He Took What Wasn't His

By Shawn Tomlin

So we’ve all heard stories about an authority figure who takes too much money, for example oppressive taxation, from his subjects. It’s not looked upon very highly. No one enjoys their money or property taken away. Especially here in the States, we resent that kind of government, that type of authority. The parable of the 10 minas speaks of such a nobleman. The depth of Christ’s words run much deeper than it appears though.

This parable is found in Luke 19:11-27 and tells the story of a nobleman entrusting to three slaves a mina, which has a monetary value of about 60 shekels. Two of the slaves invested the mina that was entrusted to them and made 10 and 5 minas respectively. The third slave did something else his mina. The NASB says in verse 20, “Master here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief.” So the third slave didn’t do what was commanded of him. The nobleman, in verse 13 told the slaves to “do business with this until I get back.” Instead this third slave hid it away. He went against the commandment of the Master.


Some use what God has given them for His Glory, while others hide it away in a used handkerchief.


Verse 21 explains why the third slave hid his mina in a handkerchief. That slave described the Master as “an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and you reap what you did not sow.” What Master do we know that takes what isn’t his and reaps what he didn’t sow? What was taken up that Christ didn’t lay down? Each person that comes to repentant faith when called, was an unbeliever. What does an unbeliever do? They mock Christ, misunderstands who He was, they are self-satisfied and doesn’t think they need saving. They are held in bondage to their sin. Christ reaped what he didn’t sow in that He took that sin to the cross, atoned for it with His blood, and redeemed His chosen people. Christ didn’t die for His sin, “He who knew no sin was made sin for us”, as the author of Hebrews says. He reaped what He did not sow… He reaped our sin.

Before we get into that, let’s first see who the nobleman represents…  as I stated above, Jesus Christ. The slaves? They are us, that is humanity. Some use what God has given them for His Glory, while others hide it away in a used handkerchief. The coin? That’s the grace of God.  There is a wide application for this passage, but in general, if you read this whole parable, the point is that the punishment for not using what has been granted to us is that we will lose it and more.

Back to verse 21. Christ is the Master who takes what isn’t His and reaps what He did not sow. Christ takes on our sin, our iniquities. He took what wasn’t His, but he laid down what he did have, His life and His righteousness.The mina, after all was an act of grace.  In that He reaped what He did not sow. He was punished for our sins, dying a bloody death on the cross. Our life, although we are dead spiritually, will eventually be taken from us and if we don’t respond to the gospel with repentant faith, we will not be given salvation or eternal life, but instead will only lose the sinful life we had.

“The LORD bless you, and keep you;

The LORD make His face shine on you,

And be gracious to you;

The LORD lift up His countenance on you, 

And give you peace.”




Lee Jones