Sunday, July 13, 2014

Truth Without Consequences: This Sunday's Lectionary Edits

In this Sunday's lectionary reading (and next week's as well) , it is the Gospel of Matthew that draws the blade of the editor's knife. After telling the parable of the sower of the seeds, the lectionary jumps (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23) to the explanation of the parable by skipping Jesus' explanation of why he has chosen this method of teaching. Verses 10-17 contain some of the more difficult parts of this Chapter of Matthew. See what you think,

 Then the disciples came and asked him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’  He answered, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.  For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.  The reason I speak to them in parables is that “seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.”  With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:
“You will indeed listen, but never understand,
   and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
   and their ears are hard of hearing,
     and they have shut their eyes;
     so that they might not look with their eyes,
   and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn—
   and I would heal them.”
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.
Some of the more difficult words of our Lord for a revisionist preacher to tackle may be, "from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away." Never mind that it appears to me that the "dull hearted" who have "shut their eyes" and ears are "those who have nothing", and Jesus' healing is what they stand to have taken away.

The very idea that there might be anyone who will not be saved is anathema to revisionists.

It is scary to think what the consequences might be to those who shut their eyes and ears to Jesus' words of warning. It is even more frightening to think what may happen to those who keep those words from God's people.


  1. "The very idea that there might be anyone who will not be saved is anathema to revisionists." One could argue that this is about predestination but in context, it is more about receptivity. The seed only grows on good soil. Pray for a pure heart.

    1. Good point. The predestination route may be a way that one might try to steer an argument away from the issue of receptivity.

  2. Hi,
    I know one revisionist preacher who despite being within that category, did make the following points the last two Sundays.
    -Let wheat and tares grow together. We all have weeds in our lives so will never be perfected soil. The Sower is Jesus. Jesus owns the field. He would have been jailed sooner had He not hid the meaning from his audience.
    -Of course said revisionist fails to mention that those not hearing were those who decidedly rejected Jesus as Messiah. We don't ever want to speak ill of someone....
    Oh by the way, heaven is now here on earth, the Kingdom is here now. That translates to promoting Social causes minus the Gospel message which asks for a decision for one to choose this day whom they will serve. Again, we don't want any discomfort to occur. God is tender, God is kind, God never gets ticked off, God is love, God is just but according to our distorted definition of just. Woohoo, go for it revisionist and enjoy the heat to come!
    David Russell
    Blog: Grafted In And On The Journey