Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 328

The scriptures read are Jonah 4, Psalm 119:33-72 and Matthew 22.

Jonah 4. This is the the point of the story of Jonah. God is more merciful than people. Especially than Jonah. Also it shows that God does change his mind (the word used for "relent" is the same word for "repent"). It's not that God changes his mind about what is evil or his goals, but he definitely changes his methods. If he can stop evil by getting people to repent rather than by punishing them, all the better. Notice that God sees the people of Nineveh as childlike, not knowing right and wrong. Because, unlike Israel, they don't have God's law? Also God is concerned over all the innocent animals that would be collateral damage.

Psalm 119:33-72. A folk song-ish version of this section of the psalm.

Matthew 22. It's not wise to turn down a king's invitation. Granted wedding banquets could last 7 days but these guys were wealthy and landed (verse 5) so they could take that time off. And killing a king's servants would be seen as as actions against the king himself and therefore treasonous. Jesus' audience would totally understand the king's actions. Notice that of those who do come, some are good and some are bad. And if you do go to a king's wedding for heaven's sake, dress up some. This could be a reference to Judas, who comes to Jesus but isn't in the right spirit for following him.

There were tax revolts and revolts against using Roman coins with the divine Roman emperor's profile. It was seen as idolatry. Why did they even have such a coin, especially in the temple? But they are trying to trap Jesus into either rejecting paying taxes, making him an enemy of Rome, or into accepting the idea of Roman taxes, which might cause many of his followers to see him as a sell out. Jesus neatly turns the tables on them. Also people have the image of God in them, so they belong to God.

Did the Sadducees get the scenario of the 7 brothers' widow from the book of Tobit? Anyway, Jesus' affirmation that God is the God of the living, shows that the dead are not dead to God.

The 2 great commandments are foundational for God's law. The 10 commandments can be divided into those referring to God and those concerning other people.

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