Sunday, July 28, 2013

"How Much Do You Owe?"

The parable Jesus presents in our Gospel text today is all about debt. On the face of it, a hired hand is commended for acting dishonestly to save his own hide when he realizes how unmanageable his debt has become....

[But] unless we understand what is going on around this parable we walk away from it thinking it is a lesson on dealing with our finances and investments in this world in order to win friends and influence people, because in doing so we somehow are feathering a heavenly retirement nest. But as always, in reading the Scripture and hearing the Word of God, if all we get out of it is what we have to do to pay off our debt and gain access to our heavenly home, we leave ourselves on the outside of the window looking in.

So, here in today’s parable we have Jesus catechizing His disciples, preparing them for His death on the cross and His subsequent departure, which will leave them in charge of proclaiming and spreading the message of the kingdom of heaven—especially how one comes into it. This He does with a parable so that hearing, the Pharisees will not understand, because they do not recognize Him as the Christ, who by His crucifixion is The Way to heaven and THE key to understanding all of Scripture -- and therefore, also this parable.

To hear the entire sermon preached for the Ninth Sunday after Trinity, click on this link.

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