Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Matthew 5:1-20

This week the narrative lectionary presents us with a very large chunk of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:1-20.  I have looked at this passage as two smaller passages previously.  I am not sure if I am up to the task of capturing all of 5:1-20 in one sermon. That said, I like how the narrative lectionary wants to help people here the beatitudes as part of the Sermon on the Mount and not as a "single hit."

Side note:  Both these posts have a lot of grammar insights.  I guess I had more time four years ago when writing these!

Two other words
φως ('phos,' meaning 'light', 5:14 and 16)  Jesus calls us the light of the world.  Later in Matthew's Gospel, Jesus even tells his disciples that they have the light inside of them (6:23)  But where does this light come from?  We might go to John's Gospel and its proclamation about Jesus as THE light of the world.  But can we get there in Matthew's Gospel?  Well, a few verses back (Matthew 4:16), Matthew quotes from Isaiah that the people walking in darkness have seen a great light as a savior is born.  The original light is not the people, but Jesus Christ.    Furthermore, the only person who shines in Matthew's gospel is Jesus, during the transfiguration (17.2). 

ορος ('oros', meaning "mountain", 5:14).  Look at what happens on mountains in Matthew's Gospel
Chapter 4:  Devil tempts Jesus from mountain top
Chapter 5:  Sermon on the mountain begins (light must be on a mountain top, not hill; same word!)
Chapter 14 & 15:  Jesus prays on mountain top
Chapter 17:  Transfiguration
Chapter 21-24:  Mount of Olives is the starting and ending point of the passover experience
Chapter 28:  Jesus encounters his disciples on a mountain top

In short, when stuck on Matthew's, run for the hills and make a nifty connection.

No comments: