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"A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant : because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin :
For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man : thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
And he said unto him, Out of thine own' mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required my own with usury?
And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.'
1. On what occasion was the parable of the ten pounds delivered?
As Christ was approaching Jerusalem, to caution the Jews against their mistaken ideas kingdom.
2. What did this nobleman entrust to his servants when he left them?
He delivered them ten pounds,* and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
3. Who are meant by the "citizens ?"
The Jews who rejected Christ.
4. When the nobleman returned, how did he reckon with his servants?
He required an account of the use they had made of his money.
5. How did the nobleman treat his diligent and obedient servants?
He rewarded them; and especially that "good servant" who had been the most diligent.
6. How did the "wicked" servant act?
He kept his lord's money in a napkin, and then to excuse himself, he charged his righteous master with being an "austere man.'
7. What did the nobleman reply to this daring offender?
He condemned him out of his own mouth as a slothful and wicked servant, and took from him the money which he had neglected to improve, and gave it to the most diligent servant.
8. What remark did the nobleman make when he had done this?
I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given, and from him which hath not even that he hath shall be taken away from him. (verse 26th.)
*The "ten pounds" are calculated to be about eleven hundred and ten dollars of our money.
9. What punishment did this prince inflict on the citi zens who rejected him?
He ordered them to be slain.
10. Whom does the nobleman or prince represent?
Christ who came from heaven to earth; who was rejected by the Jews; who will call all his servants to an account; and who will triumph over all his enemies, and receive the kingdom prepared for him of his Father.
11. What should this account of the servants teach us? That Christ requires us to improve all his bounties, especially the gospel, with great diligence; that he will come again and call us to give up our account; and that he will abundantly reward the faithful, and surely punish the slothful, according to their deeds.
12. Were the Jews punished?
Yes: the Jews who despised this and other gracious warnings of Christ were awfully punished;* and how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? (Heb. ii. 3.)
* See to the end of the 19th chapter of Luke.
Matt. xxi. 28 to 32.
"But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to-day in my vineyard.
He answered and said, I will not; but afterward he repented, and went.
And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir; and went not.
Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.