A Parable

A certain man had three servants and a miraculous tree. He approached his servants and said, “Im going away for a year. I leave you with the tree. It’s fruit can sustain life.” So the man went on his jouney and returned as he had promised after a year. He asked his servants how the fruit of the tree had been diustributed.
The first servant answered, "I am the strongest. I took the most of it.
The second servant said, “I knew he was the strongest. I took what was left.”
The third servant, on his death bed, cried, “Why was I born to have nothing?”
Then the master said to them, “A great wrong has been done here. He who claims to be strongest is the weakest. His need is boundless. He who agreed is no less weak. There was sufficient fruit to feed all three of you.”

Even if there was enough fruit for all three, why call the strongest weak? His weakness is not show in the story in any way.
The sick one is the strongest? Why? He didn’t do anything.

He “the strongest” had no consideration for the weakest. Thus he became spiritually weak.

What is the practical consequence? He is alive and apparently still physically strong while the others are less so.

How does the dying one demonstrate his spiritual strength?

Two thirds of the people on this earth are starving. The problem is not that there is not enough food. The problem is distrubution. I’d think that spiritually the have nots would be more important to any compassionate god than would be the haves. On a spiritual level the problem is justice denied. We cannot equate physical strength with spiritual strength. The meek will inherit the earth. The poor or downtrodden are here to test our metal. “What you do unto the least of these. . .”

The parable doesn’t demonstrate any of that.
As I read it :
If you are strong then you should take as much for yourself as possible otherwise you could die. The only negative consequence of that action is some guy might call you weak.

Although I agree with the intended sentiment of the OP parable, I have to agree with phyllo’s critique. The parable doesn’t bring out into view why a wrong has been committed. It merely states that such is a “great wrong”.

Bringing that issue out to be clearly seen would be very valuable in that it addresses a very, very common misunderstanding concerning conqueror types versus altruistic types.

So the master said to the two who had eaten, “Get off my property. You shall not eat of that tree again.” Then he restored the health of the starving servant and gave him the tree to eat of and share with his friends for the rest of his days.

Three men, each having three servants were each given a tree of life to leave with their servants while they were off serving their lord. When they returned, one man still had three living servants, one had only two living servants, and one had only one servant remaining. So the lord gave reign to the man with three servants, because in their land of equality, the majority rules.

Why is it always “The Master rewarded them” or “the lord rewarded them”…

There is a natural advantage to solidarity:

While tha master was away the strongest ate most of the fruit, the second guy got scraps, and the weak one got to starve, so naturally when the many starving neighborhood people noticed that one had become bed ridden, the other incredibly skinny and only one strong and able man was left… they decided that they could probably kick that guys ass if they ganged up and worked together and that the hungry one and bed ridden one could offer little to no help.

So when the master came back his tree of life had been stolen, and his servants dead or dying… he asked the dying dude what happend and after he heard the story he said “That’s what you get when you don’t work together!”

“Tis a consummation devoutly desired”, but not now possible, not even in the good ole USA. The prodigal son parable falls on deaf ears these days. He would not be welcomed home with a feast.He would be punished for his debauchery. Lazarus would be left to starve. The man, beaten by thieves and left in a ditch, would be left to die.

The “great wrong”, according to Schweitzer, is greed. Surely the parable spells that out in the same way the parable of the good Samaritan spells out racism and bigotry. Jesus did not need to say of his parable, “I hope y’all get this. It’s about some folks regarding other folks as inferior, hence unworthy of help.”

This was mis-heard. What was actually said was, “The meek shall inherit the dearth.”

I kind of agree with comedian Eddie Izzard’s take: isn’t it about time for “the meek” to get together and consider a class lawsuit against God’s Representative on Earth (Catholic Church?)

Which is why my parable could not end on a postive note.

If they did so with success, wouldn’t they confirm the antecedent?

duplicate post

Thanks, JSS.
That would be the case if the meek leaned nothing from their “acquaintance with grief.” They would need to see justice not as vengeance on their former oppressors, but as an opportunity to act otherwise. Unfortunately, many of the have nots simply want what the haves have. That’s why I limited my parable to the essential of existence–food.

Even if that is so we are called to imagine ultimate justice.

Thanks, Felix.
Ultimate justice? Isn’t the incentive to strive toward that here overshadowed by the predominant belief that justice will only be served in some hereafter? I stll believe that the majority of believers go along with the lines of the old hymn “Farther Along”–
“Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long;
While there are others, living among us,
Never molested, 'tho in the wrong.
Cheer up my brother,
Live in the sunshine;
We’ll understand it
All by and by.”
Those who would see justice done in the here and now are voices crowded out by those who see ultimate justice as possible only in the “sweet by and by”.
I personally think the parables of Jesus were about what must be done here and now. Your ending of my parable is probably closer to these. But what of the persons who suffer and see no positive end forthcoming?