Friday, August 19, 2011

The Lesson of the Malfoys

He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
(Matthew 13:28-29 ESV)

The Harry Potter story has earned its classic status in part because it is so rich in insight and truth. One of the many “minor” pictures we get thanks to the Malfoy family. The Malfoys are bad guys and in a way, they are some of the most visible antagonists throughout much of the story-line. However, as the years progress, we see that their evil is less the pure variety of Voldemort and more of an opportunistic cowardly reaction to the power that he offers and the fear that he imposses.

In the end of the whole story-arch, the Malfoys get off pretty much scotfree. Harry even does things to save the undeserving family. In doing so he ironically ends up assuring his own safety and victory.

This is a good picture of the reality we face in the world. There is real and dangerous evil in the world. However, that evil is not as widespread in people as one might think. Most people in the world express their darker nature out of fear, ignorance, or weakness more than simple evil. These people deserve pity, as they face existence without love, more than they deserve attack. They need love more than they need punishment.

God has tasked the people who know Him with showing His love to others, not His justice. We need to take care that we love rather than judge and let God handle the “all knowing” side of relating to people.


  1. i'd love your take on Hermione. She is my favorite character in the series and honestly, I'd love for Rowling to re-write the series from her view point. My favorite scene in the series is when she saves Harry and Ron at the Lovegoods using her brains and quick thinking.

  2. thanks... yes, the malfoys and harry-- like believing in people and their ability to change or be restored, despite their cruelity in the past. a great idea about forgiveness!

  3. Hermione. Hmmm, I like her too. I think she is Rowling's stand in, but also many of us readers as well.


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