Updated: Oct 4, 2022
Click HERE for the full lesson
INTRODUCTION. The parable of the pounds and the parable of the talents are quite
similar, but there are differences. The times and places are different. The parable of the
pounds was spoken to multitudes as Jesus journeyed to Jerusalem from Jericho for the
Passover feast, his last before his crucifixion. The parable of the talents was spoken to the disciples as Jesus and the twelve were on the Mount of Olives on the third day after Jesus had entered Jerusalem. In the parable of the pounds the master gave the same amount of money to each servant. He did not demand the same result from each, for he knew each had different abilities. In the parable of the talents, the master entrusted different amounts to each servant. Each was given an amount according to his ability.
In the parable of the pounds a nobleman went to a far country to receive a kingdom. He
gave each of his ten servants a pound (mina–approximately 100 drachmas or $17.00–
$20.00, the amount of wages for 100 days). He instructed the servants to use the money for trade. Meanwhile, the citizens who hated the nobleman sent ambassadors after him with the message that they did not want him to reign over them.
When the nobleman returned, he called his servants for an accounting. The first and
second servants each reported a profit and were rewarded. The third returned the pound, criticizing the nobleman and giving excuses for not gaining a profit. The nobleman ordered that the pound be taken from the unprofitable servant. Then he commanded that his enemies who had rebelled against him be slain before him.
The parable not only refers to Jesus' second coming, but also describes in part an incident in history. When Herod the Great died in 4 B. C., his son Archelaus (Matt. 2:22) traveled to Rome in order to receive approval from Caesar to become king in his father's place. While he was on his journey, the Jews sent fifty messengers to Caesar stating they did not want Archelaus to rule over them. Nevertheless, Caesar appointed him ruler over Judea, Samaria, and Idumaea. Just as Archelaus went to Rome and eventually returned, so Jesus went to heaven and will return at the appointed time.
Jesus spoke the parable of the pounds because the multitude following him sup- posed the kingdom was about to appear. They expected Jesus to receive a crown at Jerusalem. They did not as yet understand that his kingdom was a spiritual kingdom. The parable was meant to teach that there would be an interim between Jesus' first and second comings and that patience and faithful service were necessary during his absence.
In the parable the nobleman represents Jesus. As the nobleman went to a far country, so Jesus went to heaven. As the nobleman gave his servants money and expected them to work in his absence, so Jesus gives us gifts and blessings and expects us to be fruitful
during his absence. As the nobleman commanded that his enemies be slain when he
returned, so Jesus will bring vengeance upon his enemies when He comes again (II Thess. 1:7-9).