Luke 19:12-27 "To every one who has will more be given..."


Dear Friend,

You asked about the nineteenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke, which is a very long and complex chapter. I suspect you are particularly interested in the parable described in verses 12 through 27. This "Parable of the Pounds" is Luke’s version of the "Parable of the Talents" in Matthew (25:14-30). It’s a little more complex than Matthew, but the essence of the story is the same in both cases. A nobleman leaves on a journey, entrusting sums of money to the safekeeping of three different servants. (Ten servants are mentioned in Luke, but only three figure in the story.) When the nobleman returns each servant is called to account. Two of them invested the sums they were given and are able to return to the nobleman the entrusted funds with a profit. They are rewarded according to their amounts of return. The third servant was afraid of losing his master’s money, so he hid it, kept it safe and has no profit to show. He receives no reward, and the money he had been given is given instead to the other servants. And the apparently harsh moral is "To every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away" (RSV).
I certainly don’t see predestination as the point of the story, as you suggest. It is not predetermined who will receive and who will not; it is completely decided by the choices of the individual servants. Neither does it seem to me a matter of grace. It is, rather, I think a clear statement of what might today be called the Law of Attraction. We receive according to what we believe, and the choices we make out of those beliefs. We are all endowed with infinite talents by virtue of the Christ Presence within us. We are here in human form to invest those talents, to create more abundance, more happiness, more love—to create, in fact, the new consciousness that Jesus calls the kingdom of heaven. If we fearfully refuse to believe in our talents, or to risk sharing them with others, we will fail in our spiritual purpose. And our life experiences will reflect the negative, fear-based beliefs with which we approach them.
So for those who have a consciousness of talent and worthiness, and a loving willingness to invest in our shared experience, more abundance and joy will be created. To those whose defining belief is a fear of lack or inadequacy, that fear will draw to them exactly the negative beliefs they fear. (Hence Job’s great realization, "That which I greatly fear has come upon me.")


Rev. Ed