25:14 "For it is as if a mafia boss, going back to the old country,
summoned his henchmen and entrusted his crime syndicate to them;
25:15 to Joey, he gave the meth, heroin, and prostitution businesses,
to Anton the extortion & protection racket, to Pauli his loan shark
business, to each according to his ability. Then he went off to Italy.
25:16 Joey, the one who had received the meth, heroin, and
prostitution businesses sent off at once his dealers and pimps, and
made 1.5 million dollars.
25:17 In the same way, Anton, the one who had the extortion &
protection rackets made a half mil.
25:18 But Pauli, the one who had received the loan shark business was
afraid to break any legs and so, loaned out no money and holed up with
his brother, Louie.
25:19 After a nice, long vacation in Sicily, the mob boss came to
settle up with his henchmen.
25:20 Then Joey, the one who had received the meth, heroin, and
prostitution businesses came forward, bringing two suitcases full of
dough, saying, 'Tony, you handed over to me the meth, heroin, and
prostitution businesses; see, I have made you 1500 grand and some
25:21 The mob boss said to him, 'you've done well, good and
trustworthy paisan; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will
make you my right hand man; Come with me to Atlantic City for some
wine, women and song.'
25:22 And Anton, the one with the extortion and protection rackets
also came forward, saying, 'Boss, you handed over to me these two
businesses; see, I have made you 500 grand.'
25:23 The mob boss said to him, 'You've done good, as well. You have
been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of the
lower Eastside; And you, come with me to Atlantic City, as well
25:24 Then Pauli, the one who was given the loan shark business also
came forward, saying, 'Boss, I knew that you were a harsh man,
breaking legs and busting chops;
25:25 so I was afraid, and I went to my brother, Louie's, with the
cash and didn't spend a dime. Here's your 250 grand in full.'
25:26 But mob boss replied, 'You stupid idiot! You knew, did you, that
I bust chops and break legs?
25:27 Then you ought to have invested my money in an annuity with a
guaranteed return for these five years while I've been in Sicily, and
on my return I wouldn't only be holding these 250 g's, but 100 grand
25:28 So take this loan shark business from him, and give it to Joey,
the one with the meth, heroin, and prostitution businesses.
25:29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will
have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they
have will be taken away.
25:30 As for this worthless idiot, he's not one of us; break his legs,
bust his chops and throw him into the river to drown.
Of course, you need to get the accent right. I can hear it in my head but I cannot get it to come out of my mouth.
Anyway, Brian's point is that first century readers would have seen the characters in Jesus' parable as unsavory types who exploit the vulnerable peasants rather than as positive characters. He is aiming to recapture that sense for us.
I have not looked into this parable myself so I am not committing myself to this take on it but it is certainly thought-provoking.
I wonder what you think.