Out of the Napkin, Into the World

The Allegory of the Ten Pounds and the Lost Tribes of Israel

Dedicated to Marina Chancery and All the World's Chancerys and Showalters

 

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The Lost Tribes of Israel Found in the Parables of Yahshua

 

INDEX:

The Parables of the Good Shepherd and The Pearl of Great Price & The Allegory of the Prodigal Son

On the Jericho Road: The Allegory of the Good Samaritan

Out of the Napkin, Into the World: The Allegory of the Ten Pounds and the Lost Tribes of Israel

Resurrection - Riddle and Reward: The Sadducees' Riddle , The Allegory of the Wise Steward

Everlasting Skins: The Allegory of the Unrighteous Steward, The Widow’s Two Mites

Myths and Meaning: The Rich Man and Lazarus: Dives in Hell

Naming Ten Virgins or The Five Dumb Virgins (A Message from the NT Apocrypha)

Other Lost Tribes Messages:

The Woman at the Well and the Lost Tribes of Israel: "I'll Never Be Thirsty Again!"

 

Messianic friends, please note: This message is written for Christians just learning Hebraic Roots, including Divine Name language.  However, this does not mean that it is an elementary message, but full of deeper truth.

 

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Also see The Destruction of the Second Temple   Java Jane Digital Photography

 

Luke 19:11-28; Obadiah 1:15-21; Psalms 122

 

NEWS FLASH APRIL 1, 2004: The winner of the $239 million dollar lottery had made a deal with Go-ad – “If you give me a little money sometime, I’m going to buy my friend who died thirty years ago a tombstone.”  His wife said, “I’m going to shop until I drop!”  And the King said, “I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servants!”           

 

Luke 19:11.  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. 

   12.  He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom and then return.  13.  Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Trade with these till I come.’  14.  But his citizens hated him and sent an embassy after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 

   15.  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.  16.  The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.’  17.  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.’  18.  And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’  19.  And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 

   20.  Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin;  21.  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.’  22.  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?  23.  Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?’ 

   24.  And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.’  25.  (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’)  26.  ‘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.  27.  But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.’“ 

   28.  And when he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 

 

Almighty Father, in your tender love for us you sent your Son Yahshua to take up our nature, live a man’s life, boldly ride through the gates, and suffer death upon a tree, giving us the example of his great humility: We love him!  Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his triumph, his suffering then share in his resurrection. Amen.

 

Context of the Parable

   The reason I chose this allegory {on Palm Sunday} is because it precedes “The Triumphal Entry” of Yahshua into Jerusalem, seated on an ass, with the people hailing him king, throwing their clothing into the road and waving palm branches.   The colt he rides is in fulfillment of the prophecy of

Zechariah 9:9.  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 

Everyone on the Jerusalem road knew this prophecy, making the connection with Yahshua upon the colt.  Throwing their clothes in the road and waving palm branches were what people did when a new king arrived.  They cried the same thing we cry every time we have Communion – “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yahweh.”  The Psalm writer (118:26) recorded this cheer when David came to town a thousand years earlier. 

   Yahshua speaks about his entry into Jerusalem when he tells the Allegory of the Pounds.  But the symbolism goes far beyond a historic event – we find a great deal of meaning for those of us among the lost tribes of Israel in our day. 

Maurice Nicoll    Nicoll Bio Here

   I’d like to quote the psychologist and author Dr. Maurice Nicoll (d. 1953), who used the gospels as a psychology textbook in the first half of the twentieth century.  He writes:

“Everything recorded in the very concentrated account of Christ’s teaching has a special meaning.  There is not one sentence, not a single word, in the Gospels, that has not meaning totally beyond the literal meaning.”  (Dr. Maurice Nicoll, The New Man, 88)

I agree with his conclusion.  Nicoll taught that one might find truth in the Bible, but knowing truth often leads to cruelty rather than godliness.  In the story of the Good Samaritan, the Levites had the truth, but they acted cruelly when they passed the wounded man on the road.  It was the Samaritan, the one who didn’t have the truth, who stopped to do the good deed.  Nicoll’s conclusion is something like this: knowing the truth can lead to good, to doing nothing, to nailing an innocent man to a tree.  But truth only finds its highest and best expression in doing good.  We may be full of grace and truth, but do we do exalt the Almighty in our work or not?

   This is very appropriate as we learn the Allegory of the Pounds.  When those who know the truth of the nobleman’s identity do the right thing, everyone gains.  But the one who knows the truth but doesn’t do good loses whatever truth and good he might have.  In fact, the one servant in the today’s story exchanged the truth for a lie in order to justify his own apathy.  Dr. Nicoll is quite correct in saying that every single word has meaning beyond the literal – every single word.

 

Defining the Characters

   There are many truths to be discovered in the Allegory of the Pounds:  Luke says that Yahshua told this tale because he was nearing Jerusalem and the people supposed there would be a political coup and Yahshua would be the new king.  This was not the case and Yahshua knew it. 

   In the story, Yahshua himself is the nobleman – he’s going into a far country to receive a kingdom.  The far country is death – and the Kingdom is the timeless Kingdom of Yahweh composed of the saints of all ages.  Now Yahshua tells us who the ten servants (slaves douloV) are in verse 26.  The ten servants are everyone who heeds his call to the Gospel.  In Scripture, ten is the number of the few.

   The nobleman has ten pounds (literally minas): each worth about six months pay (200 denarii = 1 mina) – that’s a large sum for a slave.  {This is important:} These ten pounds are pieces of Yahshua – his Gospel – his very being – his Holy Spirit – each pound is disbursed one by one to ten servants, each servant getting the same amount, one pound.

   His citizens are the Priests, Levites, Pharisees and any others who hate him – but especially religious leaders who should’ve embraced his nobility, since they knew him from the annals of Moses, their lawgiver.  He came unto his own, but his own didn’t receive him (John 1:11).  These citizens send an embassy against him.  The embassy is The Roman Embassy  Pontius Pilate, the Roman Procurator, and his ilk.  With the entrance of the embassy, Yahshua, our nobleman, leaves for the far country, which we already defined as death.

 

Judging the Slaves

   There, our nobleman receives his Kingdom, and returns.  He’ll now interview only three of those slaves to see what they’ve done with his pound.  (Remember that the pound represents a piece of Yahshua.)  The first slave reports that he’s gained ten pounds through trading.  The ten pounds represent the ten “lost” tribes of Israel that Yahshua had come to seek and save (Matthew 15:24).  The nobleman’s delighted, and tells this slave, “Well done.  Because you’ve been faithful in very little, you shall have ten cities.”  Ten cities represent the land Yahweh promised the ten tribes of Israel – and the first slave has brought them home. 

   The second slave is likewise commended.  He’s made five pounds and given authority over five cities.  Five is the number of the nationsfive cities gained represent the nations of the world.  The second slave is like those who go outside the commonwealth of Israel to bring the mixed multitude into the Kingdom.  Hallelujah – that’s us!  We’re not left alone, but grafted in!  Hallelujah again!  The second slave stands for anyone with a missionary calling to nations and peoples once considered unclean and unapproachable.

   Finally, a third slave comes forth and offers the nobleman back the pound that he’d been advanced.  He’s kept it in a napkin!  Why?  Now that he’s to be judged, he says, “I’m afraid of you!”  Then the third slave insults his master, “You reap what you don’t sow!”  This saying is a grave error; the slave lies because he wants to justify hiding his pound in a napkin.  The master’s already shown that he does sow, and he reaps where he sows.  He’s sowed a pound of himself into each slave and reaped; but he didn’t gain anything from the third but jive-talk.  “¿So you think I reap where I don’t sow, eh?  ¿Then why didn’t you prove yourself correct by putting my pound in the bank?”

   ¿Hide a pound in a napkin?  How silly.  But it’s the key to knowing whom the third slave represents.  The napkin’s wrapped around Yahshua’s head after he’s killed (Luke 23:23 & John 20:7).  The third slave wraps a POUND OF YAHSHUA in a napkin.  This third slave represents the Levites – those in charge of Temple religion, including Priests and Temple rulers – hundreds and hundreds of them – rejecting Yahshua, then seeing to his death.  ¿Wasn’t it the head of the Levites, Caiaphas, who declared, “It would be better for one man to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed’’ (John 11:50)?

   The pound is taken from the third and given to the first slave, who’d made ten.  This pound is the tribe of Judah – Jews – which is added to the other ten to make eleven tribes of the original twelve.  But what is to happen to the third slave, the Levites – the twelfth tribe?  He is to have nothing – no currency – no favor.  Each one in the Levite class, having hidden his pound in a napkin, will be judged by his laxity and excuses; all that he has will be taken away (unless he repents, loves and does the good rather than the evil). 

   ¿As for the citizens who hate the nobleman: the crowd who didn’t heed the call, the reprobate who won’t keep the Law, the mocker and scoffer, the persecutor and evil doer, the commandment-breaker and finger-pointer, the lecherous and wasteful – all those who would not have Yahshua reign?  Thus saith Yahweh Tsaviot, “Bring them and slay them before me!”

 

{dramatic musical interlude}

 

The Embassy Moves In

   Forty years after this story was told on the Jerusalem road, one generation after Yahshua was nailed up, four legions of Roman soldiers descended upon Jerusalem.  The embassy had turned on the very citizens who’d relied upon it to kill the nobleman.  After laying siege to the city, the Romans laid it bare.  Bodies of the dead were stacked like cords of firewood in the streets.  Everyone fell by the sword or fire. 

   General Titus commanded his legions not to destroy or burn the Temple.  But they disobeyed and set it ablaze.  Hundreds of Levites ran into the burning temple rather than become Roman casualties.  It was so hot in there that the millions of pounds of silver and gold melted – the precious metal liquefied and ran like water out of the cracks in the stone.  Soldiers pried these massive stones apart for the boiling loot.  When the Roman embassy was finished, the Temple, its money and all inside were totally annihilated and the Temple was in ruins.

   An eyewitness tells the incredible story about the end of the unworthy slave.  When the smoke had risen in thick columns and flames leaped through the roof of the grand structure, one of Levite priests climbed to the top of the highest Temple tower with the key to the holy place in his hand. Atop the pinnacle of the Temple, in smoke and flames, he held the key high and cried, “LORD!  If you no longer judge us worthy to run Your house, take the key back!”  It was reported that a giant hand descended out of the clouds of smoke and took away the key as the priest succumbed to the flames (Josephus). 

   I have news for you, the key to the holy place will soon be returned to the faithful, for the King of Glory has it and will bring it back to those servants awaiting his coming!  Hallelujah!  “Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh!”

 

You and Your Pound

   You, my friend, have been given a pound of Yahshua’s flesh: the very flesh you may partake of today at this altar rail.  Before doing so, consider: Where is your pound?  In a dark cave wrapped in a bloody napkin?  What have you done with the Paraclete?  What have you accomplished with your gifts?  What has his love bought you and your love bought him?  Have you respected the nobleman enough to invest what he has already given you in worthy enterprises to be redeemed for his glory?  Have you earned back ten pounds?  Five?  One?   None? 

   Heaven forbid that on that great day of reckoning, you be embarrassed, make excuses then be slain.  Heaven forbid you being that religious Levite without even a pound or a key to show for it.  Heaven forbid you’ve cheered on the death of the one who came to save your hide or persecuted his servant mercilessly! 

   But I know you’re not among the religious hypocrites!  No way!  You’re the real thing. You know the truth of the Gospel; I know you use that truth to do right. N’est-ce pas?

 

A High Note

   My friend, now you have your pound: Yahshua says, “Occupy until I come.”  Since it’s a new day, you have no past in the eyes of Yahweh.  You may begin afresh and start building capital toward the Kingdom promise.  Don’t get me wrong – you don’t work to be saved – but you work because you love the Savior.  You keep the commandments, pray, and let the King change you and make you ready for his Kingdom Come.  “If you love me,” he said, “then keep my commandments.  Be ye perfected as your father is perfect.” 

   To take your truth and do good is to follow the pathway to holiness and sanctification.  Goodness must show through in every area of one’s life – at work, at play, at home – as well as in church.  John Paul II addresses those in secular work situations, where it’s often difficult to be a public servant of the Savior.  He says:

Yes, the world needs more saints than reformers, because saints are the most authentic and productive reformers.  Every great period of renewal is linked to important testimonials of holiness.  Our conviction is that all Christians are called to share and spread [scriptural] holiness because they are the new creation – the New Man.  This is not just for the spiritual elite – no!  Not just for the heroically courageous.  People must be encouraged to live every aspect of their life – whatever circumstances that Yahweh has placed them in – in a holy manner, in faith, hope and love.  (June 7, 1986 – an alternate reading is here.)

  I know that one’s true greatness comes from what one is rather than what one does.  We’re taught that in seminary.  However, what you are is confirmed in very great measure by what you do.  Many may see Yahshua’s pound demonstrated in you through both who you are and what you do, and be drawn into the noble country.  Such witness of investing truth in goodness is true holiness. 

   As Dr. Nicoll said, knowing what’s true isn’t enough.  A man, woman or child of Yahweh must get his pound out of the napkin and into the world!  It’s in the doing that the truth may even transform one’s ignoble flesh to follow the highway of holiness to its terminus.  Let all your people see this new creation enfleshed in you, my friend, riding through the ancient gates upon the foal of prophecy; Let them rejoice in it, raise the palm branch and hail him when they behold you. 

   For the nobleman will certainly return in glory with his great and awesome host – Saviors will come forth out of the earth – kingdoms will be established everywhere (Obadiah 1:21) – and Yahweh will become the world’s great Shalom forever.  This all will be your doing, beloved!  “Well done, good and faithful servant!  Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.”  Amen

 

{Alternate Ending:

 

How It Ends

   The Allegory of the Pounds ends by saying that Yahshua went on ahead, going up, into Jerusalem, knowing that soon he was departing on that long journey he spoke of in the allegory.  Yahshua did what he had to do for you.  The messenger became the message and was cruelly tacked to a rude tree so that you could not only have a pound of him, but become a pound of him.  “We wish to see Jesus,” they said.  What is it that people of our day wish?  Look around here!  These people want to see Yahshua in you!  Get out of the napkin, people!  Let’s follow him – let’s go up with him – through the gates of the city – and back out again – to Golgotha the skull – to the cross – to the glory of great and just Kingdoms.  Amen. }

 

Alternate reading:

   The person of today looks at you and repeats what the visitors to Jerusalem said to the Apostle Philip, “We wish to see Jesus!”  Yes, in you the world wishes to see Jesus.  Your public declaration of [godly] principles is a radical response to [Yahweh]’s call to follow him.  As a result your life offers clear testimony to the reality of the Kingdom already present in the activities of men and nations.  Many know what you do and admire and value you for it.  But your true greatness comes from what you are.  Perhaps what you are is less well known and understood.  In fact, what you are can be understood only in the light of the “newness of life” revealed by Messiah Resurrected.  For in Him, you are a “new creation.”  -- John Paul II, May 29, 1982

 

SERMON CHECK-OFF

[  ]  Luke 19:11.  As they heard these things ...

[  ]  Zechariah 9:9.  “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ...”

[  ]  “Everything recorded in Christ’s teaching...”

[  ]  Every single word has meaning beyond the literal

[  ]  Yahshua himself is the nobleman.

[  ]  The far country is death.

[  ]  The Kingdom is the timeless Kingdom of Yahweh.

[  ]  The ten servants are everyone who heeds his call.

[  ]  These ten pounds are pieces of Yahshua.

[  ]  His citizens are those who hate him.

[  ]  The embassy is The Roman Embassy.

[  ]  The ten pounds gained represent the ten “lost” tribes.

[  ]  Ten cities represent the land Yahweh promised them.

[  ]  The second slave brings in the mixed multitude.

[  ]  Five cities gained represent the nations of the world.

[  ]  The napkin is found in Luke 23:23 and John 20:7. 

[  ]  The third slave represents the Levites.

[  ]  The pound taken away is the tribe of Judah

[  ]  You, my friend, have been given a pound of Yahshua’s flesh

[  ]  “If you love me,” he said, “then keep my commandments.” 

[  ]  “Be ye perfect as your father is perfect.” 

[  ]  “The visitors said to the Apostle Philip, ‘We wish to see Jesus!’” 

[  ]  “Saviors will come forth; Kingdoms will be established (Obad. 1:21).

 

Jackson Snyder, April 1, 2003