He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
Note 1 at Lu 19:12: Jesus spoke this parable because those following Him thought He was going to reinstate a physical kingdom in Jerusalem immediately (Lu 19:11). The main purpose of this parable was to show that Jesus would be gone for a long period before His return and before the fulfillment of prophecy about a physical kingdom on earth.
The nobleman who went into a far country and then returned represents Jesus. During his absence, his citizens (not his servants to whom he committed his goods) rejected him as their ruler (Lu 19:14). This is exactly what the Jewish nation as a whole, and the unsaved world in general, has done. At the second return of Jesus, He will judge with everlasting punishment all who rejected His rule (Mt 25:29-46, see note 4 at Mr 3:29).
There is a second lesson to be learned from this parable too. The nobleman's servants who did not rebel at his rule were called in to account for what they had done with their lord's money that had been delivered unto them. The servants were commanded to "occupy till I come" (Lu 19:13).
These servants represent the followers of Jesus. However, being a follower of Jesus is more than simply not rejecting Him. It is an active commitment to serve Him. One of the ten servants had served himself and not his master. He did nothing with what his lord had given him. This wicked servant (Lu 19:22) was stripped of what he had, and it was given to the servant who had used his lord's money wisely (Lu 19:24).
This illustrates that the Lord expects us to grow. This was made very clear in the parables of the kingdom that Jesus taught. In nearly every parable, growth or increase was expected (see note 1 at Mt 13:31). This servant who did nothing with what his lord gave him would represent a believer who never grew and brought no increase to God's kingdom.
There will be a reckoning, even for Christians. However, this judgment of believers will be for the purpose of rewards and not damnation. As revealed in 1Co 3:11-15, some will suffer loss, but they themselves will "be saved; yet so as by fire" (1Co 3:15). The servant in this parable suffered loss, but there is no mention of him being slain among the lord's enemies. In fact, Lu 19:27 begins with the word "but"; this would imply a contrast between this unprofitable servant and the lord's enemies who were destroyed.
If Mt 25:14-30 is interpreted as teaching the same lesson as this parable, then this wicked servant (Lu 19:22) would have had to suffer the damnation of his lord (Mt 25:30). It is certainly true that false brethren are sown among true believers, and Jesus will separate them at His second coming (see note 1 at Mt 13:31, note 1 at Mt 13:33, and note 1 at Mt 13:37). Either interpretation of this wicked servant would be consistent with other Bible truths.
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