Thursday, 24 March 2016
The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation,
Brad H Young, Hendricksen, 1998
Chapter 11, "The Find" (pp. 199-221), page 206
Moving on to consider these two kingdom parables in the light of Jewish Tradition, Young makes an immediate connection between them and Torah learning:
Accepting the kingdom meant entering into obedience to G-d and searching the deeper meaning of his revelation in Torah. The gospels portray Jesus as a dynamic teacher, who raises up disciples for total commitment to the kingdom of heaven. In Jewish thought, the recital of the Shema was the acceptance of the yoke of the kingdom, because one was making a declaration that one has chosen the L-rd to the exclusion of all other gods, and G-d's way for living life. Praying the Shema opened up communion with the one true G-d. Disciples training under a master teacher were required to dedicate themselves to the task. Such devotion to G-d amd G-d's revelation in Torah was not without sacrifice.
There's an important lesson to be learned here. In an age where many are fiercely independent, representing relationship with G-d as anything other that total freedom and emancipation may be a hard sell. But followers of the One True G-d commit themselves to being a commanded people - not their own, but bought at a price.