In Luke 19 Jesus told “a parable … because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately” (verse 11). Jesus was the centre of attention for ordinary people, but how many thought about this parable? A nobleman gave money (minas) to ten servants. One had ten minas, a lot of money to use in serving the ‘nobleman’ (a mina was the equivalent of about three months’ pay for a labourer). One labourer did nothing with the mina he received, he simply kept it safe. He has his reasons (excuses) as to why he did not make use of it! We are good at doing making excuses.

The nobleman represents Jesus. Those who believe in him cannot be ‘passive’ if their belief is real but willput their faith into action. Those who serve him faithfully and increase their ‘minas’ are put in positions of “authority” (verse 17). when he establishes his kingdom. The money represents the abilities and opportunities his servants experience. “Everyone to whom much was given, of him (or her) much will be required” (Luke 12:48).

But there is a larger class of others who are not interested in being his servants. “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to reign over us’” (verse 14). People give tacit or active support these days to those who speak disparagingly of the Bible. As the message of Christ and his coming kingdom spreads throughout the world people are faced with a choice to for or against – there is no neutral position in God’s eyes.

The parable ends “But as for these … who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me”. What of our own faith? Let us recognise it is impossible to be neutral.