Until He Comes
The excitement over Jesus was beginning to reach fever-pitch. We will see this excitement and great anticipation tomorrow as Jesus enters Jerusalem and the people sing his praises: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” The people thought that the Kingdom of God had arrived and King Jesus would bring a new state of affairs for everyone. They would soon be disappointed and turn on the one they carried aloft with praises. So Jesus tells them a parable just before entering Jerusalem, just before the commencement of his final week of life and the inauguration of the invisible Kingdom, which fulfillment will one day come in radiant splendor for all to see, which is precisely what they wanted to see at that moment. Jesus warns them that such a visible manifestation of the Kingdom is not now to be experienced, for there is yet work to be done.
Such is the setting for the parable of the minas, similar to the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). A nobleman goes away to receive a kingdom. Upon leaving, he gives ten different servants each a mina (about three months’ wages) with which to trade for profit until he returns. The parable is not teaching us anything about business activities as such, but uses business activity as an example to teach Christian stewardship. Jesus is going away and will distribute gifts to his people via the Holy Spirit until he returns (Ephesians 4:7-16). His people are to use their gifts to further their king’s interests in the meantime. Jesus will one day return as judge to see how faithful his servants have been in his absence and will reward them richly though they have only done what was required of them (17:7-10). The lazy and fearful servant will lose what little he was originally entrusted with and his money given to the faithful and industrious servant. And as for those who do not want Jesus to rule over them, they shall be destroyed upon his return.
This parable is all about this present time in which we live. Jesus had no intention of setting up his Kingdom in all of its glory when he came in humility the first time; this awaits his coming in glory next time. This brief interlude between the comings is our time to work while it is still day, for night is approaching (John 9:4). Therefore, let us be diligent, knowing that our labors will not go unnoticed, nor will our sloth. We are even now children of the King with all privileges; therefore, let us make the most of our exile until he returns, proclaiming the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light (Ephesians 5:16; 1 Peter 2:9).