Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Nov 4, Mt 23, Lk 20-21

Today's readings are Mt 23, Lk 20-21. Tomorrow's reading is Mk 13.

There are a number of interesting points in today's readings.

·       In Mt 23:2, the scribes and Pharisees "sit on Moses seat". This indicates that they do what Moses did, speak the word of God. If they are speaking the word of God, the people are to do what the word says, not do what the scribes and Pharisees do. Their lack of holy living is not an excuse to be disobedient to the word. 
·       Living hypocritically is soundly condemned in Mt 23. Our lives should be evidence of transformation, not a mask we put on to show other people how great or perfect we are.
·       In Mt 23:23, the scribes and Pharisees are told they should be living holy lives while they are tithing, a tough saying for those who believe tithing is not sanctioned in the New Testament.
·       Luke 20:18 portrays Jesus as a stumbling stone that breaks to pieces (shatters) and a stone that crushes (makes like chaff and blows away). Note in the former, man is the agent of the breaking, a symbol of human responsibility. In the latter, it is the stone that crushes, a symbol of divine sovereignty. Both are present in this verse as in so many others. All will encounter the stone. The only way to avoid tripping over it or being crushed by it is to become one with it.  

·       Luke 21 portrays the destruction of Jerusalem. Lk 21:20-24 clearly shows the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. These appear to be the near-term effects of the prophecy. Lk 21;25-28 are clearly end-time events. However, we should be careful not to assume that all the events depicted in this passage are end time events. Jesus says "this generation" will not pass away until these things happen. He means the generation alive when the words were spoken (we'll hear more about this later in the narrative). It is probably more accurate to think of these prophecies as something more like, "this generation will see the fall of Jerusalem. Once that happens, the events leading to the end will be set irrevocably in motion.  

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