As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.
He said therefore, "A nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom and then return.
Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them, 'Trade with these till I come.'
But his citizens hated him and sent an embassy after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.'
When he returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading.
The first came before him, saying, 'Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.'
And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.'
And the second came, saying, 'Lord, your pound has made five pounds.'
And he said to him, 'And you are to be over five cities.'
Then another came, saying, 'Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin;
for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.'
He said to him, 'I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?
Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?'
And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.'
(And they said to him, 'Lord, he has ten pounds!')
'I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.'"
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version - Holy Bible)