Parables, like brief, wise sayings, have a richness of meaning that can lead in several different directions. Here is a different twist on this parable.
At the time of Jesus, bad feelings existed between the country folk and the city folk. It was fairly common practice for moneyed city dwellers to buy land, hire tenant farmers (at a low wage), and periodically send servants to collect the profits. The rural folks often resented these absentee landlords who milked them for all they were worth.
Jesus' sympathies would have been with those on the low end of the scale. However, as much as his heart might be with them, he did not support treating anyone shamefully, let alone killing them. Jesus taught: "Love your enemies."
There seems to be a feeling in the air today that you can "stone" or "kill" anyone who does something wrong. It's simple. You go after them with everything you've got. That's what lies behind terrorism, or sometimes even capital punishment.
This deserves some prayerful thought.
- Little Black Book, Diocese of Saginaw