Diligence in the Day of Salvation - Luke 19:11-27

“The Parable of the Pounds” or

“Diligence in the Day of Salvation”

Luke 19:11-27


This parable deals with the responsibility of Christians to make good on the opportunities that the Lord gives to serve Him and represent Him in the world.  It is similar to the Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25) but differs in many respects. This was given on a different occasion, at a different place and has a different emphasis. The parables of the Lord were often spoken in the presence of two audiences—believers and unbelievers with lessons for each.                               


This is part of a larger section (Luke 12-19) dealing with the Lord’s teaching in the light of His rejection. Within that section is a subsection dealing with believers’ responsibilities to serve Him in the light of that rejection. Believers should be thankful like the cleansed leper; persistent in prayer like the importuning widow; child-like in their faith like the children who came to the Lord; and radically different in their changed lives like Zaccheus. (Not like the rich, young ruler who went away from the Lord and His claims)  As He neared His the end of His earthly ministry, the Lord taught His disciples some important truths.


1.      The Agenda of the Lord (v. 12)

The Lord likened Himself unto a certain nobleman who would go away into a far country to receive a kingdom and return—an appropriate description of the Lord’s present program. (1 Thess. 1:10; John 14.3)


2.   The Assignment by the Lord (vv. 12-13)

While He is away He expects of His servant to be busy for His sake and doing His business during His “absence” just as He did the Father’s (Luke 2:49). He entrusts a sizable portion to each servant equally – one pound (Gr. mina) representing the equally opportunity they have to invest for Him.  (2 Cor. 4.7; 2 Tim. 1:14) Their responsibility (and ours) is to advance the kingdom. This parable has an historic parallel to the actions of Archaelus son of wicked King Herod who went to Rome to receive a kingdom from Caesar and to return having charged his servants.

3.   The Aversion to the Lord (v. 14)

In the meantime, while His servants are doing His work they are doing so in the light of rejection by others who have an aversion to this king.


4.      The Assessment by the Lord (vv. 15-26)

When the king returns, He takes an accounting of his servants and finds varying degrees of results even though there was an equal distribution of resources.  Unlike the parable of talents in which their was unequal distribution of resources each “according to his ability” (Matt. 25:15 ) and a proportionate result, there is in this parable just the opposite.  The emphasis seems to be in diligence and not on ability.  The Lord holds us accountable to utilize our gifts and to obtain results in proportion to the gift given as in the talent parable. (1 Peter 4:11) But our diligence for the Lord is a responsibility that we all need to evidence in our lives. (Rom. 12:11) To the degree that we are diligent and productive for the Lord—not on the basis of our gifts but on our diligence for Him we will be rewarded accordingly as illustrated by the rulership over different amounts of cities (cp. vv. 17,19).


5.      The Actions by the Lord (v. 27)

After assessing the work of His servants and rewarding (or judging appropriately as in the case of the unproductive servant)

the nobleman defeats and destroys his enemies – a clear picture of the Lord’s actions at the Battle of Armageddon. (Rev. 19)  


Questions to ask:


1.      Are we doing business for the Lord while we await His return?

2.      Do we realize that we will be brought into account for the service we render in His name?

Mark Kolchin 4/26/03