Perplexities of the Day: The Unannounced Guest (or the Parable of the Faithful Servant)
Some days are easier than others for RT to visualize; today has been on the less-easy side of the spectrum. This morning centered on revising Gilgamesh tablet 5, this afternoon, on cleaning up the apartment, this evening on completing state 3 of RT’s Map of the Cherson (except that this conflicted heavily with cooking dinner and talking to Mom). And running through all of this was another thread, a reflection on Jesus’s program that greeted RT when he woke up this morning. Which reflection was fine, except that RT had already started a post on the organization of the Hebrew Bible.
More than once in his life, RT has felt like a juggler. But the good news is: Mom is listening to A Prairie Home Companion on her radio, and now RT has time to resolve his quandary and decide what he’s going to post on.
The winner? None of these topics, but one of RT’s reconstructions, something that was occasioned by a stickie that RT ran across back in 2010, he thinks, a stickie that lay on top of the pile of paper on his desk and read, “The Kingdom of God comes like a thief in the night.”
Said quote is actually not a quote, but RT’s response to reading 1 Thessalonians 5:2: “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” (KJV). This reading inspired a search that led RT through Matthew, Luke, Thomas, and the Didache, with an emphasis on the Parable of the Faithful Servant and the Parable of the Ten Virgins.
And if this convoluted path weren’t enough, RT would like to point out that he thinks this parable or thread of thought originates with John the Baptist; its apocalyptic tone shares much with John’s preaching, at least from RT’s perspective. In any case, here is RT’s reconstruction.
The Unannounced Guest
John the Baptist said: “Therefore, do not put out your lamps or unfasten your robes—do not let them find you drunk or asleep. This I say to the world—be vigilant! For if the owner knew when the thief will come, the thief would never be able to break in and take the owner’s belongings.”
[based on the Parable of the Faithful Servant, Mk 12:34-37 (not in SV); Matt 24:42–51; Luke 12:35–48; CoptGThom 21b & 103; Didache 16:1a & the Parable of the Ten Virgins, Matt 24:32-36]
Drawing: The better part of valour. Sir Frederick Smith. “What’s the good of struggling?” (Punch, 1917). WikiCmns; Public Domain.