The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away.
He said, "A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return. 13Before he left, he called together ten servants and gave them ten pounds of silver a to invest for him while he was gone. 14But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say they did not want him to be their king."
15"When he returned, the king called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what they had done with the money and what their profits were. 16The first servant reported a tremendous gain -- ten times as much as the original amount! 17'Well done!' the king exclaimed. 'You are a trustworthy servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.'"
18"The next servant also reported a good gain -- five times the original amount. 19'Well done!' the king said. 'You can be governor over five cities.'"
20"But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, 'I hid it and kept it safe. 21I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn't yours and harvesting crops you didn't plant.'"
22"'You wicked servant!' the king roared. 'Hard, am I? If you knew so much about me and how tough I am, 23why didn't you deposit the money in the bank so I could at least get some interest on it?' 24Then turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered, 'Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who earned the most.'"
25"'But, master,' they said, 'that servant has enough already!'"
26"'Yes,' the king replied, 'but to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who are unfaithful, b even what little they have will be taken away. 27And now about these enemies of mine who didn't want me to be their king -- bring them in and execute them right here in my presence.'"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)