August 22, 2011

Luke 8.16

"Nobody lights a lamp and then covers it with a basin or puts it under the bed. Instead, he puts it on a lamp stand so that those who come in may see the light."


At 8:10 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

Everybody thinks this is about them.

I think that at the time, this was addressed directly to Jews, as Jews, and the point was about being a chosen people. Some of their ancestors had chosen to be chosen, had volunteered for a destiny in which "all of the families of the Earth will be blessed."

Instead of this scenario turning out as one might have expected, with Israelite armies triumphing over all those pesky idolators, uniting the whole world under a sort of Jewish protectorate... The Israelites turned out to be plagued with internal social conflict, external military loses and foreign exploitation, just like [almost] everybody else.

The 'kingdom of God' was supposed to be the re-establishment of the Covenant-- having the people restored to the land, past sins forgiven, a reign of divinely guaranteed peace, prosperity, social justice established. For Jews.

The goyim might admire from afar... and some day possibly want to join in worshipping the true God-- but it was probably difficult to see "the stranger"-- who was supposed to be treated well "because you yourselves were strangers in Egpyt"-- in those strutting, rutting, cruel and overbearing Romans, who thought they owned the world, and wanted it all carried off to Rome.

Certainly, 1st Century Jews were familiar with Isaiah, and his statement that his prophecies would not be only for Israel, but would be "a light unto the nations." Even today we see ( ) people interpreting this as a reference to the State of Israel.

So Jesus is talking about you-name-its who think they can be 'a light unto the world' without including outsiders. In his day, Jews.

And next, Christians were eager for the role of chosen ingroup.

Quakers have not been immune from this. Nor have other denominations. ~'We've got The Light, and those outsiders "wouldn't be interested." "They Aren't suited to our way of worship."'

What starts as a contagious bonfire of the Spirit... has a way of becoming a cozy sect.

So, it is about us.

At 5:57 a.m., Blogger Larry said...

Right on, Forrest. Wesley said something to the effect that a movement lasts about one generation. It always begins with the unchurched, the drunks, bull baiters, cockfighters, etc.

They clean up their act, and become God-fearers. They get rich and lose their religion, and God has it all to do over again.


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