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The Wicked Tenants

Only two readings into Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the momentum is already palpable. Jesus has begun his inexplicable headlong rush to an end that his disciples will see as a catastrophe, Judas is already nearly out of options, and the priests and other rulers of the city are close to a deadly consensus. As the…

By What Authority?

Just last week, I got together with a couple of friends to watch Jesus of Montreal, a movie I’ve been watching every year with different combinations of friends for over 20 years now. It’s a great movie, but it has some problematic details, one of which is a scene in which the main character, an…

The Workers in the Vineyard

In this play about a parable that might have been very bad news to Jesus’ current disciples but which is good news for his present-day ones, I decided to emphasize the unconventional nature of the ending by telling it first with a more conventional ending, and by using it to make what seems to be…

Seventy Times Seven

This play about a well known and well used parable on forgiveness is yet another example of the complications we can find beneath what seem to be the most straightforward stories once we start looking more carefully at the text and putting ourselves in the places of its original audience. The lesson of the parable…

Two or Three

With this play about the power of two or three agreeing on anything, I break my own rule against applying interpretative frameworks to the raw accounts I find in the text. Jesus uses the word that will later in the New Testament be translated “church”, and the question is what he could have been talking…

Taking Up the Cross

What a crazy ride it’s been. After a series of crowd-unfriendly parables, there’s an explosion of miracles, and then an equally sudden going into hiding, and then these distressing statements by Jesus about how he’s going to die (along with a prediction of his resurrection that no one seems to have heard or remembered, and…
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