Description
In the parable of the minas, Jesus teaches about the judgment of believers and rewards in the age to come when he forms his government over the world and Christians reign with him. In this chapter, Jesus also prophesied the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.
Commentary
The Parable of the Minas (v11-27)
Please also see my commentary on the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30, which is very similar.

Luke places this parable in context to Jesus approaching Jerusalem just before his triumphal entry. At that time, the people thought he was about to usher in the kingdom of God immediately (v11), in other words as soon as he arrived in Jerusalem. So it appears that the parable of the minas was proclaimed publicly. A key purpose of it was to correct the people's expectations about timing. The parable implies that Jesus would first have to go far away to a distant place to receive his kingdom, and would return later at some unspecified time to establish his rule as king (v12). By contrast, Matthew places the parable of the talents after his triumphal entry, two days before he was arrested (Matthew 26:1-2). In Matthew's account, it appears that Jesus told the parable only to his disciples, after he had taught them about end-time signs in the Olivet discourse. It is possible that Jesus retold it to his disciples, with some differences to his earlier public telling of the parable.

In this account, the nobleman, who represents Jesus, summons ten of his slaves and gives them ten minas, one to each slave. A mina was equal to 60 shekels, a shekel equal to 4 denarii, and a denarius equal to a manual labourer's daily pay. So a mina was 240 times a day's pay, perhaps about £15,000 sterling in today's money. Although a mina was quite a lot of money, it is only one sixtieth of a talent. In this parable it seems reasonable that the slaves represent ordinary believers. In its original context they would have been believing Jews. In today's context they include Gentile Christians. In the parable of the talents, there are only 3 slaves, and the amounts are so huge that the slaves seem to represent senior leaders in the Church.

The nobleman tells the slaves to do business with their minas until he comes back (v13). This represents Jesus' desire that each and every believer be fruitful and use their gifts and abilities to grow his kingdom.

The nobleman's citizens hate him and send a delegation saying, "We do not want this man to be king over us". He is made king anyway and returns (v14). The parable clearly alludes to Psalm 2 at this point, so the citizens represent the kings and rulers of the earth who form a united front against the Lord and his anointed king (Psalm 2:2).

Verse 15 says, "When he returned after receiving the kingdom, he summoned these slaves to whom he had given the money. He wanted to know how much they had earned by trading". The order of events here is significant. Jesus will receive his kingdom when he descends upon the clouds as prophesied in the coronation scene of Daniel 7:13-14. Jesus referred to that scene in Matthew 24:30 and 26:64, applying it to himself. According to that scene, set upon the clouds of the sky, Jesus will be crowned in the midst of people who worship him from all nations and languages. Revelation 11:15 places this event at the last of the seven trumpets, and describes an angel making a public proclamation that Jesus has been made king over the kingdoms of the world. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 equates this last trumpet with the resurrection and rapture. Putting that together, it implies that believers are caught up into the air in order to meet the Lord at his coronation. Jesus then returns to earth, and the summoning of his slaves in this parable portrays the judgment of believers which occurs some time later. Revelation 20:4-6 places this judgment after the battle of Armageddon, and connects it to believers being appointed as priests and rulers, who will reign with Christ for a thousand years.

In verses 16 to 25, although there were ten slaves at the beginning of the parable, we only witness the judgment of a sample of three of them. The first slave turns his one talent into ten, achieving an amazing 1000% return on investment. Wow! That either implies that a very long time has passed, or this slave is an incredible businessman, or perhaps both. This slave represents a Christian who has faithfully and competently grown Christ's kingdom in the present age. Jesus is pleased with him, and as his reward makes him ruler of ten cities. This represents Jesus establishing his millennial government over the earth. By the time the judgment takes place, Jesus will have overthrown and executed many of the earth's rulers (Psalm 2:8-12, 110:5, Revelation 19:18). He will replace them with his chosen followers, those who have most faithfully and competently served him in this present age. Revelation 20:4-6 especially focusses on his appointment of martyrs, those who have paid the ultimate price in their commitment to Christ. The second slave in the parable has turned his mina into five and is made ruler of five cities (v18-19). Jesus is further stressing that he will promote and appoint people according to faithfulness and ability.

In verses 20-26, the third slave returns his one mina. Although each slave had been told to do business with their mina (v13), this slave had just kept it in a piece of cloth for safe keeping. He represents Christians who make no effort to grow Christ's kingdom. They assume that their salvation is just for their own benefit, with no need for them to share it with anyone else. This slave explains to his master, "Sir, …I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You withdraw what you did not deposit and reap what you did not sow" (v21). This is an interesting response, which reveals the following about this slave:

1) Anyone who has invested money, whether in stocks and shares, property, or their own business venture, knows that growing your money always involves an element of risk. You hope to grow your money, but equally you might lose money. Especially if you start a new business, it might take some time to break even (accounting for startup costs), and even longer to return a profit. The first two slaves were prepared to take that risk. Equally, preaching the Gospel and growing Christ's kingdom can be a risky business. The third slave knew his master to be a severe man, and was afraid. What if he lost it? Or was he just lazy? John Wimber, the American healing evangelist, once said, "Faith is spelt R-I-S-K". This slave's reluctance to take risks suggests that he didn't actually have saving faith. Outwardly, he appeared to be a Christian but inwardly he was not a true believer. Several of Jesus' parables, especially in Matthew 13, portray the Church as a mixed bag of true and false believers, which Jesus must sort out at the end of the age.

2) His statement, "You withdraw what you did not deposit and reap what you did not sow" implies a belief that sharing the Gospel is unnecessary because Jesus reaps a harvest even among those who have never received the Gospel. Jesus confirms that he does indeed reap where he did not sow, but that does not excuse Christians from their commission to preach the Gospel. The fact that Christ in his mercy may save some people who have never heard the Gospel does not make it unnecessary for us to preach the Gospel. Jesus calls him a 'wicked slave'. This implies a damning rebuke of liberal Christians who adopt a universalist theology. If Jesus in his mercy saves someone who never heard the Gospel, they are still saved through this sacrifice on the Cross. They are saved despite some other religion, not because of it. People of other faiths have a better chance of being saved if the Gospel is preached to them, than they do if they are left alone to follow their false religion.

3) The slave is challenged as to why he didn't deposit his mina in the bank and at least earn interest (v23). Although a bank gives a fairly low return-on-investment, it requires absolutely minimal effort and comes with minimal risk. It is important to stress that Christians are saved by grace and not by their works. However, as James 2:26 says, "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead". Works, at least at some minimal level, provide important evidence of saving faith. If Christians don't make even a minimal effort to share their faith, this parable should cause us to question whether they are truly saved.

In verse 24, the wicked slave's mina is taken and given to the one who has ten. So now he has eleven minas. This implies that Judgment Day is not a time to give account and then retire. Jesus wants us to continue to grow his kingdom in the age to come.

In verse 27, the king says, "But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be their king, bring them here and slaughter them in front of me!" By the time this judgment of believers occurs, it is likely that most of the earth's inhabitants who oppose Christ's coming as king will already have perished in the bowl judgments (Revelation 16), or in the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19), or in the battles that precede it (e.g. Isaiah 63:1-6). However, cleansing the earth of rebels, and fully establishing his rule, may be a process that takes time and extends into the beginning of the Millennium.


The Triumphal Entry (v28-40)
Luke's describes Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem in a factual manner, without relating it to Old Testament prophecies in the way that Matthew does. To understand the end-time significance of this event, please see my commentary on Matthew 21:1-11.


Jesus Weeps for Jerusalem (v41-44)
In these verses, as Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, he says, "If you had only known on this day, even you, the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and surround you and close in on you from every side. They will demolish you – you and your children within your walls – and they will not leave within you one stone on top of another, because you did not recognise the time of your visitation from God" These statements raise several questions:

1) What is it that is hidden from their eyes? He answers this question in verse 44. They failed to recognise the time of their visitation from God, in other words, the time of Messiah's coming as God-incarnate.

2) He say, "If you had only known on this day…?" But how could the Jews have anticipated this 'day'? The answer to this question lies in Daniel 9, in the prophecy of 'seventy weeks'. Daniel 9:25 says, "From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks". This timeline likely started in 457-456 BC with the decree of Artaxerxes I to Ezra, and ended in 28 AD with the arrival of John the Baptist as herald to the coming Messiah (see my commentary on Daniel 9:25). Daniel 9:26 then goes on to say, "Now after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing. As for the city and the sanctuary, the people of the coming prince will destroy them". In 33 AD it was now 5 years after the completion of the 69 'weeks', Jesus was about to be killed as prophesied, and this would lead to Jerusalem's judgment and destruction by the Romans in 70 AD.

3) In prophesying the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, why does Jesus say that not one stone would be left upon another? When he makes the same statement in Matthew 24:2 and in Luke 21:6, he says it specifically in relation to the temple. But what about the Wailing Wall? Is that not part of the temple foundation? Should the expression 'not one stone left upon another' be understood just as an idiomatic expression implying total destruction? Are we taking it too literally if we ask about the Wailing Wall? Modern research by Bob Cornuke calls into question whether the temple was really located on what it known as the Temple Mount. Flavius Josephus, the 1st century Jewish historian, wrote of the temple's destruction, "It was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited". Eleazar Ben Jair, commander at Masada, wrote of Jerusalem, "It is now demolished to the very foundations, and hath nothing left but that monument of it preserved, I mean the camp of those that destroyed it, which still dwells upon its ruins". Bob Cornuke presents compelling evidence that the so-called Temple Mount is actually the remains of the Roman Fortress of Antonia, and that the Temple was actually located in the area to its south, known as Zion or the City of David. Micah 3:12 prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem saying, "Therefore, because of you, Zion will be plowed up like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, and the Temple Mount will become a hill overgrown with brush!" This is an accurate description of what happened to Zion, the most ancient part of Jerusalem, when it was destroyed by the Romans. For more information, watch Bob Cornuke's video below:
Cleansing the Temple (v45-48)
Please see my commentary on Matthew 21:12-17.
Tags
Places: Jerusalem, Temple Mount
Symbols: Master and slaves, Minas, Investment, Fig tree
Tags: End-time Church, The Gospel, Evangelism, Liberal Church, Judgments and rewards, Life after death, Rapture, All nations gathered before Jesus for judgment, Coronation of Jesus, Salvation of the unreached, Destruction of second temple prophesied, Timeline of 70 weeks, Jesus as Messiah
Jesus and Zacchaeus
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it.
2 Now a man named Zacchaeus was there; he was a chief tax collector and was rich.
3 He was trying to get a look at Jesus, but being a short man he could not see over the crowd.
4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, because Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, because I must stay at your house today.”
6 So he came down quickly and welcomed Jesus joyfully.
7 And when the people saw it, they all complained, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, half of my possessions I now give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone of anything, I am paying back four times as much!”
9 Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this household, because he too is a son of Abraham!
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

The Parable of the Ten Minas
11 While the people were listening to these things, Jesus proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.
12 Therefore he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return.
13 And he summoned ten of his slaves, gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’
14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to be king over us!’
15 When he returned after receiving the kingdom, he summoned these slaves to whom he had given the money. He wanted to know how much they had earned by trading.
16 So the first one came before him and said, ‘Sir, your mina has made ten minas more.’
17 And the king said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been faithful in a very small matter, you will have authority over ten cities.’
18 Then the second one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has made five minas.’
19 So the king said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’
20 Then another slave came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina that I put away for safekeeping in a piece of cloth.
21 For I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You withdraw what you did not deposit and reap what you did not sow.’
22 The king said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! So you knew, did you, that I was a severe man, withdrawing what I didn’t deposit and reaping what I didn’t sow?
23 Why then didn’t you put my money in the bank, so that when I returned I could have collected it with interest?’
24 And he said to his attendants, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has ten.’
25 But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten minas already!’
26 ‘I tell you that everyone who has will be given more, but from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.
27 But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be their king, bring them here and slaughter them in front of me!’”

The Triumphal Entry
28 After Jesus had said this, he continued on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
29 Now when he approached Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples,
30 telling them, “Go to the village ahead of you. When you enter it, you will find a colt tied there that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here.
31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 So those who were sent ahead found it exactly as he had told them.
33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”
34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35 Then they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt, and had Jesus get on it.
36 As he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.
37 As he approached the road leading down from the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen:
38Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 But some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”
40 He answered, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the very stones will cry out!”

Jesus Weeps for Jerusalem under Judgment
41 Now when Jesus approached and saw the city, he wept over it,
42 saying, “If you had only known on this day, even you, the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
43 For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and surround you and close in on you from every side.
44 They will demolish you – you and your children within your walls – and they will not leave within you one stone on top of another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”

Cleansing the Temple
45 Then Jesus entered the temple courts and began to drive out those who were selling things there,
46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of robbers!”
47 Jesus was teaching daily in the temple courts. The chief priests and the experts in the law and the prominent leaders among the people were seeking to assassinate him,
48 but they could not find a way to do it, for all the people hung on his words.
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