He said therefore, "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. He called ten servants of his, and gave them ten mina coins, and told them, ‘Conduct business until I come.’
But his citizens hated him, and sent an envoy after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to reign over us.’ "It happened when he had come back again, having received the kingdom, that he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by conducting business.
The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made
ten more minas.’
"He said to him, ‘Well done, you good servant! Because you were found faithful with very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’
"The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, Lord, has made five minas.’
"So he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’
Another came, saying, ‘Lord, behold, your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief,for I feared you, because you are an exacting man. You take up that which you didn’t lay down, and reap that which you didn’t sow.’
"He said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant! You knew that I am an exacting man, taking up that which I didn’t lay down, and reaping that which I didn’t sow. Then why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank, and at my coming, I might have earned interest on it?’
He said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina away from him, and give it to him who has the ten minas.’ "They said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ ‘For I tell you that to everyone who has, will more be given; but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away from him. But bring those enemies of mine who didn’t want me to reign over them here, and kill them before me.’" (web)
|The servants were given different amounts
The man went on a non-specified journey
The unprofitable servant was thrown out
|The servants were give equal amounts
The man went to appoint himself king
His subjects rejected him
He had those subjects killed
God is Fair
The servants were rewarded judicially in accordance with the percentage they gained from what they were given. Of course in life it often seems unfair because people don't start with the same amounts of ability or opportunities and grew up in different environments subject to different challenges, but God takes that into account and thus is fair in handing our rewards.
What is the reward?
In this parable he speaks of handing out positions of authority in the kingdom of God. Some reckon this quite literally as positions of authority in the earthly Millenial Kingdom and some limit the reward simply to that 1000 year period alone. In any case it seems the reward is increased responsibilities, which is quite different than what some may expect. If you work hard and faithfully in God's ministry, then He will make you work even harder. But realize also that humans were created not to be served but to serve. We are servants of God and thus as we come to the revelation of what we were created to be, we will all the more embrace our responsibilities.
Who are the subjects?
The subjects are not the servants as we clearly see he speaks of the two differently. The servants are "Christians". They are those who association themselves with the Christian community. They are followers of Christ. They are within his household. The subjects are the rest of the world, starting with the unbelieving Jews. Though they reject Jesus as Lord they cannot stop him from being Lord and being subject to his judgement.
What of the Wicked Servant?
The parable of the talents reveal him as merely a nominal Christian. Antinomial Christians are quite common among Americans. Many "accept Christ" and reckon themselves born again, but are mistaken. For unless one accepts Christ as Lord with an application oriented faith revealed by doing what the Lord says, one cannot be saved. But the parable of the minas doesn't bring this out so explicitly. What it does bring out is that what the wicked servant had been given will be taken away and he will be left with nothing. And thus both parables exhort such lazy Christians to apply their faith and bring forth fruit or else they will be reprimanded.
The Berean Christian Bible Study ResourcesFeb 10,2009