The Parable of Pounds

Luke 19:11-28 - He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14  But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15  And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16  Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17  And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18  And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19  And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20  And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21  For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22  And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23  Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24  And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25  (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26  For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27  But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. 28  And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.

 

I.       The parable of the pounds is different from the parable of talents.

A.    Most commentaries say the two parables are the same.

B.    The purpose of the two parables are different.

1.      The parable of the talents is written in answer to a question by the disciples about the signs of the end of the world.  Matt. 24:3.

2.      The parable of the pounds is written to saved and lost (the faithful in the kingdom and the citizens of Israel) who are gathered together in the house of Zacchaeus who expect the kingdom of God will come immediately.  Luke 19:11.

C.    The time is different.

1.      The parable of the talents is given at Jerusalem because the question about the end of time is asked when Jesus stated that the temple would be destroyed.  Matt. 24:1-3.

2.      The parable of the pounds is as Jesus travels toward Jerusalem.  Luke 19:11 and 28.

D.    The two parable share some similarities.  Mark 13:34-37.

1.      This scripture is referring to either the parable of the talents or the parable of the pounds; more than likely the parable of the pounds.

2.      The parables are similar because God always wants His children to be watching and ready themselves while they warn the lost.

 

Verse 12  He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

This is a point the people would readily understand because this is what Herod did.  He went to Rome to receive authority from Caesar to rule over Israel.  This is also what Christ did because He went to heaven and is now sitting at the right hand of God who has given him all power in heaven and in earth.

 

Verse 13  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

These are ten servants.  Each time the word servant is used in this chapter, it signifies that the people belong to Christ.  They are His servants and will hear His commands, and some will obey His commands.

I believe there is a significance in the number ten, but I don’t know what it is.  There were ten virgins, and there were ten lepers healed.  The number ten appears in several places, but I don’t know the significance of that particular number yet.

It is also important to compare the reaction of the Lord’s servants to the citizens of Israel.

The Lord’s servants accept his spiritual rule over them in the present spiritual reality of His kingdom.

The citizens of Israel reject His spiritual rule over them, therefore they will not receive His physical rule over them.

This fact reveals the two phases of God’s kingdom on the earth at this present time.

Christ now rules spiritually over all His servants.

Those who accept the spiritual rule of Christ over them will also enjoy the benefits of ruling and reigning with Christ when His kingdom is physical.

Those who reject the spiritual rule of Christ over them will never enjoy the benefits of ruling and reigning with Christ when His kingdom is physical.

The physical rule of Christ will be manifested during the millennium, which will continue into eternity.

 

Verse 14  But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

These are the citizens of Israel, who have rejected Christ because He didn’t come like they expected Him to come.

They expected Christ to come as a king, taking control of Israel away from Rome and ruling the world from Jerusalem.

They expected Christ to come as a warrior to lead them into battle against all their enemies.

They expected physical things, but received spiritual things.

Christ came as a lamb to the slaughter, not as a king.

Israel rejected Christ and continue to this very day looking for the Messiah.

 

Christ had already organized His church before the Jews sent the message of rejection.

It is plain that Jesus didn’t organize His church on the Day of Pentecost, or any time after he left this earth to receive His kingdom.

Those who believe the church of God was organized after Christ died on the cross are too late!

 

Verse 15  And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

There is coming a day of judgment, when we will each one give account for the way we have lived our lives.

II Tim. 4:1 - The time of the judgment of the saved will be at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

The time of the judgment of the lost will be when Christ establishes Himself as everlasting king of the new heaven and new earth.

It is important to note that Christ isn’t judging His people to see how much they have lost, but how much they have gained.

The time period each servant has to gain for God is apparently the same.

In reality, we know that the time each person has for Christian service is different.

Some have more time, while others have less time.

How much time each person has isn’t as important as understanding that God will “adjust” all this time differences so His judgment will be exactly equal.

 

Verse 16  Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.

If this is a line forming, then it would be natural for the person who has gained the most to be first in line.

This person has gained 10 times the original amount.

How much have we gained for God.

It is true that we cannot remain the same.

We will either gain or lose.

 

Verse 17  And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

Good words of commendation are heard by this faithful servant.

Being faithful over very little has gained very much in the kingdom of God.

It is impossible to lose our lives for the sake of Christ and not gain much, much more than we ever lost.

The individual that will gain everything in this world, will lose his own soul (life) when he sees all his earthly gain destroyed when the world is burned up.

 

I believe verse 17 teaches exactly what it is saying.

Matt. 20:20-23 - Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21  And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22  But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23  And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

These verses teach that the disciples understood there would be some ruling with Christ in eternity.

Christ doesn’t tell them their assumption is wrong, but rather confirms it.

It is very important to note that ruling and reigning with Christ is something that is given, by grace, not something that is earned.

We do not work our way into salvation, nor do we work our way into rewards.

We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and we receive rewards by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

This is why we will cast our crowns before the feet of Christ declaring that He is worthy.

Christ will return those crowns to us and we will wear them as a testimony to what He has done for us.

In eternity, we won’t remember our good feats, or our bad feats.  We will remember what Christ has done for us, and we will be taught throughout all eternity more than we can possible understand in this body.

Matt. 19:27-30 - Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30  But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

It is important to read verses 23-26 to understand why Peter asked this question.

Christ states positively that the twelve apostles will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

I believe this is literal.

Rev. 21:24-27 - And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

This passage speaks of eternity, after this present heaven and earth are destroyed and the new heaven and new earth are “created”.

This is after New Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven to the new earth, and God comes down to dwell with men forever, Rev. 21:1-3.

I am going to jump to a conclusion right here, but nations now are filled with cities.

Nations have rulers, and cities have rulers.

If these nations have rulers, which are called kings, then I am jumping to the conclusion that these cities also have rulers, who receive the authority to rule their cities from Christ at the judgment.

They receive this authority over cities because they have been faithful over the little that God has given them in this earth.

 

Verse 18-19 - And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19  And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

What is said about this faithful servant can also be said about the faithful servant in verse 16 & 17.

 

Verse 20-26 - And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21  For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22  And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23  Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24  And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25  (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26  For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

This unfaithful individual can be compared to the unfaithful servant in the parable of the talents.  Everything that is said of that unfaithful individual can be said about his unfaithful individual.

 

It is not stated that this unfaithful servant was cast into outer darkness.

I personally believe he was cast into outer darkness just like the unfaithful servant of the parable of the talents.

Christ didn’t explicitly state he was cast into outer darkness in this case because of the additional information concerning the people of Israel.

 

Verse 27  But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

It is interesting to note that the enemies of God probably don’t consider themselves enemies.

It is true they worship Him along with several other gods, including themselves.

Because they know God, they believe they love Him enough to be counted His friend.

But because they worship and serve many other gods, God has rejected them.

Exodus 20:3 - Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.

Psalms 9:17 - The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

This scripture is fulfilled in that generation that lived when Christ lived, yet rejected his rule over them.

This scripture will also be fulfilled in each generation and each nation that rejects God and His authority over them.

 

Verse 28  And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.

Christ will now continue toward Jerusalem, having dispelled the notion of his disciples that the kingdom of God should appear immediately.

He didn’t tell them exactly when it would appear.

Acts 1 - When Christ ascended back to heaven, his disciples were still expecting the kingdom of God to appear immediately.