There are a number of things that if we read the parable of the pound with the lenses of the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-26), we would be curious about because we are not told about them. This being the case, we will continue to make assumptions—albeit plausibly. Let us assume that these people had the same ability. This is significant because it gives us another perspective to analyse success with a starting point from a level playing ground. From the parable of the talents in Matthew, one can easily make the mistake of concluding that the servants performed differently because they had different abilities. Luke’s account shows that even if people had the same ability, it matters what a person does with his ability. It was very possible for the one who got one talent in Matthew’s account to grow both his ability and his profit to make ten more talents.
It is not correct to maintain that people with the same ability and same resources will always perform equally. It is equally incorrect to maintain that people with more ability will always be ahead. The growth of your ability does not respect the pace and the limit of the ability of those who initially had the advantage of endowment. The perfect trend to take home from this is that one can make ten from investing one—in fact, like we said earlier, the starting capital doesn’t put a limitation to how much one can grow.
We are told about three servants only coming to give an account of what they did with the pound. There are two possibilities. The first possibility is that the three servants may have been representative of all the other servants where the most successful got ten, the middle got five and the last got nothing. If this was the case, there was one with nine, followed by eight, then seven and so on. This assumption is possible but not plausible—I have no reason to claim that it is what happened. That brings us to consider the second possibility, and that is: the other seven servants didn’t even bother to turn up in order to give an account.
In verse 14 we read: “But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.” It is possible that the missing in action servants joined or led the rebellion by the citizens so that they would reject the nobleman’s authority over them. In this way, they would not give an account to him. They would also appropriate the money they were given.
In verse 15, we read, “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.” The nobleman had called all the servants because he wanted to know how much every man had gained from the money. If all of them came, we could have been told about their accounting.
The above verse also tells us that despite the protest by the citizens not to have the nobleman to rule over them, he was made the ruler all the same. It was not for the citizens to decide who the ruler should be. The protestors were destroyed: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me” (Lk. 19:27). When it comes to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we have no choice. We better cultivate a healthy attitude towards the Lord so as to give a successful account of our stewardship—anything less is a doom.
I had a Muslim refer to Luke 19:27 as an evidence that Jesus endorsed violence on people who don’t obey God. This scripture has nothing to do with any current religious violence. Rather, it is eschatological—that is, it is an end-time judgement.