a way of looking at the BiblePosted: September 16, 2013
A week ago Sunday, 8 September, was Pentecost 16, Proper 18 and the gospel reading was Luke 14:25-33, which includes some harsh language:
Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Fr. Phil had an interesting take on this. He reminded us that the gospels were written in a time of tumult, when the followers of Jesus were being thrown out of the synagogues. The readers of the gospel of Luke and the other gospels were under a lot of stress and no doubt confused. He suggested:
So how are you and I going to read these hard words attributed to Jesus? We can read them as intended for one specific circumstance in history; some things do not bear to be repeated. Some words never need to be applicable again. All of the Bible does not have to have future application; many of the words can simply remain the historical record of a single event in the history of a particular group of people.
That can relieve a lot of stress for us today, ya know?