I'm reading Ched Myer's Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus. Incredible book. Been reading it for a couple months now. Wow. Mind-blowing.
I just was in a conversation about investment, savings, future planning. We pondered the Parable of the Talents. We had always heard it as a pro-investment story. Ched says that we might have once again domesticized one of Jesus' truly subversive parables again. The article is worth the read.
When the sociocultural context indigenous to the story is ignored or suppressed, however, we inevitably recontextualize the story in terms of our own unconscious political assumptions. Our imposed schema often defy the coherence of the text itself.
More importantly, though, this interpretive strategy functions to domesticate the parable to conform with our status quo. Thus stories meant to challenge our preconceptions are used to legitimate them. In this way, we disarm the some of the Gospels' most powerful rhetorical weapons--weapons whose very intent is to rescue believers from domestication by that same status quo.