Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baileys Stew

Part 6 (v)- The Parable of the Unjust Steward

Hmmm. This ones a tough one.

Gonna have to think about this one.

As Bailey says, this parable disturbs many. ' Many avoid it like the plague. Because it appears as if Jesus commends the steward for being a thief and a liar' (333). Bailey's "superficial" reading does little to resolve this concern either.

Bailey begins by bemoaning the fact (?) that there is a chapter division between this and his pet parable (prodigal son). Seems to think the parallel is much closer than that. Seem a little neurotic to you?

Seems to think that this chapter division was inserted in a fourth century text. Any of you see a new chapter in this fourth century text?

Maybe Bailey is thinking of some later, lesser lectionary. Regardless, I think Stephanus did the right thing here in 1555.

Anyway, this text is not nearly as confusing if you can understand one thing. That Jesus was mocking the Pharisee's with this one!

What? Mocking? Gentle Jesus?

Yes, Jesus mocked many. Even with parables. Even in Bailey's pet parable.

Do you not think Jesus was mocking the Pharisees when he told them that, "they had always been with the Father"? Mocking them when he told them that, "all that he had was theirs"?

Do you think that the Father was beyond mocking man in scripture? Try Job 38 for starters.

Do you think that the Holy Spirit was beyond mocking man in scripture? Try 2 Chronicles 18 for starters.

And as far as Jesus being gentle- did he not wield a whip? Did he not waste a fig tree? Any idea what gentle Jesus (angel of the Lord) did in the Old Testament?

So with that in mind- can you grant that perhaps Jesus was mocking the Pharisees in this parable? Bailey fails to even mention that they were there (Luke 16:14). Were they not listening to this parable and "scoffing at Him"?

Do you not think that Jesus was assigning the Pharisees an unrighteous master (v.8)? Assigning them unrighteous friends ("their own kind") in an unrighteous eternal dwelling?

Surely you don't believe that a just master would "just dismiss the wonderfully clever rascal" (341), do you?

Was this unrighteous steward really, "trusting in the mercy of his master" or hoping to be welcomed by unrighteous men (v.4) in his scheme?

I think Bailey is selling you a mess of pottage here. A mess far beyond the "best before" date.

If Bailey has a real sense of the sinfulness of sin here- I'll be a monkeys uncle.

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