Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 3 Rude Interruption/ Jesus as Teacher/ Parables/ 2 Killer Parable Plays

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2)If you were oine of the NINE who missed last night (Wow!  Unprecedented.  And I can't believe you had to miss the "Killer Parable Play" Night.  You had to be there,  Do your best to make sense of this summary, even though you missed THIS   post smoking student,
and the video below..
among other things!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------Great presentations tonight!

Pre-blessed food:
We did four more timelines..more powerful, moving reminders..

--So by were were rudely interrupted by another class tonight!
It was to call to mind what Jesus' "temple tantrum" might have felt like
Here's a video another  version of this class  interruption that happened on my birthday:

Secret Message:
Quick bounded exercise

Fill in the blank: Jesus was either who he said He was (The Messiah)...or ____"


C.S. Lewis

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

― C.S. LewisMere Christianity


Aimee Herd : Apr 2, 2014 : Leah Klett - Gospel Herald

"[Jesus] either—in my view—was the Son of God...or nuts...[and] I find it hard to accept that millions of lives, half the earth for 2,000 years, have been touched; have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nutter…" –Bono
 "The Person of Christ is my way to understand God."
Interviewer Gabriel Byrne then asked him if he prays…
"Yes," answered Bono, adamantly. The rest of the conversation went something like this…
"To whom or what do you pray?"
"To Christ."
"And what do you pray for?"
"I pray to get to know the will of God, because then the prayers have more of a chance of coming true," answered Bono, chuckling.
Bono"I mean, that's the thing about prayer," Bono added. "We don't do it in a very lofty way in our family… we pray with all our kids, we read the Scriptures… sometimes if we go to church on a Sunday, we'll go as [the service] has ended and we'll go in on our own as a family… and we'll pray, usually about people we know who are struggling with something, illness or whatever." (Photo via Gospel Herald)
"Then what or who was Jesus, as far as you're concerned?" asked Byrne.
"I think it's a defining question for a Christian...," said Bono. "I don't think you're let off easily by saying a great thinker or philosopher, because actually, He went around saying He was the Messiah, that's why He was crucified...because He said He was the Son of God. So, He either—in my view—was the Son of God...

Byrne: "..or NOT."

Bono:  "No, no..or nuts...[and] I find it hard to accept that millions of lives, half the earth for 2,000 years, have been touched; have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nutter… I don't believe it."
"And therefore it follows that you believe He was divine."
"And therefore it follows that you believe He rose from the dead."
"Yes. …I have no problem with miracles; I'm living around them—I am one."
To watch a portion of this interview, Click Here.

Bono picks this up:


Assayas: The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that.

Bono: But I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there's a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let's face it, you're not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That's the point. It should keep us humbled . It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

Assayas: That's a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it's close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has his rank among the world's great thinkers. But Son of God, isn't that farfetched?

BonoNo, it's not farfetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn't allow you that. He doesn't let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I'm not saying I'm a teacher, don't call me teacher. I'm not saying I'm a prophet. I'm saying: "I'm the Messiah." I'm saying: "I am God incarnate." And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You're a bit eccentric. We've had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don't mention the "M" word! Because, you know, we're gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you're expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he's gonna keep saying this. So what you're left with is: either Christ was who He said He was the Messiah or a complete nutcase. I mean, we're talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we've been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had "King of the Jews" on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I'm not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that's farfetched

Bono: If only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed. When I look at the Cross of Christ, what I see up there is all my s--- and everybody else's. So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man? And was He who He said He was, or was He just a religious nut? And there it is, and that's the question. And no one can talk you into it or out of it. -- Link, similar answer here on audio, 13:58 mark here


Remember the "Teenage Affluenza" video that we watched, for which you used
 terms like:

  • subversive
  • satirical
  • spoof
  • sarcastic
  • ironic
  • inductive
  • interactive
  • intuitive
  • earthy
  • earthly
  • juxtaposing
  • convicting
  • comedic
  • abductive
  • pointed
  • prophetic
  • sneaky
  • back door
  • non sequitur
  • cheesy
  • you're not sure whether you're supposed to laugh
  • feel uncomfortable laughing at funny parts near the end
  • tweaking
  • nonlinear
  • risky
  • "over the top"
  • maddening
  • convicting
  • offensive (to some)
  • shocking
in describing?  These are all great sub-definitions of a parable.

Do you remember how this video of Ignatius that we  watched today 
is a parable?

It is sneaky, subversive.... on purpose......and a parable.
Partly because it is inductive, subversive, a "loud fart," and has one primary point.  What is it?

Dave's videos on parables, which includes 12 points about parables


.. a comparison or contrast between two things that have "nothing in common," and asking what they have in common.
literal meaning of Greek word "parable": Taking two things that have nothing in common and asking "What do they have in common?"  A creative comparison told in story form.  Thus the point is often "hidden" or "unobvious" at first..

parable is a succinct story, or word-picture/picture in words.. in prose orverse, that illustrates a lesson. It is a type of analogy.[1].

..The word "parable" comes from the Greek παραβολή (parabolē), meaning "comparison, illustration, analogy",[3] ...often comparaing two items that seem incongrous, disparate, and have nothing to do with each other... Christian parables have recently been studied as extended metaphors,[5] ..
Unlike the situation with a simile, a parable's parallel meaning is unspoken and implicit, though not ordinarily secret...The New Testament parables are thought by scholars such as John P. Meier to have been inspired bymashalim, a form of

2)) "a .loud fart in the salon of spirituality."
This is a quote from Eugene Peterson helps us get how offensive Jesus' parables were to religious folk:

"gnostics delight in secrecy. They are prototypical insiders. They think that access to the eternal is by password and that they know the password. They love insider talk and esoteric lore. They elaborate complex myths that account for the descent of our spiritual selves into this messy world of materiality, and then map the complicated return route. They are fond of diagrams and the enlightened teachers who explain them. Their sensitive spirits are grieved by having to live surrounded by common people with their sexual leers and stupid banana-peel jokes and vulgar groveling in the pigsty of animal appetite. Gnostics who go to church involuntarily pinch their noses on entering the pew, nervously apprehensive that an insensitive usher will seat a greasy sinner next to them. They are however enabled to endure by the considerable compensation of being ‘in the know’ (gnostic means ‘the one who knows’). It is a good feeling to know that you are a cut above the common herd, superior to almost everyone you meet on the street or sit beside in church.
It is inevitable that gnostics will boycott the creation theater and avoid its language as much as possible, for metaphor is an affront to their gossamer immaterialities and inner-ring whispers, a loud fart in the salon of spirituality.” (Answering God, 75-76)
3. The  one primary point
                                     of a parable
                                          a parable has
      one primary point"
(Note that is a chiasm!

Parables may have allegorical components, but are not usually allegories.  Press and push for the ONE PRIMARY POINT>

4) Having said that..they are also  a multiplex, multifaceted   matrix...and can be entered (not exited) anywhere

5) stories that sizzle, bite and blast
Kraybill, from your Upside Down Kingdom textbook: 

"the parables sizzle into the minds of the religious heavyweights: 
your attitude is the opposite of God's"  p. 158]


6)Stein offers these three possible reasons Jesus teaches in parables:

a)       To conceal his teaching from those “outside”
b).       To illustrate and reveal his message to his followers
c).       To disarm his listeners—they force a response somehow, leave you wrestling, are provocative

7. Parables often have a God (or Jesus) figure, but watch out, it might be a surprising, subversive, "unobvious" character

8.  If you think you have the right interpretation right away,
then right away assume your interpretation is not right. 

9)they are about the KINGDOM
10.Left-handed and right-brained power:

"Left-handed power is precisely paradoxical power that looks for all the world like weakness, intervention that seems indistinguishable from nonintervention" (Capon, 20) A preference for left-handed power made perfect in weakness as opposed to the right-handed power of “might is right.” The parables, then, reflect the left-handed paradoxical power of the kingdom of heaven—power that comes from the intuitive, open and imaginative realm of reality, as opposed to right-handed power governed by logical, rational, straight-line principles. No wonder there was head-scratching. Perhaps Jesus should have said: Let anyone with poetic ears listen! Or, let anyone with magical and mysterious ears listen! Because the kingdom of heaven is not logical; the kingdom of heaven does not add up in practical terms. -Mary Haddad:
kkk CAPON...on Jesus LEFT-HANDEDNESS..What does he mean? In the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus' reluctance about signs becomes manifest (p. 14) is pivotal (oage 21, 22) After 5000 are fed, the crowds attempt to get Jesus/tempt Jesus to operate in right-handed power (28)...This is a major shift in his thinking toward moving only in left-handed power (55) Note: John's gospel does not mention Jesus' Three Testations...thus this whole "right-handed" testation is his TTP version of them “But Jesus will save the world by dying for it – undergoing ghastly, unimaginable suffering. He will not be a charismatic, convincing political leader. He will not be an incomparable warrior. He will not rule by winning, but will win by losing. He will be, to the contrary, the eerie example of what Isaiah had seen in the Suffering Servant centuries before (Isaiah 53:2-3)” (H. King Oehmig, Synthesis 4/6/03). "Unfortunately (right-hand power) has a whopping limitation. If you take the view that one of the chief objects in life is to remain in loving relationships with other people, straight-line power becomes useless. Oh, admittedly, you can snatch your baby boy away from the edge of a cliff and not have a broken relationship on your hands. But just try interfering with his plans for the season when he is twenty, and see what happens, especially if his chosen plans play havoc with your own. Suppose he makes unauthorized use of your car, and you use a little straight-line verbal power to scare him out of doing it again. Well and good. But suppose further that he does it again anyway—and again and again and again. What do you do next if you are committed to straight-line power? You raise your voice a little more nastily each time till you can’t shout any louder. And then you beat him (if you are stronger than he is) until you can’t beat any harder. Then you chain him to a radiator till… But you see the point. At some very early crux in that difficult, personal relationship, the whole thing will be destroyed unless you—who on any reasonable view, should be allowed to use straight-line power—simply refuse to use it; unless, in other words, you decide that instead of dishing out justifiable pain and punishment, you are willing, quite foolishly, to take a beating yourself.” (Capon, page 18-19) “Every one of us would rather chose the right-handed logicalities of theology over the left-handed mystery of faith. Any day of the week—and twice on Sundays, often enough—we will labor with might and main to take the only thing that can save anyone and reduce it to a set of theological club rules designed to exclude almost every one.” The Messiah was not going to save the world by miraculous, Band-Aid interventions: a storm calmed here, a crowd fed there, a mother-in-law cured back down the road. Rather it was going to be saved by means of a deeper, darker, left-handed mystery, at the center of which lay His own death. "The Messiah was not going to save the world by miraculous, Band-Aid interventions"-Capon There are two kinds of power in the world. Robert Capon call them right and left handed power. Capon carefully shows in his book, The Parables of the Kingdom, that Jesus talked in parables so that our right brains could grasp what our left-brains can never. He says that the gospel is a gospel of left-handed power, the power of weakness, submitting, and obedience. He says that God used right-handed power in the olden days, when we were still young in our development, but that since the incarnation, God pretty much sticks to the non-interventive approach. According to Capon the whole thing turned at the feeding of the multitude. Jesus had been doing miraculous signs out of compassion, but then he realized that he was in danger of being misunderstood as a provider of right-handed power. When Peter suggests that he understands who Jesus is, meaning that he wants him to be the provider and protector extraordinaire, Jesus says, "Get out of my face, you Satan." It is when we think we understand what God is up to, especially when this knowledge is linked to right-handed power that we are in the most danger. link Read the whole section of Capon here. So how do you see the connection between Jesus' two shifts (toward nonIsraelites and left-handed power)? ----- -- J kkk
 11)They are a SIGNpost..pointing to something else (To be defined next week_

12.Look for open-ended endings  (Does the older brother
in The Prodigal Son ever repent? etc) and cliffhangers that force you to participate in the story, consider alternate endings, and respond yourself.

I'll leave it opened ended...................

First Killer Parable Play.
By group(party)..
each group read "The Good Samaritan" and had 15 minutes to come up with it's "moral."
Then they had to present a parable play, with the parable retold for today.

 discuss and prepare to act out (in NO MORE THAN 3 MINUTES) a modern-day version of the same parable: use "contemporary world" equivalents of the story/characters etc.  What if Jesus came today, how would he tell the same parable in our context and culture?

Then we asked if any group included the "loud fart" of the Samaritans being BAD.
See below

Good Samaritan misunderstood

We so often  miss ( see "Parables and Misundertaking") 
the point and punch of parables..
“The greatest thing by far is to be master of is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars.”
(Poetics, 1459 a 5-8, "The Basic Works of Aristotle")

If Jesus "never opened his mouth once  (at least to 'outsiders') without speaking an analogy-metaphor-parable," (Matt 13:34-35).. what a genius!

And then surely the essence of genius is to do the same: our primary job as  interpreters/communicators is to find, exploit, and communicate connections between two apparently unrelated things; modeling the great connectedness of all things in the Freakonomic Kingdom.

"Prophets are characteristically masters of metaphor. Metaphor is the witness of language to the interconnectedness of all things visible and invisible….When prophets use metaphor, we get involved with God whether we want to or not, sometimes whether we know it or not…. If we are lucky, a prophet, one of the descendants of Hosea, or Jonah, or Habakkuk, shows up and with the simple expedient of a metaphor, said or sung, drags us outside into the open air when all the stuff we are studying is alive and moving and colliding with us. For many these days, it is U2 that shows up.”
-Eugene Peterson , Preface to "Get Up Off Your Knees : Preaching the U2 Catalog"
Eugene Peterson is a genius. Amazing pastor, writer, Bible translator.
One of his best lines ever..and you might read Parable" for ":metaphor":

 "metaphor is.. a loud fart in the salon of spirituality"
From "Answering God: The Psalms as Tools For Prayer", p. 76

One preacher says:

What we need are people who will approach the text and say, "God, what do you want to unleash here?" The guiding principle is the text, and you've encountered the living, sacred Word, and you're going to explode if you don't share what's happened in you, as opposed to Well, I guess I have to start it this way. You don't. I have to have an intro. Prove it. Maybe some teaching people have no idea where you're going until the last minute, and maybe that's why it works.

When Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan, everybody thought it was going to be a Pharisee who stops, and a Samaritan stops. Get it? He has them. He's working them over.

Sometimes I intentionally have three teachings going at the same time. I want you to be wondering, That has nothing to do with what you're saying now. I have no idea And then at the end, oooh. If you don't get that oooh, you're in trouble.
I've been wrestling with this lately. God makes the world in six days; rests on the seventh. Six days, seven. Six, one. Six, one. There is a rhythm to six days on and one day off. I started thinking about drummers and how drumming is all about the spaces. It's all about hitting it and then backing off. Music and beat and meter and drum are a reflection of how God made the world. If you don't take that day and live according to the beat God has put in creation, your song isn't going to be good. When the drummer is off, the whole song falls apart. Rhythm is something that's built in; it's elemental to life.

Everybody I come in contact with, I say, "Check this out. Think about this. Sabbath and drums." I get something like this, and I can't shut up about it. By the time I get to share it with people, I will have told the person at the gas station. I will have told the person at 7/11—everybody I come in contact with. "Check this out. Sabbathdrums."
  -full article here



Good article in the new Biblical Archaeology by Amy-Jill Levine (emphasis mine):
In the parable, the priest and Levite signal not a concern for ritual purity; rather, in good storytelling fashion, these first two figures anticipate the third: the hero. Jews in the first century (and today) typically are either priests or Levites or Israelites. Thus the expected third figure, the hero, would be an Israelite. The parable shocks us when the third figure is not an Israelite, but a Samaritan.
But numerous interpreters, missing the full import of the shock, describe the Samaritan as the outcast. This approach, while prompting compelling sermons, is the fourth anachronism. Samaritans were not outcasts at the time of Jesus; they were enemies.
In the chapter before the parable (Luke 9:51–56) Luke depicts Samaritans as refusing Jesus hospitality; the apostles James and John suggest retaliation: “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” (Luke 9:54). John 4:9 states, “Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.” The Jewish historian Josephus reports that during the governorship of Cumanus, Samaritans killed “a great many” Galilean pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem (Antiquities 20.118–136). The first-century Jewish person hearing this parable might well think: There is no such thing as a “good Samaritan.” But unless that acknowledgment is made, and help from the Samaritan is accepted, the person in the ditch will die.
The parable offers another vision, a vision of life rather than death. It evokes 2 Chronicles 28, which recounts how the prophet Oded convinced the Samaritans to aid their Judean captives. It insists that enemies can prove to be neighbors, that compassion has no boundaries, and that judging people on the basis of their religion or ethnicity will leave us dying in a ditch.  link

See also this article:

Levine: Good Samaritan parable teaches compassion for the enemy 

And this video version:

Amy-Jill Levine: Dangers on the Road to Jericho from Chautauqua Institution on
See a great, hilarious  section by Capon:\

The defining character – the one to whom the other three respond by being non-neighbour or neighbour – is the man who fell among thieves. The actual Christ-figure in the story, therefore, is yet another loser, yet another down-and-outer who, by just lying there in his lostness and proximity to death, is in fact the closest thing to Jesus in the parable.

That runs counter, of course, to the better part of two thousand years’ worth of interpretation, but I shall insist on it. This parable, like so many of Jesus’ most telling ones, has been egregiously misnamed. It is not primarily about the Samaritan but about the man on the ground. This means, incidentally, that Good Samaritan Hospitals have been likewise misnamed. It is the suffering, dying patients in such institutions who look most like Jesus in his redeeming work, not the doctors with their authoritarian stethoscopes around their necks. Accordingly, it would have been much less misleading to have named them Man-Who-Fell-Among-Thieves Hospitals...{as if the doctors would stand for that} (p. 210ff, Kingdom, grace, judgment: paradox, outrage, and vindication in the parables of Jesus)

This guy talks about the Samaritan.  Which character RU?

Each party had to read THE PRODIGAL SON, decide on its main point, and then tell a different parable with the same point.

discuss and prepare to act out (in NO MORE THAN 3 MINUTES) a modern-day e parable: a modern-day situation.  There is  difference between simply changing a few elements to set the same story in modern terms, and using a  completely different story to communicate the same message.  The point of this activity is the latter.]..a different story and storyline altogether, but same  point.,  Do not use the same characters or  storyline.
Remember this:


Some pics and video from tonight;


Faith Lessons by Ray Vander Laan: On the Prodigal Son and Thinking the Eastern Way, Part a

The Western mode of thought comes from the ancient Greeks. We think abstractly. We like to take what we learn apart, see how it’s made, and extract the underlying principles.
RVL’s students in high school have to dissect a frog in their biology classes. When they cut a frog apart and look inside, they learn many truths about the frog. They learn how his heart works, how his lungs work, and so on. They never learn who his girlfriend is. You can only learn who the frog’s mate is by observing him in the wild. You can’t take him out of the pond and learn how he lives.
The Western approach to a frog is to dissect it. The Eastern approach is to learn the frog’s story. Both approaches gain truths. But you can’t truly understand much of what’s written in the Bible unless you study it in its native environment before you take it apart. After all, many of the scriptures were written by Easterners for Easterners.
Consider the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
(Luke 15:17-22)  “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.”
Notice that the father ran to the son. In Palestine, fathers do not run. It’s considered extraordinarily undignified. And they certainly don’t run toward a sinful son.Rather, honor requires that the son come to the father. For the father to run toward the son, before the son has apologized, would have been shameful. And yet this father was willing to suffer humiliation just to reach his son a few minutes sooner.
The father embraced the son before he expressed his repentance. Indeed, the son only intended to ask for a job so he could eat. He had no intention of asking for forgiveness, only a little mercy.
We typically ignore both the cultural environment of the story and its textual environment. The story is preceded with —
(Luke 15:1-2)  Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
What did the father do in the story? He ate with the prodigal son — a son who’d been shamed and humbled. The father suffered humiliation to do so. And who is the father?
The father is God. And who was suffering shame for eating with humble sinners? Jesus. Jesus was doing exactly what the father does in the story — hurrying to meet sinners coming toward him, before they even realize how much grace is available — and eating with them, in that culture, a sign of acceptance and even protection.
Jesus was claiming to be God — and to be a God who acted in this wondrous way, a way of behavior utterly foreign to those who criticized him. Indeed, his critics were being caricatured as the older brother —
(Luke 15:29)  But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.”
This is a rebuke. This older son never learned to be like his father and reacted to his brother’s return selfishly and lovelessly. And yet God is gracious even to the older brother —
(Luke 15:31-32)  “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'”
Imagine being in the crowd and hearing Jesus treat both the “sinners” and Pharisees with such compassion, while putting himself in God’s place. It would have been obvious that the Pharisees were God’s children, but children who were severe disappointments who had totally misunderstood their father’s heart. And the God that Jesus portrays would be far more attractive than the God presented by the Pharisees.


Prodigal Son..retold in rap and mime.some amazing sdents of mine re-enacted The Prodigal Son, as Jesus might tell it today..Let's just say it's now about an Italian family whose dad owns a pizza parlor..and the prodigal got " hella hungry"...but it must be seen! — with Christian Bergthold.


Historical World of Prodigal Son/ 4 Misconceptions:

1.     It would seem important to say that this is part of a larger unit.  Luke 15 really has three parables (the lost sheep, the lost son) that work like one parable with three parts.  Verse 1 says “Jesus spoke to them this parable,” and then the rest of the chapter is in red letters.  Since “the primary point of a parable is that a parable has one primary point” (class notes ), it seems best to treat the whole chapter as one parable with one main point.  Paragraph divisions can get in the way!
2.     Connecting the three stories as one, but as in a progression, you notice a decrease in percentage of who was lost (one out of  a hundred sheep; one out of ten coins, then one of two sons.  This might suggest that lost people really matter to God, no matter how many there are.
3.     The whole parable is addressed specifically to  elders and teachers.  It feels like the point of the parable is that they should see themselves  as the judgemental older brother.  The parable is told as a response to “Jesus welcome sinners and eats with them” (15:2)
4.     I wonder if the prodigal son really visited prostitutes as the elder son accused him.  It doesn’t SAY that earlier.
The story reads like classic art, even a poem, or well-thought-out literature or a movie

Climax is profound..but in a way, we are left hanging (Did the older brother ever rejoice?).

6.                 In an outline of Luke as a book, this section comes under the heading that one writer called “On the Road To Jerusalem.”  This may mean that everything that happens in this section has a sense of urgency.

7.                 The whole context of the broader section   (Luke 14-15)has an emphasis on parties/ banquets.  This could be intertextuality, intercalation (Capon, page 285).  Hmm, why would God throw a party?

8.                 The whole parable is structured as a huge chiasm, suggesting the theme is resurrection. Source:

9.                 In Matthew 18:12-14 There is a parallel parable to the lost sheep.  The main difference there is the sheep “wandered off,” as opposed to being “lost” in Luke.  This might raise the question of each writer’s “targeted theological purpose.”    That whole chapter in Matthew seems full of pleas for forgiveness and restoration, as does the Luke chapter.

1)All three “lost” persons were “outcasts” in the Bible’s historical world: A shepherd was considered dirty

 (“Faith Lessons” video: “The Lord is My Shepherd”),  women were not  were not highly honored, and a son who had done unclean things was to be shunned.

(Summers, Commentary on Luke.  p.118 and Bible Background Commentary, online).  This even suggests that Jesus was talking a risk with his audience by having the “God figure” in the story an unrespectable person: dirty shepherd, woman…or a father who would seem effeminate by running in public (in that historical world.)

2.                 The prodigal asking for his inheritance early was like saying “Dad, I wish you were dead: a grave insult. The father putting a ring on the prodigal’s finger was the equivalent to him giving his son his credit card, a radical restoration (class notes  ).

3.Eating pig food would not be kosher for a  Jew, it must have been humiliating.  Or had he quit being a Jew at that point?  (Bounded set)

3.                 The father killing the calf was an intertextuality to Old Testament sacrifices.

1.Do I love unconditionally like all three God figures in the parable(s)?
2.Who am I in the story?  The elder brother?
3. If Jesus told the story today, what images would he use?  A lost computer, credit card, and mother?

4 As a mother, would I risk my reputation by doing something  taboo like running in public, if my wayward child returned home?
5. Capon (chapter four) calls this one of the “misnamed parables.”  If we call it the Prodigal Son, wd focus on the human.  If we call it the Prodigal Father (Prodigal meaning “lavish or excessive” we apply it by focusing more on “am I  radically loving like God the Father, taking initiative to seek lost or wayward sons?” than “Which brother am I”?

By now you have heard that Pastor Eugene Peterson calls metaphor..and thus parables, "a loud fart in the salon of spirituality."  So always look for the part of the parable that would have that same effect:
It surely will offend someone somewhere. 

Right now, think of something you could do that would offend/trip someone up in a similar way.
It can be anything in any area of your life: home, school, work, in public.  Just think of something you could do in a certain setting that would be received like a loud fart in a salon, library,  church, etc.. You can make it funny if you like, but remember your story, you may get a chance to use it in an assignment coming up very soon.

For those interested in an
  amazing, creative,
 hilarious, provocative,
book on the parables, test-drive
"Kingdom, grace, judgment: paradox, outrage, and vindication in the parables of Jesus"
by Robert Farrar Capon:
Pages 1-32 strongly recommended, SCROLL DOWN:

....or hear his podcast on The Prodigal Son here.-----------------

Note: if any YouTube videos do not play when you hit the play button, click on the video's title (white type at top)  

 discuss and prepare to act out (in NO MORE THAN 3 MINUTES) a modern-day e parable: a modern-day situation.  There is  difference between simply changing a few elements to set the same story in modern terms, and using a  completely different story to communicate the same message.  The point of this activity is the latter.]..a different story and storyline altogether, but same  point.,  Do not use the same characters or  storyline.
Remember this: 


Did you raise your hand for being a sinner or a saint?  Why?  We'll talk next week on this:

For the mechanical errors quiz we took tonight, see Moodle Forum 4

Homework as is,, except TERMS QUIZ CANCELLED.

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