essence of the kingdom. What Kingdom. That doesn’t sound like the Kingdom of heaven to me …the same place that Jesus says Blessed are the pure in Spirit because they shall see God ” or better yet “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”. Does the slave who gambles and reaps rewards sound meek to you? I don’t buy your interpretation. This parable is a tough nut to crack but I did find a possible way. Jesus is in reality siding with the slothful slave. You have to take it in the context of his previous teaching in the SAME gospel. Even the author may not have realized it but Jesus said nothing contradictory if translated in this way. Basically Jesus is saying this. The slothful slave played it right given what he knew about the master and he still came out with the short end of the stick.” Another way of looking at this is Jesus saying : “You can be a good Christian in a land ruled by sinful people and sinful practices but you should always expect to get the short end of the stick.

  44. That doesn’t make sense. Jesus calls the slothful servant Wicked. He is not praising him. The slothful servant is not humble or meek and lowly, nor are the other servants throwing caution to the wind. Also, judgment is definitely biblical, and not contradictory at all.

  45. NO! Jesus did not call the servant slothful and wicked…it was the master who called the slave those derogatory names. Read very careful.

  46. The slothful servant is humble. The other servants are throwing caution the wind….they got lucky…doesn’t make it right. I did not comment on judgement being biblical. The master said himself he reaps where he does not sow….. does that sound like an analogy to Jesus to you? That passage is chuck full of contradiction unless you reverse the rolls and then it makes perfect sense. I don’t believe Jesus would not take “anything” from a human being who acts out of fear under precarious circumstances. That’s just my opinion of course but I am trying to come up with a logical explanation for the passages. I think this is a misinterpretation.

  47. I found the Herod Phillipus was the half-brother to Herod Archelaus. He was disinherited by his father and lived as a private citizen. This parable has been used, abused and misused so much in history. However, it has been coming up a lot lately to wrongly support that Christians are violent and as prone to commit atrocities as are the jihadists. It was just today used by a former Christian, who claims to have ceased to believe in God when he discovered his “need,” or “void,” was filled simply by being still and now believes God is nothing more than our own egos. He further dismisses religion due to the violence it incites; which is the context in which he presented me with this parable. I have long brushed over it; refuting the call to violence by Jesus, noting it was a parable or a story and not Jesus requesting his servants to slaughter non-believers. I brushed over it because, I did not understand it. I simply could not reconcile this wicked nobleman and king with the perfection of Jesus.

    I approached the parable of the ten minas prayerfully and have been at it for hours. I believe your interpretation is the most correct. I am not used to having to work so hard for answers, as they are ordinarily revealed to me quickly when I ask. Haha! There were other problems with the popular interpretations; such as when, where and why it was spoken. I thank you for sharing. Without the history you provided, we could not possibly come to the real meaning and I don’t believe a single word is in the scriptures to simply fill pages. We are often confused by how the language was used in the day; so, it is important to have good teachers and be willing to do the leg work to get to the true meaning. Again…. Thank you!

  48. There are a number of problems with this parable. Assuming Jesus is the nobleman (which, not unreasonably, appears to be the standard interpretation), he appears to liken himself here to a ruler who could be described, at least, as very harsh, and arguably as tyrannical. And it isn’t at all clear who is in
    the wrong, who in the right. Is the servant who didn’t invest the money
    really so bad? And doesn’t he have a point about the master, that he is a
    hard man who earns his money without doing any work? And what if the
    subjects, the people, had just grievances against the master? We don’t
    know what their complaints were. In the end, the parable raises more
    questions than it answers and has to be counted as something of a muddle. If the
    point was simply to indicate that being a faithful servant or follower
    of Jesus was good and would be rewarded, that being “lazy” was bad and
    would be punished, and that being against Jesus or God was bound to
    bring divine wrath and destruction, all this might have been said much
    more clearly without resorting to this confused parable. The parable
    doesn’t clarify anything. It sows confusion, and, beyond that, raises
    serious questions about the morality of the Lukan evangelist and of his
    protagonist Jesus.

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