The Parables of Jesus: Day 3

The Ten Minas

by

Today's Text: Luke 19:1-27

In this study of the Parables of Jesus, we are reading many of the stories Jesus used to teach hearers about how to live as His followers. Each day we’ll read parables in their immediate context, focusing on a different category of parables each week. Then we will work through a series of questions to understand the meaning of the text and take to heart the “secrets of the kingdom.”

Editor’s Note: In this Parables study, Jesus Himself is telling us stories—stories He wants us to reflect on and process. Rather than asking our writers to write their own stories about Jesus’ stories, we thought it would serve you and the text better to provide questions to help you dig into the meaning of each day’s parable. If you find a parable or passage particularly confusing, stop and pray. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you in His Word, and thank Him that we can know Him without knowing all the answers to our questions.

//

Week 1: Parables about God’s Kingdom

Parables are stories with a point. They are designed to make us think about what is being said, why, where, to whom, and in what context. To get to the heart of Jesus’ parables, we need to pull them apart and take a careful look at the details He gives us. One detail that runs through this week’s selection of parables is that Jesus says they all describe the kingdom of God in some way. As you read through these passages, use the following questions to unpack the stories Jesus tells.

//

Day 3 Reading: Luke 19:1-27

Questions:

1. This parable is similar to another called “The Ten Talents” (Matthew 25:14-30). What are some gifts, abilities, or opportunities you’ve been given to invest?

2. What is the problem this particular parable addresses, and what is the outcome of the story?

3. What is the central point of this parable, and what connection does it have to Jesus’ visit with Zacchaeus?

4. What is your response this parable?

SRT-Parables-instagram3

  • I love that although zacchareus was a sinner, despised by his culture, he was not afraid to humble himself to climb a tree: he wanted Jesus more than his limitations, he acted despite people’s perceptions. Jesus saw this and rewards him.
    Many of us do not grow up knowing Christ, we are sinful, fearful of what others think. It colours our actions, hiding our talents, we do not know the real Jesus fearful he will be angry and hard with us.
    But if we take what we have ( our limitations eg. our height) and humble ourselves to keep reaching to see Jesus, or investing what we have despite our fear, we will reap what we sow- honour and acknowledgement, company with Jesus and fruitfulness in our labour.

  • Kezia Goodman

    These parables to me are highlighting a lot of Godly characteristics and attributes that we should exercise but that I am clearly lacking. They are forcing me to do a lot of self examination and I don’t like what I see!

  • I do think that this passage ties back to using our talents to advance God’s kingdom, but also our monetary resources as well. I think Jesus thought about his primary audience, Zacchaeus, and his prior relationship to money, and used a parable about something he was familiar with. Zacchaeus had already made a fantastic start giving his money away, and I think Jesus was encouraging that and relating it back to having impact in His kingdom. Just coming out of college and entering the work force I like to think I don’t have a lot of money, but the truth is that I’ve been blessed with enough money that I don’t have to worry about food or shelter, and I even have extra left over for luxuries. Reading this parable encourages me to think about how I can better use my money to serve “the least of these” that God cares SO much about!

  • I really struggle with this parable, because I don’t feel like I have gifts worth sharing. What I have is so small and so encumbered my weakness. Of course, I have the greatest gift of all, Christ, but social anxiety makes any interaction hard… talking about Jesus is even harder! I get discouraged and afraid that I am that third servant. Lord, have mercy.

    • Tegan

      Jess, sometimes our weaknesses are a gift too. First, there are many other people who suffer from social anxieties and you understand what that is like. There may be others who read this and can draw strength from your comment. Even mentioning your anxiety here could strengthen and encourage someone. Second, your struggle is drawing you to Christ and here you have pointed to Him, which will point others to Him as well. Keep reaching out, however you can manage to point to the cross. Others will be encouraged to do the same.

    • Robin J Daugherty

      If you are a Christian, God has promised that you have gifts worth sharing (When you become a Christian the Holy Spirit gives you gifts to use in your Christianity). I get the social anxiety but pray about where God wants you to serve with the amazing gift he has given to just you! He will show you and give you opportunities to serve his kingdom. There are a lot of ways to serve Him without being out and about. Remember – He made you just the way He wants you to be!

    • Brandice

      There are assessments/ inventories you can take, even online, to help you discern what your gifts might be. Not all spiritual gifts require you to be good in social situations!

    • Bubbemom

      Jess, Just “seek first the kingdom of God” and the rest will flow out of you. Don’t try and work for Jesus. Just love him and He will flow out if you.

    • Kendall

      Jess, through our weakness, God’s strength is made known. Think of the biblical heroes: Moses, he was “slow in speech and tongue” but used by God in a huge way. David, a lowly shepherd, and Rehab the prostitute, God used them all in mighty ways. The key is they gave what they had when they were called. They all had a willing heart. You don’t have to have the best gifts, or even know how to use them well, you just have to take what you have and be willing.

    • Steph

      Jess — the book “Hinds Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard might be encouraging. The main character is named “Much Afraid” and throughout the story she is led out of her fear by the Good Shepherd. Really great read (or you can get the audiobook).

      • Cathy

        Ha. My mother in law gave me that book and the spirit of God spoke to me in it all the way through. Amazing

    • Cathy

      By being you and honest, is the gift you share to others. They feel drawn to you because you show love, humility and a lack of hostility/the world needs to see Christians as real people. I’m praying God breaks off the lie to fear people and negative responses and to revere God alone using your presence as a witness.

  • As Jesus walked through the crowd, he could have chosen to be the house guest of any one of his devoted followers who may have appeared more deserving. Instead he chose to honor someone who appeared undeserving. Thanks to God that is always his pattern. Thanks to Jesus he always calls us close to him even though we are undeserving and unfit. Among those of us who are unfit there are many talents and blessings that can be unlocked and shared with the world, simply by shining the light of Jesus upon them. He has taken a chance on me, I pray that he gives me the wisdom and discernment to show him thanks by serving others.

  • How often it seems that we hide away our talents/gifts. Numerous excuses run through our minds in our own self-defense. We want to play it safe and not risk failure. Or we think we have fewer or less significant gifts than others,simply because ours may not be one that attracts a spotlight. But we must recognize these excuses for what they are: self-protection and running away from risk. God does not ask us to play it safe. Rather, He asks us to step out into uncharted waters, offering our own unique set of gifts in new ways. I am to invest myself in other people and in God’s work. If I bury my gifts deep within myself, safeguarding them and cultivating them only for myself, my God will be disappointed. We are not given gifts for our own benefit, we are given gifts to bless others. At times we may get caught up in the rush and use our talents in the wrong way, as Zacchaeus did, but we can always be brought back and turn our gift for good if we would simply look up for a glimpse of Jesus and welcome Him when He calls.
    In about a month and a half I am answering a call God has placed on me to offer my talents as an in state student missionary at a small christian academy. I can say that there is a small measure of fear of failure that goes along with this. This will be a whole new experience and job description for me, but if God has asked, how can I not offer the set of talents He has given me? It does not matter if I feel unqualified, my God is in the business of qualifying and developing the talents of those He calls. I would appreciate prayers as I prepare to begin in January and as I work through May.

  • Denise Ortiz

    I’m currently in a season of transition. New State, no job and a lot of time on my hands. I’ve spent so much of that time job searching and not enough of it simply diving into the word of God. Zacchaeus climbed a tree just to catch a glimpse of Jesus!! What will I️ do? I’m challenging myself today to Move. To Pray more. To Hustle. To Listen. Thanks SRT

  • I love this style of study. I feel like I am the one working through the scripture instead of getting it handed to me. it makes the scripture take root in my mind and heart. For me, many times the devotionals are just that, a devotional and not a study of the scripture, to much fluff for me. I am loving this format and seeing how God is speaking to others through the passage. Thank you SRT.

    • Julie

      That had always been my hang-up with devotionals, I didn’t feel like I was really engaging with the passages. I think having questions instead of a devotional works well with this series, really gets me to dig into parables I haven’t thought too deeply about.

      • blessed

        i love both the devotionals and the questions. i wonder if there is a way to have both!

  • This parable really spoke to me. I have never really thought of myself as talented, I can’t sing or dance, I’m not an extraordinary athlete, etc. But after readin and reflecting, I realized I have been blessed with a joyful and hopeful heart and am also empathetic and understanding. My talents lie within my personality and how i choose to use those talents in service of the Lord is by spreading joy and hope to everyone I come in contact with. My talent is that people see a difference in me and want to know why and i can tell them, it is the Lord in my heart.

  • In this parable, I think it there are three groups Jesus is addressing. There are those who have been given gifts and they use them to bless others (Zacchaeus and the ones who made profit), then there are those who are given gifts and use them against Him (the Pharisees/unfriendly group of naysayers and the servants who went to say they didn’t want the nobleman as their king), the last group is the one who has been given His gifts but hoards them away (those who have heard Jesus but do nothing to glorify Him and the man who saved the Mina). He is making the point that those who are given His word but use it against Him will pay for it, the ones who do nothing with it will have nothing to show for it, but those that use their gifts to His glory will be justly rewarded. I also think it is important that only 2 of the 10 servants worked to increase their gift, they were in the minority and probably not well liked by the others like how the followers Jesus pursues are not the “desirable” ones. At least that’s how I make the connection. :)

    • Sara

      LOvE how you dug into this parable & what you’ve shared here!!!

      • Keni

        I love the way you interpreted these parables. Thank you for sharing!

    • Cori

      I like it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Annie

      You explanation and interpretation makes sense, thank you for sharing!

    • Alexis Webb

      Thank you so much for sharing your insight. I really struggled to understand this parable.

    • Jody Heavenrich Hensley

      Seriously behind and this one I just could not wrap my head around…thank you for deciphering it for me. I love this and I really need to reflect on this for bit.

  • Jesus has given us all special gifts and talents to share; he has also given us His Word to share. It is our duty to use these gifts and share His word with others in order to seek and share the Kingdom of Heaven. Zacchaeus was a small man, yet sought out Jesus and took a risk climbing that tree in order to just see Him. We must not let our shortcoming or weaknesses hold us back and we must not be afraid to take a risk and “go out on a limb” (pun intended) for Jesus as Zacchaeus and the men in the parable did; those who do we receive God’s grace and salvation.

  • Zaccheaus was seeking Jesus; knowing he was a sinner. Jesus is saying by His actions, “You do not do this alone; I am here for the confessed sinners and the lost. Take the gifts given to you and make something of it, even if it is as small as an investment. The more I seek and learn and grow from my engagement in the Word and humbling myself to obedience to His will, the more I will be given. My gift is my relationship with Jesus, and to pray for my husband, my children, and every single person God places in my life. It isn’t up to me to save others, but to shine the light of the hope, faith, and love of my Magnificent God. I choose to have Jesus live through me and pray for the death of “self”.

  • Allison Joy

    God expects us to use the gifts we have been given, and hide them because we are afraid we aren’t doing things the “right way.” Effort, even if it fails, causes us to grow, and is better than not doing anything with our gifts. The connection I see to Zaccheaus is that just like the two servants made more, Zaccheaus agreed to give more back than he had taken. One thing that I’d never noticed in Zaccheaus’ story is the timing. I had always thought that when it said Zaccheaus “received” Jesus, that it referred to him taking Jesus to his house. I had always thought that when Zaccheaus says he says he’s going to give to the poor and give back four times as much as he’d taken and that it was in private. But when I read it tonight, I noticed that there really is no break. Zaccheaus receives him, the pharisees are talking about Jesus, and then it says Zaccheaus “stopped.” Why would he have to stop if he was at his home? That means that Zaccheaus not only made his promise publicly, but before he even heard fully what Jesus had to say to him. The simple act of meeting Jesus changed him. Maybe I’m wrong on how I’m interpreting the timing, and/or maybe that’s common knowledge, but it was a new way to look at it for me.

  • I also found the following comment on a site discussing this parable and thought it was helpful for understanding how the story of Zacchaeus connects to the parable:

    “I believe the previous two stories play into the reason for Jesus telling this parable. Notice that the Blind man and Zachaeus both are not accepted by the crowds as deserving Jesus’ attention. However, Jesus comes to each of them and they both make their own confessions of faith, either calling out Lord or giving what they have to the poor. It is moving from a spoken faith to a realized faith. It seems like these two men understand what kind of disciples God is calling people to be. So, Jesus tells this parable that has two meanings. #1 – Understand the kind of disciples I am calling, those who are willing to give up what they were to follow me. #2 – Those who do not accept me will be judged at the second coming.”

  • Thank you so much for sharing this, Amanda! I love your perspective and the parable makes even more sense to me in this context.

  • I love the insight and perspective on this one! Thank you all for sharing. We are given so much even though at times it is hard to recognize. It is so important to acknowledge that those talents and gifts are not ours to keep, but to share with others as well. It is so easy to forget that.

  • The servant who hid away his mina and did not make efforts to multiply it made me think of those of us who have the knowledge of salvation but keep it to ourselves instead of making disciples of others by sharing it. The servants who took their one mina and multiplied it could be seen as those who take the Gospel and share it with other, making new believers for the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • This parable is kind of a “tough love” one. I had to do some further reading to really grasp it. In essence Jesus left us with gifts to grow his kingdom until he returns. And the tax collector was a willing heart ready to use whatever he had in a way to glorify Jesus. I’ve been living under fear that my gifts and talents aren’t enough, that I need more education and to be a better Christian before God will use me. That’s such a lie from the enemy. Today my prayer is that Jesus will give me an opportunity this week to use my divine gifts to further his kingdom here on earth. That I would invest in his people until the day he returns to bring us home. What an awesome study today. Have a great day ladies! Praying we will all seize opportunities to use our “minas” and multiply them this week and beyond!

    • Tammy

      Love this! This a really good way to see this parable. Be fruitful for the kingdom! I appreciate your incite!

    • Alexis

      Love this thank you for sharing!!

    • Alexis

      Love this thank you for sharing!! I often thought that that I didn’t know enough either. So grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow into my talents.

  • I have loved all the comments the past few days. Not having the usual Devo to read we see so many different perspectives. While I do agree this format is more challenging , I think it causes us to really dig. Such great insights from each person.

    • Amie

      Yes! Same! In finding I am going deeper into these versus and stories and it’s challenging me!

  • Stacey Cochran

    The question about how the parable relates to Zacchaeus really stuck out to me. How I see it relating is Zacchaeus did what the first servant did. He went to the next level to see Jesus, and then he took what Jesus had given him and multipled it.

  • My goodness what great comments!! I’m happy with either format– I agree, this one makes me work harder– but all you ladies that share– wow, this is what keeps me coming back!!

  • Churchmouse

    Note : most of the translations say Zaccheus’ response is he WILL give (future tense). But the translation SRT has on the mobile app reads present tense (I give..). This changes how the parable can be interpreted. I find this frustrating. Not sure what translation SRT is using in the mobile app.

    • Mary

      the NIV says, “Here and now I give..”. but you pose an interesting question

    • Holly

      My English Standard version also has it in past tense like he is already doing this and I remembered it was always future so not sure but you are right it totally changes the meaning.

    • Kristi

      I believe they use the Holman Christian Standard Bible. But you can change it to whatever translation you would like. If you click on the Bible tab in your app, and then click on the translation abbreviation in the upper right corner (it should say HCSB), you will be able to select your preferred translation. I am always using that feature to change translations when reading the verses from the SRT studies.

      • Churchmouse

        Thanks Kristi, I wasn’t even aware of this feature. I had it set on ESV but have changed it to NASB. Now it reads differently, which changes the meaning significantly. Thanks for the info!

      • Chris

        I don’t see a bible tab?? I have the app on my iPad??

      • Chris

        Wow found it!!! Didn’t even know it was there!! Thanks

  • Aw, man. I’m so guilty of this one.

    For years I have known that I am the servant who buried his talent away (or in this version, put it in a handkerchief) out of fear– God has blessed me greatly with skills, talents and abilities, but not with degrees or cultural validation, so I hide. I know he has prevented me from having human/cultural validation, so that I’ll know that only HIS matters– “he doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called”, if you will. But this is hard. Putting ourselves, passions and abilities out there is very scary in this culture, if we don’t have a resume or other form of prior approval to validate us.

    I’ve felt very crippled in this area for a long time, using excuses (like my lack of privilege) to keep me from trusting God enough to leap. Progress has definitely been made over the years, as I continue surrendering these areas to God– he is now even blessing some that I’ve surrendered to him, but there are still more areas of giftedness that just seem too scary to act on. Satan tends to fill my head with things like “who are you to expect to succeed in that area, when you are an amature? You have to earn the right.” And honestly, or culture reinforces these things. We live in a remarkably unique time in regards to higher education, which was never (until the 20th century) required in order to do meaningful things– think of Anne Sullivan who taught Helen Keller language, she had no doctorate in Child Behavior (or any degree at all). So many of our great thinkers of yore had a similar lack of traditional education!

    Friends, I hope any of you who can relate, will hear this:
    DO what God is calling you to do, even if you aren’t qualified (especially then)! Put yourself out there with humility and confidence in God’s might (not yours) to do a wonderful thing through your surrender of all you have to him. Don’t hide or waste precious time, which truly is disobedient in long haul.

    • Elle

      Thank you Erin!! I can greatly relate to all you wrote and it is a great encouragement to see someone who can identify to what I’ve felt/am going through. Cheering you on as you seek to walk in God’s purpose for you, I pray for guidance/help to do the same.
      P.S Almost didn’t see your post, but God has a way of showing us just what we need to see. :)

      • Erin B

        Aw, thanks so much for chiming in, Elle! I prayed that a least one person would relate, because frankly in our culture of over-achievers and “yes people”, those of us who struggle with saying yes at all are fewer and further between. You are so right about God showing and giving us what we need, and specifically for today– thanks for being an encouragement to me! ☺️

    • Amie

      Erin your understanding of this parable helped me understand thank you! And I am so very guilty of this as well. I’m afraid I’ll use my sprouts talents in a wrong way and then put God in a bad light! Ugh which if I’m in the world and acting in God’s will I know better, it will work out to his glory.

  • I never once tied this parable or Zacchaeus up in the tree with spiritual gifts. Of course we must invest what we have been given from Him for kingdom work. What a difference if all acted upon that concept. Guess that’s why we’re called to be disciples…with the gifts we’ve been given. I can do better with God’s help!

  • I think another interesting thing about this parable is how everyone grumbled that Jesus was at the house of a sinner, so then He told a parable about how, if you keep your talents/gifts to yourself… you’re not being a good steward with your personality/talents/time… all of which are gifts we have been given to take care of. Are we living in bubbles with people that all believe the same as us or are we pushing to do more, meet more, be more with the gifts that we have?

  • First time posting!
    This little bit really caught my attention, “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.” (Luke 19:11). When I read these types of parables, I can always understand the perspective of the “wicked servant;” he was scared. He was scared that his master would return and he’d rather have what he started with than risk losing it all. He’s timid. However, this parable was said to those who were expecting God’s Kingdom any day now; an investment is not something that should be rushed… I think, perhaps, that was their mindset. Don’t rush into it, because the Redeemer is to come at any second and we must be “ready.” However, God’s idea of ready is not our idea of ready. We like all of our ducks to be in a row, before our Redeemer comes, but God just wants us doing and investing what he has given us. Zacchaeus was doing just that; he wasn’t really looking around, he was just trying to do the best he could with what he had. He was in a position of wealth (even if it was undignified), but he used his wealth to help others, even when those same others hated him.
    This parable is a beautiful reminder that we cannot be timid, our ducks will never be in a row, and our Redeemer will be returning. Will I invest what He has trusted me with?

  • To me the parable is about our attitudes of being willing and not afraid to invest what the Father has given us. It reads to me as though it’s the one who perseveres and risks the most who gains or grows the most in the Kingdom of God.
    Having a spirit of fear and distrust causes us to hang on to tightly to what we have. This poverty mindset is what limits us and His kingdom.

    • Cari

      “Poverty mindset” really spoke to me. Thanks for your insight!

  • I think we’re all kind of like Zaccheus in our own way – Constantly finding our identity in our job and how much money we make (he was the head tax man), finding our shortcomings amongst others (he was short among the crowd), yet still wanted to see and experience Jesus.

    The difference maker between us and Zaccheus is that he went up into a tree to see and experience Him. Sometimes, I can’t even get myself up in the tree in a position to see God working through my life. The story of Zaccheus is really encouraging in times of doubting my relationship with Jesus. All I need to do is get to a position and set my eyes on the Lord – He’s got the rest (and praise Him for that!)

  • 1. What are some gifts, abilities, or opportunities you’ve been given to invest? Grace to others, empathy. God has blessed me with an ability to see other perspectives, and it has been a process – I have not always been this way!

    2. What is the problem this particular parable addresses, and what is the outcome of the story? The problem is what do we, as followers of Christ, do with what we’ve been given, as daughters of Christ? The outcome is that if we do nothing, we are thrown into “utter darkness.” How are we making a return on investment to the Lord? This can be extending grace to a family member when you’ve been wronged, a smile to stranger, a hug, – we are called to love, because he loved us.

    3. What is the central point of this parable, and what connection does it have to Jesus’ visit with Zacchaeus? The central point is to give out of the generosity that we have been given. Zacchaeus gave four fold when he wronger someone, and gave half of his goods to the poor, maybe thats in relation to the gifts God had blessed him with?

    4. What is your response this parable? Before this study, I didnt like this parable. As many other have said, it seemed harsh. Through the comments and insights of others though, i was able to gain a new perspective and I feel joyful! Yes Lord we should be sharing your gifts – whatever they may be. Everyone has something different! I’m not patient, but maybe you are. To each their own – to be shared with others. Love love love!

    And to those struggling with the format – its going to be ok sweet ones. <3 There are no right answers. There are no wrong answers. I believe this is intended to be thought-provoking. Press on. <3

  • Diane Huntsman

    *our focus

  • Diane Huntsman

    Zaccheus was a transformed man.. and transformation causes us to abandon what people think of us.. or focus becomes vertical over horizontal.. perhaps we need to find a tree to climb today no matter who’s looking.. if it honors Jesus and shows that He’s the focus, that’s all that truly matters!

  • Zaccheus’ desire to see Jesus caused him to act very undignified as a Jewish man. He ran and climbed up into the despised sycamore tree. He did not care what the people thought of him. Jesus knew Zaccheus for the right reasons. He loved him. Zaccheus responds to being known and loved by repentance of his sin and sharing his wealth with the poor and the ones from whom he stole. I want to be known for the right reasons and be loved like that!

    • Jessica

      Love this explanation Cynthia! I feel the same way. I want to be loved unconditionally and fully. :)

    • CJ

      Oh I didnt know sycamore trees were despised. Thanks for the perspective!

  • Heather64

    I love the devotionals too. But I believe that this format was created to not only get into our Bibles more but to fellowship with one another. Just through the comments I’ve already seen more of that and it’s only day 3!! Exciting! So don give up! There are no right or wrong answers. It’s about what God reveals to you as you are reading His Word.
    Just be still and ready to listen.
    Thank you SRT.

  • Lauren Jackson

    Initially, this parable was confusing to me. It did not seem to make sense. Instead of imagining the minas, imagine spiritual gifts that our Father has given us to invest. We are given our salvation and the spiritual gifts that we have to use as investments for others. We all should strive to be like the servant that earned 10 more minas through his investments, and unlike the one too afraid to put in an investment. Using our God given salvation and talents, we should invest in our fellow man and bring more to the kingdom. It relates to Zacchaeus in that he used the resources he had to share the news and salvation of Jesus, to invest in his fellow people.

  • I do very much love the “traditional” devotionals & the insight they provide. I was a hesitant to do this study because in the past, I have always skipped them. However, I’m trying.

    Interpreting readings hasn’t always been my specialty, because I like to understand them & to have the ‘right’ answer. But after trying this format the last few days, I’m reminded that God wants us to study His word. He wants us to learn from it. We don’t need a bunch of tools… we just need the Holy Spirit & an open heart. It’s been a challenge, but it’s been good! It’s allowing me to let go & think creatively with the mind that Jesus gave me.

    Jesus spoke these parables for His followers and they sometimes struggled to connect the dots. Even His disciples did! So it’s okay for me to feel frustrated or confused sometimes. But Jesus has some great things to teach us through His unique way of telling stories. Understanding the scriptures in this way has been a good way for my morning journaling to have a focus. Thank you, SRT, & all you beautiful people who leave comments that include insight & testimonies. I learn from you all daily.

  • While I appreciate the thoughtful questions related to the parables we are reading, I don’t have the answers. I’m having a really hard time understanding the correlation between this parable and Zacchaeus’ story. The parable in itself if harsh and difficult to understand. I guess I wish there was a commentary on these parables to help me connect the dots.

    • Nea

      I’m also struggling to connect them! The only think I can come up with is that by Zech giving up half his money and paying people extra if he wronged them in the past, he is being like the servant who properly invested the Minas to get more in return for the Lord. So I guess the takeaway would be to use what we have been given wisely and to help others.

  • Veronica

    I am loving these questions- it’s forcing me to pour over scriptures I’ve usually skimmed and prayerfully consider them. That said, those questions can be really soul-searching – Sisters, it’s not about the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. I whole heartedly believe God reveals different things to different people in different ways. Us being able to share vastly different perspectives on the same parable is amazing! What a beautiful space we have here to share different meaning and post a bit of encouragement for someone who may be in the same mindset. Who knows how one perspective may change someone’s faith? Don’t worry about the differences God has given you in interpretation, but embrace it. ❤️ much love to you all today!

  • Churchmouse

    I may be way off in this thought but it seems to me that Zaccheus is just telling Jesus the type of person he really is. The common perception of the people towards tax collectors was that they were ruthless and corrupt. Zaccheus tells Jesus he isn’t that kind of person. He gives generously to the poor and he corrects any wrong (four fold) he may have done. Jesus commends him for this. It is the crowd who lumps Zaccheus in with the perception that all tax collectors were great sinners. They wrote Zaccheus off as unworthy. They were wrong. Zaccheus was not the typical tax collector. He was different but they wouldn’t see that. All this prompts me to ask myself : am I arrogantly misjudging others because of my perceptions or opinions rather than getting to know them individually? Am I quietly going about the business of representing Jesus well in my home, at my work place, everywhere? Perhaps this is a different perspective of this parable but that’s where it took me today. May I be less judgmental and may I assess how I’m living out my faith where God has called me. And may I be faithful and not grow weary when others do not perceive me or my actions correctly. Let me just be faithful to Jesus.

    • Lyn

      Throughout my life one side of my immediate family’s relatives caused us a lot of anguish. My parents and I were never were able to resolve the problems because we dealt with “those people” as a monolith instead of trying to reach each person as an individual.

    • Kendra

      I actually had that same thought too, churchmouse. Jesus gave Zaccheus the opportunity to see himself the way Jesus saw him. It’s like he’d buried the truth about his true self under his tax collectors personality and all he needed (and maybe wanted with out knowing!) was someone to come along and speak to his real self.

    • Brandy

      I love this perspective. Thanks for sharing! I’m guilty daily of being judgemental of people without bothering to get to know the individuals themselves. I so needed this reminder.

  • My initial thoughts on this…. God has given us “talents.” When the master returns, (as in when Jesus returns) we will be rewarded (in Heaven) for how we invested our talents here on earth. By our example, we may allow others to come to Christ as Zacchaeus did.

  • I am not enjoying this format but appreciate the comments from others so much.

  • Mary Ann

    I saw the central point of this parable to show that just as the servants received the same gift from the nobleman freely , so we have all received the gift of the gospel freely. The difference in results was not due to different gifts, rather it was a difference in diligence of using that gift. Zacchaeus listened to Jesus and accepted the gift of the gospel, which led him to act out what he believed.

    In applications, this makes me stop and think what am I️ doing with the gift of the gospel, how am I️ furthering the kingdom of God?

    • JB

      i love this thought. this pinpoints the difference between the parable of minas and the parable of talents. thank you for sharing this.

  • Hillary S

    This parable seemed confusing to me at first, but after I read other comments, it became more clear with the message we are all more familiar and comfortable with: using our talents to bring Glory to God and to bring His light to the world that so desperately needs it. I especially loved the comment that spoke of being “faithful” while the Lord is “away” doesn’t mean sitting on our hands in His absence. Being faithful means using the talents and blessings we have been given! Just as the parable suggests.

    I recently reread The Five Love Languages, I just love that book. I think Jesus shares the love language of ‘quality time’ with us as we are made in His image and I know how much our spending time with Him means to Him with each and every one of us. I think this parable highlights another one of God’s love languages and that is to use what he has given us. And I agree with the other comments, this does not always mean money; you can give money and still be detached. Just as raising a child by only giving her gifts falls short of all the ways you can show her love. It means using patience, compassion, empathy, and courage. Especially when the world makes it tough to do so. By using these gifts, because all good things come from above, we are showing the world Jesus. We are spreading His glory, acting as His hands and feet, and I feel confident this brings Him so much joy.

    Lord I pray that you give us clarity to see the gifts you have given us and the wisdom to use them in a way that brings salt and light to the world. Help us to reflect You in our daily lives. We just need to start with what we were given.

    • Sheree

      Thanks so much for this insight! I’ve always been confused on how to use my talents when I sometimes feel I don’t have any! It’s not that I lack confidence. I just feel unclear as to what I’m supposed to do and share (multiply) to please God. But this reminded me that showing kindness, being supportive, and open to not judging people when they sin are ways that I can please God. I also need the “call to action” sometimes to make me bold in order to do more.

  • I find it odd that Jesus would laud excess wealth building in response to his encounter with an unscrupulous rich man. What if the servant who did not attempt to get more is actually Jesus? He was despised by the culture that he challenged, just like that servant was.

    • Nicoline

      I think if it is read as talents, then it makes more! Sense. God gives each one of us different talents and we are to use themto his glory and furthering of his kingdom. We simply can’t hold our talents and hope that God’s word is spread and others know about God’s love and grace. Even though Jese was despised he still made great effort to show his love and grace to those around him. The man made king I think resembles Jesus. He went to go and be made king but they didn’t do want him to be their king, they even went as far as sending delegates to stop it but God had a different plan and Jesus was still crowned king and he is our king today, tomorrow and forever.

    • Crissy

      I think the Minas or Talents represent the Good News that Jesus was preaching. So if the servants who love the king take what he gave them and spread it and grow it, then they are doing Jesus’ work while he is away. But the third servant hid what he was given and did nothing with it, rather he was afraid of the king (Jesus) and didn’t want to follow him. So the faithful servants would represent those like Zacchaeus who heard Jesus and followed and spread his message, while the third servant would represent those who complained that Jesus spends time with sinners and judged rather than loved. And it’s still so applicable today!

      • Cathy

        This is an excellent take on the parable, and this speaks to me. Thankyou for sharing

  • I am loving the structure of this study! It is such a nice change from the other studies that are followed by “devotionals.” Although I do love those too, these questions have been challenging and are forcing me (in a good way) to spend even more time in my bible in the mornings. Thank you SRT! I hope to see more studies like this in the future.

    • Sandy

      I agree! I am the one having to slow down in the scripture instead of skipping right to a devotional reading.

  • CathrineAnne

    I’ll agree wholeheartedly that format of study is a little more challenging. The first lesson had me checking comments to see if I got ‘the right answer’. When I read the comments I gained greater insight and I think that is the key to this type of Bible study.
    My answers to the questions are different than some I’ve read so I don’t know if they’re “right” or even if they’re supposed to be.
    I saw the men who invested the talents as those who even though they detested their boss, they gave him a second chance to do the right thing. The men who kept the talent they were given felt like the boss wouldn’t or couldn’t change so they wrote him off as a man they didn’t trust.
    So what I gathered from this is that everyone deserves a second chance, an opportunity to reveal what is in their heart, and I feel like this was the opportunity that Jesus extended to Zaccheus.
    Thank you to all who posted, I have learned a great deal. May everyone truly have a blessed day.

  • I love that we get to “chat.” Girls we are in a “holding pattern.” Jesus is showing us here what to do during the time between his departure and his second coming. ecause we live in this time period, it does apply to us. We in this day (think about it) have been given excellent resources to build and expand God’s kingdom. Jesus want us to use these talents so they will multiply and then the kingdom grows! So while we wait, let’s do it! Does taking a meal to someone who is had had a rough week, YES! Changing a diaper with a smile, YES! Sending a card to someone,(my mom taught us to always write to those we were thankful for, it meant so much to my grandmother far away) Yes! I need to myself, go and visit some old neighbors in the nursing home. Yes Zaccheus was a rich man – but we are rich with Love – you can give with out loving but you can not love without giving! Like it says on the orange Home Depot bucket……LEt’s Do This!

    • Barbara

      I’m with you! Let’s look for opportunities today to give and love like Jesus!

    • Veronica

      Yes!! This was my take away, too. Less about the investment of money and more about the investment of souls.

    • CJ

      Well said Wendy! “but we are rich with Love – you can give with out loving but you can not love without giving” <3 <3 <3

  • Please take this as constructive criticism. I have been with She Reads Truth since the beginning. If I had realized this format was being used I would not have added it to my app and simply read the scripture readings. I want to read a devotional to the scripture that has been thought out & form my own questions/answers. I see others feel the same from the comments.
    Very disappointed. I will continue w/ the scripture readings and look through the comments to glean the opinion of others. I do appreciate all that you do at SRT.

    • Erica

      I agree! I used to take so many notes in the margins of my bible from the wonderfully scripted devotionals. I LOVED it! That’s what kept bringing me back. This is a little harder, and I’m not loving it as much. Still very grateful for my SRT bible and app, just a little sad at this format.

    • Janie Cox

      Sometimes we need to change to grow. Pray about your resistance.

    • Churchmouse

      This format definitely slows me down, takes more time. I’m grateful for the challenge, though. Perhaps I got a bit too comfortable with reading the Scriptures and then being force-fed the devotional rather than chewing on and digesting the Scriptures for myself. I love the devotions and they are certainly thoughtful and thought-provoking but I can see the benefit of also having me dig deeper more on my own. I’m grateful for both methods. I love the diversity. And I’m grateful for all who take the time to post comments – they are so varied and so personal. You all keep me on my toes! The SRT team and the She’s who gather here are such blessings. Thankful for all. (oh and I love the study guides – so helpful with added details and just the beauty of them. And I’m a journal fan so… Appreciate the paper!)

  • I think often it is easy to keep a white knuckle grip on our “stuff” (money, time, possessions, people) and we view it as things we have earned. I think this parable helps to illustrate that in order to grow the kingdom we must first acknowledge where those gifts come from – it isn’t by our own toiling but by the grace of good, every good and perfect gift is from him – and secondly, rather than be hoarders we just invest those gifts in the kingdom.

  • I glean so much from others thoughts and insights in the comment section. The question only studies are definitely harder. But the comments open up new avenues of thoughts. I am grateful for the wisdom and knowledge of those who take time to share their thoughts. Have a blessed day!

  • rosebergamot

    Thank you all so much for the comments. I love your insight and thoughts!

  • The question about how the parable relates to Zaccheus is interesting. Zaccheus had invested his money and it grew, and finally, because of Jesus, he saw that it was time to give back. I wonder if this was intended to illustrate that as humans, it is easy to forget or overlook that we have blessings we could be sharing? Like Jessica said in the first response to this passage, it is hard to recognize all of the blessings we could be investing and giving back, since blessings come in so many forms.

    So many times in my life I have come to suddenly understand that I have been hoarding or secreting away some blessing. When I realize it and begin to share it with others, I feel a profound sense of peace and connection to them. I know God has already forgiven me for being so shortsighted, so human. Now I will think of Zaccheus and remind myself there is never a wrong time to open my heart and my purse to benefit those who could be sharing in my blessings. Zaccheus can be a great example for me of how it is never too late.

    God, thank you for teaching us in ways designed to help us remember your divine wisdom. Thank you for your patience and the forgiveness modeled for us by your Son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

    • PeggySue

      These comments speak to me. In some areas, like my time, I give freely, while in other areas, like money, I tend to hoard. Part of me might have fear of not having enough. But that is part of this lesson. Trusting that the Lord will provide when I give, and receiving the abundance beyond what I could expect in return.

    • GramsieSue

      Loved this! “There is never a wrong time to open my heart or my purse to benefit those who could be sharing in my blessings.”

  • Queendupe

    I loved the connection from this parable to Zaccheus. Christ modeled to Zaccheus what he taught about the minas: take the opportunity! Take the risk! Share what you have to give – and as believers we have so much to give! I am such a failure in this regard, but this is the challenge I need to constantly here. Being “faithful” to the Lord while He is “away” isn’t sitting on my hands and enduring the absence. It is believing in His power and truth enough to share it and take risk to fulfill his commission with every opportunity and means He provides me (spiritual gifts, finances, witness, etc.). Pray for me, as I will pray for you, to notice those around me and take the opportunity to share Christ!

  • Jessica M

    Usually when I read these verses, I think about whether or not I’m using my time, talents, and money wisely. But it occurred to me tonight that this parable could also refer to the great mercy, grace, and love we’ve been gifted with as Christ followers. Are we willing to invest these gifts by extending mercy and showing love to others? Or do we keep them to ourselves, afraid of the sacrifice we’d have to make and the ways we could get hurt if we truly loved as Christ loved? We should be encouraged that this parable shows we’ll be blessed with even more the more we give away.

    I think that’s how the parable relates to Zacchaeus. Jesus showed him kindness, and he responded by showing kindness to others and righting his wrongs.

    Of course, it’s easier to acknowledge these things as facts than it is to actually live them out. I know I’m guilty of holding back and hiding out of fear, and I’m guilty of wasting my time when I could be using it wisely. These are things that are difficult to overcome, but thankfully He is patient and merciful.

    • Searching

      Thank you for your insights! I’m having a tough time with the question-only format of this study series – I may have to bail out and wait for the next one.

      • Bethany

        Hi! Just wanted to encourage you. I can get caught up in whether or not my answers to these questions are “right” sometimes. Like yesterday’s devotional and questions…. I felt like I answered the same thing with each question. And yet, it stuck with me throughout the day. And I realize now that parable sunk in more than it ever has before! So, maybe it’s not so much about our answering these questions correctly (if there is even a right or wrong?), but just getting your wheels turning, thinking through what Jesus said and what He May be teaching you! Hang in there! I’m praying for you right now! ♥️

      • Nita

        Don’t bail out please. I struggle with this format also. It helps greatly if I wait until the next day and go back to read what others have already posted.

      • Kristen

        Oh, please don’t bail out. I don’t always understand the scriptures, but I’ve searched online to read commentaries from experts. I heard a pastor on the radio say that he does that too. I just type in what does Matthew 18 mean for example. You can even give a specific chapter and verse. Some people’s commentaries are easier to understand than others. Also, just reading Jesus’ words will help us. I know I need to ask the Holy Spirit to help me understand before I read, and sometimes I forget to do that.

      • Grama4Jesus

        I appreciate your comments as well .. I am concerned for those new to Bible study that this question only format might discourage them .. is there a way to adapt this study to be more like your regular devotions?

      • Other Karen

        I sometimes have difficulty with the question format too, but find it helpful to glean insight from the comments when I am at a loss. After reading the comments, I go back and reread the questions with new focus. There are so many insightful women in this community! Don’t give up!

      • Bobbie

        Searching,
        Hang in there! Remember, there are no wrong answers!! This is just one way for us to practice applying a passage to our personal lives. I think that if we asked the She Reads Truth writers how they write their commentaries, they would tell us that they ask themselves similarly.
        Blessings to you~

      • Sara

        I too struggle with the format, but I struggle in verbal discussion as well. I like that this makes me think more deeply…or try to anyway…without the pressure of having the “right” answer for the group. In the end, the comments of others always enrich my understanding and give me insight on which to ponder during the day. I hope you will stay with this!

      • Claire

        Please take this as constructive criticism. I have been with She Reads Truth since the beginning. If I had realized this format was being used I would not have added it to my app and simply read the scripture readings. I want to read a devotional to the scripture that has been thought out & form my own questions/answers. I see others feel the same from the comments.
        Very disappointed. I will continue w/ the scripture readings and look through the comments to glean the opinion of others.

      • Dawn

        I actually prefer this format to the other. It helps me slow down and REALLY think about what the scriptures are saying. I don’t think it’s about having the “right” answer. I sometimes find the devotional format to be hit or miss in how it relates to the scriptures. It’s about personal preference. Reading through the comments might help.

        • Terri Jo Perry

          I agree with you, Dawn. This format really makes me stop and ponder the scripture. I think this format is appropriate for the parables. I’m enjoying the challenge presented by the question worksheet. With so much criticism in the world right now, it’s disappointing to see it here on an app meant to draw us closer to Him and to help us grow in our faith. This format is for three weeks only, not worth any negativity, in my opinion.

    • Kristine L

      Ooh Jessica, I like this interpretation of the parable! We have inherited so much as daughters of God, and it would be selfish not to try our best to pass that along to others. Thanks for sharing!

    • Cara

      Thank you for this response! I always struggle with this parable and this morning is no different. I appreciate you putting on the lens of grace and mercy rather than money. It is so helpful to me!

    • Laura

      I LOVE your take on this with grace and mercy as our talents. I tend to try hoard all the grace and all the mercy, and am very quick to no give it to others. It’s definitely something that I am trying to consciously work on.

    • Donna

      Zacheaus Job was to collect taxes from the people. He would Corerce more tax from the people and keep it for himself. Tax collectiers were ruthless and dishonest, hated by the people. When Zacchaes was saved he saw his sin repented and wanted to make restoration. It was a true repentance, turning from his sin and making his wrongs right. Freeing himself from the love of money and greed. A true apology . I need to ponder my own apologies and confession of sins to make sure a true repentance has happened.

    • Caroline

      I love this perspective! I had not thought of it this way – thank you for sharing!

    • Emily B.

      I like that! I hadn’t thought about it in that way.

    • Kendra

      Love this!

Further Reading...