Why is it said that Luke 19:11-27 calls upon Jesus’ followers to murder Jews who do not accept him? After all, it’s only a parable. Let’s find out.
A parable is a simple story used to illustrate a lesson. It conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison analogy.
In the total imagery of Jesus’ parable, found in Luke 19:11-27, Jesus was the nobleman who becomes the king. As his parable was directed toward the Jewish people who constituted his audience (verses 1-9), these enemy-citizens represent the Jews who reject Jesus as king. In verse 14, they were called citizens; in verse 27, through their rebellious refusal to accept the nobleman’s kingship, they are now considered enemies. Therefore, Jesus (the king in the parable) decrees a time of judgment on the unfaithful and disobedient. Echoing the warning of the Matthean Jesus, “He who is not with me is against me . . .” (Matthew 12:30), the Lucan Jesus demands of his followers that those who reject his rule be destroyed before him: “But those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here, and slay them in my presence.”
The intent of Jesus’ words was not lost on subsequent generations of his followers. Christians could not but interpret this parable as a call for judgment upon the Jewish people for rejecting Jesus. This was made all the more poignant as this commandment came from Jesus himself. The destruction to be carried out upon those who refuse to accept Jesus is the bloody commission, the sanction for slaughter of all who refuse the cross.
The tragic results of what is taught in this parable are recorded in the history of subsequent encounters of the Jewish people with those Christians who followed Jesus’ dictum. Why do the Jews suffer oppression at the hands of Christians? This Gospel passage Answers, “The Jews suffer persecution because of their refusal to accept Jesus as the Messiah.”
© Gerald Sigal/