And as they heard these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem…
1. The departure of the nobleman to the far country, and his sojourn there until he should receive his kingdom, intimate that the second coming of the Lord was not to be immediate.
2. The true preparation for the coming of the Kingdom of the Lord, is that of character. The "pound" given to each, is the common blessing of the gospel and its opportunities.
I. THE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT WHO MADE HIS ONE POUND INTO TEN. Symbolizing the conduct and blessedness of those who make the most of their enjoyment of the gospel blessings. They do not despise the day of small things. They do not trifle away their time in idleness, or waste it in sin; but finding salvation in the gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ, they set themselves to turn every occupation in which they are engaged, and every providential dispensation through which they may be brought, to the highest account, for the development in them of the Christian character.
II. ANOTHER WAY OF DEALING WITH THE COMMON BLESSING OF THE GOSPEL IS ILLUSTRATED IN THE CASE OF HIM WHO HAD INCREASED HIS POUND TO FIVE. He had been a real servant; but his diligence had been less ardent, his devotion less thorough, his activity less constant, and so the Lord simply said to him, "Be thou also over five cities." The representative of the easy-going disciple. There are some who will be saved, yet so as by fire, and others who shall have salvation in fulness; some who shall have little personal holiness on which to graft the life of the future, and who shall thus be in a lower place in heaven for evermore, enjoying its blessedness as thoroughly as they are competent to do, yet having there a position analogous it may be, though of course not at all identical, with that occupied by the Gideonites of old in the promised land.
III. THE SERVANT WHO HID HIS POUND IN THE EARTH, AFTER HE HAD CAREFULLY SOUGHT TO KEEP IT FROM BEING INJURED, BY WRAPPING IT IN A NAPKIN. He lost everything by an unbelieving anxiety to lose nothing. He was so afraid of doing anything amiss, that he did nothing at all. The representative of the great multitude of hearers of the gospel, who simply do nothing whatever about it. They do not oppose it; they do not laugh at it; they do not argue against it; their worst enemies would not call them immoral; but they "neglect the great salvation," and think that because, as they phrase it, they have done no harm, therefore they are in no danger. But Christ requires positive improvement of the privileges which He bestows.
IV. THE CONDUCT OF THOSE CITIZENS WHO HATED THE NOBLEMAN, AND SAID, "We will not," etc. Open enemies.
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
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.