And now we come to the last of the five passages we began quite a while back:
“[The Master] replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away’” (Luke 19:26; Jesus speaking).
Let’s put the verse into context. Jesus has entered Jericho, and a large crowd of people surrounds and follows Him. Zacchaeus, a wealthy man and the chief tax collector for the region (see Luke 19:2), climbs a tree trying to see over the throngs and get a look at Jesus. The Lord looks up into the tree and tells the startled man, “I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5). Zacchaeus, overwhelmed by Jesus’ love and acceptance of him, responds by saying:
“Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount” (Luke 19:8).
Zacchaeus met Jesus and his life was immediately and totally changed. No doubt that large crowd had witnessed the entire exchange and was still present when Jesus responded to Zacchaeus: “Today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9a).
Jesus then spoke one of His most recognized statements: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).
A tax collector repenting and surrendering his life to Jesus! The people were watching and listening intently as Jesus began to tell them a parable. In it He says that a wealthy Man of royal birth went away to be appointed King and, before leaving, called ten of His servants and gave each “ten minas” (see Luke 19:13a), one mina being about three month’s wages. “'Put this money to work,' He said, 'until I come back” (Luke 19:13b).
Jesus goes on to say that the Man returns as King and calls His servants to give account. One has invested his Master’s money so wisely that he has doubled that with which he was entrusted. The King is pleased: “‘Well done, My good servant!' his Master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities’” (Luke 19:17).
The next servant that appears before the King has increased his Master’s money by five minas. He, too, is commended.
Before we move to the third servant, though, please note that: (1) every one of the servants in this parable are entrusted with the same amount of money; and (2) the amount was almost three years’ wages.
Yet look again at verse 17 – the King calls the ten minas entrusted to the “good servant… a very small matter.” Three years’ wages was pocket change for Him! Yet look at how He rewards that faithful servant: “Take charge of ten cities.”
The Lord Jesus Christ has equipped and entrusted His people to build up His Kingdom. And He has unimaginably generous rewards for those who prove faithful.
What about you? Are you proving yourself faithful?
Tomorrow we’ll see how the third servant handled his Master’s money.
Unless otherwise stated, Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV).