Tuesday, 5 April 2016
The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation,
Brad H Young, Hendricksen, 1998
Chapter 11, "The Find" (pp. 199-221), page 215-216
Young's first scene introduces the cast - just the one person in these two parallel parables - and sets up the audience for what is to come. Both invite participation by different audience demograhics. Who, Young asks, is the main chaacter in each drama?
The leading man in parable one is poor compared with the merchant in parablew two, who is quite well off. The first man could be an ordinary field worker, a sharecropper, the foreman, a steward, or someone merely walking by who notices something in the field. Such an ordinary persn is like so many listening to the story.
Is he like you? Are you just an ordinary person, going about your daily business with no particular expectation, especialy not of hidden treasure? But what might you find today?
On the other hand, the wealthy merchant who travels far and wide in search of choice merchandise is the type of intriguing character who would be found in the fantasy world of many a farm boy. He is a fascinating figure whoo adds a touch of mystery to the fiction of the parable.
Almost all the listeners can identify to some degree with one of other of these characters. Thw very different men Yeshua uses to present the kingdom and the cost of discipleship.