“The Corinthians are not those to whom the ministry and word of reconciliation have been given. Rather, they are to submit to that ministry and word, given to God’s minister, Paul (6:3-4), which is directed to them.” (Barnett, op. cit., 304)
If I'm right about 2 Corinthians 5-6, there are big implications.
A lot of people today make 3 moves. 1. Jesus is more important than Paul. I trust in Jesus. I'm saved. 2. Paul is misogynistic, 1st century, badly phrased, and slightly above his station. 3. But that is a secondary issue because of #1.
Instead, 2 Corinthians 5 says that a view such as #2 requires reconciliation to God. It is to turn your back on the offer of new creation, of sins not counted against oneself, of dying, of new life not to oneself but to Christ etc. To write off Paul's ministry in that fashion is not a secondary issue, but a central and gospel issue.
I’m sure it’s obvious to lots of people. And I’ve had suspicions along this direction for a while. But looking at it more closely I’m now convinced that 2 Cor 5:11-6:13 is primarily about establishing Paul’s apostolic authority.
Bear in mind that Matthew loves OT allusions.
Bear in mind that the magi are Gentile worshippers of Jesus.
He deliberately reports (2:1) that they came from the east.
From the land East of Eden. From Sodom and Gomorrah. From the way into the tabernacle and temple. They came from the east to Jerusalem.
Are we supposed to learn that the birth of this child is access back into the presence of God. Not just for Jewish exiles (1:17), but for Gentiles too?
There’s some good news. Happy Christmas everyone!
OK, it doesn’t fit the tune, but it does fit the sentiment.
Joel Green, NICNT Luke, page 137:
In the light of the cosmic scope of the Isaianic Messianic hope Luke keeps alluding to in chapter 2, and in the light of the references to Gentiles we’ve already had this far in Luke:
This means that the expression ‘those whom he favors’ cannot be limited in application to Israel only. Rather, shalom for Israel is tied up with shalom for the cosmos. Hence, although ‘whom he favors’ is an affirmation of gracious election on God’s part, that graciousness extends to humanity. It should not be read in an exclusive sense – that is, not peace only to a select group whom he favors – but in an inclusive way: In the birth of this child, God’s mercy has fallen on the world.
Thanks to Joel Green, commentary on Luke page 136, for this one
The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.
Rich Lusk points out in his fine book Paedofaith how the testimony of the Psalmists is of God being their trust since birth and even conception.
Psalm 87 gives another slant on this wonderful truth that the blessing of being one of the people of God can be traced back to the earliest days. (Thomas, and others who have studied the Psalms much more than I, please correct me if needs be!)
Does anyone know where I can get hold of a copy of Simon Wakeling's dissertation on the unity of the book of the 12?
It’s nearly New Year’s day, so time for a post or several on reading through the whole Bible. Since I was introduced to it, back in 1995, I have been a big fan of Robert Murray McCheyne’s Bible reading plan.
He devised it to help his flock spend less time deciding which portions of Scripture to read, and more time reading Scripture. (Sounds like he would be better at revising for exams than most of us!) He saw the value of a whole church reading through the whole Bible each year, and reading it through in the same pattern. Yes, there are dangers of such a scheme, but for those able to avoid the dangers, it offers an excellent discipline.
I’m a bit hopeless when it comes to lists.
But I do have a vague idea of the people I would like to pray for regularly.
Somehow, I tend to pray most for those people who are most in need of God’s help, those who are weakest, those with unrealised potential, etc.
Then I read Psalm 72.
First taste of El Salvador coffee today.
El Salvador Finca La Fany Bourbon is a lovely surprise. More acidity than I expected, with flavours of lemon and peach. But as the cup cooled more buttery tones, even a little caramel. Creamy mouthfeel improved with cooling as well. This is a complex cup with plenty going on - highly recommended!