Mark 12:12

After this his enemies were eager to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd; for they saw that it was at them that he had aimed the parable. So they left him alone, and went away.


ouch I’ve been parablized
and I don’t like it

told and not told all at once
it’s easy to hear the worst

when told off in no certain term
we look around to see who heard

with set jaw and steely eye
we turn upon our dignity and walk

we’ll be back as soon as
we perfect a perfect rejoinder


Deep in our reptilian brain, who wouldn’t want to do in those who are making life difficult for us. It doesn’t make any difference if they claim to be a loyal opposition assisting us in clarifying the import of our actions or if they mean to do us in by setting up alternative structures and exerting coercive power on our decision-making processes.

If it is a choice between fleeing, freezing, or fighting, we’ll take fighting.

There is a slyness here that retreats to fight another day. Fighting to our death today is not as good as regrouping to fight to their death tomorrow. When the neo-cortex conspires with our crocodile to make our fighting more efficient or effective, it is never a good sign.

Remembering that this parable of the Landowner and Tenants runs counter to a previous parable of Sower and Seed, this is a good time to revisit them both as antagonists. Swanson241 approaches the gospels through the lens of drama:

Since this parable and the parable of the Sower provide the two trajectories that the story might follow, you might try performing them competitively. Divide your company into two groups, and have them each tell their assigned parable over the top of the other. Let them figure out what it will take to get the audience to buy their construal of how the story is going. If this proves interesting, you might have each team ransack Mark’s story looking for evidence to support its contention that one parable best explains the course of the action.

The church is still battling over these parables. The Reader is asked to also “ransack” Mark to see what confirms and what undermines their typical response to life swirling around them. What remains hopeful; what only leads to more cornerstones and chaos?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *