Do not plan ahead (Lk 21:14-21:14)

“Make up your minds!

Do not prepare

Your defense

In advance!”

 

θέτε οὖν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν μὴ προμελετᾶν ἀπολογηθῆναι·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told them to make up or settle their minds or hearts (θέτε οὖν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν), so that they did not have to prepare their defense ahead of time (μὴ προμελετᾶν ἀπολογηθῆναι).  This is unique use by Luke of the term προμελετᾶν, that means to premeditate, meditate beforehand, or prepare.  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:19, and Mark, chapter 13:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry beforehand or be anxious about what to say (μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε τί λαλήσητε), when they were handed over and brought to trial (καὶ ὅταν ἄγωσιν ὑμᾶς παραδιδόντες).  Matthew indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry or be anxious (μὴ μεριμνήσητε), when they were handed over (ὅταν δὲ παραδῶσιν ὑμᾶς) to these courts or tribunals.  They should not worry about how or what they should say (πῶς ἢ τί λαλήσητε).  It will be given to them (δοθήσεται γὰρ ὑμῖν) in that hour at that time (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ) what they should say (τί λαλήσητε).  Luke simply said that they were not to make any preparations for their defense.  Would you like to be prepared before you went to court?

Christian Community

We experience God in our community in the celebration of the story of Jesus Christ.  The coherent story of Jesus overcomes self-deception.  Jesus showed us how to be faithful to others and provides a model for constancy.  The Jesus narrative story transforms and empowers us.  Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the anointed one, the suffering servant.  For many the scandal of death by crucifixion was too much.  Christ’s resurrection defies scientific verification.  This is not just about Jesus of Nazareth, but Jesus, the Lord and Savior.  Jesus speaks to our hearts and minds.  Jesus lives on with his Holy Spirit in our community when we gather together.  There is a personal and social transformation that continually takes place with a deeper and richer understanding of the human person and authentic community.  We all have a personal development of our faith.  We live our discipleship of Jesus in justice, love and healing as our faith springs into action.

 

The inspired Scriptures

The Old Testament or Hebrew scriptures were the scriptures mentioned in the New Testament writings.  In what sense are these inspired writings?  There have been a number of theories to explain this.  Were these writers possessed by God in a hypnotic state?  Did God verbally dictate every word?  Did God provide negative assistance to make sure that the writer did not make an error?  Is this inspiration retroactive?  Every word in the Bible is true if we understand the literary form.  There was a divine influence on the minds and wills of the biblical writers, but they lived and wrote in a specific time and place.

Hymn to Yahweh (Jer 20:12-20:13)

“O Yahweh of hosts!

You test the righteous!

You see the heart!

You see the mind!

Let me see your retribution

Upon them!

I have committed my cause

To you!

Sing to Yahweh!

Praise Yahweh!

He has delivered

The lives of the needy

From the hands of evildoers.”

Jeremiah praises Yahweh. He knows that God tests the righteous ones because he sees their hearts and minds. Jeremiah wanted retribution to come upon those who had opposed him. However, he has committed his cause to Yahweh. They were to sing and praise Yahweh, because he has delivered the lives of the needy from the evildoers.

The folly of a block of wood (Isa 44:18-44:20)

“They do not know anything.

They do not comprehend.

Their eyes are shut.

Thus they cannot see.

Their minds are shut.

Thus they cannot understand.

No one considers this.

No one has knowledge.

No one has discernment to say.

‘I burned half of it in the fire.

I also baked bread on its coals.

I roasted meat.

I have eaten meat.

Shall I make the rest of it an abomination?

Shall I fall down before a block of wood?’

He feeds on ashes.

A deluded mind has led him astray.

He cannot save himself.

He cannot say.

‘Is not this thing in my right hand a fraud?’”

Second Isaiah explains the moral of this tale of the idol carpenter maker. These idol makers do not know or understand what they are doing. Their eyes and minds are shut, so that they cannot see or understand. These carpenters do not consider that they used part of their precious wood to make a fire to keep them warm and cook on. They then made their abominable wooden idol out of the rest of this wood. Do they not realize that they are bowing down to a block of wood? They have deluded minds. They have been led astray. They eat ashes. They do not understand that what they have made with their right hand is a fraud.

The justice of the rulers (Isa 32:1-32:4)

“See!

A king will reign in righteousness.

Princes will rule with justice.

Each will be

Like a hiding place from the wind,

Like a covert from the tempest,

Like streams of water

In a dry place,

Like the shade of a great rock

In a weary land.

Then the eyes of those who have sight

Will not be closed.

The ears of those who have hearing

Will listen.

The minds of the rash

Will have good judgment.

The tongues of the stammerers

Will speak readily.

They will speak distinctly.”

Isaiah maintains that there will be new age when justice will prevail. The righteous kings and the good princes will rule with justice. Thus they will be helpful to others because they will be like a hiding place from the wind, like a covering in a storm, like streams of water in a dry place, and like shade in a hot weary land. The seeing will see and the hearing will hear. Minds will make good judgments. People who stammer will speak readily and distinctly. This would be some kind of utopian time when justice and fairness for all existed in an enlightened society.

The instructions of Yahweh (Isa 6:9-6:10)

“Yahweh said.

‘Go!

Say to this people!

‘Keep listening!

But do not comprehend!

Keep looking!

But do not understand!

Make the mind of this people dull!

Stop their ears!

Shut their eyes!

Thus they may not look

With their eyes.

They may not listen

With their ears.

They may not comprehend

With their minds.

Turn!

Be healed!’”

Now Isaiah gets his marching orders from Yahweh. He was to tell the people that they were listening without comprehending. They were looking without understanding. Their minds were dull. Their eyes and ears were closed. He wanted them not to look with their own eyes. He wanted them to not listen with their own ears, since they would not begin to comprehend. He told Isaiah to turn and go, since he had been healed of his sins. This is somewhat echoed in the words of Jesus among the later Christian evangelists.