Sunday, May 20, 2012

Luke 1-5 - Some last thoughts

The disciples carried the names of recent Jewish revolutionaries. They were probably common names at the time, which shows how important revolution and revolutionaries were in the public consciousness.

Luke 1:2-3 - Luke calls The recipient of the gospel "most excellent Theophilus", a title reserved for people in high rank or office, and only ever used by Luke to speak of a government official (Acts 23:26, 24:2, 26:25). It is notable, then, that Luke is willing to take such a critical view of wealth and the authority of the empire.

Luke 1:41 - Elizabeth was "filled with the Spirit" and prophesied, just as her husband does in v67.

Luke 2:52 - No matter how extraordinary he may have been, Jesus' humanity is revealed in his growth and learning. He needed to learn, to increase, just as any human does.

Luke 3:5 - Mountains lowered and valleys filled - The context of Luke makes it clear that an explicit social-ethical consequence should be interpreted in this passage. The poetry is echoed in both Luke 14:11 and 18:14, where it says clearly that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and rose who humble themselves will be exalted. Luke 1:52-53 said that ruler will be removed, and the humble lifted up. Luke's gospel has consequences that effect the entire order of the world, not just the heart of the individual.

Chapter 5 - New Wineskin

It is well accepted that the "New Wineskin" Jesus refers to is the New Covenant that was promised in the Hebrew scriptures. This covenant is described in the New Testament as being the gospel of the Kingdom inaugurated in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, received by faith for salvation and forgiveness of sins.

 The "Old Wineskin" is the old covenant, the law of Moses. But left there, it is too easy to imagine that what is meant is simply one set of theologies replaced by another. In relaity, the law of Moses represented an entire culture and way of life, affecting the individual, the family, and the structure of government and law. This change of wine and wineskin is more than just acceptance of a new creed, it is an entirely new way of being, which will require a new system to contain it. The hearts of individuals will be changed, yes. But this will result in a change in their actions. And these changes in the way people live necessitate a revolution in the order of the ways of the world. The "new wineskin", therefore, can just as legitimately be described as an entirely new order by consequence of this new covenant written on the hearts of Jesus' followers. This new order is the Kingdom of Heaven. Followers of Jesus are right in seeking it's manifestation on earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment