Sunday, 20 March 2016
The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation,
Brad H Young, Hendricksen, 1998
Chapter 11, "The Find" (pp. 199-221), page 199
No, not a question directed in song to Alfie - a character played by Michael Caine in the 1966 film 'Alfie' - recorded by Cilla Black and written by Hal David and Burt Barachach, but the different ideas that Young reveals in his dicussion of the parables of the Hidden Treasure and Pearl of Great Price. Young notes that they have:
puzzled interpreters, who have asked whether these straight-forward illustrate more the cost of discipleship or the value of the kingdom. What price must the disciple be willing to pay?
The question is more than academic, since we've probably heard both taught, although my guess is that the cost of discipleship is the more frequent application. Young goes on:
When he or she decides to answer the challenging call of Jesus, the cost involves everything he or she owns, as well as all relationships with other people. How is it possible, on the other hand, to measure the worth of G-d's reign? The kingdom is infinitely beyond human value, but these parables teach that the kingdom is within one's grasp if one is willing to sacrifice all to obtain it.
Is that how we see it - how much is knowing G-d worth?