Monday, October 03, 2011

Matthew 22:1-14

Pentecost + 17 - Year A

Matthew 22:1-14

Again with the parables. If Jesus, as a revelation of G*D, does so much with parables, we might begin catch a glimpse of a subtle G*D. In so doing we would do well to engage some humility in our understanding of G*D. Blessings to you for appreciating a more expansive G*D than doctrine or literalness can contain.

What a difference if we were to use an “invite everyone” approach to living life. Finding the good and the bad within each person we meet, we will find those ready for a next step and those who are not.

Given a choice between “inviting everyone” and “throw him away”, when a particular everyone doesn’t measure up, we see the parable ending with verse 10 - “filled with guests”. After this we get into what we take is a later addition and agree with the Jesus Seminar folks who write in The Five Gospels, “The Matthean version has strayed from from the original parable. The body of the parable (22:2-10) has been turned into an allegory of history of salvation: a king (God) prepares a feast for his son (Jesus) and invites his subjects (Israel) to the banquet. They treat the invitations lightly or kill the king’s servants (the prophets). The king destroys them and their city (Jerusalem) and invites others (foreigners) to the feast. This allegory is alien to Jesus, since the story has been thoroughly Christianized and looks back on the destruction of Jerusalem.”

It is not enough to hear that a parable is being told without an appreciation of what a parable is. Otherwise we fall prey to the old bait and switch - I’m going to tell you a parable . . . at least I want you to think highly of my allegory I am claiming to be a parable. A discerning ear and eye can help us move deeper into reported experiences and not be fooled by an initial claim.

1 comment:

  1. Matthew is in such a dark place these weeks. I read these parables, and for a while I say, "That's Jesus." And then, "Whoa, that's Matthew" (or the Matthean community).

    I would LOVE to preach this parable without the ending.

    I think I'll be going with Philippians though!


Thank you for blessing us with your response.