While the people were listening to these things, Jesus told them a story. He was near Jerusalem. The people thought that God's kingdom was going to appear right away.
Jesus said, "A man from an important family went to a country far away. He went there to be made king and then return home.
So he sent for ten of his servants. He gave them each about three months' pay. 'Put this money to work until I come back,' he said.
"But those he ruled over hated him. They sent some messengers after him. They were sent to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.'
"But he was made king and returned home. Then he sent for the servants he had given the money to. He wanted to find out what they had earned with it.
"The first one came to him. He said, 'Sir, your money has earned ten times as much.'
" 'You have done well, my good servant!' his master replied. 'You have been faithful in a very small matter. So I will put you in charge of ten towns.'
"The second servant came to his master. He said, 'Sir, your money has earned five times as much.'
"His master answered, 'I will put you in charge of five towns.'
"Then another servant came. He said, 'Sir, here is your money. I have kept it hidden in a piece of cloth.
I was afraid of you. You are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in. You harvest what you did not plant.'
"His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you evil servant! So you knew that I am a hard man? You knew that I take out what I did not put in? You knew that I harvest what I did not plant?
Then why didn't you put my money in the bank? When I came back, I could have collected it with interest.'
"Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his money away from him. Give it to the one who has ten times as much.'
" 'Sir,' they said, 'he already has ten times as much!'
"He replied, 'I tell you that everyone who has will be given more. But here is what will happen to anyone who has nothing. Even what he has will be taken away from him.
And what about my enemies who did not want me to be king over them? Bring them here! Kill them in front of me!' "