Jesus compares Himself to a nobleman going to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself (Luke 19:12). In that same parable, the nobleman is described by his servant as "an exacting man, taking up what [he] did not lay down, and reaping what [he] did not sow." Is Jesus drawing a parallel to Himself in any way with this description, or is this merely supposed to be an excuse from the servant and has nothing to do with Jesus's character/a spiritual principle?

  • A good question but have you not already assumed the connection? “ Jesus compares Himself”
    – Steve
    Feb 12, 2021 at 23:48
  • I struggle to see the motivation for this question - the text is clear!!
    – Dottard
    Feb 13, 2021 at 0:29
  • 1
    I suggest you update the question to what it is that you are really asking - How can Jesus compare himself to an exacting man when I assumed Jesus was more of a nice, charitable guy -- or whatever image you have in your head that caused you to ask the question. If you make the question explicit and really think about it, you can often answer your own question right away, and in any case this type of honesty is required for good exegesis.
    – Robert
    Feb 13, 2021 at 0:52
  • This parable is actually a metaphor for the future after Jesus time here on earth until his second coming. Read it in that context and its a very simple parable to understand. He is not saying he is that terrible master who reaps what he does not sow, what he is saying is that if that lazy wicked servant believes such things, then surely that would be even more reason to work steadfastly towards developing the fruits of a good Christian, however instead that servant listened to those who hate the master and didn't bother doing anything.
    – Adam
    Feb 13, 2021 at 9:23

2 Answers 2


It seems to me that the question has thought through to its own answer, that the servant has misread the true character of his lord but his lord takes the servant at face value and shows that the servant's behaviour contradicts his own false, and unworthy, view of his lord


Luke 19:22 New International Version

"His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?

a harsh
αὐστηρός (austēros)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 840: Grim, severe, strict, exacting, harsh, rigid. From a derivative of the same as aer; rough, i.e. severe.

Basically, you are asking: Is Jesus αὐστηρός?

Not if you are willing to learn from Jesus.

Matthew 11:29

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

The servant in Luke 19:22 was wicked. He was not learning from Jesus.

His master replied, ‘You wicked servant, I will judge you by your own words. So you knew that I am a harsh man, withdrawing what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow?

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