Sunday, July 15: Am I leading a rebellion?
We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 26:55-56
In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Now Jesus' rebuke shifts to the larger crowd, the chief priests' and elders' hired thugs. Jesus uses the same brand of satire we see in a number of his other criticisms to point out the ridiculousness of a large number of armed men sent to arrest a single peaceful man. Why do you think he so regularly turns to this rhetorical device to make a point?
Consider the ways in which you communicate with others about ideas, including ideas about Jesus and his kingdom, and perhaps especially among those you disagree with. Thinking of Jesus' ways of speaking, might your words be too harsh, too cutting, too demeaning, which is our culture's current tendency? Or could they have the less common problem of being too overnice, too stilted?