Monday, April 14, 2008

Bible Study

"And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, 'How can the scribes say the Christ is the son of David?' David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declared, 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under they feet.' David himself calls him Lord; so how is he his son?"'

And the great throng heard him gladly."

Mark 12:35-37

We discussed the above passage (and its equivalents in Matthew and Luke) in the parallel text Bible study last night. In the passage, Jesus uses Psalm 110 (the source of the quote) to establish himself as a greater authority than King David. The psalm, which we also looked at,hints at Jesus as a different, priestly kind of king, saying "you are a priest forever." The psalm does, however, surround this kingship with violent military metaphors. A key point, if we see the psalm as part of a biblical story that involves an unfolding understanding of God as loving and nonviolent, is to understand the language of the psalm as metaphoric and not literal.

We examined what "enemies" God might be putting under Jesus' feet if Jesus loved his enemies. We decided the enemies being crushed would be the principalities and powers, the forces of violence and coercion in the world.

We then moved to Jesus' discourse in which he excoriates the scribes and the Pharisees for laying heavy burdens on the poor and devouring widows' houses while at the same time wanting praise and honor. We spent some time discussing examples of how this is true today, not just among people "out there," but in terms of our own group, the Quakers.

Seven of us gathered, which made for a lively discussion. We greeted a new (to us) attender, David Williams.

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