The Lord told The Parable of the Ten Pounds to let His followers know that, contrary to their expectation, His promised earthly kingdom was not to be established at the time of His First Coming. But more importantly, He wanted them to know that they had a definite part to play in securing their place in it. (See Luke 19:11-27.)
In the parable, He told of a noble man who was to embark on a journey to a far country to receive a kingdom for himself. Before leaving, he called his ten servants and gave to each a pound, with the instruction, “Occupy till I come” (verse 13). On his return, he called the servants again to determine what each had accomplished with the money given to him. There was one who had made ten more pounds with the one pound he received. To him the master said, “Well, thou good servant: because thou has been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities” (verse 17). There was another who had with his pound made five more; to him the master gave authority over five cities.
This noble man that the Lord spoke of in parable is, of course, Himself. The long journey He embarked upon was to Heaven to receive the crown of His promised kingdom (Matthew 19:28,29 and Revelation 2:26,27). The servants entrusted with the noble man’s money and instructed to occupy – or invest and make profit – till he returns are none other than Christian believers.
We know, however, that the Lord did not hand out literal pounds to His disciples at His Ascension. No, for it was not yet time for Him to major in “silver and gold.” But what He had, He gave unto us. He said, “But ye shall receive power, AFTER THAT THE HOLY GHOST IS COME UPON YOU: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
It is this Holy Ghost power that believers have received that the apostle Paul expounded upon: “But the MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT is given to every man to PROFIT withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of WISDOM; to another the word of KNOWLEDGE by the same spirit; to another FAITH by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of HEALING by the same Spirit; to another the working of MIRACLES; to another PROPHECY; to another DISCERNING OF SPIRITS; to another diverse kinds of TONGUES; to another the INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES” (I Corinthians 12:7-10). These and our other divinely given abilities and resources (see verses 27 & 28 and Romans 12:4-8) are the spiritual pounds, or “spiritual gifts,” that the Lord has divided among us, with the command, “Invest and make profit till I return.” What we each achieve with that which has been given to us, as the parable teaches, will determine our status in His coming kingdom.
Although the noble man rewarded the servant who had made a ten-fold profit with authority over ten cities, and the one who had made a five-old profit with authority over five cities, we must bear in mind that this was only a parable used to convey a truth. In other words, just as the “pounds” we received from the Lord were not literal, so also will the kingdom rewards for our stewardship with the same not necessarily be authority over literal cities. That should be obvious to any one that compares the figures of the parable with the number of believers that have been redeemed through time from each city of the world.
Looking at it more perceptively, we discover that the reality of the rewards is in the level at which each of the saints will operate in the framework of the diverse establishments and organisations – governmental and otherwise – that will oversee and constitute the Lord’s kingdom. It is in the rank that each will hold in the Armies of Heaven (a largely allegorical expression; see Revelation 19:11-16) that will take over and dominate the global society of that time! It is all about the “power over the nations” (Revelation 2:26,27) that He promised us. As I noted in THE GOLDEN PROMISE OF THE KINGDOM (click here), there are different dimensions to this power.
In closing, we will notice that the parable also speaks of the slothful servant who could not put his pound to productive use. Despite his self-righteous defence, he was rejected. Sorry, he failed the selection examination for recruitment into the Armies of Heaven. Truly, that is what the present life is all about: an opportunity given to everyone of us to prove ourselves worthy of a place in the coming kingdom of the Lord, which will usher in eternity. It is one great recruitment examination – and we are each allowed to sit for it once.
So, every time we prove to be slothful or indiscrete in the present investment of our spiritual gifts and other divinely given resources, we put at risk our inheritance in this “golden future time” of the kingdom. But the more diligent and productive we are, the higher up the ranks we climb. The apostle encouraged, “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; REJOICING IN HOPE”! (Romans 12:11-12.)
As I have said, this is something that will be more glorious than we have thought! So keep the faith, and remain posted for more details.
God bless you always.
In the King’s Service,
David Olagoke Olawoyin