#1100 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 19 July 2015
As a child I was taught that a parable is “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.” It’s a definition I haven’t forgotten, and as a minister of religion I’m familiar with many of the parables Jesus told.
So I was intrigued to see, in this month’s Eternity newspaper, that former federal Treasurer Peter Costello had nominated his favourite parable, Matthew 20:1-15, the parable of the workers in the vineyard, where a landlord hires workers at various times of the day, and gives them equal pay for a full day’s work.
It sounds unjust, but nobody has been wronged. The terms of hire have been honoured. The point of the story, says Mr Costello, is that we are all equals before God, whose justice is perfect.
But he pushes further, suggesting the parable might illustrate “that we need no nanny-state to watch over our behaviour and to protect us … from the consequences of our own actions.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.