The Weekend Word

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16 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Excellent lesson MLD. Thank you!

  2. A note on my note about disciples – it seems that all the teachers had them and formed their own groups. What Jesus does here is not unusual — as it seems that the Pharisees and the Herodians both had disciples – It could be Matt 22:15-16 – “Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher,…”

    It could be in some towns, if the works of Jesus had not preceded him that the town would think “oh no, here comes another group of disciples — what are they selling?”

    Like when you are driving up to your house and you see groups of JWs on both sides of the street. 😉

  3. Jean says:

    I think there was something unique about Jesus’ disciples. His disciples did not study up and try to earn a place in His “school.” Jesus did what he always does, creates what he wants.

  4. But to the community, it’s just another teacher gathering a following – the people paid attention because of his mighty works which gave credibility to the words that followed.

  5. I think that it is important in light of what is being said on the Things I Think thread, that I am sure that the 1st century Middle East was a brutal time and place – but as we work our way through this gospel, told to us by Matthew, that Jesus never mentions the violence of society, but keeps marching towards the violent death he is to face.

  6. Em ... again says:

    an interesting ponder… but what do we do with Matt 11? His kingdom isn’t violent, but the violence mentioned, did it end when our Lord was crucified?

  7. Em, that passage in 11 is a difficult passage – but we do know 2 things – it is a spiritual violence and whoever are the “violent take it by force” they are the good guys as only the good guys get a piece of the kingdom.

  8. Em ... again says:

    MLD, perhaps, but does “taking” mean ‘defeating’ in this case? i’m not sure… we have seen violence against the Kingdom of God throughout the ages… they want this Kingdom gone

    we are skating on the edge of a place we don’t want to go as we have the jihaddis (sp?) whose minds are given over to violence thinking that they can do just that… bring in their god’s kingdom by force – by unprecedented world-wide carnage

    i’m willing to just ponder this one… wait and see, perhaps?

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, it is the Kingdom of God that does the taking – no bad guys take anything.

    When we say the gates of hell will not prevail – it’s not a statement that we have anything to fear from hell, it is that Jesus, through his kingdom cannot be stopped by the gates of hell – Jesus marches in and takes whoever and all that he wants from hell.

    It’s like Matt 12:29 and the binding of the strongman – Jesus has bound satan and is stealing his good (us)

    As I say, it is a difficult passage but it is all good for our side.

  10. Em ... again says:

    for clarity’s sake
    total agreement that the gates of hell do not/cannot prevail against the Kingdom of God… prayer helps in pushing those gates … IMHO

    i guess i should look up the word translated ‘take’ before i comment… many of God’s children have been taken and killed by the “bad guys” – yet, i don’t interpret that as meaning that they’ve ‘won’ anything or even prevailed against the Kingdom
    “The KJV translates Strongs G726 [take – harpzo] in the following manner: catch up (4x), take by force (3x), catch away (2x), pluck (2x), catch (1x), pull (1x).”

    no… i guess i will have to continue to lean 🙂 in the direction of the violent ones attacking the Kingdom with the intent of it’s removal – even taking away the mortal lives of some of its citizens – but i still don’t see that use of ‘taking’ as victorious or even prevailing … delusional thinking may tell these violent people that they are victorious; they’re not…

    but i’d like to violently take the Kingdom away from their attacks, so… if you’re right, i’ll go along

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, how can they attack it / take it? The kingdom is not of this world – what are they doing, grabbing at the air?

  12. Jean says:


    The following quotation is from Ben Witherington III’s Commentary on Matthew. He explains the negative language about a positive thing consistent with what MLD is saying. Witherington is not Lutheran, but Methodist, but on this text, they appear to agree.

    “In light of the incarceration of John, the saying could mean John and perhaps Jesus had suffered from having violent men lay hands on them, in John’s case to try to silence him, in Jesus’ to try to make him king (cf. John 6:15). This is not impossible as a reading of the text. But if Jesus is using negative language to talk about a positive thing, he might mean former Zealots, outcasts, sinners were storming the gates of the Dominion and eagerly grabbing hold of its riches. This makes sense in light of the response of Jesus to John when he was in jail. It must be remembered that Jesus had at least one or two former zealots amongst the Twelve.9 In any case, this saying attests to the volatile atmosphere in Galilee in which Jesus and John operated. It also makes clear that Jesus sees the Dominion as a present entity that can be acted on. Since the Dominion is
    already present, the turn of the era has already come.”

  13. Em ... again says:

    all above thoughts on this have weight … IMHO … but

    i believe that the violent have taken the Kingdom many times… however, i also believe that they have never prevailed… to wax poetic, down through time they die on the hills that they have taken – they can not and will not prevail – their attacks, the ground they think they’ve gained (taken), is – ahem – all sinking sand

  14. Em ... again says:

    #11 – “The kingdom is not of this world – what are they doing, grabbing at the air?” yeah, that

    God’s Kingdom IS in the world, but stronger/eternal and most definitely not OF this world…

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am not the kingdom so it anyone kills me for the faith, they have not attacked, taken or killed the kingdom.

    This is one reason that a literal 1,000 yr physical kingdom is silly – people living in and watching the perfect reign of God, the perfect life for 1,000 yrs and then one day decide – let’s take over.

  16. Em ... again says:

    MLD, you do represent the Kingdom, even though you are correct in declaring that you, yourself are not the Kingdom – i wont debate whether you are indeed a member/citizen of it…

    that said, if you are attack, killed even, because some element dislikes/hates the Kingdom – that Kingdom that you argue for and do represent is what they are after – if you live in a time where the civil powers wish to rid themselves of their Christian element, the violence that you suffer and the taking of your liberty or your life would have been because of the Kingdom…

    just nuances? mebbe – dunno

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