Those of us who have spent any time in church, Sunday school, or Bible study are probably familiar with what appears to be Jesus’ favorite method of teaching: the parable.
The gospel accounts are littered with what Jewish Studies & New Testament scholar Amy Jill Levine calls “Short Stories by Jesus.” The parables offer us metaphors to help us get a taste of something that is too big for language and to incomprehensible for comprehension.
Many of Jesus’ parables (especially in the Gospel of Matthew) begin with the phrase: “The kingdom of God/heaven is like….” A field. A treasure. A mustard seed. A vineyard. An arbitration hearing.
In one of the most perplexing of these stories, found in Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a wedding feast where the invited guests decline to attend, the angry king destroys their city, new guests are invited from the margins of the city, and one in particular is cast out for not wearing the proper attire.
In his fascinating interpretation of this story, Josh Scott, lead pastor of Gracepointe Church in Nashville, TN, questions whether our traditional readings of the parable where we place God as the character of the king and Jesus as his son really reflect the parable’s opening line: “The kingdom of heaven is like….”
Join us in the New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub this Sunday, Sept. 19, as we hear from Josh about reading the parables in a way that challenges empire, supremacy, and dehumanization.
BONUS: As a preview of our time together, you can hear Josh’s recent sermon on the Parable of the Wedding Party at this link.
6:00pm EDT: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EDT: Presentation & conversation begins