Barry Newman's Blog

January 20, 2013

The Parable of the Tenants (part XI)

Filed under: Parables of Jesus,The Parable of the Tenants — barrynewman @ 9:13 pm

The relevance of the parable and what followed for the readers of the Gospels

While removed in time from the telling of the parable, the readers of the Gospels could hardly fail to see much of its significance.  Whatever their final response to Jesus, surely they would recognise that Jesus regarded himself as the son who had been sent by the father, God himself, to act on the Father’s behalf, that Jesus considered that he was the central figure in God’s final revelation to his people and that he was historically the most important of all God’s servants and coming at the end of the line, the ultimate personage in history.  Surely the readers were meant to understand that Jesus foresaw his death, that it did not catch him unawares, and that he also foresaw his vindication and his role one day as judge.

Presumably, the readers would have recognised how Jesus saw God’s character.  That he had been devoted to his people, loving his people, having chosen them for himself, that he expected his people to be loving towards him in return, ever faithful to the one who had loved them, nurtured them and done all things necessary for their well being, that God had been exceedingly long suffering, patient, enduring, slow to anger, while being ill treated, still persistent in endeavouring to draw his people to himself; that in the end he had made himself vulnerable, sending his only son, the beloved son, to be despised by a rebellious leadership, and that ultimately his justice would could come to the fore, his son would be vindicated, exalted and all those who had ill treated his son and those who came before him would not go unpunished.

Would the readers recognise that in God’s justice and in his outworking of his plans his people would be defined differently to how they would have been understood in the past – that there was to be a new Israel consisting of those who would offer to God what he so desired, love, faithfulness, obedience, loyalty?  Would the readers recognise the jeopardy in which they placed themselves if they opposed this Jesus but alternatively how they would be recipients of the favour of God if they recognised this Jesus for whom he is – the real Messiah, the Christ, the saviour, the Lord, the coming judge?

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