Delivered by Our Lord on His last journey to Jerusalem, on the occasion of His meeting with Zacheus, the publican (Luke 19). In it He showed that the business of His kingdom consisted in leading all men to the perception and fulfilment of the will of God, thus bringing them not temporal riches, but eternal salvation.
A nobleman, before setting out on a journey to receive a kingdom, called ten of his servants and divided ten pounds among them, charging them to trade with them until his return. His fellow-citizens, hating him, sent an embassy to prevent his reigning over them, but the brief and significant words of Our Lord show how fruitless were their efforts, “And it came to pass that he returned, having received the kingdom, and he commanded his servants to be called.” In their accounts of the use of the pounds the similarity of this parable to that of the Five Talents is quite marked. The parable ends with the punishment of the citizens who opposed the prince, prefiguring the fate of Israel.
In the nobleman who returned as king we recognize Christ, Who at His Ascension took His seat at the right hand of His Father, and Who will return to bring His earthly kingdom to a glorious conclusion. The thrifty servants represent the faithful members of His kingdom.