Week Beginning Sunday 2/21

Matthew 8-14


  • Read Matthew 8-14

Consider these questions as you read:

  1. Matthew 9.1-17 includes several examples of ‘contemporizing’ the text — using language and examples that might especially connect with mid-20th century Southerners. Do you find any ideas in these verses that put a different spin on the familiar words or that help you see them in a different way?
  2. Matthew 13 includes a number of parables. Did any of them strike you differently in this version?
  3. Did anything in particular capture your fancy or cause you to squirm?

Respond with your thoughts by Saturday, 2/27, using the “Leave a Reply” box below. You may give your thoughts on the above questions or just thoughts of your own. What do you think?

 

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9 thoughts on “Week Beginning Sunday 2/21”

  1. There were some parts that troubled me. One was in Matthew 9;32 at the end of that paragraph. If I read it correctly. The other was in Matthew 12 – using King when speaking of the Confuser.

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    1. GA, what troubled you about Matthew 9.32? Is it the use of the term “dumb”? If so, it might be helpful to know that even in my lifetime, “dumb” was used as another word for “mute.” In today’s more careful culture of language (at least sometimes!), no one would say, “dumb” in place of mute.

      The “Dung-King” expression is a more literal translation of Beelzebub or Beelzebul, another name for the devil. It’s the term from which we get “Lord of the flies” (like the classic and creepy book by William Golding. It likely derives (ala Wikipedia) from zebel, a word used to mean “dung” in the Targums; or from Hebrew zebûl found in 1 Kings 8:13 in the phrase bêt-zebûl, “lofty house”.

      Think about what “dung” is and what the devil does. In that light, it’s an appropriate name, yes? 🙂

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      1. Nancy, Thank You for explaining all to me. I didn’t connect the dots on some. that it was Jesus speaking about the Confuser. Also, I didn’t know that the Confuser had different names other than the most common ones. I’m not familiar with “Lord of the flies”. I find it hard to even touch a plant that has his name attach to it- the Confuser. Yes, there is one.

        I wasn’t familiar with the word “dung” , and didn’t understand the meaning until you shared. Thank You. Yes, it’s a appropriate name. 🙂

        Going back to your question about what troubled me in Matthew 9:32 it wasn’t dumb that troubled me, but I’m glad you pointed that out. I read into it differently. You clarified that for me last night. It helped me to understand better. I think I’m going back to revisit it.

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  2. For the “contemporizing language,” I got a kick out of the usage of putting new tubes in old tires. I never would have thought of Jesus using that to explain a spiritual principle! 🙂 🙂

    I was a bit squirmy after reading the words in the last sentence of the paragraph of 9:10: “I want mercy and not worship…” Interesting choice of words — Jesus wasn’t saying not to worship, but sometimes my worship is “cheap” — and He wants much more than that! Mercy is harder and takes His love in me….

    I also really liked the wording of the last sentence of the paragraph of 10:34: “The person who hoards his life throws it away, and the one who abandons his life for my cause discovers it.” Hoards his life….made me think about how much I’m willing to give of myself – to others or to invest in important issues? And if I abandon my life for Jesus, I “discover it” — I really love that thought! Discovering my life…. really made me think of this concept in a new way. Thanks, Clarence! 🙂 🙂

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    1. I had some of the same feelings about 9:10, Dixie. I also liked the word “discover” in 10:34. Seems like the life God wants for us is right with us, if we’ll just listen/obey it could be revealed.

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    2. I had some of the same feelings about 9:10, Dixie. I also liked the word “discover” in 10:34. Seems like the life God wants for us is right with us, if we’ll just listen/obey it could be revealed.

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  3. I also loved the use of “old bald tires” and new tubes (9.16-17). Gave a whole new practicality for me since I’ve never used wineskins. I was also intrigued by his changing the concept of fasting to “going to worship services all the time” (9.14). That also resonates more with me as a signal of piety rather than today’s more obscure understanding of fasting.

    Reading the explanation of “Comparisons” [parables] in 13.10ff, I found myself looking at this puzzling passage in a different light. My margin note: “I wonder if this passage means they’ll see and hear [truth] but won’t be ‘put off’ like they might if it were spoken as a bunch of religious dictums. This way they might mull and consider without being turned off. In other words, that Jesus speaks in comparisons NOT IN ORDER TO CONFUSE OR OBFUSCATE but so they will consider without the heavy yoke of dogma. I wonder …”

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    1. Since I grew up sewing, I enjoy the part about not using new unshrunk material on a old dress. That would be silly! You have to take the time to wash it and iron it first. You’ll have better results when you take the time to do things right!

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  4. I am happy to say that I have caught up with my reading of the Cotton Patch Gospels thanks to a little down time in the Keys. Thanks, God! And thankful that I can participate right here on the beach. Thanks, Dixie, for setting up this blog. Wish You were here, the weather is beautiful! 🙂

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