Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Why do we identify the King in the parable with God?
The King is a King. He is on top of an intricate system of honor and shame, patronage, property, and privilege. He is rich. He is powerful. He hosts a banquet. His invite is turned down. He is shamed. He gets back at those who shamed him. He has them killed and burns down their city.
Then he gathers the dregs of society to his banquet. He finds one of the dregs not wearing the wedding robe which the King obviously provided (where do you expect the dregs of society to get clothes for a royal wedding?). The King is a King. He is rich. He is powerful. He is benevolent but he has been shamed again! He has his minions bind the man, hand and foot, and thrown out to where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And this is how we imagine the Kingdom of God?
Parables are the opposite of myths. If myths are stories that create order, parables subvert. Parables are subversive speech. The Roman Empire killed Jesus. Historians Josephus (Jewish) and Tacitus (Roman) both report the crucifixion. Jesus was, most probably, executed for the movement he started and the parables he weaved.