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Wise investments: Jesus’ capitalist parables

Jesus was well-known for using real life examples to convey spiritual truths. Many parables dealt with money and a close look reveals that several of his stories espoused free market, capitalist principles. The fact they have what we now call capitalist ideas proves he enjoyed the truths found in the free market, knowing they could not only help listeners understand earthly things, but (more importantly) heavenly things also.

Before I go further, I’ll give a definition for capitalism to make sure anyone who reads this knows what I’m talking about. Capitalism is “[a]n economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market,” and is “characterized by the freedom of capitalists to operate or manage their property for profit in competitive conditions,” (see freedictionary.com). So here are the highlights from Jesus’ capitalist parables:

Treasure hidden in a field (Matthew 13:44)

Summary: After a man finds treasure hidden in a field, he sells all he owns to purchase the field.

Earthly truth: When you find a sure thing with no risk that’s worth more than what you presently have, and it has lasting value, and you can get it by selling what you own, then go for it.

Heavenly truth: Nothing on this earth can compare to the value of being part of God’s heavenly kingdom, so it’s worth the sacrifice of whatever you have here on earth to get salvation and everything that comes with it.

Pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46)

Summary: A merchant in the market for a priceless pearl finds it then sells all his possessions to buy it.

Earthly truth: If what you’re looking to purchase is worth it (the risk is low, the return is high, and its value will increase over time) be willing to make the sacrifice to obtain it.

Heavenly truth: Although similar to the “treasure hidden in the field,” there are noticeable differences. The kingdom of heaven is the treasure in the parable above, but in this parable the kingdom of heaven is the merchant man. He sacrifices everything to buy the pearl. This is a picture showing us how Christ (the merchant man) sacrificed everything (heavenly throne, heavenly riches, his life) to buy the pearl of great price (believers). In the “treasure” parable, the believer makes the sacrifice to obtain heaven, but in the pearl parable, it is God who sacrifices to obtain the lives and souls of his children.

Laborers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16)

Summary: After establishing a contract for a specific wage that was fair, vineyard laborers complain when those who started after them got the same wage.

Earthly truth: The laborers really had no valid complaint for what they were paid since it was in line with the fair market wage for their job during that time. Besides, they already had a contract and it wasn’t their business what the vineyard owner paid the others since that would be a private employer-employee matter. Bottom line–if you’re paid an amount you negotiated that falls within the range of what the market says you should be paid, don’t envy your co-workers for being paid the same for the same type of  work even if you are senior to them. This principle is resisted in our postmodern society, especially where unions are involved, but it’s a true capitalistic principle.

Heavenly truth: Sometimes those who serve the kingdom of heaven for a shorter period (e.g. toward the end of their lives or right before the rapture or right before Jesus returns) or enter God’s service after seasoned veterans, will obtain the same amount of heavenly rewards, or more heavenly rewards, based on their performance.

The wicked husbandmen [vineyard keepers] (Matthew 21:33-40)

Summary: A vineyard owner leases his vineyard to keepers, only to have them try to steal his property by physical assault and murder when he tries to collect on it.

Earthly truth: If you own something and lease it out to managers, you have the right to collect your property and to take the necessary legal action against managers who illegally try to steal your property or prevent you from having it.

Heavenly truth: God planned to have all Jews as part of his kingdom in Jesus’ time, but when unbelieving Jews refused to comply with his wishes and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, he gave his kingdom to those who would believe, whether Jew or Gentile.

Parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30)

Summary: A man going abroad leaves each of his three servants an amount of money to invest according to each one’s ability. While two of them invest and make money for their boss, the third is lazy and refuses to invest the money so he is cast out when the man returns to collect.

Earthly truth: An employee who knows what his/her boss is like and knows what his/her boss expects from them, should not make excuses for not meeting the boss’s expectations. Wise employees take the necessary steps to make the best return on their employer’s investments. Rewards should be given out based on a person’s performance. Those who don’t perform as they should on the job should lose their jobs and benefits.

Heavenly truth: Those who take advantage of what God blesses them with (salvation, spiritual gifts, etc.) will see a return on their spiritual investment and God will reward them for it. Those who refuse God’s gifts will be punished.

Parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:16-21)

Summary: A rich man who prospers only thinks of himself and how he can do things for his own benefit when his goods increase instead of how he can glorify God, but before he can eat, drink, and be merry, he dies.

Earthly truth: Don’t get so caught up in your earthly goods that you don’t consider or care about others, because there are more important things in life. It’s pointless to live for things because you may die before enjoying them fully and upon your death, they become someone else’s.  These are unpopular truths in an age where socialist envy is promoted at the left wing of our society while at the right wing we have those who promote Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged version of capitalism embracing atheistic, self-indulgent, self-centeredness from a false savior named John Galt.

Heavenly truth: Earthly goods should be used to glorify God, not to satisfy your own covetousness and selfishness because you can’t take them with you when your life ends.

Parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-12)

Summary: I’ve covered this at length already in a previous post, so I won’t discuss it here except to add this one thing–

Earthly truth: The manager who selfishly wasted his employer’s goods found out when he was fired that when you take advantage of your resources and use them to help others, you end up helping yourself.

–Harry A. Gaylord–

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16 thoughts on “Wise investments: Jesus’ capitalist parables

  1. I say this in the nicest way possible, but I feel like you’re misusing these parables. You’re reading your own modern notions of economics into these parables. There was likely no intention by Jesus to reveal these economic truths in parables. Parables were ancient storytelling usually to make a point, like Aesop’s Fables or a story you tell your young child. They’re not meant to read like you’re reading them. Also, where did this distinction between heavenly truth and earthly truth come from? There’s also no hermeneutical justification for those.

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    1. amos,

      You’re entitled to your opinion. Parables in the Bible were a bit different. If you do a concordance search of the word “parable” in the Bible, you’ll see they were proverbs, prophecies, riddles, and well-known principles used to convey truths. They weren’t just stories. I disagree about your “no hermeneutical justification” assertion.

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  2. Harry, I appreciate your response. I wasn’t writing to be rude or anything, so I hope you didn’t take it that way. My opinion on parables isn’t just my opinion. I’m finishing up my second degree in theology and have studied the nature of parables quite a bit, so when I said what I said about parables, I wasn’t just giving you my opinion. I don’t say that to boast at all, I’m just pointing out that this isn’t just my random take on what I think parables are. The nature of parables in the ancient world was for storytelling to make a point. Proverbs, prophecies, etc are technically different literary category than parables. Proverbs have a similar function, of course. But proverbs are generally short, general, pithy sayings, that have a general truth about them. Parables are made up stories to convey a truth or two. The details in parables would have been regarded as relatively unimportant. So, my overall point was that we should interpret and understand parables as Jesus and his hearers in the ancient world would have heard and understood them. No one who would have heard those parables that Jesus gave would have interpreted them in the way that you are interpreting them, and what I’m trying to say is that we should interpret parables in the way they were meant to be intended. Again, thanks for your response, i appreciate the dialogue. If you ever are interested in reading some literature on the subject, I’d be more than happy to hook you up.

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    1. Amos,

      I know you weren’t writing to be rude. We just have a difference of opinion. Here are examples of parables used in various contexts:

      Parable as prophecy

      5 And the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak… 7 And he [Balaam] took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel. 8 How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied? Numbers 23

      Parable as a riddle

      1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar… Ezekiel 17

      Parable as proverb

      6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay! Habakkuk 2

      Parable as a lamentation

      4 In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields. Micah 2

      Jesus took real life examples of practices done in that day to not only convey earthly truths about the practices but also heavenly truths those practices reflected. For example, in the parable of the vineyard owner who leased his vineyard to husbandmen, when they killed the vineyard owner’s son, Jesus asked the listeners what the vineyard owner would do to the husbandmen. They gave him the correct answer in Matthew 21:41 because they knew what the law stated and what the custom was. Jesus then used the earthly law & custom to give the heavenly truth and in doing so showed his approval of the earthly practice.

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      1. That’s what I was thinking. Let me get back to my original point.

        I’ll just use your example of the parable of the talents as a starting point. I actually agree with all of your applications, I just don’t agree that the actual parable teaches all of those applications. The parable of the talents isn’t actually about money. Which I know you understand, because you get the point of the parable in your ‘heavenly truth’ section. I would call this the ‘point’ or ‘interpretation’ of the passage. I do think you’re pretty much spot on (for what my opinion is worth). But it’s the ‘earthly truth’ section that is a good example of what I was talking about. Since the parable isn’t actually about money (it’s about spiritual gifts), I think you’re overreaching in your applications in the ‘earthly truth’ section. Since the parable isn’t actually about economics, I don’t see what right we have as the reader to draw out conclusions that the text simply doesn’t teach. Needless to say again, I agree with your ‘earthly truth’ section. It’s just not taught in this text.

        So far as the definition of parable goes, I wanted to offer a few points & then ask a question. First, I wanted to talk about your research methods. Simply looking up where the word ‘parable’ occurs in a concordance doesn’t tell you what a parable actually is. Let’s just say hypothetically you were asking me what ‘honor’ is. Now imagine that I tell you to check out my concordance on Tolstoy’s War & Peace to show you where the word honor occurs. But this shouldn’t help you any. You’re asking what the word ‘honor’ IS – and all I’m doing is showing you where it occurs in the text. Does this make sense? So, simply showing me where the word ‘parable’ occurs in the Bible doesn’t tell me anything about the nature of a parable.

        Aside from that, I now get to my question. I gave you the definition of ‘parable’ that has good scholarly consensus. Now you might say that you don’t care what scholars say about parables – and that’s fine. But the definition I gave you is actually a definition & you said you disagreed with it. Then you show the examples in your concordance where parables are used as prophecy, proverb, riddle, lamentation, but you never actually told me what you think a parable IS. You just said a parable can be used as these things. So, if a parable is something so diverse that it can be used as (or within) a riddle, prophecy, a lamentation or a proverb can you please give me your working definition of what a parable is?

        My second point was that if you look at any other modern translations, none of the translations actually translate the word ‘parable’ in those passages that you cite. But, since you don’t like these other translations, I figure that argument probably won’t be too interesting to you.

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      2. amos,

        [Simply looking up where the word ‘parable’ occurs in a concordance doesn’t tell you what a parable actually is.]

        You misunderstood me. When you look up a word in a concordance, then go to the scripture where the word appears, the context in which the word is used renders the definition of the word. The kjv has a built-in dictionary. When a word like “parable” is used, somewhere nearby in the kjv you will find the definition for the word. Those scriptures I gave tell what a parable is. A parable is not only used as prophecy, proverb, etc., a parable IS a prophecy, proverb, etc. that conveys a message from God telling how a person should govern their thoughts, intents, and actions to please God. That is the working definition and common denominator, whether a parable is a riddle, lamentation, proverb, etc.

        When you gave your definition of “parable”, you said they were like Aesop’s fables and are made up stories. That is what I was disagreeing with. They aren’t always made up. Jesus used real life examples and the examples he used were earthly truths tied to heavenly truths. Some of the parables were actual situations, like the sower and the seed. In other words, he wrapped heavenly truths in an earthly package of truth. This is why he told Nicodemus in John 3, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” He used earthly truths like birth and the wind with Nicodemus to convey how salvation and the Spirit work and Nicodemus couldn’t see the connection.

        [Since the parable isn’t actually about economics, I don’t see what right we have as the reader to draw out conclusions that the text simply doesn’t teach.]

        I disagree. The parable of talents is actually about economics. Jesus used an example of how economics should work and did work in his day to then relate how that economic example was how the kingdom of heaven operates. The earthly things were used to tell us of heavenly things. If someone like a socialist were to come along and read this parable and say that they don’t agree with or believe in that type of economic system, then they will also reject the heavenly truth behind it. Which takes us back to what Jesus said in John 3, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?”

        [… if you look at any other modern translations, none of the translations actually translate the word ‘parable’ in those passages that you cite.]

        There are about 5800 manuscripts that the Bible is based on. Modern translations only agree with 1% of those manuscripts–the Alexandrian text. The kjv agrees with the majority of those manuscripts the majority (99%) of the time. Have you ever asked yourself why today’s Church is more open to false doctrines? Have you ever noticed in the Bible where one of Satan’s main attacks seem to focus? If you can answer those questions honestly, then maybe you can understand why I don’t trust modern translations. The committees who worked on them included several progressives/liberals, including Virginia Mollenkott, a lesbian. Progressives/liberals embrace socialism and other doctrines of devils. If the Bible says that people like her will not inherit the kingdom of God, yet she clings to that lifestyle in defiance of God, do you think she will really be objective when translating the Bible? You can see the answer to that question in how churches are dividing on the gay marriage issue.

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  3. [You misunderstood me. When you look up a word in a concordance, then go to the scripture where the word appears, the context in which the word is used renders the definition of the word. The kjv has a built-in dictionary. When a word like “parable” is used, somewhere nearby in the kjv you will find the definition for the word. Those scriptures I gave tell what a parable is. A parable is not only used as prophecy, proverb, etc., a parable IS a prophecy, proverb, etc. that conveys a message from God telling how a person should govern their thoughts, intents, and actions to please God. That is the working definition and common denominator, whether a parable is a riddle, lamentation, proverb, etc.]

    I understand what you’re saying about context. But I think part of my point still remains. You say a parable IS all of those things. Ok – fair enough. Then I guess I’m still confused on what a parable is on your definition. If a parable is so versatile to be all of those things – that still isn’t the definition of a parable. Are there non-prophetic parables? Are there parables that aren’t also proverbs? Are there parables that are not lamentations? What differentiates between a proverb that is a proverb/parable and a proverb that is just a proverb? If I am reading the book of Proverbs, how will I know which proverbs are parables and which proverbs are not parables? What is my hermenutical criteria for distinguishing between the two? You say, “A parable is not only used as prophecy, proverb, etc., a parable IS a prophecy, proverb, etc. that conveys a message from God telling how a person should govern their thoughts, intents, and actions to please God.” If a parable is simply synonymous with these other literary genres, then why come up with the word parable in the first place? You already have literary words for these other genres. My point is simply that there’s a reason why the book of Proverbs isn’t called “Proverbs/Parables” and Lamentations isn’t called “Lamentations/Parables”. And that because parables have a different oratory function and literary function that all of those.

    Perhaps we agree more than we disagree here. I’m not saying a parable can’t contain prophecy or other things (predictive prophecy for example), I’m just saying that the parable itself is distinct from the prophecy that occurs in it. For example, the parable of the sower can be seen as predictive prophecy for how God’s word will reach individuals. So we have the genre of prophecy working within a parable. I am fine with this. However, the ‘prophecy’ (if I can use the term loosely here) of how people will respond to God’s call is imbedded IN the parable. The prophecy isn’t the parable. The parable CONTAINS the prophecy. Not for sure if this helps close the gap on what we’re talking about. I’m wondering if at this point, we’re perhaps talking a bit over each other, when we might have more in common.

    [When you gave your definition of “parable”, you said they were like Aesop’s fables and are made up stories. That is what I was disagreeing with. They aren’t always made up. Jesus used real life examples and the examples he used were earthly truths tied to heavenly truths. Some of the parables were actual situations, like the sower and the seed. In other words, he wrapped heavenly truths in an earthly package of truth. This is why he told Nicodemus in John 3, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” He used earthly truths like birth and the wind with Nicodemus to convey how salvation and the Spirit work and Nicodemus couldn’t see the connection.]

    Jesus’ parables do have things in common with Aesop’s fables. Go read Aesop’s “The Miser” and compare it with the Parable of the Talents. Both have a general idea – a made up story to convey what the speaker believes to be a truth or couple of truths about reality. Grant it, I know Aesop’s parables aren’t inspired, but surely you can recognize a similarity. They’re made up – in the sense that the stories Aesop or Jesus are telling didn’t actually occur. Obviously the principles Jesus is teaching in his parables is true, I’m just saying that the stories he uses are ‘made up’ in the sense that they never actually happened. Yes, Jesus gave ‘real life’ examples, in the sense that he’s speaking from a 1st century context, but that doesn’t mean the stories literally happened and that he’s recounting them. Now, grant it I wasn’t trying to press the issue and say Jesus’ parables are exactly like Aesop’s fables – all I was pointing out is that there was a similarity to make a broad point. And I’m not sure how you can deny that. Aesop’s parables are stories designed to make a moral point or two, and so are Jesus’ parables. The whole point of your post seems to agree with me. You cite several of Jesus’ parables, and then give the points of those parables. And that is what I’m saying is a commonality between the two. I wasn’t trying to degrade parables to some form of fiction.

    Part of this problem we’re having may have to do with our differing beliefs about the KJV version. If you’re held to some form of KJV-onlyism, then I guess you are giving the definition that you believe is true as the KJV cites it. So, I’m not going to badger that point. Suffice it to say there are good reasons why none of the modern translations do not render those words cited in the texts that you pasted as ‘parable’. But again, I don’t think you will find that too convincing.

    [I disagree. The parable of talents is actually about economics. Jesus used an example of how economics should work and did work in his day to then relate how that economic example was how the kingdom of heaven operates. The earthly things were used to tell us of heavenly things. If someone like a socialist were to come along and read this parable and say that they don’t agree with or believe in that type of economic system, then they will also reject the heavenly truth behind it. Which takes us back to what Jesus said in John 3, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?”]

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree here. The parable isn’t at all about economics. The use of ‘talents’ is metaphoric. And it’s an abuse of hermeneutics to draw out principles from a metaphorical passage that is read in a literal way. You even apparently agree with me on this because you interpret this point in your ‘heavenly truth’ section on this parable. You’re argument here is circular. You said you disagree and then just asserted, ” Jesus used an example of how economics should work and did work in his day to then relate how that economic example was how the kingdom of heaven operates.” But, this isn’t an argument, it’s an assertion. And that’s the crux of the debate. Just restating what you think Jesus did in this passage doesn’t actually argue your point. I gave you an argument WHY the text can’t be read in that fashion (because the intended usage is metaphorical – to which you partially agree). You haven’t given an argument as to why anyone should read the text (regarding talents) as both metaphorical AND literal. In fact, since you know that the argument Jesus is making is one based on the ‘talents’ that God has given to everyone, then it seems to me that you’re arguing that you know what was in the mind of Jesus at that moment. And that seems like an incredibly difficult argument to make. I agree that “The earthly things were used to tell us of heavenly things.” The ‘earthly’ examples help us interpret the text in a metaphorical way. That’s the nature of the talents. To go back into the text and look for other meanings is fruitless, because you have already drawn out the meaning. Does this principle of yours work for every metaphor in the Bible? Do you go back through the Bible when it uses metaphors and draw out both metaphoric truths and literal truths? Do you read Isaiah 40:6 (And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.”) and draw out both literal and metaphoric truths? No, of course not. The plain reading of the text is metaphorical, just like the parable.

    The fact of the matter is that the Parable of the Talents doesn’t really recount how economics would’ve worked in Jesus’ day. This is the whole point of the grumbling of the people who worked longer than the other people. The people who worked less would’ve been paid less in that day if it was actually true to life in the first century. The people were grumbling because they knew any other worker would’ve paid the people that worked less a smaller amount. Jesus is using these categories to make a point about the Kingdom of God (I know you know this), and he stretches the limits of the paying principle here, and he does so in other parables with other economic issues.

    [… if you look at any other modern translations, none of the translations actually translate the word ‘parable’ in those passages that you cite.]

    First, can you cite me a statistic somewhere online about your second sentence that ” Modern translations only agree with 1% of those manuscripts–the Alexandrian text.” Further, you say, “The kjv agrees with the majority of those manuscripts the majority (99%) of the time.” When you say the KJV agrees w/the majority of those MSS 99% of the time, you mean the Byzantine texts, right? Because many of the Alexandrian texts wouldn’t have been discovered then. I’m not sure I’m interpreting what you’re saying here correctly, so I’m just clarifying.

    I’m not an expert on KJV onlyism, but I have studied it some and met some KJV onlyists. The KJV works with the Textus Receptus, right, the vast majority of them which come through the 10-15th centuries.

    Your argument is one of logic. If the modern translations only agree w/1% of MSS, then surely the text that agrees w/99% would be more accurate. I don’t really have a dog in this fight to be honest, but I don’t see a reason to think the KJV is any more ‘inspired’ than other texts (if that’s what you’re arguing). I hope you’re not arguing that, because there’s no scriptural warrant for that. That’s the same argument that was used w/the Vulgate. There’s a simple logical principle on the other side of the fence as well. And that logical principle is that if you find older MSS that differ from the Byzantine, then often you will have the older MSS as the more correct one. As time goes on, and as copying goes on, it’s always easier to add or subtract from what the original text said. This seems very plausible to me.

    ie – I don’t think there’s a conspiracy on either side.

    [Have you ever asked yourself why today’s Church is more open to false doctrines?]

    Define ‘more’ open. What standard of measurement are you using to determine whether or not today’s church is more ‘open’ to false doctrines than the medieval church or even the ancient church. Look at the NT. The church, from its inception is constantly battling false doctrine. That’s the nature of humanity and it’s the nature of the church. We will always have non-Xians in our midst. I have a feeling that if we had lived in those times, we would be always be asking those questions. Why was x generation less open to false doctrine than ours? The reality is, it’s the nature of humanity to corrupt God’s word. And if that’s true, then the church is always battling false doctrine.

    [The committees who worked on them included several progressives/liberals, including Virginia Mollenkott, a lesbian.]

    Again, I agree we have modern translations coming out all the time. Some are good, some are not so good. We will have all kinds of people translating the Bible’s ancient MSS. But, we also have Bibles that are written very conservatively, for example, the HCSB or the Apologetics Study Bible (which is also HCSB or Holman Standard – can’t remember if those are different). The editors/translators/reviewers are conservatives. In fact, I studied at Seminary where some of these professors were, and a member of my church is actually a translator of the HCSB. And they’re very conservative. So, I think maybe you’re painting too broad of a brush here.

    [Progressives/liberals embrace socialism and other doctrines of devils. If the Bible says that people like her will not inherit the kingdom of God, yet she clings to that lifestyle in defiance of God, do you think she will really be objective when translating the Bible? You can see the answer to that question in how churches are dividing on the gay marriage issue.]

    I agree with you. The bottom line is we all have our own worldview presuppositions. Mind is Christianity and so is many of the editors/translators of modern text. Some are not, I agree. But I still think you’re painting too broad of a brush here.

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    1. amos,

      [If a parable is simply synonymous with these other literary genres, then why come up with the word parable in the first place?]

      Throughout the Bible, there are plenty of synonymous terms used interchangeably. If salvation is the same as eternal life, then why even come up with the word salvation? If affliction is synonymous with suffering or sickness, then why even come up with the word affliction? I’m of the opinion that such questions are pointless and are just distractions. The meanings behind parables are not to be understood by the natural mind but by God’s revelation. God uses truths from the natural world to point to spiritual truths behind them and a person will only understand the spiritual truths behind the parables if they open their heart to listen to the Spirit of God.

      Job said that God hangeth the earth upon nothing. This gives us the scientific truth of gravity in the natural world, but also ties in the spiritual to let us know that God created it. Isaiah 44 and 49 command the heavens to sing to the Lord. In the natural world we know now that the stars give off their own kind of music. The natural truth points us to the spiritual truth that God commands praise from the heavens via the stars. Same idea applies to parables.

      No matter how many examples I give, you’re not going to agree with my application and I won’t change my application to agree with your assertions so we’ll have to agree to disagree on these things and that’s perfectly fine. But I will say this and be done. Businesspeople who apply the earthly truths found in the parables are blessed with increase by God. Chick-fil-A is one example. Hobby Lobby is another. They apply the merit-based standards Jesus speaks of.

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  4. [I’m of the opinion that such questions are pointless and are just distractions. ]

    *concerning why come up w/the word parable*

    The question is rhetorical. I wasn’t asking you to explain synonyms to me. Give me a little bit of credit here.

    [The meanings behind parables are not to be understood by the natural mind but by God’s revelation. God uses truths from the natural world to point to spiritual truths behind them and a person will only understand the spiritual truths behind the parables if they open their heart to listen to the Spirit of God.]

    I agree. Are you under the impression I don’t agree with you on this?

    Obviously, you’re done here. So I’ll step down as well and say it was good talking to you.

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