April 28, 2021
“There were these two brothers… It could be the prodigal Son story. It could be the one about the one brother who wants the inheritance from the other brother ( Luke 12 ). Or it may be the one about the one brother who says, “yes”, but then does not do it , and the other who says “no ” and then does it. ( Matthew 21). And there are two sets of brothers among Jesus 12 disciples, Peter and Andrew, and James and John ( The sons of Thunder ).
So, good Jewish listeners to the parables of Jesus, women and men would hear that he is talking about Jewish history. Jesus was Jewish, so it is his story. Cain and Abel, Abraham and Lot, Moses and Aaron, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Manasseh and Ephraim are among the brothers of the Old Testament. There might be more.
The stories/parables that Jesus recites are very time bound. This is what makes it so hard to find the exact meaning, and then translate for our world in 2021. When Jesus uses the ” two brothers ” theme, what do you hear ? Your relationship with your brothers( or sisters ). I am one of four boys in my family. That makes possible of six different of two brother pairs. All six of those pairs are different, even if we grew up in the same house.
What relationship do you have with your brothers ? And how does it affect who you as a follower of Jesus ? If you think of Isaac and Ishmael while reading the three stories at the beginning, does it change their meanings ?
Read the stories, and see what they do to your faith ? AMEN