Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Two cents worth


1. Dinner conversations between Simon the zealot and Matthew the tax collector. Zealots were 1st century, politically activist Jews who advocated the violent overthrow of Roman occupation and, on occassion, made political statements through the shedding of blood (think PLO or Islamic Jihad ... old-school terrorists), while tax collectors were Jewish appeasers of Rome. As long as they got theirs, they didn't mind breaking the backs of their kinsmen to enrich their oppressors. Yet Jesus chose both to follow him. For three years they traveled together, lived together, ate together, worked together. No red-state/blue-state squabbles there. More like bloodsport.

2. Growing up in Nazareth after surviving political exile in Egypt. The basics: An immigrant boy moves into a ghetto ("What good comes out of Nazareth?). He has to make friends, but all of his childhood memories are of refugee camps in a far-away nation that held his ancestors as slaves for 400 years. Every self-respecting Jewish boy knew well the story of plagues and the Exodus, yet that's the very place marginalized and displaced Jesus, the Creator of the universe, chose to make his own.


At 7/13/2005 10:31:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

I love pt. 1, as it relates to discipleship & outreach & growth. I think what Jesus modelled there really goes against the "homogeneous growth principle" of evangelism, since Simon & Matthew wouldn't fit in any similar outreach demographic, but both made it onto Jesus' leadership team.

Pt.1, though, is challenging to pull off. Getting 'enemies' to be together, let alone lead together, is a challenge. Maybe that is how it represents the body - only Jesus at the head can pull that off.

As John Piper wrote in "Let the Nations be Glad" -- "The strength and wisdom and love of a leader is magnified in proportion to the diversity of people he can inspire to follow him with joy… The more diverse the people groups who forsake their gods to follow the true God, the more visible God’s superiority over all his competitors.”

Pt. 2 sounds like Jesus had 'street cred.'


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