Friday, January 15, 2010

I managed to read Matthew 8 and complete the questions last night for this morning. But there was no way I was going to be able to read all of Joshua after all that. I mean, I've never read it before so it would all be new to me. Therefore, that part I had to do cold ... and I wasn't brilliant.

In the Matthew material, then, I held out to do Question 6 during the small group discussion. A couple of women expressed relief that I volunteered. In verse 21, a would-be follower asks permission to bury his father first, and Jesus says,
"Leave the dead to bury their own dead."
We were instructed to read 1 Kings 19:19-21 and explain why Elijah was so generous in letting Elisha bid his parents goodbye before running off with an itinerant preacher and Jesus wasn't. Or something to that effect. I was very much taken with the contrast and didn't so much have a reason for it. Someone reminded us that the man's father in Matthew 8:21 may have years of life yet left before he's ready to be buried. I suppose it sounds less harsh if that's the case. I said that in offering his oxen, symbols of his former livelihood, Elisha makes it clear that he's committed to this new calling. That matched pretty closely with the proposed answer in the key.

The lady seated next to me asked the group why miracles as those described in Matthew 8 aren't so apparent these days. Then she quickly answered her own question with a self-deprecating, "Because we haven't enough faith," a comeback I didn't find particularly satisfying because Jesus often laments the lack of faith in his own times. I told her there are people who think that miracles of the caliber as recording in the Bible don't occur today because we have the Bible now so we can simply read about them with faith. That's not my position personally but it seems to work for some people. And then someone mentioned Fatima and Lourdes, with the crutches and the wheelchairs and I didn't say that some people think those places are devilish delusions.

In the video lecture, I was disappointed to hear Cavins refer to visions of four beasts coming out of the sea as being recorded in Daniel 8. He corrected himself later and was clearly confused between Matthew 8 and Daniel 7. After the video, I made sure that everyone was clear on where they could find the visions of the four beasts if they wanted to read on their own. And I hope they do. I was also disappointed to hear Cavins list the fourth empire as Rome instead of Greece.


Daughter of Wisdom said...

Sounds like an interesting Bible study! Miracles, dead burying dead, and beasts. Enough things here to bewilder even the most skillful theologian.

Keep pressing on for the truth Teresa!


Moonshadow said...

Thanks, Hillary. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Your Facebook profile photo is very attractive. Peace.

My Heart Beats and I sigh said...

I hold the statement, "Let the dead bury the dead," as part of Jesus' mission to bring the Good News God is Love. The statement, then for me, is joyful. Is it another resurrection event? I hear Jesus affirming that the dead are cared for already. The Dead are with God. I hear Jesus saying, "It's ok. I have them already." I hear the challenge to the dead man's son as to "be with God now. be with me ~ The Word Incarnate ~now."
All Elijah and Elisha had were the rituals and traditions to care for dead people's bodies. They weren't exposed to the Good News as presented by Emmanuel.

My Heart Beats and I sigh said...

Matthew 8 miracles. Is the message, "Jesus is God 'cause he can heal others?" Read the miracles again KNOWING Jesus is Emmanuel, The Word Incarnate, God. Remember how many times Jesus lamented, "all you people want are signs and miracles." How many times did Jesus ask the 'cured' NOT to tell anyone about Jesus doing the cure. How many times did Jesus praise the 'cured' for thanking God.
Maybe the miracles we need today is based on faith in each other? Love God and Love One Another. Maybe the miracles we need today is based on forgiving each other and ourselves? "What's easier to say, 'get up and walk' or 'I forgive you?' Whoa...sometimes the hurt i feel is so hard I'd rather say 'get up and walk' and truly mean it than 'i forgive you' and truly mean it.

Nod said...

Sounds like you're doing Cavins' Bible Timeline series; it's pretty good, my wife is leading a group in it currently.

Moonshadow said...

Thanks, Nod. Yes, I am doing the Timeline as well as Matthew concurrently.

I disagree with Cavins on interpretations (like the historic identities of the four kingdoms in Daniel, as this post mentions) but I think Cavins is an anointed teacher. (and I'm not charismatic, so that sort of language doesn't readily come to me.)