The Chair and the Desk, 1/6/16

From the chair:

“I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them as you loved me.”

-Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer,” John 17:23

What a remarkable thing, to be loved by God as God the Father loves God the Son. So often we afraid that we won’t be loved because of what we’ve done wrong, because of who we’ve failed to be. Jesus prays for us to be full of Christ and one with one another so that the world will see what he already knows to be true: We are loved just like Jesus Christ, who did nothing wrong and succeeded in every way. Blessed assurance; Jesus is mine!

From the desk:

“Scholars of an old conservative stamp used to try to explain varieties in the synoptic tradition by saying cautiously that ‘maybe Jesus said it twice.’ This always sounded like special pleading. Today, once a political has made a major speech, he or she does not usually repeat it. But the analogy is thoroughly misleading. If we come to the ministry of Jesus as first-century histories, and forget our twentieth-century assumptions about mass media, the overwhelming probability is that most of what Jesus said, he said not twice but two hundred times, with (of course) a myriad of local variations.” 

-N.T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, pp.422-423 (Wright gives credit to Theissen’s The Shadow of the Galilean for this point)

This totally makes sense to me. Why does Matthew 5 seem different than Luke 6? Maybe because they were different occasions. Maybe that’s a totally reasonable answer. Actually, I agree with Wright here: That is a reasonable–in fact, probable–answer, and it helps me to trust both Jesus and the Bible. I’m grateful for that.

“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.


Leave a Reply