Terry Barnes

author, award winning novelist, adjunct professor of religion



Parable Studies

Matthew's Parable of the Talents: A Story of Faith

In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus tells the Parable of the Talents. This is a story of a wealthy master who entrusts vast sums of money to his servants, then departs on a journey. After a long time the master returns and asks for an accounting. Those who worked hard were praised and rewarded by their master. The servant who did not work didn’t fare as well.

The common interpretation of the parable is that one must use their gifts, talents, and abilities in the service of Christ or else lose them. In other words, those who work hard for Jesus will enter the joy of the master; those who don’t will be cast into outer darkness. But is this correct?

Click the following link for a study of this important parable.

Matthew's Parable of the Talents – free download


Luke 15: The Heart of God

Prodigal Son? Bad Title?

The Prodigal Son is an unfortunate and misleading title for the story in Luke chapter 15. The chapter begins with a contentious exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees, a confrontation where the Pharisees attacked the moral character of Christ. After all, he accepted the company of wretched sinners.

In response to this grumbling, Jesus told them “this parable” (Luke 15:3). Yet what followed was not one but rather three stories: the story of the lost lamb, the lost coin, and the inaccurate title of The Prodigal Son.

These stories are merely a three time recounting of a unified message. They were told to the same audience, they have common themes, but most important of all, they share the common purpose of revealing the heart of God.

For a study of this important passage, please click:

LUKE 15: The Heart of God - free download


The Unfair Story: The Parable of the Vineyard Workers

Nothing offends us more than to have a coworker receive the same wage for less work. Quite honestly, it’s not fair. Yet in Matthew Chapter 20, Jesus tells such a story.

So what was Jesus teaching?

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© 2017 by Terry Barnes