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See Matthew 25:14-30. Never liked this one much – probably because as a self-perceived “one talent” person I have always seen the third guy as hardly done by. But what if we read the story differently from the traditional morality tale, “protestant work ethic” approach? What if we heard this story through the ears of the original hearers, the anawim, the “poor of the land”? They weren’t out to make profits – they just wanted to survive. The huge amounts of money involved were beyond their perception – even the one talent of silver would seem like a million dollars to them. Their subsistence system was conceptually out of sync with the harsh profiteering of the owner and his two minions. The third servant bucks the system – refuses to play the game and is cast out. Sounds suspiciously like the one who came not to lord it over us but to serve! Could go on, but let’s just leave it as a teaser. See here for an article pursuing this line (it’s on page 12). I have long ago come to the conclusion that this is the true intention of Jesus’ parables – to tease hearers into kingdom awareness rather than provide moral maxims.

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