the parable of the Muslim…and the beaten gay man

the parable of the Muslim…and the beaten gay man January 19, 2012

There once was a gay man, that everyone in the city knew, who was travelling from James Bay to Oak Bay. On the way he was attacked by thugs. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily a Pentecostal Pastor was on his way travelling down the same road, but when he saw him something popped into his head…and he quickly swerved to the other side of the road. Then a Baptist pastor showed up, he looked at the human wreckage on the street, and something crossed his mind…and quickly he did a 180 and back tracked.

Finally a visitor, a Muslim man, dressed in the clothing of his tradition came upon the beaten gay man. When he saw the man he was moved, his heart was filled with compassion. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and wrapping his wounds. He called a cab, and took him to the Empress Hotel. He left his credit card with the manager of the hotel telling him to take good care of him…give him anything he needs, or asks for. If it costs anymore, I will settle my bill later. ( my postmodern paraphrase of Luke 10:30-36 )

What do you think?

Remember at the start of Jesus’ parable the religious scholar stands up and ask Jesus, ” what do I need to do to get eternal life?” He answers his own question, ” That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence…and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.”

This parable is about the radical scandalous redemptive parabolic imagination of the Kingdom. Kingdom living is life beyond religion…it is navigating life with your heart. Instead of Jesus letting religious people of the hook because they are ” right ” or because they have followed scripture word for word…he drowns them in the deep waters of love. It is the challenge of levite and the priest…who were not to defile themselves with a dead body. They were ” right ” to make their ” right ” turn. In the redemptive imagination of Jesus, they weren’t right enough.

The muslim man in my parable above, is actually more right than the believeing, professing pastors. The muslim man was ” right ” because he was consumed with loving God and neighbor…and he lived it out beautifully at that moment. It all comes down to love. It’s Jesus  taking us into the midst of life, in real life events, crisis where we are left holding two things; all our scripture, the laws, the church dogma and doctrines and church rules in one hand…and to Love God, and to Love neighbor in the other. To live in the Kingdom is to drop the heavy load and just go with…the profound mystery of loving God, and neighbor with every part of your life. That’s faith in the reality of the Kingdom.

Could the Muslim man be in the Kingdom? I reflect deeply on Matthew 25, I think of the Kingdom, it will, and is filled incredible beauty, and a diversity of people that will blow our minds wide open.

What do you think?


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  • I find it interesting that Jesus used a Samaritan, and not an idol worshipper when he could have done so. There were other religions and non-Jews in Palestine at that time. Instead, Jesus purposefully used another Jewish group that was hated by the rest of the Jews, because they had intermarried with Gentiles, and worsipped at another location instead of Jerusalem. Since, the Samaritans accepted the same writings of Moses that the Jews did, they were actually another Jewish denomination. Jesus was not teaching that all paths lead to God, or that all of the gods that are worshipped are the same. If he had, he would have made the Samaritan a Roman pagan.

  • Nate Sauve

    I find it interesting that you use the answer to the expert in the law’s 2nd question “who is my neighbor?” to address the first question in the passage (the eternal life one). The 2 questions have 2 different answers and to skip over these sections does not do justice to the text.

    I do think the retelling of the parable is a powerful one. But for many Christians your choice of two “outsider” groups, might be hard to relate to. The power in Jesus story is that the outsider is the one who lives authentically. The outsider is the one who shows true love and the insiders who claim holiness and righteousness are not truly walking with God, but rather are hypocrites who claim righteousness, but fail to live it.
    If the group you are seeking to challenge with this parable is the LGBT community then its a spot on retelling, if not I do hope that whoever reads this post does see the need to demonstrate love to whoever we come across due to the image of God granted to each person making them worthy of our love and grace.

  • Yes, it’s was interesting choosing the ” outsiders “. I had a pentecostal pastor friend who initially read it and was upset…and then he had to confront himself with what he was upset. But he then was confronted by the parabolic truth of the story…he got it. I could have chosen anyone. I just hope people were confronted from all sides…to become undone, struggle and deal with it. So often there is more power in a short mysterious parable…than a 45 minute sermon. Thanks to your feedback…and engaging in the conversation.

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