Testament & Parables

In the online movie Testament (you can find it here at angel.com) Luke is going around collecting stories about Jesus. I have often thought of Luke as journalist, gathering reports and tales he can write down and pass on. But unlike the tabloid writers, he was recording good news, uplifting headlines. I guess he had no idea how much he would impact the world. Thank goodness he chose to write the book of Acts as well as his gospel. If not we’d all be standing around looking at the sky waiting for Jesus to come back. Something we can still be tempted to do. As a friend said to me recently, ‘We won’t miss it when Jesus returns, but we can miss what we are asked to do for him while waiting for his return.’ In this movie we find Jesus’s friends living in difficult times, but holding onto God, and sharing the parables of the kingdom. Jesus’s parables are not so much about heaven, but earth. About how to live, and here we find retellings of the rich fool, the sower, the Good Samaritan and two others.

Luke was on the side of the losers. Those put down and pushed aside. In his gospel he told the parable of the widow, a woman who had nothing, no power or position, and yet she had persistence. And she had courage and wit and personality and character. She was a woman of substance, and for those knowing the story of Abraham haggling with God over Sodom, this was a startling tale. Sure, Abraham could keep on at God, he was a father of the faith, he was rich, respected, with a certain place in society… and he was a man! But this poor woman? She had nothing, she was nothing. She could wrestle with God? Really? Well if she could. We could! And so Luke brings the good news that God is on the side of the weak, the poor, the broken, the lost, the underprivileged, the hurting, the grieving.

What do you think of the parables? Do you like them? Do you know many of them? Do you have a favourite, and a least favourite? Do you see them as having one meaning, or many? Do you think Jesus had a favourite? One he told lots of times perhaps?

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