One of the first things I do when looking at the text is to see if there are any significant issues in Metzger’s Textual Commentary. There are no real significant issues for this text.
Having that out of the way, I go to Aland Synopsis. There I found a difference in the end of verse 19 and the corresponding verse in Luke 7:35. Both personify wisdom. The Matthew text wisdom is justified by actions (NIV) and the Luke text by her children (I also found that the Byzantine text the Matthew reading and the Luke reading are the same).
In verses 11:25-27, I again come to the core concept of ignorance. The ability to know God is a gift. Revelation of the truth, of true wisdom, begins with God. Verse 27 also brings to mind John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day (NIV). In verse 27 we are told that knows the Father unless the Son reveals him. This is not “arguing in a circle”, but another example of unity in the Triune personality. God wants to reveal Himself and thus has given the ultimate revelation in the incarnation.
Now, back to the initial comparison with children who want it done there way (children of ignorance and/or arrogance). Wisdom is reveal by the actions (children) who are not spoiled, selfish, defiant, but who are children who are attuned, trusting, and obedient. It is almost a comparison of childish and child-like. The child-like state which provides entrance into the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17).
Jesus praises His Father that this is the manner in which ignorance and arrogance is overcome. It magnifies the grace of God while putting the vanity of human reason in its place.
We will meditate and in these insights for a while. The sermon is beginning to form.
After neglecting posting on this blog for way to long, I have decided to try and use it as an extension of my lectionary study work.
I have been using the Revised Common Lectionary as a guide to sermon choices for 15 years. The decision to do so is one of the best I have made in my spiritual journey as a pastor.
I also participate regularly in a study group with other local pastors who also follow the lectionary. This experience has also been very, very rewarding. By doing this, I am exposed to other perspectives on the passage that I might not consider.
The Gospel passage for this week is Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30.
First thoughts: Read the following post: http://aintsobad.typepad.com/aintsobad/ posted June 27, 2011.
Arrogance and ignorance. I posted a reply to the post at the above listed blog even before I read the lectionary passage for today.
In an age in which “information is power”, no wonder our churches are so weak.
I cannot decide which is the greater threat, ignorance by omission, or ignorance by commission? Either why we become open to the predators who thrive in such an environment.
This is the point I am going to start my preparation for this week. I love how our Lord works…
Yesterday, in the morning worship, we honored a lady who has served the church faithfully for years and years. The woman whom we honored did not know we were going to do so. We included her family (of which we in the church consider ourselves part of ), friends, and others who have been effected by her servant mindset. We gave her a very nice clock with an inscription of thanksgiving for her service, dedication, and commitment. It was a wonderful surprise for her which she humbly accepted.
In the nine years I have served this church, we have done this sort of thing five times. We do this while these folks are still alive and able to fully enjoy the celebration.
There are three reasons why we do this:
1) We believe God is honored when His saints are honored.
2) We believe people important to our spiritual family should be honored just as we honor physical family members.
3) We believe it is important to honor and celebrate individuals who model dedication, endurance, faith, and devotion.
The service was wonderful and we continued it after the hour with a fellowship of food. It was a feast for both body and soul.