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Growing the Revolution through Parables & Controversies.
Matthew 21:23-24:51 | Mark 11:27-13:37 | Luke 20:1-21:36
After challenging the status quo, and pointing to a different possible way of living in overturning the temple tables and economic-centered Temple institution, Jesus returns there to teach a different way, to depict and describe a new way of living, pointing back to what God intended for and of us, reforming, rehabilitating and reinvigorating the people to truly live.
When Christ calls a (hu)man, he bids him (her) come and die.
-20th century German Lutheran theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the Cost of Discipleship
The teachings of Jesus have a cost and consequence. Following him, putting his words into practice, living as he did will cost us our lives. Bonhoeffer knew that cost, coming eventually to pay that price in actively speaking out against the tyranny, anti-Semitism and insanity of the Nazi Reich. We might not all be called to pay that radical of a price, yet we cheapen our own discipleship and life when we cheapen the cost that we will pay for being disciples. We live in a world that many theologians say is governed by the economy of death. We spend much of our time and money trying to stay eternally young. We accumulate things, wealth and comfort to stave off the discomfort, fear and emptiness that death brings to us all. In a sense, while we live we are resisting death. Jesus calls us to live for more than simply resisting and staving off death. He calls us to live for more than ourselves. He calls us to live.
Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.
-Jesus in Matthew 22:21
Questions for reflection:
Wow! so many proverbs, so much disappointment. The word that encapsulates the message, seems to be Jesus’ observation of and condemnation of “hypocrisy.” Not that we don’t do bad, and need forgiveness, because so many of them are about that, but that we do it without thinking that our words and our actions don’t represent the same truth.