The passage before us is sandwiched between the Lord’s encounter with Zacchaeus as He passed through Jericho, and His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The Lord’s message is given in the form of a parable, given without expansion nor comment.
The Lord Jesus Christ is on His way up to the city of Jerusalem for the last time in His earthly ministry. He is about to send two disciples ahead for the colt of a donkey to ride upon for His glorious entry into the royal city of King David.
At this point the Lord Jesus determines that He needs to straighten out some wrong conclusions that His disciples were coming to. Verse 11 reveals that they believed that the Lord was about to establish His kingdom. They were assuming that very shortly their Master would be sitting upon His throne.
The private discussions of the disciples reveals this. Remember that they were arguing about who was going to have what position in the new government (Mark 10:35-37, Luke 9:46); who would sit on the Lord’s right and left. We would equate it today with who will be chief of staff and who will be Secretary of State and so on.
In the Lord’s wisdom He uses a parable to teach them what they really needed to be focused on. He speaks of a nobleman who was going away to receive His kingdom. In His absence He leaves His servants with a charge over a portion of His wealth. These ten servants were to faithfully take what He had given them and use it profitably until He returned.
THE LORD USES THIS PICTURE OF A “CERTAIN NOBLEMAN” One who was of noble birth, notably a prince. In the parable this man has gone to receive his kingdom. Such as Herod Archelaus had done in going to Rome.
THE LORD’S CLEAR APPLICATION TO HIS DISCIPLE’S. The nobleman of the parable ultimately represents the Lord Jesus and the servants are His disciples. During the very next week the Lord Jesus would lay down his life on the cross of Calvary. He will of course rise in victory over the grave and is even now in a “far country” (heaven) receiving to Himself a kingdom. His servants were not going with Him but were to remain. They were not to be idle while their lord was away receiving His Kingdom; no, they were to “OCCUPY TILL HE COME.”
After he had received his kingdom He will return, He is coming back. Every truly born again Christian is looking for that day with anticipation and, hopefully preparedness.
The Lord Jesus gives this parable of the pounds to emphasize what His followers should be focused on. It was imperative that they understand that their Lord was not going to immediately establish His kingdom but He must leave them for a time and that they were to remain and occupy till He returned.
THE RESOURCES OF THE LORD’S SERVANTS. Verse. 13a.
The Nobleman gives each of his ten servants a pound. I do not think the emphasis is so much on the amount or that he gave them all the same as much that He intrusted all of them with a pound. He invested out of His riches in them all and they were to use it to advance His kingdom.
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LORD’S SERVANTS. Verse 13b.
The servants were given very simple instructions. “OCCUPY TILL I COME” What does this word “OCCUPY” mean? It does not mean “take up space.” It does not mean, “wait,” or “occupy your recliner until I return.” Nor does it mean, “hang around til I return.” No, this word does not describe passiveness.
This word “occupy” means to be busy, it literally means “to carry on business by trading. “The Lord’s meaning is not difficult. He is telling them to “TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS” KEEP BUSY UNTIL I RETURN. The end of verse 15 gives us the definition.
The emphasis of the Lord in His parable is don’t worry about the future kingdom; take care of business today. He would soon leave them and at the appointed time He would receive His kingdom from His Father. But meanwhile, they were given a great work to do and He had given them what they needed to occupy (do business) until he returned.
TAKE NOTE: The citizens of the Kingdom hated the nobleman and did not want Him reign over them. This certainly applies to our Lord Jesus as well; John 1:11 “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” This world hates King Jesus and views with contempt the idea that He would reign over them. The world doesn’t mind the baby Jesus in a cradle and they don’t have a problem with a dead Jesus hanging on a cross. But they will not have KING JESUS TO REIGN OVER THEM.
THE REJOICING OF THE FAITHFUL SERVANTS. VS. 17, 19.
THEIR REPORTS. Verse 16, 18
The reports are given by three of the ten. B. THEIR PRAISE AND REWARD. Vss. 17, 19.SIDE NOTE: Something here that would have blessed the New King about His servants. Verse 16b, 18b. The servants gave their Lord the glory. “THY pound hath gained ten pounds,” “Five pounds.”
The servants did not take the glory; rather they gave it to their Lord. The original pound was His and what they gained with His pound was His. They recognized that without their Lord’s investment in them they could have done nothing. As His servants they had a duty to perform. At least two did the third, not so much.
THE REBUKE OF THE UNFAITHFUL SERVANT. Verses 20-24.
THE SERVANT’S REPORT. Verses 20-21.
He confesses that he did nothing with the pound that he was intrusted with. He didn’t use it as he was instructed. This speaks of the carelessness of those who have gifts from the hand of God, but do not use them for the Lord.
This nobleman gave a pound to all ten of His servants, and our Lord gifts every believer for service. But many are doing nothing. Might we ask ourselves what we are doing with what the Lord has given to us?
Many would have to say “nothing.” They have laid aside what God has given them. There are a variety of reasons that they do nothing. Some are just lazy. Others are afraid. They are afraid of the risk of getting involved. They fear what will happen if they fail. Others are indifferent, they just don’t care. SO, They do nothing.
THE LORD’S REBUKE. Verses 22-24.
NOTE: He owned up to the fact that he had done nothing with the pound he had been entrusted with. He did not increase it as the others did. What was his problem? Indifference. He had no interest in advancing his Lord’s kingdom. He wasn’t about to add to His Lord’s wealth. His Lord had plenty. In fact, his Lord was always cashing in on other’s labors. He did not care if His Lord’s kingdom was furthered or not.
His rebuke to him, “Why didn’t you at least put it in the bank to gain me a little interest?” “OUT OF THINE OWN MOUTH WILL I JUDGE THEE.”
THE LORD’S RETRIBUTION. Verses 24-26.
The one pound was taken from him and given to the one with ten pounds.
HE LOST WHAT HE WOULD NOT USE
He refused to use the gift that His Lord had entrusted to hm, and what happened? He lost it, it was taken from him. MY FRIENDS; Why shouldn’t OUR Lord take away the gifts He has intrusted to believers who will not use them for His glory?
WHAT HE HAD WAS GIVEN TO ANOTHER.
This is very interesting. Those who were standing by protested the pound being given to this one who already had ten.
But think about it. This shows great wisdom. He orders that this pound be given to the one who had already proven himself trustworthy, faithful, and industrious with the gift he had. Was not the nobleman wise to intrust him with more?
SPECIAL NOTE: If you will not use your gifts for the Lord’s glory; God may well use someone else and they will get the blessing here and the reward in glory. I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT I DON’T WANT SOMEONE ELSE TO GET MY BLESSING!
God has invested every believer with gifts to serve Him. But many do not use them. This fellow had his reasons for not using his gift. And if you talk to those believers who do nothing for God, they do too.
But, what does the Lord say? “OCCUPY UNTIL I COME” Tend to MY business until I return. God is going to hold us accountable and responsible for what we do with what HE has entrusted to us here.
That includes everything. YES my money, YES my possessions, but most importantly of all, MYSELF. What I do with the abilities, gifts he has given me. What I do with these lips, with these hands, with these feet should further the Kingdom of my Lord.
THE RUIN OF THOSE WHO REJECT THE LORD. Verse 14 & 27
These are severe words.It is certain, there is no question, those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ will be judged.They will be condemned to utter destruction. Those who believe they can play games with God are sadly mistaken.
The Lord Jesus said in Mark 1:15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
What was it that made them the Lord’s enemies? They rejected His rule over them Verse 14.
You may be here this morning and say, “I have never done that.” But friend your sin is a rejection of God’s rule in your life. The Bible says that we are all sinners and that the wages of our sin is death.
But those who call out to the Lord Jesus Christ for His mercy to them; those who receive Him as their Savior, those who would gladly have Him to rule over them; those ones will be saved. Their sins shall be cleansed, forgiven and they shall forever belong to HIM.
CONCLUSION: BELIEVER, Are you faithfully serving your King? There is reward for faithful service.
The reward will be granted not according to whether you have done more than others, but whether you did what you could and should have done with what the Lord has given you.
LOST FRIEND: Why go on in rebellion against the Lord Jesus Christ. There is forgiveness for your sin and cleansing through the blood of Christ. Judgement day is real, it is certain for you. The choice is yours. Will you have THIS MAN TO RULE OVER YOU?
Will you bend the knee to Jesus Christ today, confessing and forsaking your sin and call unto Him for His merciful forgiveness?