Showing posts from October, 2011

Reflections on the Parable – Matthew 22:1-14

Ok, Back to Parables for the last four weeks of the church year. All of these four parables have been classified as “Parables of Judgment.”   And, to make matters more complex, this week we have the first of two Wedding Banquet parables.   So – wedding banquet/judgment = all rolled up into one parable. Read the text of the parable here:  Matthew 22:1-14 This parable comes in the middle of Jesus’ contentious debates with the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians and others who are trying to undermine Jesus so they can get eliminate this troublemaker once and for all.   But it is not so easy.   Jesus is clever and quick witted and, not only that, but he knows the law backwards and forwards.   Besting Jesus in a debate is not working out so well.   And to make matters worse Jesus has picked up a large crowd of followers who are hanging on every word! This raises the stakes as well and also threatens riot.   So into this highly charged atmosphere Jesus tells a parab

Reflections on the Gospel – Matthew 22:15-22 – “The Icon/Image of God”

Read the Gospel text here: Matthew 22:15-22 Reflections on the Gospel – Matthew 22:15-22 – “The Icon/Image of God” What no parable?   We are taking a break from parables for the next couple weeks.   But fear not we still have a few of Jesus’ most challenging and wonderful parables to examine before the end of November.   But today and for a couple weeks we find ourselves standing in the Courtyard of the Temple listening in as Jesus is challenged and verbally attacked by various groups – scribes, Pharisees, Herodians, Sadducees (just to name a few).   In the text for today the questioning attackers are trying a new tactic: flattery, manipulation and seduction.   “Oh teacher, we know you are so holy and teach God’s way in truth and purity, please tell us the answer to this important spiritual question… blah, blah, blah.”   Jesus does not fall for it, but it certainly would be easy for others to be snagged by this. The question itself seems innocent enough when it is po

Reflections on the Parables - "The Parable of the Wicked Tenants" - Matthew 21:33-46

Read the text of the parable here: Matthew 21:33-46 Something for Nothing - The Parable of the Wicked Tenants We have been looking at parables now for a while – since the beginning of July to be exact.   One thing that has been mentioned in passing is that some of the parables have long interpretation traditions that color and influence our reading of them.   In some cases this is a good thing; in some cases, not so much.   The parable for this morning is one of these latter.   The parable of the wicked tenants has a long, sad and violent history as being a proof-text for anti-Semitic activities.   This interpretation suggests that the Jewish people, like the wicked tenants, have destroyed the servants (prophets) and the son (Jesus) and because they are guilty of killing Jesus they should be put to the sword and persecuted. This is NOT what this parable is about.   That interpretation completely misses the mark and, more than that, is thoroughly anti-Gospel.   So there is no mis