Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Luke 19 redux

Reading the same passage of scripture several times over the course of a few days or weeks is a new discipline for me, but one I recommend--for you never know how that second or third reading will differ from the first.

Take Luke 19: 11-26, the “Parable of the Ten Minas.” First time through, came away with the message that was taught to me when I was young: God has given you talents and if you use them for God’s purpose, you will receive even more gifts or abilities.

But is that what this parable is really about? Here are a few excerpts that stood out on a subsequent reading:

12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.

14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’

And later on…

22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?

26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

Am I truly to believe that the Master in this parable is God the Father, or Jesus himself?

Reading through a third time, I am drawn to the first line of this parable:

11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable...

And what were they listening to exactly? Jesus was explaining his mission on earth.

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

And who is lost in the parable of the ten minas? Perhaps the delegation that protests the appointment of a selfish, ruthless man as king—only to find themselves put to death. Perhaps the servant, who is so fearful of this powerful man, that he is afraid to act on the minas entrusted to him?

Perhaps I need to read this one again…

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