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Parable of the Ten Pounds, Luke 19:11-28

Share, Not Squander

Not long now, and Jesus will leave this world in the hands of his followers. What will the followers do with all they have learned from Jesus? In his absence, will they actively spread the word throughout the world until it grows ten-fold? Five-fold? Or will they hide the wealth of knowledge they have attained from a world desperate for the word? When Jesus returns, how will he reward those who have worked their fingers to the bone for him?

I want to be diligent about spreading God's word. But I am complacent about it most of the time. I find it difficult to speak my truth to people whose truth differs from mine. I find it difficult to engage in conversations that begin with an inherent conflict of opinions. But maybe spreading the word is just one way of growing God's wealth of knowledge. Maybe living the word is one way I can honor the gifts God has given me. I am great at compassion, insight, and wisdom. I love to feed people. I am learning not to judge, but instead to let people be who they're going to be without my interference. If I hide these gifts, I am no better than the slave who hid his pound. But if I practice the art of compassion, wisdom, tolerance - then more opportunities to be compassionate, wise, and tolerant will find me.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Luke 19:11-28

As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us.’ When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.’ He said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’ He said to him, ‘And you, rule over five cities.’ Then the other came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.’ He said to the bystanders, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’) ‘I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’”

After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.