The dark parable Jesus tells challenges us, not to learn what to do, but to recall and do what we’ve already learned from him.
Jesus is at the Temple in Jerusalem. He had only, the day before, entered the city on a donkey and flipped the tables of the money-changers. A visual parable of God’s humility in the seat of human power and order. He came back the next day to be confronted by some of the Temple’s leaders.
And again, Jesus challenges them to rise to the challenge Jesus is giving us all. To see the dream God has for all of creation. To not only do the right thing, but the good thing. That we might bring the Kin-dom of God Jesus is revealing into the kingdoms of Earth.
To them, Jesus may as well be speaking another language.
Now, there’s something fueling this misunderstanding. Fear.
These people confronted Jesus because he messed up the Temple. The Temple they are responsible for. This feels wrong to them.
But these are the same people who have called Jesus a heretic and sought his death for half of the book of Matthew at this point…
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