Occupy Till I Come.
The title to this article is found in Luke 19:13. Jesus had just finished dealing with Zachaeus and was on his way to Jerusalem. On this trip the disciples were expecting him to announce the opening of His kingdom. So Jesus gave them a parable very similar to the familiar ten talent parable. However this parable involved a nobleman who gave 10 of his servants a pound (sum of money) each, charging them to "occupy till he returned."
Suddenly we are shown a new factor in this story that was not in the parable of talents. We are told that the citizens of that area very boldly were announcing that they would not have that man, the nobleman, rule over them. In other words we are shown that the nobleman was not popular among the citizens of the area where the servants were to 'occupy."
Now lets flash ahead for a moment, keeping in mind the story so far. Jesus is headed for Jerusalem. The disciples are expecting Him to announce His kingdom. Guess what? They have a surprise coming and you and I already know what is coming. Jesus is going to be captured, falsely accused, and sentenced to die in the next few days instead of announcing His kingdom.
So now we should see the purpose of the parable. Jesus is letting the disciples know what kind of environment they would eventually be serving in. They would be serving their master who would be rejected by the majority of their world.
Since the disciples' master still has not returned, he obviously is still coming, and if he is still coming then we are also counted as his servants and we are still to occupy.
Since again, we are to occupy, what about the pound? If we, as others do, want to stretch the meanings, we could go just about anywhere we wanted to and pick any type we want. Pound and Talent are technically related, actually referring to money. The talent parable is very easily translated talent (special ability), but is not correctly translated into soul-winning or teaching a Sunday School class faithfully. Both parables should make us consider if we are faithfully doing what the Lord wants us to do, but more importantly both parables should make us consider our inner attitudes towards our Lord and King. In both parables the one with the smallest return felt that the Lord was entirely different from what we know him to be.
It is possible for people who call themselves Christians to have a false impression of Jesus Christ. They see him as the boss. They see him as commander-in-chief. They compare him to a landlord. They may actually visualize Him as the Almighty Son of God. The pound and talent parables, are given with the primary point of attitude. True, the nobleman and the master commends those who produce fruit or interest with their gifts, but the focus ends in both parables with the poor attitude of those who wound up with no profit. And if you look at the reply of the sore losers, you see the attitude problem.
No Christian should ever serve the Lord out of fear. No Christian should ever serve the Lord out of competition. No Christian should ever serve the Lord for any kind of profit. True Christians serve the Lord out of love and gratefulness. We count it a privilege to serve the Lord. We put Him first in our objectives and endeavors. We want to bring glory to Him and His kingdom.
2 Corinthians 8:5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
Jesus is first in the heart of a true servant of the Lord.