Monday, September 13, 2010

Follow up posts from 12/14 Class Session: Exile and Temple Tantrum

We are wrapping up our Old Testament/Tanak "backstory" to the "Who is Jesus (in Matthew)?" question.
What everything we have studied so far has to do with  New Testament/Jesus   will continually come into sharper focus as the course progresses.

In today's class, we'll focus on  exile...see Vander :Laan's article:

Seventy Reasons for Seventy Years: The Exile

It addresses an intriguing "literary world" question that is hardly ever asked: Why 70 years?
See also "Exile and Punishment and Hope" .

We'll spend time on the hope in midst of exile, and the rebuilding of the temple upon return. See Isaiah 40-66, especially  Is, 53:3-6, which Jesus quotes during his "temple tantrum."  We'll see how crucial that literary world  reference was.

And regarding the "historical world":

Most think Jesus' "temple tantrum" was due to his being ticked off about folks "selling stuff in church.". But he didn't say "Quit selling stuff in church" , but "My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations," quoting Is 56:6-8, whose context is all about letting foreigners and outcasts have a place..hmmm. He was likely upset that not that Dovesellers and money changers were doing business selling and changing , but that they were doing so in the "outer court,"  (AKA the "Court of the GENTILES"), the only place where "foreigners" could have a pew at "attend church." They were making the temple area "a den of thieves" not (just) by overcharging for doves and currency exchange, but by robbing folks..'all nations'... of a place to pray..and to "access access" to God.

Could it be that Jesus' temple anger was targeted at racism/prejudice more than (instead of) commercialism?
(I think you'll enjoy next month's  readings from Kraybill's "Upside Down Kingdom"  on this passage; he has a chapter called "Fumigating the Temple,"....which you might skim now, to help supplement today's discussion....Yeah, you have TIME (:..)

More on this topic, click:


 Here  and here are helpful  Ray Vander Laan teachings on the temple courts.

Here's something I learned on one of my Israel trips; this one with a group of only North Americans:

Ask a busload of American Christians, while they are in Israel,

"What continent are we on right now?"

You get several wrong answers ("Europe"), and several "deer in the headlights" looks.
Some were sure, but wrong: Africa.

Thanks for playing, anyway.

You know the answer.

But it is still shocking to us.

Which is why I love these two video clips:

1)Wolfgang Simson says "Jesus, being an Asian..."

2)Dan Nainan: "My father is Indian, and my mother is Japanese. And people say, 'How neat, you are half-Asian.' ....Where do they think Asia IS, Antarctica?! ...Half of American schoolchildren can't find Earth...on a map OF Earth!":


On a lighter note, our "devotional" video..which (as usual) has quite a bit to do with our theme:

If you  haven't seen this yet,   before you watch, fill in this blank quickly in your mind:
"In England, they drive on the _________ side of the road.":

Related: my article in Salt Fresno magazine


Oh, trivia from last week:
How long did the Israelites "wander in the wilderness?"
Everyone "knows" the answer is supposed to be 40 years.
Indeed Deuteronomy 2:7 says so.
But Deuteronomy 2:14 implies it was 38 years. 

(articles  here)

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