323

The fifth parable is not a miracle:

Volcano Pichincha, descent into the crater
Volcano Pichincha, descent into the crater

The Call of the Levi (Matthew). Duties and taxes were leased in the Hellenistic states and in the Roman Empire. Wealthy men guaranteed with their fortune that the demanded sum of taxes in a city or a region would be paid.

Their job or their risk was to divide the tax paid to the king among the other wealthy citizens of the city or the region and collect the money from them. In the principality of Herod Antipas the system of leasing taxes and duties probably worked the same way.

The leaseholders of duties (the publicans) the governor Jesus dined with can originally only have been rich Jewish aristocrats. Only these upper-class people were able to guarantee a sum of taxes or duties. Understanding the narration this way, the meaning of the parable is as follows:

Jesus, as governor, did not ostracize the Jewish aristocracy in Galilee, but integrated it in monarchic society. When the rich aristocrats demanded benefits from the monarch like the poor Galileans, Jesus’ answer was negative: It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick, Mark 2, 17.

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