Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ioannes paenitentiam praedicat

You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Mark is silent in this fourteenth section. According to Mark, there is no condemnation of the people. Luke lets the accusation fall to the multitudes that came out to be baptized so as to encourage the most excellent Theophilus, himself a Sadducee. Mark omits the accusation altogether. The time will come for understanding limitations, but for this author it is not yet and his criticism will not be directed against the unknown masses but against us, the disciples of Jesus - so slow to understand the promises of God. If love is known first, repentance finds the severe words easier to apprehend.

Bear fruits that befit repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

It is early in the story, Beloved, and I don't think we begin, or presume, to use Matthew's word, that we have any claim on God's blessing by virtue of our birth. I am from among the stones, the child of a slave.

your birth has some value, little brother. If you burn, even fuel gives light and warmth to others.
note the extra kai that the copyists added. Really! You have to watch every move they make!
if I can put up with your marginalia, you can remember Gaius, so tender hearted with his workers.

How does a stone bear fruit? Little by little, piece by piece, a life emerges.

every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

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