Occupy Till I Come Luke 19:11-13 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Jesus used the parable of the pounds to preach a truth about his coming kingdom and about what you and I should be doing with the faith he has given us while we are here on this earth. Jesus said, Occupy till I come.
The context of this parable is found in verse 11. Jesus was heading into Jerusalem. The people accompanying him thought that the kingdom of God would immediately appear upon his arrival. So he presented this parable to dispel the notion that he was getting ready to rule in his kingdom as their king. Look at the following interpretation.
- The nobleman in this parable pictures the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The far country pictures his ascension into heaven [contrasted with his arrival in Jerusalem]. He went to heaven to receive his kingdom because, he said, “now is my kingdom not from hence,” [Jn 18:36].
- His return is his Second Coming, at which time he will be the king who will reign.
- His servants are Gentiles [Acts 28:25-28] who willingly serve him while waiting for his return [10 is the number of the Gentile, Gen 10:10].
- The pound represents “themeasure of faith,” [Rom 12:3] the Lord deals to every man when we get saved. This faith is how we minister [Rom 12:3-8] just as the pounds are how these servants traded [v.15].
- His citizens are the Jews who have rejected him as their king [v.14; Jn 19:15]. They will be slain and won’t be with him in his kingdom [Matt 8:11-12].
- The Gentiles who get saved and serve him by faith will reign with him when he returns with his kingdom to reign on the earth [Rev 1:6, Rev 5:10].
The second reason that Jesus presented this parable was to encourage his servants to do something for him with his “pound” while waiting for his return. The Lord’s instruction to his servants was, Occupy till I come. And the purpose of trading with his “pound” was not to make the nobleman richer. Notice the fellow that made ten pounds with the pound was given the ten pounds, v.24.
The reason for telling them to trade with the pounds was simply to determine their faithfulness [v.17]. Compare Matt 25:21, 23, even though this parable has a different doctrinal application. Those who are more faithful are given more cities over which to have authority in his kingdom when he returns [v.17, 19]. And those who are unfaithful are given no authority [v.24, Lk 16:10-12].
As the Lord’s stewards, we are required to “be found faithful,” [1 Cor 4:2], for “without faith it is impossible to please him,” [Heb 11:6]. Evidently it is possible for this faith to increase [Lk 17:5, 2 Cor 10:15, 2 Thes 1:3] just as the servants increased each pound. And with increased faith there is more that we can do for the Lord [i.e., 2 Tim 2:2].
In the end, when the Lord returns, we get to keep the “revenue” gained by faith [v. 24, 1 Cor 3:11-15, Col 3:23-24] and we get to reign with the Lord on the earth [Rev 5:10], having authority over cities in his millennial reign. A wicked servant, who sits on this faith and does nothing, has no reward and has no authority in the Lord’s kingdom. You see, the Lord is looking for a return on his measure of faith [v.22-23] just as an investor would be looking for at least a minimal return on his money at the bank. It is wicked to be given the measure of faith and do nothing with it.
So, the Lord wants to gain by the measure of faith he has given us. Now notice, the gain is quantifiable. You should know how much the measure of faith given to you has gained. The servants, in this parable, knew how many pounds they had gained.
The question is, “How does the Lord gain by the faith we have been given and how do we compute that gain?” He gains by us:
Occupying – Lk 19:13 Jesus said, Occupy till I come. That means that you are to be occupied with that pound, that measure of faith he has given you [his pound]. Go back to the context of Rom 12:3. Rom 12:1-2 tells us not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. When you were first saved, you were occupied 100% with you and your stuff. After you were saved and began to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord through preaching, teaching and desiring the sincere milk of the word [1 Pet 2:2; Rom 10:17], you began to transform. You became more occupied with the Lord and his stuff. Today, you can say, “I was involved this much in my own stuff at first [conformed to the world] but now I am involved this much with you, Lord [transformed].” You can quantify how much you have transformed due to the measure of faith in your life since you’ve been saved. Paul was 100% transformed. Demas wasn’t because he loved this present world [2 Tim 4:10].
Serving – Lk 19:13, 15 Jesus called them, “servants.” We are to serve the Lord by faith. The work we do is supposed to be a work of faith [1 Thes 1:3]. Today you see evidence of “too much man and not enough God,” by men and women who are not working by the measure of faith given to them [i.e., televangelists, performers, and so forth]. You can say to the Lord at your judgment, BY FAITH [serving as unto the Lord] I taught this many Sunday school lessons in my lifetime. By faith, I preached this many sermons in my ministry. By faith, I cleaned the building this many times. By faith, I led singing this many times. By faith, I worked the nursery this many times and changed that many diapers. And so, on.
Trading – Lk 19:15 the Lord wanted to know how much every man had “gained by trading.” That’s not serving with the faith you’ve been given but gaining, trading and increasing with the faith you’ve been given. You trade by giving to missions. You can count the increase. You trade by leading souls to Jesus Christ, which involves “sowing and reaping,” [Lk 19:21-22]. Tracts don’t sow themselves. You do. And you can count the increase. You trade by praying [money in the bank, Lk 19:23]. I wouldn’t be standing here today, serving by the measure of faith given me if it hadn’t been for the prayers of two women whose prayers God answered to a great increase. They can count the increase.
Conclusion: God has given you a pound, a measure of faith. And he expects you to faithfully occupy, serve and trade with that measure of faith for an increase in his kingdom. If you have laid up your faith in a napkin [Lk 19:20], you’d better unwrap it now and get to work with it. You don’t want to be counted by the Lord a “wicked servant,” [Lk 19:22]. Become occupied with what the Lord has given you. Serve with the faith God has given you. Give, witness and pray with the faith God has given you. You won’t regret it now and you’ll rejoice later, when the Lord says to you, “Well, thou good servant.”