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RLST 210/Div/Rel 3152 Sept 12, 2011.  3:10-4:00 Reading Matthew 5:1-12, again and again,  4:00-4:50 Discussion Groups: Matthew 5:1-12 + Contextual &

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Presentation on theme: "RLST 210/Div/Rel 3152 Sept 12, 2011.  3:10-4:00 Reading Matthew 5:1-12, again and again,  4:00-4:50 Discussion Groups: Matthew 5:1-12 + Contextual &"— Presentation transcript:

1 RLST 210/Div/Rel 3152 Sept 12, 2011

2  3:10-4:00 Reading Matthew 5:1-12, again and again,  4:00-4:50 Discussion Groups: Matthew 5: Contextual & Theological Choices ◦ Div G25, Group 1 Leader EUGENE SE’BREE Scribe: Skyler Hutto ◦ Div G26 Group 2 Leader JOHN SUK Scribe: Bryant Holt ◦ Div G28 Group 3 Leader GABRIEL KING Scribe: Megan Yohe  4:50-5:30 Scribe reports on Theological Choices: Views of DISCIPLESHIP

3  So so sorry that pizzas and drinks arrived very late, so that many of you had to leave before they arrive  But for the rest of week all my free time was absorbed by reading your contextual interpretations of Matthew with Amy and Arthur Francis  A great experience. Many excellent first attempts. But we did not give any free passes.  There is too much at stake in your choices of interpretations of Scripture… I illustrate with Matt 5:1-16 and 7:13-29, the text for today

4  3 "Blessed [Happy] are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  4 "Blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted.  5 "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.  6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.  7 "Blessed are the merciful, they will receive mercy.  8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God.  9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God.  10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

5  3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit (people who are humble), theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Luke 6:20 Blessed are you who are poor,  4 "Blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted.  5 "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.  6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled. Luke 6:21 you who are hungry now  7 "Blessed are the merciful, they will receive mercy.  8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God.  9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God.  10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  = Matt has transformed into moral teaching the “beatitudes” of Jesus (Q) = The WILL OF GOD Disciples need to KNOW and WANT TO DO

6  3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit (people who are humble), theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Luke 6:20 Blessed are you who are poor,  4 "Blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted.  5 "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.  6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled. Luke 6:21 you who are hungry now  7 "Blessed are the merciful, they will receive mercy.  8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God.  9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God.  10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  = Matt has transformed into moral teaching the “beatitudes” of Jesus (Luke, Q) = The WILL OF GOD Disciples need to KNOW and DO

7  Since in Matt 5:3-12 Jesus teaches the WILL OF GOD that Disciples MUST DO  This is a teaching for people (would-be-disciples) who do NOT KNOW that as disciples of Jesus they MUST be poor in spirit (humble), mourn (abandon people and things dear to you to serve God); be meek (giving up on your rights), hunger and thirst for righteousness, be merciful, be pure in heart (controlling your passions); be peacemakers, and thus be persecuted for righteousness' sake.  A1 CONTEXT: People who need this teaching = e.g. new converts, Church outsiders, young people in a church group, in a post-9/11 Nashville life-context in which Christians interact with Muslims  A3a Analyzing context: A personal life issue (individuals do not know God’s will); or, less likely, a community issue  A3b Root-problem = lack of KNOWLEDGE or wrong KNOWLEDGE

8  Matt 5:3-12 teaches the WILL OF GOD to would-be disciples  A disciple of Jesus MUST have a particular righteous moral life: must be poor in spirit (humble), mourn (abandon people and things dear to you to serve God); be meek (giving up on your rights), hunger and thirst for righteousness, be merciful, be pure in heart (controlling your passions); be peacemakers, and thus be persecuted for righteousness' sake.  These are general principles of the moral life = the WILL OF GOD as revealed by Jesus.  TEACHING: “Since you want to be a disciple, this is what you must do… be poor in spirit (humble) when dialoging with Muslims; be merciful & peacemakers toward Muslims (rather than being suspicious of them)  Followed by explanations of what each moral principle (e.g., being poor in spirit, peacemakers, etc.) involves

9  B2: Presupposed definition of Discipleship = Doing God’s Will as revealed by Jesus in Beatitudes  B2: Presupposed definition of Ethics = Deontological ethics = Immanuel Kant = being an agent who in his/her life implements the general moral principles (God’s Will) revealed by Jesus  B3: Presupposed Role of Scripture = Lamp to my Feet that teaches believers the KNOWLEDGE of GOD’S WILL (what they should do) = what they are called to do as Disciples ◦ or if a community/group issue, Rule of the Community  USELESS for most American Christian believers after 9/11, = already KNOW this is God’s Will; BUT either do not WANT to do it, or lack FAITH to do it, or are UNABLE to do it, = fail to be poor in spirit, meek, merciful, peacemakers, righteous disciples

10  3 "Blessed [Happy] are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  4 "Blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted.  5 "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.  6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.  7 "Blessed are the merciful, they will receive mercy.  8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God.  9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God.  10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

11  Matt 5:3-12 are addressed to the CROWDS = the beatitudes are a call to discipleship seeking to entice the crowds to join the disciples and accept to do the Will of God as revealed by Jesus  Matt 5:1-2 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying  And the crowds respond: Matt 7: Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. ◦ Note: 5:3ff = NOT “Blessed are YOU poor in spirit” (would be addressed to people already disciples) BUT “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (whoever they are; the crowds)  5:13-16 Calling them to join the disciples and carry with them the vocation to be salt of the earth, light of the world & also warning them of the coming judgment (7:13-27)

12  NOW THE FOCUS IS ON THE REWARDS  3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  4 "Blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted.  5 "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.  6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.  7 "Blessed are the merciful, they will receive mercy.  8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God.  9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God.  10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

13  Since in Matt 5:3-12 Jesus teaches the WILL OF GOD that Disciples need to DO, but do not do even though they know it.  This is a teaching for people (would-be-disciples) who KNOW that as disciples of Jesus one MUST be poor in spirit (humble), mourn (abandon people and things dear to you to serve God); be meek (giving up on your rights), hunger and thirst for righteousness, be merciful, be pure in heart (controlling your passions); be peacemakers, and thus be persecuted for righteousness' sake. BUT DO NOT DO IT, because they do NOT WANT to do it = WANT to do something else  A1 e.g. Young people in a church group; many complacent church members = who WANT to do something else with their lives, rather than giving it up to become disciples doing what Jesus/God tells them to do, e.g. because of “The Cost of Discipleship” (Bonhoeffer).  A3a A personal life issue (individuals do not want to do God’s will); or culture, society issues (e.g., peer-group pressure)  A3b ROOT-PROBLEM = lack of /wrong WILL

14  Matt 5:3-12 ENTICES would-be disciples to become disciples and do the Will of God by underscoring the rewards  “Do you want to receive the kingdom of heaven? To be comforted? To inherit the earth? To be filled? To receive mercy? To see God? To be children of God? = Do you want to receive the kingdom of heaven?  IF SO, here is what you SHOULD “hunger and thirst for” = WANT TO DO: be poor in spirit, mourn, be meek, be righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, even if this means being persecuted  “Don’t you want to be a disciple and receive all these blessings? …  Followed by explanations regarding 1) how all this moral behavior will be rewarded in the future, but also in the present (“theirs is the kingdom”)  And 2) how it can be performed in the concrete situations of people in A1

15  B2: Presupposed definition of Discipleship = Wanting to Do God’s Will as Jesus calls people by pointing to them the rewards (blessings) one would then receive (Beatitudes)  B2: Presupposed definition of Ethics = Consequentialist (utilitarian) ethics=business ethics (John Stuart Mills)=being an agent who is committed (a matter of the heart) to do God’s Will as revealed by Jesus because of its good consequences for self, and for others (when being salt and light of the world)  B3: Presupposed Role of Scripture = Good News of God’s loving promises or Rule of the Community (mixing promises of blessings and warnings of punishments at the judgment (7:13-29)

16  3 "Blessed [Happy] are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  4 "Blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted.  5 "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.  6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.  7 "Blessed are the merciful, they will receive mercy.  8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God.  9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God.  10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

17  3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  4 "Blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted.  5 "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.  6 "Blessed those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.  7 "Blessed are the merciful, they will receive mercy.  8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God.  9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God.  10 "Blessed those persecuted for righteousness' sake, theirs is the kingdom  = e.g. Psalm 37:22 those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land [earth], but those cursed by him shall be cut off.  Religious, ritual “blessings” or “curses” change the way one sees a situation and transform this situation itself.  = “Blessings” are in a figurative, symbolic language pointing to a RELIGIOUS REALITY

18  Matt 5:3-12 is part of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:1— 7:29) a symbolic, figurative proclamation of a new covenant – the Kingdom of Heaven -- by the New Moses – Jesus as figure of Moses – on the new Mount Sinai – the “mount”; Jesus is Moses-like model for discipleship  The Sermon as any symbolic discourse is carefully organized (as poetic discourses are): A huge chiasm, centered on the Lord’s Prayer ◦ Matthew 6:9 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Ritual = prayer recited as a community (“OUR Father”)  Effect = WE are Children of God (5:9)

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20  Each beatitude reflects the twofold symbolic horizon (vision) of God’s present loving care (now the persons described in the beatitudes – the poor in spirit, meek, etc -- are “blessed” by God) and of the coming kingdom (imminent future blessing)  The beatitudes establish the symbolic horizon, the faith vision, which disciples can have by entering it, together with other members of the community “Our Father in heaven…”  Ritual = worship service where we recite the beatitudes together and identify with them -- WE are the blessed ones  Like Jesus, together with Jesus, IMITATING Jesus… who is the only one really “poor in spirit, mourning (over the lost), meek, righteous, merciful, pure in heart, peacemaker, persecuted” (= crucified)

21  Since Matt 5:3-12 calls disciples to enter the twofold symbolic horizon (vision) of God’s present loving care and of the coming kingdom  This is a teaching for people who already KNOW and WANT to be disciples BUT are at risk of losing the proper vision (or lack the proper vision) of what being disciples – the identity of discipleship –entails, a vision reinforced (or established) by imitating Christ (as portrayed in the beatitudes)  A1 e.g. a life-less Christian community which has lost, is losing, or never had, a clear vision of what imitating Christ entails… being Christ-like.  A3a A Christian community issue  A3b ROOT-PROBLEM = lack of /wrong /weak FAITH-VISION

22  The Teaching of Matt 5:3-12, the beatitudes as rituals establishing a new reality – a community of disciples who have a clear identity as imitating Jesus – can only be a ritual itself, a (part of a) worship service (e.g. reciting the beatitudes; or better a sermon, asking the community to meditate upon each beatitude and see Jesus and themselves in each beatitude)  Thus, worshippers will recognize themselves as “blessed” insofar as they identify themselves with Jesus who fulfilled each of these beatitudes, ◦ He is the one truly “poor in spirit, mourning (over the lost), meek, righteous, merciful, pure in heart, peacemaker, persecuted” (= crucified)  and insofar as they view themselves as members of the community that imitates Jesus during worship and in daily life

23  B2: Presupposed definition of Discipleship = Imitating Christ (being blessed with the identity of disciples by “training” to become like him)  B2: Presupposed definition of Ethics = resocializing- perfectionist view of ethics = gaining a new identity as “imitators of Christ” (rather than imitators of “successful people in the world”)  B3: Presupposed Role of Scripture = Family Album that conveys to believers/readers/hearers a FAITH/VISION of their identity as members of God’s family and thus calls them to a special vocation (discipleship as imitating Christ)

24  3 "Blessed [Happy] are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  4 "Blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted.  5 "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.  6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.  7 "Blessed are the merciful, they will receive mercy.  8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God.  9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God.  10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

25  Matthew 5:1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:  Jesus speaks looking at the CROWDS and proclaims TO THE DISCIPLES WHAT HE SEES and point it to them  Poor in spirit… depressed people, down on their luck, feeling bad about themselves because of their condition (economic, familial, etc)  BLESSED ARE THEY!  People who Mourn – grieving; BLESSED ARE THEY!  People who are meek, standing aside BLESSED ARE THEY!  People eager to hear him and serve God BLESSED ARE THEY!  People who are simple, pure in heart BLESSED ARE THEY!  People who do not fight for good seats, etc. BLESSED ARE THEY!

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27  BLESSED AS THEY!  By contrast with those taking the easy road and the wide gate(7:13-14)  By contrast with FALSE PROPHETS (7:15)  By contrast with THORNS (7:16)  By contrast with a house built on the sand (7:26-27)  'I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.'  Blessings” as ritual acts Giving a New Vision of the people around us TO DISCERN  those who are BLESSED and that we should imitate ◦ Jesus, of course, but also those in the crowds in front of us who are poor in spirit, meek, grieving, etc..  And the FALSE LEADERS we should not imitate… and that also need to discern

28  Since Matt 5:1-12 calls disciples to LOOK AROUND US as Jesus looked at the crowds  This is a teaching for believers who are misled by false prophets  INSTEAD OF identifying true prophets as leaders and following them  A context where there are depressed people, in tears, etc… memorial for 9/11 victims would be a good context for this…. ‘seeing the crowds”  A1 e.g. “Christians” who close their eyes or turn their away from homeless people, etc…and are content with their quiet, comfortable life  A3a An individual believers issue; could also be community  A3b ROOT-PROBLEM = lack of /wrong /weak FAITH-VISION

29  The Teaching of Matt 5:3-12, the beatitudes are a way of looking at people around us and then recognizing in the crowds people who are Christ-like and the proclaiming what we see:  Saying the text… and proclaiming what we see through it  People who are poor in spirit, or mourning, or meek… this woman who lost her husband in 9/11 …. And who started a group to help other women who lost their husband in this tragedy… this homeless person struggling to make it out by selling newspaper  So that not only WE can see people around us in a different way  And proclaim as models (BLESSED) those who are Christ-like  And then commit ourselves to imitate them

30  B2: Presupposed definition of Discipleship = Imitating Christ by LOOKING AROUND US AS CHRIST DID  B2: Presupposed definition of Ethics = Discernment perfectionist view of ethics = gaining a new identity as “imitators of Christ” – SEEING AS Christ saw  B3: Presupposed Role of Scripture = Corrective Glasses that gives believers/readers/hearers to share Christ’s FAITH/VISION

31  3 "Blessed [Happy] are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  4 "Blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted.  5 "Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.  6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.  7 "Blessed are the merciful, they will receive mercy.  8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God.  9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God.  10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

32  Similar to D Matthew 5:1 When Jesus saw the crowds, but now addressed TO THE CROWDS  Jesus speaks looking at the CROWDS and proclaims TO THE CROWDS WHAT HE SEES  Poor in spirit… depressed people, down on their luck, feeling bad about themselves because of their condition (economic, familial, etc)  BLESSED ARE YOU!  People who Mourn – grieving; BLESSED ARE YOU!  People who are meek, standing aside BLESSED ARE YOU!  People eager to hear him and serve God BLESSED ARE YOU!  People who are simple, pure in heart BLESSED ARE YOU!  People who do not fight for good seats, etc. BLESSED ARE YOU!

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34  BLESSED ARE YOU!  By contrast with those taking the easy road and the wide gate(7:13-14)  By contrast with FALSE PROPHETS (7:15)  By contrast with THORNS (7:16)  By contrast with a house built on the sand (7:26-27)  'I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.'  Blessings” as ritual acts Giving a New Vision of the people around them to the poor in spirit (really depressed people), meek, etc. etc.  And thus EMPOWERING THEM -- they should not look down on themselves, God believes in them, Jesus believes in them

35  Since Matt 5:1-12 addressed to people who are actually poor in spirit, depressed, economically deprived, meek, grieving, etc.. Etc.. = people struggling for justice  And yes who are also merciful and peacemakers and pure in heart… I was never as well received as I was by people in shanty towns … in Manila or in Southern Africa : in Soweto; or in shanty towns near Durban or Cape Town  This is a teaching for people down on their luck  for those whose life as been destroyed by 9/11  A1 e.g. “for people struggling in a soup kitchen, in the salavation army, in Goodwill, but also people who have lost loved ones, people who have lost their homes, people who are jobless  A3a people in society  A3b ROOT-PROBLEM = lack of ABILITY, POWERLESSNESS

36  The Teaching of Matt 5:3-12, the beatitudes are TO BE PROCLAIMED to those who are jobless, or grieving, … YOUR ARE BLESSED  Saying the text… so as to lift them up  Yes, you are really poor, BUT GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE, yours is the kingdom  You are really grieving, after the loss of a loved one, but GOD WILL COMFORT YOU  You are “blessed” … you can trust God, and struggle together WITH God for justice – for God’s kingdom (6:33)  And yes, you are also called to be a disciple; you are better qualified than anybody else; you already know that you need to depend totally on God= fundamental condition for discipleship

37  B2: Presupposed definition of Discipleship = Struggling for the Kingdom and God’s Justice by SEEING ONESELF AS CHRIST DOES  B2: Presupposed definition of Ethics = Empowering of ethics = gaining a new identity as “imitators of Christ” – SEEING AS Christ saw  B3: Presupposed Role of Scripture = Empowering Word that EMPOWERS the powerless and/or Corrective Glasses giving them to share Christ’s VISION of God’s present activity of God (in and for the powerless).

38  3:10-4:00 Reading Matthew 5:1-12, again and again,  4:00-4:50 Discussion Groups: Matthew 5: Contextual & Theological Choices ◦ Div G25, Group 1 Leader EUGENE SE’BREE Scribe: Skyler Hutto ◦ Div G26 Group 2 Leader JOHN SUK Scribe: Bryant Holt ◦ Div G28 Group 3 Leader GABRIEL KING Scribe: Megan Yohe  4:50-5:30 Scribe reports on Theological Choices: Views of DISCIPLESHIP

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