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Topic 11 Call to Repentance Like the OT prophets, Jesus calls Israel to repent in view of the coming judgment. Only repentance can avert disaster and bring.

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Presentation on theme: "Topic 11 Call to Repentance Like the OT prophets, Jesus calls Israel to repent in view of the coming judgment. Only repentance can avert disaster and bring."— Presentation transcript:

1 Topic 11 Call to Repentance Like the OT prophets, Jesus calls Israel to repent in view of the coming judgment. Only repentance can avert disaster and bring instead the renewal of Israel in the kingdom of God. A. A.Terminology of repentance 1. 1.Basic terms a. a.Greek: metanoia/metanoeō 1) 1)Used 26x in Synoptics (0 in Jn.; 11 in Acts; 5 in Paul). 2) 2)Basic meaning: “change of mind.” b. b.Hebrew: shuv 1) 1)Basic meaning: “to turn around.” 2) 2)Prophetic concept of turning away from sin and returning to God with renewed trust and obedience. c. c.Repentance is more than regret/sorrow for one’s actions. It involves a change of mind/heart which results in changed behavior.

2 A. A.Terminology of repentance – cont E. P. Sanders debate a. a.Argued that Jesus did not really preach repentance. 1) 1)Most references are in Luke and therefore redactional. 2) 2)Jesus would not have been opposed if his focus was getting notorious sinners to repent. b. b.Second book clarified: Jesus did not preach repentance “as usually understood.” 1) 1)Jesus offered forgiveness to truly wicked people without first requiring evidence of reform or going through formal rituals. 2) 2)Sanders makes a good point here. c. c.In spite of Sanders, repentance is firmly embedded in Synoptic tradition National dimension in repentance a. a.Not just calling individual sinners to reform but calling Israel as a whole to repent, to embrace Jesus’ vision of Israel. b. b.Involves giving up agendas of various sects and trusting Jesus’ way of bringing God’s kingdom (Wright). c. c.Corporate dimension seen in journey to Jerusalem; calling the 12; woes on unrepentant cities; etc.

3 A. A.Terminology of repentance – cont “Conversion” a. a.Some use “conversion” for response Jesus sought; not wrong if correctly understood. b. b.Not conversion “from Judaism” to a new religion (Christianity). c. c.Conversion “within Judaism,” from one way of being Jewish to another; from one’s old understanding to Jesus’ new understanding; from marginal commitment to full commitment. d. d.So understood, “conversion” expresses well the radical transformation of life implied in Jesus’ call.

4 B.Urgency of repentance 1. 1.In view of the impending crisis, Jesus urges resolute action; recognize the serious of the hour and repent while there is time Mark’s summary (Mk. 1:15): “The kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” 3. 3.Repent or perish (Lk. 13:3, 5): “I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” 4. 4.Parable of Great Supper (Lk. 14:16-24 par. # 170) a. a.Story: 1) 1)Householder throws feast; notifies invitees “all is now ready.” 2) 2)Invitees refuse to come; excuses: land; oxen; marriage. 3) 3)Servant is sent to city streets/lanes to invite poor, maimed, blind, lame. 4) 4)Sent again to rural highways/hedges to “compel” people to come (not in Mt. or Thomas; may be secondary expansion symbolizing Gentile mission; allegorizes parable). b. b.Meaning 1) 1)Note of joy: God’s feast of salvation is at hand; come and feast. 2) 2)Those who refuse are the well-off, complacent; those who come are the poor and outcasts (the “ins” are out; the “outs” are in). 3) 3)Response to God’s invitation is necessary.

5 B.Urgency of repentance – cont. 5.Parable of Unjust Steward (Lk. 16:1-8 par. # 174) a. a.Story: 1) 1)Steward (manager) charged with embezzlement is about to be fired. 2) 2)Makes friends for hard times by allowing master’s debtors to falsify their accounts. 3) 3)The master praises the steward’s “shrewdness” (not his ethics!). b. b.Meaning 1) 1)Steward sees crisis of his situation and takes action to avoid disaster; so should Jesus’ hearers. 2) 2)Lk. 16:9-13 appends a series of sayings giving secondary application of parable to proper use of money.

6 C. C.Shape of repentance 1. 1.Four key elements (Jeremias): a. a.Acknowledging guilt 1) 1)Prodigal: “came to himself;” “father, I have sinned” (Lk. 15:17-18). 2) 2)Tax collector: “God, be merciful to me a sinner” (Lk. 18:13). b. b.Turning away from sin 1) 1)Prodigal leaves far country and returns home. 2) 2)Cutting off hand, foot, eye = radical renunciation of sin (Mk. 9:43- 47). c. c.Putting childlike trust in God 1) 1)“Turn and become like children” (Mt. 18:3 # 129). 2) 2)Point is humility, trust, total dependence. d. d.Surrendering to a new master 1) 1)Renunciation of former attachments (wealth; family; self) and radical obedience to Jesus’ teaching. 2) 2)Sell possessions; give to poor; follow me (Mk. 10:17-31 # 189). 3) 3)“Hate” one’s family; renounce all you have (Lk. 14:25-33 # 171). 4) 4)Hearing and doing Jesus’ words (Mt. 7:21-27 # 42-43).

7 C. C.Shape of repentance – cont Motive for repentance a. a.Not so much fear of judgment as experience of God’s grace. b. b.Word “grace” does not occur in Synoptics. c. c.Jesus enacts grace by accepting sinners as they are, without first requiring evidence of moral improvement. d. d.Story of Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector (Lk. 19:1-10 # 194). 1) 1)Jesus invites himself to Zacchaeus’ house before Zacchaeus repents. 2) 2)Bornkamm: salvation and repentance have changed places; repentance is not condition for salvation but a response to it. 3) 3)Repentance is response to being overwhelmed by God’s grace Joyfulness of repentance a. a.Repentance does not require fasting in sackcloth and ashes. b. b.Jesus’ ministry is full of joy and gladness: festive meals; parables of joy over finding the lost; etc. c. c.Controversy over fasting (Mk. 2:18-20 # 54) – not time for fasting but feasting; celebrate while bridegroom is present. d. d.Parables of Treasure and Pearl (Mt. 13:44-46 # 101) – finders joyfully sell all to buy something of surpassing worth.

8 D. D.Counting the cost 1. 1.Jesus urges repentance, but he is honest about the cost (the one who hesitates is lost…but look before you leap!) Warnings to Would-be Followers ( Lk. 9:57-62 par. # 162 ). a. a.“Foxes have holes…but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Jesus’ movement will entail sacrifices). b. b.“Leave the dead to bury the dead” (Perrin: Jesus’ most radical saying about Jewish law; following Jesus takes precedence over the most urgent of commandments). c. c.“No one putting hand to plow and looking back is fit for kingdom of God” (undivided devotion is demanded) Cost of Discipleship (Lk. 14:25-35 par. # 171) a. a.Disciple must “hate” family, renounce possessions, carry the cross (cf. Mk. 10:21 par. # 189). b. b.Parables of the Tower and the King Going to War. 1) 1)One first calculates cost to be sure of having resources to see it through. 2) 2)Kingdom of God demands priority over all other commitments; must consider the cost before making the commitment.


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