True Blue Jon
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We tried reading through Matthew before ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/322002 ) and the thread dissipated after about halfway through. So here it is again in a new format! In case it isn't clear, I welcome comments from everyone, whether you believe or not. Please post your honest opinions on the text!

Thanks to all who participate!

Chapters 1 & 2 were discussed here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/442758

Chapters 3 & 4 were discussed here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/443447

Chapter 5 was discussed here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/445002

Chapter 6 was discussed here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/446060

Chapter 7 was discussed here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/447654

Chapter 8 was discussed here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/448438

Chapter 9 was discussed here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/449541

Matthew 10

1He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.

11"Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

17"Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!

26"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

34"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
" 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -
36a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'

37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

40"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
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True Blue Jon
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A very confrontational chapter. What do you all think of it?
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Daniel Eig
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verse 34 certainly came true (though not in the way he expected I suspect). As for the rest...

This is the speech you give to your troops when you expect armageddon to be near. When you expect your followers are about to set the world on fire, and split your people into civil war... not in decades or millenia - but right now... yet they sent barely a ripple through Judea - and certainly never caused the strife among the Jews as predicted.

I suspect the leaders of the Zealots (or the Sicarii) - who actually could give this speech and certainly made it true - dreamed of giving exhortations this well spoken.
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Jorge Montero
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I'll take Manhattan in a garbage bag. With Latin written on it that says "It's hard to give a shit these days"
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37-39 are just as tough as the harshest parts of the Sermon of the Mount. Who can claim that they are up to the bar this paragraph says? Can a Christian be even semi-wealthy while putting faith before family? Can someone hate a brother without putting themselves before the Trinity?

If I was a believer, I'd be worried.
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True Blue Jon
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dtolman wrote:
This is the speech you give to your troops when you expect armageddon to be near. When you expect your followers are about to set the world on fire, and split your people into civil war... not in decades or millenia - but right now... yet they sent barely a ripple through Judea - and certainly never caused the strife among the Jews as predicted.


Barely a ripple?
 
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Daniel Eig
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Exactly. Barely a ripple. Did an army of followers besiege Jerusalem? Did families shatter in violent conflict? Did the Temple fall? Did the Romans have to break out the legion? Compared to the many other Messianic claimants of the 1st century, it was nothing...it might well never have even happened - it had no effect on the history of Judea for centuries.

When I read that speech, the first religious figure i can think of, whose word had such immediate and dramatic impact is Martin Luther. He plunged Europe into war and split families - all in his lifetime.

I can think of few other people in history besides Luther who was able to split families and plunge society into chaos and war merely with a powerful idea, and leave a lasting mark besides.

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True Blue Jon
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Wow.
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Benny
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I think we are butting up against a fairly important exegetical principle -- recognizing the intended audience.

Some people think that everything Jesus says applies to everyone, or at least all of his followers, but I don't think that holds. This chapter in particular, which starts with their calling and their first commission, seems to be addressed at those who would, like the disciples, hold the Office of Holy Ministry.

Chapter 10 then is largely about defining how a pastor is to conduct himself. If people reject you, don't sweat it, but don't be eager to move on from those you help. Serve your congregation and they will take care of you. Expect to be offensive and to suffer for your message.

Interestingly, the suffering Jesus promises to his disciples is precisely the suffering he will endure during Holy Week. In following Jesus, we also endure his sufferings.
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Snowball
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quozl wrote:
A very confrontational chapter. What do you all think of it?

Not much. Not only Jesus heals magically, but now the apostles too. No wonder some people actually think some others actually yield the magical power to heal.
Quote:
37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

So much for love and humility. What is that "loving more" stuff? These love comparisons are plain dreadful.
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HavocIsHere wrote:
Quote:
37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

So much for love and humility. What is that "loving more" stuff? These love comparisons are plain dreadful.


I for one am heartened that the Bible doesn't take a simplistic view of love no matter how much you might want it to. Do you really think that love one another sums up all that love is?

Hear, Christ acknowledges that love establishes priorities and that loving him (loving God) is greater than loving each other. It does not mean that loving each other is thrown out the window.

Also, if this is specifically for the Office of Holy Ministry it is a matter of commitment for those in that special office and not all Christians. Interestingly, the end of Mark 10 has a similar warning but also points to a reward that is 100 times greater. A person finds a new greater family in Christianity which can include biological family if they are also Christian.
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Benjro wrote:


Hear, Christ acknowledges that love establishes priorities and that loving him (loving God) is greater than loving each other. It does not mean that loving each other is thrown out the window.

Hmm it makes me remember of God asking Abraham to kill his son and Abraham proved he was willing to.
With that kind of reasoning, ie love god more than anything, some have an easy time justifying killing people for Allah, God, etc.
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HavocIsHere wrote:
Benjro wrote:


Hear, Christ acknowledges that love establishes priorities and that loving him (loving God) is greater than loving each other. It does not mean that loving each other is thrown out the window.

Hmm it makes me remember of God asking Abraham to kill his son and Abraham proved he was willing to.
With that kind of reasoning, ie love god more than anything, some have an easy time justifying killing people for Allah, God, etc.


Ultimately Abraham and Isaac on the mountain is about rejecting human sacrifice, not embracing it. Like I said, we should still love each other, so I don't see any justification to kill for God...I see just the opposite where we are to uphold the sanctity of life for others.
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About being confrontational, and putting the world to the sword, i remembered George Bernard Shaw's words about Jesus Christ:

"Jesus was from the point of view of the High Priest a heretic and an impostor. From the point of view of the merchants he was a rioter and a Communist. From the Roman Imperialist point of view he was a traitor. From the commonsense point of view he was a dangerous madman. From the snobbish point of view, always a very influential one, he was a penniless vagrant. From the police point of view he was an obstructor of thoroughfares, a beggar, an associate of prostitutes, an apologist of sinners, and a disparager of judges; and his daily companions were tramps whom he had seduced into vagabondage from their regular trades. From the point of view of the pious he was a Sabbath breaker, a denier of the efficacy of circumcision and the advocate of a strange rite of baptism, a gluttonous man and a winebibber.

"He was abhorrent to the medical profession as an unqualified practitioner who healed people by quackery and charged nothing for the treatment. He was not anti-Christ: nobody had heard of such a power of darkness then; but he was startlingly anti-Moses. He was against the priests, against the judiciary, against the military, against the city (he declared that it was impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven), against all the interests, classes, principalities and powers, inviting everybody to abandon all these and follow him.

"By every argument, legal, political, religious, customary, and polite, he was the most complete enemy of the society of his time ever brought to the bar. He was guilty on every count of the indictment, and on many more that his accusers had not the wit to frame. If he was innocent then the whole world was guilty. To acquit him was to throw over civilization and all its institutions..."

This was from his preface of On the Rocks (You can find it here: http://www.wikilivres.info/wiki/On_the_Rocks) Although this preface is not necessarily about Christianity itself. He just mentioned Jesus Christ here as an example.

And Shaw discussed Christianity mainly in Androcles and the Lion (The preface is here: http://www.online-literature.com/george_bernard_shaw/androcl...). Of course these are just Shaw's view, who we must note was some sort of a comedian as well.



Nothing has changed much since then, You just have to wonder how christianity, which has been around for two thousand years, manages to work in the world.
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Stephen Sanders
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hibikir wrote:
37-39 are just as tough as the harshest parts of the Sermon of the Mount. Who can claim that they are up to the bar this paragraph says? Can a Christian be even semi-wealthy while putting faith before family? Can someone hate a brother without putting themselves before the Trinity?

If I was a believer, I'd be worried.


You should be worried, but not because you are a believer.

I find this to be very confirming. However, you see this as resulting in some kind of judgment or shism in the family unit, but that does not have to be the case. You simply take your stand, and let them decide how they want to treat you, or accept you. I would rather have Jesus accept me for who I am, rather than any family member who does not believe. But we can still move on, and maybe even live together with our convictions.
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If there will be any dilemma as who to love more God or fellow human beings, we can always fall back to Jesus's greatest commandment which to love one our neighbor (and enemies!), and that what we do unto one another, we do unto Him.


As for family containing members with different religions, i think this is why almost all religions of the world insist and recommend that one of the couples when they are getting married to be baptized and converted fully into his partner's religion, to avoid all potential conflicts and the make union as harmonious as possible.

I also do not believe in raising children into no religion whatsoever and just let them choose when they have grown up, the parents should do their best to raise their them into their faith and religious beliefs. This allows for firm ground during the discerning of faith, which is absent in an empty and faithless upbringing.

When the children become adults already, they can still always decide for their own, let them decide whether they really love and seek God and his Truth much more than their own immediate family and their current and limited understanding.

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marshalldavout wrote:
If there will be any dilemma as who to love more God or fellow human beings, we can always fall back to Jesus's greatest commandment which to love one our neighbor (and enemies!), and that what we do unto one another, we do unto Him.


This is not the greatest commandment. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength and that is what we should fall back to. You commandment comes after the this commandment and is informed by it.
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Benjro wrote:
This is not the greatest commandment. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength and that is what we should fall back to. You commandment comes after the this commandment and is informed by it.



Yes my mistake, sorry about messing that one up.

Yes but the logic basically here is that Love for God is proven and measured by love for others
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