Archive for the ‘parables of Jesus’ Category

I’ve always been enamored by Jesus’ parable of the talents that he recounts in Matthew 25:14-30. It has a lot to do with my feeling of obligation to take my intellectual gifts and employ it for the Church. But let’s not focus on the spiritual interpretation just now.

There seems to be a clear implication by Christ’s willingness to allow it to be the case that the master gives to the economically successful servants more capital control. That is, the implication seems to be that a greater control of capital by individuals is perfectly okay. There is nothing inherently unjust in one person being allowed to control 10 times as much capital in the economy as another; and this because they proved themselves successful in the handling of that much capital previously. On the other hand, those who are given some capital that they can use to make more in the economy, who do not use it (at least even to put it in the bank to collect interest) deserve to lose it.

Of course, there is also the interesting note about it being acceptable to Christ that money can be put to work collecting interest, by loaning it out to others (why did usury take so long to be clearly defined by the Scholastics? is one of my continual wonders). Even beyond that, we can also note how it is also acceptable for a person to have a view towards taking their money and investing it with the purpose of making more money for themselves.

So there is nothing inherently wrong, to Jesus at least, that there should be unequal distributions of capital control and wealth in the economy.

I do not think we can take this and say “This proves that Jesus was a capitalist.” I’m highly skeptical of taking Jesus’ words and coming up with some economic or political system based on it. But the right to property implied in this parable does indicate that Jesus approves of freedom in the market, at the very least.


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