It says that Jesus told this next parable because,
He was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. (11)
In other words, there was an idea that he wanted to dispel from their minds, but there was another idea that he wanted to plant. And so he said,
A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ (12-13)
The idea that Jesus wanted to dispel? That his kingdom was imminent.
Before becoming king, he had to first die on the cross to deal with the problem with sin. And when he did so, he ascended to heaven and sat down at the Father’s side. And now the Bible says,
Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool… (Hebrews 10:13).
And to this day we await our Lord’s return.
So until that day, what are we to do?
We are to serve him until he returns. That’s the idea he wanted to plant in their minds. That there is still much work to be done.
In the story, the king-to-be called ten of his servants in and gave them each an equal amount of money and said, “Put this to work until I come back.”
What is Jesus talking about here? I believe he’s talking about the salvation we have received. Notice that these men didn’t work to obtain the money. They were simply given it. But they were to invest what they were given.
In the same way, we never worked for our salvation, rather we received it by God’s grace. But we are to take what we’ve been given from God, and put it to work.
Paul puts it this way,
Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13)
What does it mean to invest this salvation we have been given? It means to take this salvation we have received and invest it in the lives of others. To not hoard this salvation we have received to ourselves, but to share it with others. To pray for them. To minister to them. And to be the mouth, ears, and hands of Jesus in their lives. And we are to do this until Jesus returns.
If we do, we will be rewarded. How? By being given more responsibilities in his kingdom. So many people want to do great things for God. But if they fail in the task of sharing this salvation they’ve been given, can they expect God to give them more responsibilities?
What’s more, if they fail to invest in the kingdom, as the last man in the story did, all they can expect is rebuke from Jesus when he returns.
.Paul says of such people,
He will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (I Corinthians 3:15)
How about you? What are you doing with this gift of salvation you have received?