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The Parable of the Ten Minas

Luke 19:27 (NIV) But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.

Now, this is spoken in the 3rd person (of the "man of noble birth"); however, it still seems the intent of the parable is to order open carnage against those who don't follow the Abrahamic faith (see :9 & :10, that lead into this parable).


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I heard this interpretation: the slaves in the parable are humans who await the Lord's second coming. Some of them live faithfully toward the Lord, using all the things that God gave them in order to carry out His will, others, however, don't care much about His will, so they will be apportioned a lower status in His kingdom. The enemies in verse 27, however, are not slaves, thus, they are interpreted not as humans, but as the fallen angels that followed Satan. The Lord will order His slaves to carry out His judgement over them, which corresponds to 1 Cor 6:3 ("we shall judge angels"). –  brilliant Apr 29 '12 at 0:49

2 Answers 2

  1. This is a parable, so the fact that "a man of noble birth" is third person is rather irrelevant. It's pretty obvious he's symbolizing someone, probably Jesus.
  2. Context. Verse 11 reads:

    As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.

    I think it's easy to gather from this that:

    1. The parable was being told to show that the kingdom of God would not appear immediately
    2. This parable was about the kingdom of God.
  3. With this in mind, and knowing that the kingdom of God in Jesus's parables often refers to the day of judgement or the end times, we can make a couple of assumptions:

    1. Jesus is the nobleman. He often is, and he goes to "receive for himself a kingdom," something especially reformed scholars says Jesus is doing (receiving a kingdom from his Father).
    2. The followers of Christ are the ten servants.
    3. Those servants that pleased the nobleman with the abundance of minas are those saved by Christ who have lived out their lives "according to their calling." They have confirmed their faith through works, as James says.
    4. The one who fails to multiply the mina is not one of Christ's followers, but a tag-along; like the seed sown in the rocks.
    5. Point 4 is made more obvious in verse 26, which reads:

      I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

      Those who multiplied their minas "had" - they had Christ, truly. Alternatively you could say they truly "had" their mina, because then to them more was given. Either way, they had something (salvation) and to them more (eternal life) was given. To the man who hid the mina, he had not (no salvation) and so even everything else he had (life) was taken away (cast into hell).

  4. As to verse 27, notice that the nobleman is still talking within the parable; Jesus is not talking directly. So we're still within the parable, which is happening later (point 2.1). The nobleman (Jesus) will, on the last day, cast into Hell those who did not want him to rule over him, just as he "took away" from the man who failed to multiply his mina. (There might be a difference between what happens to these two groups, maybe, maybe not. Regardless, those rebelled against Christ are being punished).

  5. So no, Christ isn't "ordering open carnage against those who didn't follow the Abrahamic faith", he's sounding a warning that on the last day those who rebelled against him will perish.

N.B This answer, like many, is quite speculative. I've tried to stick to what I've heard preached and the typical Evangelical interpretation of the passage. The beauty of the votes is that they (should, anyways) show if I'm well representing that position.

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It seems pretty clearly to be referring to the day of judgement in the form of a parable:

  1. The disobedient servant is a Christian who was false (in name only, as we would say): he loses his reward since lip service is meaningless;
  2. The others are plainly the enemies of God; not so much those who didn't believe in this life, but those who want to rule themselves outside of him, the demons primarily, but also heretics, apostates and those who reject him at the end.

We cannot interpret this parable as speaking of open violence against non-Jews because of the simple fact that nobody there interepreted it that way; no violence followed the command then or afterwards. It is clearly understood - and maybe our translation makes it difficult - that these words were part of the story and referring to the final inception of the Kingdom on the day of Judgment.

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