Luke 19.16-17, 20, 24
[Jesus said,] The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’
“Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.” …
Then another servant came and said, “Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.
Then the master said to those standing by, “Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten.”
TBT: A Faith for Others | by H. D. M. Spence, 1909
We have, in the first servant, the devoted earnest toiler, whose whole soul was in his Master’s work — great, indeed, was his reward.
Second, we have the servant who acquitted himself fairly respectably, but not nobly, not a hero in the struggle of life. He, too, is recompensed magnificently, far above his most ardent hopes, but still his reward is infinitely below that which the first brave toiler received at his Lord’s hands.
The third falls altogether into a different catalogue. He is a believer who has not found the state of grace offered by Jesus so brilliant as he hoped. He is a legal Christian, who has not tasted grace, and knows nothing of the gospel but its severe morality.
At first the smallness of the sum given to each of the servants is striking [a mina is 1/60 of a talent]. The paltriness of the sum given them seems to suggest what a future lay before Christ’s followers. No sharing in what they hoped for — the glories of a Messianic kingdom on earth. No rest in repose under the shadow of the mighty throne of King Messiah.
The “very little” (ver. 17) told them — if they would only listen — that their future as his servants would be a life of comparatively obscure inglorious activity, without rank or power, landless, homeless, nearly friendless.
The reimbursement (at the end of the story) of a city for a pound hints at the magnificent possibilities of the heaven-life — it just suggests the splendor of its rewards.
Prayers from the Past
Helper of men who turn to you,
Light of men in the dark,
Creator of all that grows from seed,
Promotor of all spiritual growth,
Have mercy on me, Lord, on me
And make me a temple fit for yourself.
— Unknown author. Likely a private family prayer, found on papyrus, published 1924.
Images of Faith
Part 4 of 5, read more on TheParkForum.org
Today’s post is bridged, with updated language, from Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St Luke (Vol. 2, pp. 136–137). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.