The Monoparable of Jesus Christ

G.S. Muse
For the New Christian Intellectual
5 min readApr 6, 2023

In 1949, Joseph Campbell wrote the famous book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” in which he described the Monomyth and The Hero’s Journey. He showed that many of our great stories share several common plot elements. We see similar elements in Tolkien, Greek Mythology, Shakespeare, Disney, and many other places.

In a similar, but not identical manner, I’ve been noticing many common elements in the parables of Jesus Christ.

For example, we see wise servants contrasted with wicked servants. We see unfaithful servants in the parables of the talents/minas (Matthew 25, Luke 19), in the parable of the dishonest manager (Luke 16), and in the parable of the tenants (Matthew 21). Another notable example of a wicked servant is the unforgiving servant of Matthew 18.

We also see the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25) which somewhat follows in this line, since the foolish virgins were banished outside of the feast.

There are variations, but overall we see a pattern of an unfaithful servant who is fired from his master’s service. Many times, the servant is unfaithful in terms of business. The stories are so similar that it might be possible to combine them into a single work of fiction as a nod to the parables of Christ.

My thoughts have not been completely fleshed out in regard to the idea of a “Monoparable” except to say that these parables seem like they could interconnect a lot more than I’ve seen pointed out. To insist that these are all the same figures would probably be to argue too much, but the repetition of themes seems to be a lot stronger than what I’ve seen people talk about.

Parable of The Sower

This pattern connects to another observation:

Jesus routinely compares the kingdom of heaven to a capitalist endeavor.

The aforementioned parable of the talents/minas being two examples. In Matthew 13 we also read about the sower, the hidden treasure, and the costly pearl. The same passage also compares the kingdom of keaven to a fishing endeavor where good fish are kept (presumably to be sold for a profit) and the bad are thrown away.

Interestingly, Matthew 20 also affirms many of the core fundamentals of Capitalism and refutes Marxist/Socialist philosophies. People conduct business and make price agreements by mutual consent to mutual benefit. The figure representing God affirms property rights.

Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ — Matthew 20:15

Of course, in pointing out that Jesus routinely compares the kingdom of heaven to a capitalist endeavor, I’ve had many conservative Christians object. They point out that this is a parable and meant to be symbolic (as if I didn’t know that). This makes me wonder if they know what a parable is.

Parables are meant to be symbolic illustrations for those who follow Christ, but in order to understand that which is being symbolized, we have to understand the picture that is being illustrated. It does no good to hear a parable about a lost sheep if one does not understand what a sheep or even an animal is. In the same way, the message of the parable of the unforgiving servant would be lost on someone if they did not understand the relative values of the money being described.

I once sat in a Shakespeare class in which I explained the value of the money involved in this parable. The unforgiving servant was understandably upset. His fellow servant owed him 100 denarii (100 days’ wages). But this same servant had been forgiven much much more (many lifetimes worth) and should have forgiven his fellow servant in return.

It is easy to forgive a man who owes you $5, but $14,000 is much more difficult, and that is the point. God has forgiven me much for my sins, so I should forgive my fellow servant even when he owes me a lot. What some or another person said and did may have been hurtful, but God has forgiven me so much more than that.

The symbolism is lost if we do not understand the picture that is being illustrated.

With regard to the capitalist endeavors in the parables, many Christians have become angry at me for pointing out this observation. They will say they disagree with my “opinion.” But I did not offer an opinion; I offered an observation — something that can be directly seen in the text itself. Jesus told these parables, and they do, in fact, draw the illustration of a capitalist endeavor on many occasions (capitalism here means a consensual business endeavor).

No one in these parables was forced to harvest wheat at the point of a government sword for the sake of the collective, which would be a socialist parable. Instead, these businessmen in the parables of Christ are seeking their own profit.

In terms of interpretation, I do not think that Jesus would use something unjust to illustrate the way the kingdom of heaven will be. If you disagree with that premise, then tell me why. If you disagree with my plain observations, then prove me wrong with Scripture and with logic.

In the parables, we also see birds, agriculture, and of course, servants who were faithful to their master. Clearly, these elements are symbolic; they illustrate something greater. But in order to understand the greater lesson, it is important first to understand the illustration.

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G.S. Muse
For the New Christian Intellectual

G.S. Muse, also known as GreenSlugg on YouTube or simply as “Greg” is a lab technician, youtuber, author, and blogger. His work can be found at