“‘You vile and wicked slave,’ the king roared. ‘Hard, am I? That’s exactly how I’ll be toward you! If you knew so much about me and how tough I am, then why didn’t you deposit the money in the bank so that I could at least get some interest on it?'” (Luke 19:22-23)
So unlike the first two assistants, the third man gets nothing. The fact that the third assistant knew how strong and powerful the King was should have caused him to be extra-diligent in managing his resources. Besides, what could be simpler than just going over to the bank and putting the money on deposit? Whether it was out of disobedience or just laziness, he just didn’t do what he was supposed to do.
So what’s the result?
“Then turning to the others standing by he ordered, ‘Take the money away from him and give it to the man who earned the most.’ ‘But, sir,’ they said, ‘he has enough already!’ ‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘but it is always true that those who have, get more, and those who have little, soon lose even that. (Luke 19:24-26)
So the third assistant lost everything. Notice that he wasn’t kicked out because of what happened, he was simply left with nothing to show for the things that given to him. He showed himself to be unworthy of taking care of the little that was given to him so what he had was taken away and he was given nothing more to take care of.
So now that we looked at the story, let’s see if we can make some applications for today. Let’s take a look at each of the players in this parable and see who they represent…
The nobleman who leaves to become a king represents Jesus. His return represents the day that each of us will be called to account for how we’ve lived our lives. The money that each of the assistants were given refers to the talents, skills, abilities, opportunities and money that God gives to each of us. “Putting the money to work” means that we are responsible for using the talents, skills, abilities, opportunities and money that God has entrusted to us for His service.
Verse 14 tells us that the some of the king’s subjects hated him and refused to acknowledge him as king over them. This represents the people who really don’t want to have anything to do with God in their lives. Notice that these people have rejected the king from ruling over them even though they live in his land. This brings to mind Matthew 5:45 where Jesus tells us that God graciously gives sunlight to both evil and good people, and rain on the just and unjust too.>
The first man who gained back 10 times the amount he was given to invest represents a Godly person who faithfully handles the resources given to them by God. The first assistant represents those people who use the talents, skills, abilities, opportunities and money that God has entrusted to them. His reward represents the rewards that God will give us if we are faithful with what he’s given to us now
The second man also represents the person who utilized God’s gifts in His service, although not quite as well as the first servant. They also get a reward in proportion to their faithfulness in doing God’s business with the resources that God has provided.
The third person represents Christians who don’t put their talents, skills, abilities, opportunities and monetary wealth to work for Godly purposes. They may not be doing anything wrong with the resources that God gives them but they’re not doing anything productive either.
When the king asks the man, “why didn’t you deposit the money in the bank so that I could at least get some interest,” it refers to the simple, everyday things that we can do to serve God. Even small things done to honor God like thanking Him for your food, not using bad language, going to church and helping people who need help can make a big impression on others. A lifestyle that honors God’s investment in you is like the interest received from money that’s been deposited in the bank.
So those who are faithful and productive with the resources that God gives them will be given more to work with. Those who are faithfully investing what they already have can be trusted with more. But those who are unfaithful and unproductive with the resources God gives them will eventually lose them all.
It’s interesting that verse 13 tells us that ten assistants were given money to invest but we only read about three. What happened to the other seven? Well, we have to assume that this scene was also played out with the other seven assistants- some showing much profit, some showing less, and some showing none at all. So the question for us is, which of these men will we be like?
So now the story is over and we…. hey, wait a minute- there’s one last detail to tie up, isn’t there? Whatever happened to those people who rebelled against the king and refused to acknowledge him? Well, here’s the answer…
“And now about these enemies of mine who revolted– bring them in and execute them before me.'” (Luke 19:27)
Don’t forget that judgment day also comes for the king’s enemies too. The king’s assistants all had to answer for their work while the king was away, but at least they were loyal to him. Now it’s time to deal with the rebellious citizens mentioned in verse 14, those who hated him and wanted to get rid of him.
Here you see the fate of people who absolutely refuse to have anything to do with God- they get dealt with as enemies. This is not what’s going to happen to those people who truly want to be pleasing to God, but sometimes stumble. This is what will happen to those who have completely and totally rejected God and the opportunity to have a relationship with Him.
So do you want to have an impact on this world? Do you really want to have your life count for something? Do you want to do something really meaningful with your existence? Start using those talents, skills and abilities that God has invested in you today.
And remember, Jesus had a few last words of His own in Revelation 22:20…