Have You Gained a Few Pounds?
A. The Contribution – vs. 13 “…called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds…”
Each of the ten servants received a pound each.
My notes say that a pound was approximately $6,400 in value in today’s currency.
This wasn’t a token contribution; it was significant.
It was far more than any of them had or could ever have.
It was an honor to be entrusted with something that important.
B. The Commission – vs. 13 “…Occupy till I come.”
The instructions were simple.
OCCUPY: to be occupied in anything; to carry on a business
His expectations were clear: take what I’ve given you and get busy
C. The Commendation – vs. 17, 19
The words that the nobleman spoke to these servants should inspire each of us.
Nothing compares to hearing our Lord say one day, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…”
D. The Condemnation – vs. 22-26
Being called “a wicked servant” in verse 22 must be the worst thing you could ever hear.
As a servant of the Lord, that is the last thing I want to hear.
We should all strive to please Him and bring Him glory and honor.
We cannot do that if our actions bring that kind of response from our Master.
I’m aware that as sons and daughters, His love for us is unchanging.
But I definitely do not want to do anything that resembles this wicked servant.
Let’s look at a few things from this story that we should be able to implement into our lives.
I don’t know about you, but I want to gain a few pounds!
I. The Misunderstood Purpose – vs. 13
The purpose of the nobleman was simple: increase his estate in his absence.
His instructions were clear – OCCUPY.
Take this investment, stay occupied in a way that will increase it.
Take it, use it, invest it, monitor it, protect it, grow it, and don’t stop until I come back.
He didn’t give them a goal.
He didn’t give them a monetary limitation.
He didn’t give them but one stipulation – don’t stop until I get back.
This wasn’t a test.
This wasn’t a plan designed to make failures out of them.
They all apparently didn’t have the same business mind.
They all didn’t have the same knowledge and experience.
One servant’s pound gained ten pounds.
Another servant gained five.
This wasn’t a competition, or a rigged system.
They all had an opportunity to do as much or as little as they were capable of doing.
NOTE: The nobleman had obviously developed a skill for making money.
But he was going out of town.
He wanted them to make money FOR him. In his place.
NOTE: The plan was not about the servants; it was all about increasing and expanding their master’s kingdom.
II. The Misinterpreted Passion – vs. 21
Don’t you love how the servant’s laziness was blamed on the character of the nobleman?
The lazy servant’s excuse was, “For I feared thee…”
FEAR: terrified; scared of; afraid of;
Why is it that the success of the nobleman, who is now a king, is something to be afraid of?
Why not respect it? Why not be motivated by it? Why not emulate it? Why not honor it?
But no. This servant chose to be afraid.
The other servants were not afraid.
The other servants worked hard and reaped their reward.
It is obvious from verses 17 and 19 that he was kind, fair, just and rewarded hard work.
Why be afraid? Unless you’re a wicked, lazy servant???
His passion for success was referred to by this wicked servant as “austere”.
The word means: of mind and manners: harsh, rough, rigid
This man had earned a fortune with his “harsh, rough, rigid mind and manner”.
Maybe it would have been a good idea for this wicked servant to be a little more “austere”.
NOTE: Jesus in John 2 when he was cleansing the temple.
His disciples remembered the Psalmist (Psalm 69:9)
ZEAL: 1) excitement of mind, ardour, fervour of spirit
1a) zeal, ardour in embracing, pursuing, defending anything
1a1) zeal in behalf of, for a person or thing
1a2) the fierceness of indignation, punitive zeal
1b) an envious and contentious rivalry, jealousy
It might be wise for us to pattern ourselves after our master’s zeal rather than criticize it!
The nobleman had an interesting response.
Yes. I am austere. I won’t argue about that. But guess what? You’re wicked!
Which would you rather be??
III. The Misguided Plan
His plan was flawed. Big time.
He said, “I have kept laid up…”
KEPT LAID UP means “reserved”
What was he reserving it for?
What gift did God give you, that you are reserving?
IV. The Misappropriated Potential
This pound would have been more productive at the bank.
Not only did he lay it up – but he laid it up where it couldn’t benefit anything.
You know what bothers me more than the fact that the pound didn’t grow?
This: that this servant apparently didn’t do anything the entire time.
Let me rephrase that: he did so some things.
He slept. He ate. He enjoyed a stress-free day.
He sat down and watched his fellow servants working their heads off.
He watched them come in from work every day exhausted.
He listened to them talk about what they had done with their master’s pound.
He heard the stories of success; blessings; enrichment; growth; prosperity.
Yet he continued to do nothing.
Not once was he motivated to go unwrap that pound and put it work.
Not once did he approach the other servants and ask for advice or help.
Not once did he offer to help them in their endeavors.
Not once did their stories of success motivate him to reevaluate his position.
No – he spent that entire time apparently doing absolutely nothing that he was getting paid to do.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
I wonder how many of God’s servants are eating; He’s feeding them, but they aren’t working??
Conclusion: Notice the unexpected blessing in verse 24. The master took that one pound and gave it to the man that had earned 10 pounds.
Question: Have you – since you’ve been saved – have you gained a few pounds? If not, why not?