Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What was the sin of Massah?

What, in Jesus’ eyes, might the community of believers whom he has called to be “sons of God” actually do that would be the functional equivalent of Israel’s sin at Massah? The answer to this question seems clear enough given all that I have said about Jesus’ understanding of what being faithful “sons” entails. The community would be rejecting the call from Jesus that it should regard as “of God,” and therefore be bound by, the principle of nonretaliation and especially the constraint to love the enemy. For, as we have seen, a posture of nonretaliation and the willingness to love the enemy are together the epitome and the essence of the way that the community of Jesus’ disciples has been charged to show itself faithful to the God it acknowledges as Father. This is what Jesus declares the disciples must commit themselves to if they are to be acknowledged by God as “sons.” This is the way of God that “this generation,” the antitype of the community Jesus tries to form, refuses to accept as the path God has ordained for those of Israel to follow.—The Disciples’ Prayer, page 159

<idle musing>
Strong words, aren't they? And ones that the church, at least in the U.S., needs to hear. We are called to be ministers of reconciliation. And we spew hate all too easily. Lord, forgive us! And keep us from putting you to the test!
</idle musing>

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