Parable of the Pounds Luke 19 11-12. CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Jesus used this parable of the pounds to preach a truth about his coming kingdom and about what you and I should be doing with our time while we are here on this earth.
The context of this parable is found in verse 11. Jesus was heading into Jerusalem and the thought of the people accompanying him was that the kingdom of God would immediately appear upon his arrival. So he presented this parable, first of all, 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 had to go to heaven to receive his kingdom because, as he said to Pilate, “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]. 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, on the other hand, 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 giving them the pounds and telling them to trade with them was simply to determine their faithfulness [v.17, see a comparison in 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].
When we were saved, the Lord “dealt to every man the measure of faith,” [Rom 12:3]. This faith is the means by which we minister [Rom 12:3-8] just as the pounds are the means by which these servants traded [v.15]. 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, Col3:23-24] 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, on the other hand, 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.