The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on stewardship – particularly related to time and your salvation.
Note: This conversation happened in the house of Zacchaeus, while Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem.
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.'”
28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
Observations and reflections
Note 1: A mina was about one fourth of the annual income of an agricultural worker in Jesus’ day.
- There are deliberate similarity between this parable of the ten minas and the parable of the ten talents (Matthew 25:14-30), but also a few big differences. What are the most obvious difference between these parables. [hint: how many did each person receive…?]
- Why did Jesus tell this parable in Zacchaeus house? [verses 11 and 28]
- Knowing that he was going to Jerusalem [read: suffering and death], what do you think he could mean in the parable with “A nobleman went to a far country to receive for himself a kingdom”? [v12]
- And who do you think did Jesus refer to as the “citizens” who “hated him” and did “not want him to rule” over them? [v14]
- Then, who would be the “servants” of the nobleman? [v13]
- In this parable each of the servants / stewards received one mina. What is the ONE THING each person on earth gets equal for which they must give account to God [hint: tick-tock…]
- But there is probably a something else which Jesus meant in the parable with the giving of the ten minas, since the servants of the nobleman-king received the one mina each, and not the citizens.
- What is entrusted to “the servants of the nobleman-king” while he is away, that they must “do business with until [he] returns?” [v13]
- What is implied with “do business until I return” [v13]/ [hint: what does the “Nobleman-King want multiplied when he returns to reign in His Kingdom”]?
Application and Prayer
- Each person on earth receives equal amount of time every day – and we must give account of that to God. Are you a good steward of your time? Or do you tend to procrastinate or to waste time?
- Keep a time sheet of every waking hour today to see what you do with it, and when you go to bed tonight give an account to God of what you did with the time he entrusted to you.
- Pray for grace to “make the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)
- Believers are gifted differently, but what does each believer get entrusted equal from Jesus (the “Nobleman-King” in the parable)? Write your thoughts down.
- When the Nobleman-King returns he called each for account in “what they had gained by doing business.” Are you a faithful steward of your salvation testimony? Are you a faithful steward of the saving Gospel of Jesus? Have your “mina” gained one or two more “minas” for the Lord?
- Pray to the Lord for grace to testify of Jesus’ saving grace with boldness. (Acts 4:29)
- Make good use of your time and testimony today – who will you invite to church in Sunday?