The Jewish New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine points out that while Jesus’ main form of teaching was parables, the Gospel writers included almost no interpretations of his parables in their text. They left the stories open-ended, as Jesus did, since the whole point of a parable is to get you to engage with it. It should puzzle and bother you precisely because its meaning is not clear.
In later centuries, Church folk got good at domesticating Jesus’ parables and assigning them “an” interpretation, but this parable is so strange that it’s a hard one to domesticate. If you opened Evernote and began listing questions it raises for you, I am sure you could get to 40 or 50 in just the few minutes of this sermon. And of course, like every sermon, the questions I’ll ask today will touch only a tiny sliver of the power and challenge in the text. But that’s true of any sermon on any passage of Scripture; the Word of God is all infinitely rich.