In his [NT Wright] words, Jesus made a regular practice of retelling the story of Israel in such a way as to subvert other tellings, and to invite his hearers to make his telling of the story their own (174).??? The prominent locus of this was in the parables, which told the story of Israel, but tweaked it, often shifting the boundaries and reversing the outcomes of the story. One prominent motif was the divine status reversal, with those well-off in the present often coming out not so well. These stories did something; they painted an alternative future, which countered the visible reality of Jesus day.
Mike’s comment stirred my mind in two directions, one is directly related to the first verse of Lord’s Prayer and the other has to do with Quakerism (next post).