THE PARABLE OF THE POUNDS
In this parable a high ranking citizen of the country, a Nobleman, had been selected to become the King of a country of which he had been an outstanding citizen. This was a common practice in the time of Christ for some notable Roman to be called to Rome and be appointed ruler in some country in the Roman Empire. In the parable the Nobleman went to receive the honor from the Emperor of the empire and return. Before leaving to be to be crowned, he intrusted ten of his servants with a small amount of money, really just about three months wages. They were to use this money to trade on his account in his absence. He gave each one an equal amount of money, and when he returned he rewarded them according to their work and punished those who did nothing for him.
The Nobleman in the story is Christ Himself. After death and resurrection, He went to heaven to be crowned King of Kings ad Lord of Lords. He sat down on the right hand of God, and His Messianic kingdom was established on the earth. The ten servants represent all Christians who are citizens of His church kingdom on earth. The pound is the common privilege of the gospel which is given to one and all who obey the gospel. The return of the Nobleman is the second coming of Christ, when He at the final judgment He takes account of all to whom His word has been preached, believer and unbeliever alike. The reward represent the honor those receive who serve Christ well in this life.
We look first to the departure of the Nobleman into a far country. One reason He told the story was because all the Jewish people, including His disciples, thought the kingdom was to appear immediately with the Messiah on a throne in Jerusalem. However a long time was to elapse before Christ would return to earth They were looking for an earthly ruler on an earthly throne, but Christ was to rule from His throne in heaven, and in his absence His citizens were to do all they could for His kingdom on earth. The apostles thought they would be members of His cabinet. His servants, by their trading, would reveal of what sort they were, show what kind of character they hand, and show their worthiness to receive the honor that he would bestow upon them when He returned frm heaven.
The ten servants clearly represent all Christians. We all are one of those ten servants. Money-making is not the theme of this story; it is character-making. We are here to serve Christ, to become spiritually minded people, to develop a Christian character, and Glorify God by letting the world see our good works. The design of Christ, during His
absence from the earth, is that His followers shall be trained in character and righteous living for the future that is before them, when they enter into the Christ's s eternal and everlasting kingdom in heaven.
For this purpose He has given each one us of a pound or minah, which was equal to a sum of money less than $20, but about three months wages in that time. The pound represents something that every Christian has in common. There is something Christ has given to every penitent baptized believer. What could there be in the Christian religion that we all have the same amount of? The one thing we all have in common is the gospel, the. knowledge of Christ, the New Covenant.. The pound symbolizes that gospel which preaches the same truth to the rich and poor, the learned and ignorant, to the old and young, to good people and bad people, to the religious and unreligious. I know of nothing else the pound could refer to. It is the gospel that tests the character of all to whom it is proclaimed. Wherever the gospel is received and obeyed, it is the great educator of the soul for preparing us to live in His eternal kingdom in heaven. In the interval between His disappearance and re-appearing, Christ has given us His Word, which is God's Word and that gospel is God's power to salvation. That is the pound and we are to make the best of that knowledge to build a life that will stand for time and eternity.
Next, the parable reveals that there four ways of dealing with the pound and the Lord who gave it. One turned the pound into ten, making a tenfold increase. Another made five pounds, five-fold increase. A third hid his pound in the ground, wrapping it in a handkerchief or sweat cloth. He was so afraid of doing anything amiss that he did nothing at all. The fourth way of dealing with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is symbolized by the conduct of the citizens who hated the Nobleman and who said, “We sill not have this man to rule over us.”
The man who made a tenfold increase represents all good and faithful Christians who served Christ in an outstanding way. He made the best possible improvement of the pound. This symbolized the conduct of those who make the most of the gospel blessings. This man represents the highest development of Christian character and usefulness in the service of Christ. They make strenuous efforts to add to their faith courage, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, love for Christians, and love for all men. These are the choice specimens of Christian character and life. I suggest the ten-fold man represents men like Paul and Peter and all the apostles, the prophets, missionaries, martyrs who have given their all for
Christ. All those who have rendered far more than average service in the cause of Christ, including women who have rendered extraordinary service to Christ..
Another way of dealing with the pound is illustrated by the man who made a five-fold increase. He had been a useful servant, but He receiveds no special word of commendation. It is not even said that he did well. It was good that he had done so much, but he had chosen to do so he might have done more. So he is the representative of the easy-going disciple, who is a true disciple. He had not given the same diligence to character-making as the first man. He made less of his opportunities. This man also was rewarded, being made a ruler over five cities in this Nobleman's kingdom. All faithful Christian will enter heaven, but they were not all the choicest servants in the Lord's service. Perhaps most faithful Christians fit into this category.
The third way of dealing with the pound is illustrated by the servant who hid his pound and did nothing with it. He must represent all disciples who hear the gospel but do nothing with it. They don't oppose it; they don't laugh at it; they simply neglect the great salvation. This man represents unfaithful Christians. Paul said to the Hebrew Christians who were wavering, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”
The fourth mode of dealing with the gospel is symbolized by the conduct of those citizens who said , “ We will not have this man to rule over us and we will not serve him.” These represent all who defy Christ and set themselves against His cause. They will not accept the Christian religion. This includes the unbelieving secular world. They represent the enemies of Christ. It also includes the multitudes in some twelve or thirteen world religions who reject Christ and His religion. Those wh obey not the gospel of Christ shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. and from the glory of His power. (2 Thess. 1:8-10).