Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 316

The scriptures read are Amos 3, Psalm 109 and Matthew 11.

Amos 3. The difference between real prophets and fake ones comes out: if a disaster is a judgment from God, he announces it beforehand. He give his people a chance to repent and avert it first. So armchair prophets, who sit around after the fact, declaring a recent calamity is God's punishment, are not true prophets. I'm looking at you, televangelists!

Psalm 109. Vivaldi's version of this psalm. Nuff said?

Matthew 11. It surprises us that John the Baptizer has doubts about Jesus, his own cousin. But the Bible shows us all to be human. John is in jail and rather than leading an armed rebellion against the occupying Romans, Jesus is speaking about good news, healing folks, breaking religious taboos, etc. John is wondering whether Jesus is the "right kind" of Messiah, the new David, a holy warrior-king. Jesus doesn't fit the popular conception of Messiah, so John, who was very Old Testament in style, is confused over what Jesus is doing.

Jesus, on the other hand, compliments John. He is greater than any prophet. Yet he says that John the least in God's kingdom.

We conclude with a statement (v. 27) that sounds more like John's gospel than Matthew's.

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