The Life and Teachings
of Jesus
A Restatement of the Gospels

112. The Parable of the Pounds

        11As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom and then return. 13Calling ten of his servants,a he gave them ten pounds, and said to them, 'Trade with these till I come.' 14But his citizens hated him and sent an embassy after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.'”b
        15“When he returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading. 16The first came before him, saying, 'Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.' 17And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.' 18And the second came, saying, 'Lord, your pound has made five pounds.' 19And he said to him, 'And you are to be over five cities.' 20Then another came, saying, 'Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin; 21for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.'”
        22“He said to him, 'I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? 23Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?' 24And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.' 25(And they said to him, 'Lord, he has ten pounds!') 26I tell you, that to everyone who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
        28And when he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
        (Lk. 19:11–26, 28)

a   “Calling ten of his servants"—Jesus is here speaking especially to his chosen apostles; he is urging them to justify their stewardship of the gospel by being faithful in their efforts.

b   “We do not want this man to reign over us.”—The apostles falsely believe that Jesus is going up to Jerusalem to receive a kingdom. (Lk. 19:11) Jesus is seeking to prepare them for the reality of his impending rejection. He tells a parable in which the citizens reject a nobleman as their earthly ruler just as the Jews are about to reject Jesus as their spiritual ruler.