And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. ~Luke 19:13
In the business and financial world, executives, managers and investors measure the worthiness of an investment by looking at ROI or return on investment. They want to know if they got a good rate of return on their money. This morning we are considering a parable that stresses our Lord’s demand that he gets a good rate of return on what he has given us to steward. Let us see the Lord’s desire for ROI with the gospel message.
We see the event.
Jesus was passing through Jericho and while he was in the city a rich man named Zacchaeus who was a publican got saved. Jesus was criticized by the Jews for eating a meal with this man. Jesus made a powerful statement regarding his purpose: he came to seek and to save that which is lost. The Jews were interested in a material kingdom and more concerned about self-preservation than they were about the true kingdom of God. Jesus uses the parable of the pounds to show them how we must prepare to enter God’s kingdom.
We see the equality.
The parable involves a nobleman who goes away to receive for himself a kingdom then return. Before he leaves he gives a pound to each of his servants. Each of them received the same amount of money. The principle here centers on stewardship of the gospel. Each of us is to be a witness and soulwinner. We are each given the same gospel. We all have the same amount of time. We all have been entrusted with the responsibility of reaching the lost.
We see the emphasis.
He said “Occupy till I come.” In other words “go to business” with the pound entrusted to you. This nobleman commanded his servants to put the pound to use and give him a return on investment. He did not set requirements on how much. He left it up to each servant to determine how they would do this. He also did not tell them when he would return. We must be diligent with the gospel message. We must occupy till he comes.
We see the evaluation.
After a period of time the nobleman returns. He required each servant to give him an account of what he did with his pound. The first servant came and showed an ROI of ten pounds that he gained from investing the one. A second servant came and showed an ROI of five pounds with his one. He commended them for being faithful in a very little. One servant came and had no ROI. By his own words he said “I have kept and laid it up in a napkin.” He had the same pound, the same amount of time and the same opportunities but he kept it in store. There is no escape from the eventual reckoning God will do about what we did with the gospel. Will we give the Lord a good ROI on what has been entrusted to us?
We see the effect.
The first two servants were commended and as compensation for their effort were given cities to oversee. The number of cities was commensurate with their ROI. The servant who kept the pound in store was called wicked, and his pound was taken away from him and given to the one servant who gained ten pounds. He told that servant he could have at least given the pound to the bank and let the bank earn interest by trading. God holds us greatly accountable as stewards of the gospel. There is no excuse or escape from reaching sinners and seeing them saved. What are you doing with the gospel message? Make a decision today that you will give the Lord a good ROI with the gospel.
Have a gospel-centric God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 19-21