The cornerstone of the American consumer-based economy is the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street. Stock prices and quarterly dividends are under continual scrutiny by institutional investors, who move billions of dollars between corporations competing for their funds. Results that vary from expectations can and do send shock waves through the investment community and corporate boardrooms. Additionally, individual private investors consumed with building material wealth and growing retirement accounts follow Wall Street with a passion as they reach for ever-increasing returns on their investments (ROI).
The Lord Jesus Christ is also a passionate investor expecting a return! He teaches us this truth in several parables. In Matthew 25, Jesus teaches us in the Parable of the Talents that He has sovereignly invested abilities in each of us and He expects a return on that investment. In Luke 19, in what is called the Parable of the Ten Pounds, Jesus teaches that we are His Day Traders. He has invested one pound with each of us and He expects us to diligently trade that pound and bring Him a gain at the end of the day; He has entrusted us with spiritual wealth and we are to put it “to work” so that it will grow. So, my fellow Day Traders, let’s look at that parable in Luke 19:11-27.
As usual, context is paramount. At this point in the Lord’s public ministry, time is of the essence. Since the Lamb of God Who came to take away the sins of the world is headed up to Jerusalem and Calvary for His appointment on the Cross, time is running out. However, the people following Him thought that the Son of David was going to Jerusalem to set up the kingdom of God. Therefore, Jesus is teaching this parable to correct that mistaken notion about the kingdom of God. His work at hand was not to set up His kingdom, but rather to seek and save the lost (Luke 15, Luke 19:10).
In the Parable of the Ten Pounds, Who’s who and what’s what? The man of noble birth is the Lord Jesus. The strange and distant country (from heaven) is earth, where His servants and the citizens live. The nobleman leaves His home to go into the strange land to establish a kingdom for Himself (Phil 2:5-11). He then goes back home, but He will return to the strange land later to reign as King (Acts 1:7-11). The citizens of the land are all those who reject His Lordship and are His enemies (v27,Eph 2:1-3, James 4:4). Different from the citizens are His servants, which are believers. Until He returns to reign in His kingdom, the noble man has entrusted His servants with pounds, the things of God given to believers. The servants are expected to diligently trade (“occupy” means “to busy oneself, to trade”) on the noble man’s behalf until He returns. Believers are to stay busy doing Jesus’ work of seeking and saving the lost while He is away.
It is very important to note that Jesus is talking about the rewards He will give to His servants. He is not talking about salvation because salvation is a gift, not a reward (Eph 2:8-9). It is also important to understand that the work being done, for which we will be rewarded, is the good work He foreordained us to do (Eph 2:10).
What are the lessons we Day Traders are to learn?
1. The “Trading Floor” is hostile because God’s ways are not man’s ways i.e. very few citizens want what is being traded.
Surrender (in order to have victory)
Loss of life (in order to gain life)
Denial of self (in order to be filled with the Spirit of God)
Humility (in order to be exalted)