IN presenting the parable of the ten pieces of money, which occurs in the nineteenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke, the Master's reasons for giving this parable are briefly stated as follows: "And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear."
The story is then told of a certain nobleman who was about to go to a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. Before going, however, he called unto him his ten servants, and gave to each a piece of money, saying as he did so, "Occupy till I come." Jesus evidently knew, as his disciples did not, that no sudden event could possibly establish the kingdom of God on earth. The pieces of money, the talents as Matthew calls them, were no doubt typical of the truths which the Master had given to his disciples according to their ability to understand his teachings; and it was these truths which were to occupy their thoughts until a further revelation of Spirit should come to them.
Centuries earlier, when Moses was leading the children of Israel through the wilderness, a similar event had taken place, but on a lower level of human consciousness. Moses himself is supposed to have recorded the fact that on coming down from Mount Sinai, where he had gone to receive the tables of the law, he found that the people had not occupied their time in the manner which he had taught them to do, but had immediately fallen into idolatry and were worshiping a golden calf which Aaron had set up, saying, "As for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him."