Nancy B. Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div.

In response to my recent article “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves Is Not Biblical,”i the question was asked, “How do you interpret the parable of the talents? This parable is found in Matthew 25:14-29.

 Since I interpreted the parable of the laborers in terms of the Higher Laws of God as they will unfold when humanity learns to live in Love, I will do the same with this parable.

Let’s look at the contrast between the two men in charge—the owner of the vineyard and the wealthy slaveholder:

 1. The owner of the vineyard describes himself – “I am generous.” (verse 15)

 The wealthy slaveholder confirms his nature to his servant/slave – you knew me that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter.” (verse 26)

 So how did the slaveholder acquire his wealth?

 I Timothy 6:9-10 may provide the answer: “For those who desire to be rich fall into temptations and snares, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in degeneration and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evil; and there are some men who have coveted it and have thereby erred from the faith, and have brought to themselves many sorrows.”

 2. The owner of the vineyard contracted with the laborers for their wages. Owner and laborers both agreed to the terms. The laborers had a voice in the contract—they could have refused the terms, asked for different terms, or refused to work. The possibility that more laborers would be needed later in the day would not have effected the details of their contract.

 The slaveholder commanded his slaves to take charge of his wealth. (The translation from the Aramaic uses servant; from the Greek slave.) He does not contract with his slaves … they have no voice. They could not refuse to care for his wealth; they were themselves owned and a very valuable part of his wealth.

 3. The owner of the vineyard was kind. He referred to one of the disgruntled laborers as “my friend,” and takes the time to explain his personal motives to the laborer. He is respectful of the laborer in his explanation. (verses 13-15)

 The slaveholder insults his slave and punishes him by taking away the one talent. (verses 26,28)

 4. The laborers were free to choose what to do with their lives. As they labored in the vineyard, they knew it was for a wage upon which they had agreed. They were free to use their God-given right to freewill choice.

 The slave had no freewill choice. He was crippled with fear of his master. He could not ask for advice or refuse to take on the responsibility for a task he obviously knew nothing about.


 One of the reasons I have enjoyed delving for the hidden wisdom within the Bible is that I never know what I will find. Such is the case with comparing these two parables.

Interestingly, through the years, the initial response of students to the Parable of the Laborers has been, “How unfair!”

In contrast, many respond to the Parable of the Talents with something like, “That’s what being lazy and not trying to work hard will get you! Lazy, no good man!”


 At this particular period in Earth’s history, I perceive the Parable of the Laborers is hinting at Golden Age in which we are all free to choose to follow our individual Soul’s Plan. The rewards for our choice will be knowing that we are respected for who we are … that our Father/Mother God is generous and kind.

 The Parable of the Talents reminds me of the conditions under which Earth humans presently live. We are slaves to the powerful, wealthy, and greedy. We have only to open our eyes to see the truth of “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” (I Timothy 6:10)

 Slaves are told what to do. We live in fear of our taskmasters: the mortgage, putting food on the table, paying for gas to travel to and from work, catastrophic illnesses, educating our children ……. on and on ad infinitum. We, as slaves, live in fear of cruel punishment: homelessness, hungry, prison.

 Slaves have no avenue of honest communication between equals. For example:

 Do you know who owns you and your children?

 IN SUMMARY: I do not view the Parable of the Talents as depicting the Kingdom of God or our Father/Mother God. Humanity has created God in our own image. We teach that God is filled with revenge and is capable of punishing us for an eternity. “Take away the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents…. And the idle servant they threw into the outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:28,30)  The Parable of the Talents depicts an Age now passing away!

 As the New Golden Age emerges, we will no longer live in fear. We will come to know our Mother/Father God as Absolute, Unconditional Love … we will know that we are One With All That Is. Money will very soon become obsolete because it was man’s creation, not God’s.

 The Bible—the story of our Soul’s journey through acquiring knowledge of good and evil—is coming to an end. It, with all of its violence, racism, and discrimination, cannot qualify to be a sacred text for the higher dimensions of Love & Light.

 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away; and the sea was no more.” (Revelations 21:1)

 new heavens new earth