What We Don’t Know of Jesus’ Times Deflates the Impact
The Pharisee and Publican Praying in the Temple
The Publican, a Jewish tax collector, was a traitor, being hated as one who worked for the occupation force of a pagan power, Rome. In rabbinic literature “hatred was to be extended even to the family of the tax collector” (ISBE).
Just pointing to a tax collector praying in the Temple would have been a shock!
The Scandal of the Samaritan
Jews despised Samaritans and viewed them as unclean foreigners. This went back in history to Assyria’s conquest of the Northern Kingdom….
Preface to The Good Samaritan : Of Lawyers, Language, and Learning (Link)
The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
“What?! The master praised this servant???”
A Mustard Seed
“…smaller than all seeds…”
For the technical mind, “all” must mean “all.” But for a parable, it is a literary device to convey the point
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant