And as they heard these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem…
I. IN CHRIST'S KINGDOM THE CHARACTERISTIC FEATURE IS SERVICE. Instead of fostering a spirit of self-seeking, Christ represents Himself as placing in the hands of each of His subjects a small sum, — a "pound" only, a Greek mina. What a rebuke to ambitious schemes! There is nothing suggestive of display, nothing to awaken pride. All that is asked or expected is fidelity to a small trust, a conscientious use of a little sum committed to each for keeping. This is made the condition and test of membership in Messiah's kingdom.
II. IN CHRIST'S KINGDOM SERVICE, HOWEVER SLIGHT, IS SURE OF REWARD. The faithful use of one pound brought large return. Christ asks that there be employed for Him only what has been received from Him. prayed, "Give what Thou requirest, and require what Thou wilt." "Natural gifts," says Trench, "are as the vessel which may be large or small, and which receives according to its capacity, but which in each case is filled: so that we are not to think of him who received the two talents as incompletely furnished in comparison with him who received the five, any more than we should affirm a small circle incomplete as compared with a large. Unfitted he might be for so wide a sphere of labour, but altogether as perfectly equipped for that to which he was destined." The parable sets before us the contrasted results of using, or failing to use for Christ, a small bestowment. When this is faithfully employed, the reward, though delayed, is sure.
III. IN CHRIST'S KINGDOM, FAILURE TO SERVE, RESULTS IN LOSS OF FACULTIES TO SERVE. One servant neglected to use his pound, and, on the king's return, the unused gift was taken from him. This denotes no arbitrary enactment. The heart that refuses to love and serve Christ loses by degrees the capacity for such love and service. This is the soul's death, the dying and decaying of its noblest faculties, its heaven-born instincts and aspirations.
IV. IN CHRIST'S KINGDOM, SERVICE, OR NEGLECT OF SERVICE, GROWS OUT OF LOVE, OR THE WANT OF LOVE, TO CHRIST. The citizens "hated the king, and would not have him to rule over them." The idle servant "knew that he was an austere man." In neither case was there love, and hence in neither case service. Love to Christ is indispensable to serving Him.
(P. B. Davis.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.