Monday, March 03, 2008

Whose Child Are You?: The Seven Woes of Matthew 23

In my study of Matthew 23 for a recent ladies Bible study, I noticed an interesting pattern that became the central thrust of my lesson. In contrasting the actions and attitudes of the religious leaders to what is proper for a child of God, Jesus speaks of the crowd and disciples as having only one Father, God. This comes into contrast in the seven woes when Christ, speaking of the religious leaders says they make their proselytes twice a child of hell as themselves. The contrast is then set up...Children of God do not behave as children of hell, or Satan. The image is driven home in the final woe when Christ calls the religious leaders "serpents, you brood of vipers," in 23:33. This allusion to the offspring of the serpent takes us all the way back to Gen 3:15 and the proto-evangelium. Thus, the woes serve to show the selfish, self-centered, unloving way in which a child of Satan behaves in contrast to the selfless and loving manner of the child of God. The woes describe a people that reject the gospel (woes one and two); seek to circumvent the spirit of the law by parsing the letter of it (woe three); have misunderstood the underlying principles of justice and mercy that are explicit in the gospel (woe four); and seek to hide their sin not under the white shining robes of Christ's righteousness, but behind their own works of "righteousness" (woes five and six). In the final woe, they are shown to be sons of their fathers, those who killed the prophets.

So in light of this, whose child are you?


GUNNY said...

Thought you might appreciate the devastating winds as this Lufthansa flight tried to land.

Matthew Bradley said...

Wow! Great find Gun. The perspective this was shot from couldn't be better. You really get a sense for what is happening during a crosswind landing. This pilot either straightened out too soon (he left too much time between pointing it down the runway and touching down), or a gust caught him in the moment between one and the other. This is a great example of the kinds of things that keep me from even wanting to be an airline pilot.

GUNNY said...

Isn't that something?

I thought you'd care for it.

I've NEVER seen a plane landing like that and I can't imagine the fun the passengers must have had, particularly knowing they were going to have to "reload" for another try.

GUNNY said...

Some background slooge on that.