Saturday, November 26, 2011

Matthew, Chapter 10: Couch surfing

Jesus settles on his 12 Bachelor finalists: Simon, who is called Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, another James, Lebbaeus, another Simon who is just called Simon, and Judas. On the TV Bachelor show, there are always several people where I'm like, 'Huh? Have we seen this person before?' I'm feeling the same way here. Who has ever heard of Labbaeus? Anyway, he imbues them with exorcism powers, and the ability to cure diseases and/or raise the dead, and sends them off to spread the good word, warning them not to go to Samaria or be tempted by the Gentiles. On the journey, they are not to carry any money and should travel light, only the clothes on their backs, barefoot, and not even a walking stick. They may accept any and all hospitality, as long as the house is worthy.

If anyone refuses to listen to these barefoot, no doubt smelly people with no money who nevertheless expect food and a bed, they are to continue on their way, because the town will be destroyed on the judgement day. They can expect arrests and flogging and hatred and for families to tear themselves apart, but in the end, salvation. What a fun religion! They should not fear death, only eternal damnation. People who confess will be allowed into heaven, deniers are going the other way.

Jesus confesses that he is here not to send peace, but a sword (v. 34) and to spread major family conflict at Thanksgiving, because He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me (v. 37). Being killed in the pursuit of salvation is fine. Jerry Falwell, for the record, completely glosses over those happy verses.

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