Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Same Parable, Different Perspectives

The “beta” version of “The Parables of Jesus: A New Perspective” will be released this week.  We will be using this new study guide in our Sunday School class.  And, we will be making corrections as we study, in preparation for the “First Edition.”

One of the things we really stress in the study guide is looking at the parables from many different points-of-view.  Most of the parables were spoken in the midst of a crowd.  Different people in the audience would have heard the parables from different viewpoints.

For instance, take the parable which is often called, “The Prodigal Son.”  There is no question that the younger son is a main character in the story.  For those who focus on the younger son’s role, the story is a warning about squandering money, fast living, and the consequences of sin. 

But, what about those who see these events through the eyes of the father?  For them the story is one of heartbreak, unconditional love, forgiveness, restoration, and hope.

What if there were servants in the crowd who heard Jesus teach this parable?  What do you think they would have focused on that may be different from our traditional, modern interpretation?

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