Jesus is almost at the end of His very long journey. The next stop is Jerusalem. Before He arrives there, He tells people a story to correct any mistaken impression they might have about what is to happen.
Jews believed that when the Messiah came, He would bring salvation, which would mean both the deliverance of His people and the destruction of their enemies. This would take place at the Temple in Jerusalem, which would then become the centre of the world (e.g. Isaiah 2:1–5). Since Jesus is going to Jerusalem, the disciples could easily start thinking that the end is near. So He tells them a story to show them that what will happen in Jerusalem is not the end of God’s plans for salvation, but only the beginning.
Jesus’ parable is about a nobleman who goes away to receive his kingdom. He calls his slaves and gives each one a mina, which was about three to four months’ wages. He tells them to “engage in business” and make a profit (v. 13).
What is this mina? It refers primarily to the money God has entrusted to us. However, Christians have seen the minas as all the gifts God gives to His people, including the greatest gift of all, which is the knowledge of the gospel. Those who are faithful in making a profit are lavishly rewarded (v. 17), while the one who is faithless is left with nothing on the day of reckoning (v. 24).
What is the profit Jesus wants from our minas? The passage begins with “While they were listening to this” (v. 11). What have the people just heard? Jesus came to seek and save the lost (v. 10). He wants us to use all He has given us to contribute to the great work of salvation in the lives of others. There will be people in the kingdom because someone shared their faith with them. There are Christians who have been blessed by our works of love (see Matthew 25:31–46).
God has given His people different minas. Whether we have received many or few, we are to use them productively. Jesus is coming back and He will want to know.
What does it mean to “engage in business” until Jesus comes?
Think about the “minas” God has entrusted to you. How have you been using them for the blessing of others?