Luke 19:11  While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.  12  He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 

Jesus is teaching about his Second Coming to earth.

13  So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ 

These ten servants represent us disciples who are called to serve Jesus’ interests on earth during his absence and before he returns.

14  “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’  15  “He was made king, however, and returned home.

This would appear to refer to Christ’s Millennial Kingdom during which he will rule over the unwilling nations “with an iron scepter”, that is, by force (Revelation 19:15; Revelation 20)

Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. 

This may refer to our appearing before the Judgment Seat of Christ, where “each of us will receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

16  “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’  17  “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ 

The first servant was rewarded with a high degree of authority to rule with Christ in his Kingdom because of his high degree of fruitfulness for His Lord during His absence.

18  “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’  19  “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ 

The second servant was rewarded with a moderate degree of authority in return for his moderate degree of fruitfulness for the Lord.

20  “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.  21  I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ 

The third servant was perhaps a bit too smart for his own good, thinking that all the hard work that he would do during his master’s absence would be entirely for his master’s benefit—there would be nothing for him. So why should he work so hard? And what if he lost what the master had entrusted to him? After all, the master was a hard man.

There are likely not a few believers today who think in a somewhat similar same way about serving their Lord Jesus. They are already “saved by grace through faith, not by works.” So why work hard for the Lord?

22  “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?  23  Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ 

The master called this third servant a “wicked servant.”  For someone who hopes to inherit eternal life, these words are not terribly comforting.

24  “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’  25  “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’  26  “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 

The third servant ended up with no reward at all—no authority at all to rule with Christ in his Kingdom. And the words “even what they have will be taken away” are especially ominous. Whatever that could possibly entail for a believer, it is definitely not good.

27  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.'”

In the Millennial Kingdom, the nations will be forced against their will to submit to the rule of the King. The time of grace and mercy will have passed, and the King will rule with a scepter of iron with the help of his faithful and fruitful servants.

But at this moment we are still in the dispensation of grace.