The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 1 -Day 4
You Are Of Value
The Ten Minas
Meditation on Scripture- Read Luke 19:11-27 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer.
The parable of the Ten Minas is one that would have reflected real-life circumstances for Jesus’ listeners. When Herod the Great died, his son Archelaus had to travel to Rome to have his rule confirmed. A group of his own subjects however also went to Rome to oppose his reign. This parable instructs Jesus’ listeners that the kingdom of God will not come just yet. Jesus has a “journey” to make before that happens.
This parable has similarities to the Parable of the Talents. We would assume that Jesus told some of his parables numerous times, in a variety of forms, both because they were important and as an aid to help the disciples remember them. The context of this parable seems to be the sense of anticipation the people had as Jesus approached Jerusalem. They anticipated an earthly triumph that Jesus knew was not going to take place. This parable instructs them that they will be called to bear fruit in Jesus’ absence, at which it hints.
A mina was about three month’s wages for the ordinary laborer. In this parable each servant is given a mina. They are then rewarded according to how they managed the money. The one who was afraid to risk his mina is condemned by the master. He could at least have done something, such as putting the money in the bank to draw interest.
There are a number of interesting aspects to this parable. The nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom. Jesus was going back to the Father to be seated at his right hand until God would put all his enemies under his feet (Psalm 110:1, I Corinthians 15:25). At the end of the parable, those who did not want him to reign over them would be brought before the nobleman and slaughtered. This seems a clear warning about God’s wrath on those who reject him and his Son. The nobleman returns having received a kingdom, as Jesus will do at the end of all things. At the Last Judgment, we will all give account for what we have done and be rewarded accordingly. The servant who serves well will be rewarded in extra measure. Those who have not borne fruit will have even what they have taken from them.
Things to Consider –
· In this parable, the servants are all given money with which to do business. Do you tend to feel like God has given you much to work with or little, many gifts or few?
· Do you sense that your gifts are growing in your or diminishing? How can you fan your gifts into flame (II Timothy 1:6)?
· How willing to take risks are you? Do you tend to play it safe in life? How do you feel about your approach to life? What would you like to do differently?
· John 15 explains that they way to bear more fruit is to bear fruit now, because every vine that bears fruit is pruned by the Father so it will bear more fruit. This is what Jesus says in this passage. Those who bear fruit will be given the ability, gifts, and resources to bear even more fruit. Consider that God is able to give you the ability to bear more fruit for him. Would you like to do so? In what area are you able to bear fruit now? In what area would you like to bear more fruit?
· What do you think of the aspect of the parable in which the nobleman is called “severe.” What do you think about his enemies being slaughtered in front of him? This is a parable that contains a warning in it. God is not to be trifled with. His judgments will be righteous. He is a holy God who will enact his just punishment on all who have no Redeemer.
· Consider the importance of bearing fruit. How can you be faithful and more effective in this regard?
· This parable reminds you that you are of value. God has given you gifts to use and wants you to be encouraged to use them. It is worse not to risk using them than to risk, even if you fail. As you use your gifts however, God will give you more grace to be able to serve him even more effectively.
Guide for Prayer -
· Close your eyes and take one full minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit.
· Think of three gifts God has given you in your life. Take some time to thank God for them.
· Think of one way you have put your gifts into service for God or others. Thank God for helping you do so.
· Ask God to help you further discover and discern your gifts. Do you think you recognize all your gifts? Do you have gifts you are not using? Ask God if there are gifts he has given you that he wants you to use.
· Are there ways you are afraid to use your gifts? Of what are you afraid? What is the worst that could happen? Ask God for grace and help where you are afraid.
· Imagine in your mind God giving you his gifts and graces. Picture God pouring his Spirit on you or placing his hand on you or opening a window into heaven from which his blessings can flow. Imagine the risen Christ himself commissioning you to go in his name and use the gifts he has given you. See yourself using your gifts out of love for Christ. Let these images linger a few moments.
· Prayer to our Heavenly Father – Dear God, help me know what value I am to your work and kingdom.
· Prayer to Jesus – Lord, help me serve you with my gifts. Let me not be afraid to use what you have given me.
· Prayer to the Holy Spirit – Gracious Spirit, give me inner courage not to be afraid to put my abilities to service. Prosper what I do so that your kingdom will grow and increase in the world.
· Romans 13:1 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” Pray for our country and its leaders. Ask God to bless our country and inspire our leaders to serve as those accountable to God.
· Take some moments to offer your own prayers to God. Offer whatever prayers and praises seem appropriate.