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Your interpretation resonates very strongly with me. I do think both Jesus and the slave owner are saying, "For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance, but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away". The difference is that Jesus is referring to the slave with one talent as the one who has everything, because he is the one who has faith and a relationship with God. He will be given everything through salvation. The others who used their talents, have nothing, because it is only that faith and relationship on God that matter. But what they do have, worldly possessions etc, which is nothing in the grand scheme of things, will be taken away.

I can really recommend my friend George Hermanson's sermon as a brilliant way to introduce this other take on the parable.

Let's acknowledge that the parable has been interpretted many different ways - and very helpfully.

But let's also come to grips with this as well.

I often use Peterson to help me discern these kinds of interpretation quandaries. However, his paraphrase of this parable seems to imply that he believes the more traditional interpretation... I somehow feel that yours is more accurate - but it will be a lot more risky preaching it that way with all the "Prosperity Gospel" heresy that's so popular with the well to do. Thanks for the challenge!

Hi Phil,

Unfortunately the Bible actually does not think about economics as being like a plant.

The goal of economics in the Bible is to preserve and pass on what one has received - with nothing lost and nothing added.

And besides the context of the parable makes it very clear that this is NOT a teaching about what the Kingdom of God is like. It is a teaching about what the DELAY of the Kingdom is like.

If we use the parable as a way to talk about our personal gifts or our mission, then fine, increase all you can. But ecomonically - no. And this is a parable about economics.

Actually, Check it out:

Matthew 25 story 1 -- Theme: BE READY!
Matthew 25 story 2 -- Theme: In the meantime DO SOMETHING!
Matthew 25 story 3 -- Theme: Here's what you should do.

At the end of this page is a great take on the gospel where the preacher suggests the "treasure" entrusted is gospel. Very compelling: http://www.goodpreacher.com/shareit/readreviews.php?cat=28

I disagree with this very much. It's obvious by the end of the parable that the third slave did something wrong and is punished.

Do you not expect back what you give plus interest? Is that wrong? Why is that wrong?

When you plant a seed, do you not expect back 25, 50, or 100 times what you planted? Isn't that what wheat or corn or grapes or olives do?

And how would you react if you planted a seed and waited all summer and returned to find it had grown for you a single grain. Here's your grain back.

What would you do?

You would be angry and you would throw that seed away into the outer darkness.


You don't come to the end of your life and say to God, "Well, you gave me a life, so here you go. Here's your life back." God will say, "What? Where's the increase? That's the point!"

Indeed, that's the point.

Thanks Justin. I only wish I learned of this myself much earlier in my ministry.

Thanks, this is really helpful. I heard someone giving this interpretation a few years ago and was looking for it online when I came across this site. Particularly helpful is the reminder about verse 13, and the Lukan version, helping to clarify that it's not a kingdom parable.

Also it shows just how unbiblical The Message is. That translation of the 3rd servant's condemnation of the Master is appalling!

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