(Just for those who think I’m still in Singapore … I’m not. I came back last Saturday evening. All these thoughts are slightly delayed *smile* … there’s so much in my “being” … now.)
Back to this post … Yes folks Tony Jones actually did speak from the Bible .. the Gospel of Luke specifically chapter 20 verses 20-26.
After helping us re-enter the narrative with the historical context highlighing the differences between the pharisees and herodians during Jesus tiime, and then helping us see question they posed to Jesus about taxes was kind of “a sneaky question” to trap Jesus. I loved the way Tony helped me see how Jesus answer breaks the “bi-polarity” of the situation given to him. So on one hand, Jesus is not trapped .. on the other hand Jesus points beyond the image of the coin which displays Caesar to the Creator who actually owns all things. Good stuff ..
Here are some phrases I scribbled down … in the context of the message and how all this relates to our world today .. these are not word for word from Tony but what I caught and perhaps paraphrased .. (Tony if you are reading this please make the necessary amendments!)
There are no easy answers (that’s the bad news) … even in the Bible
The good news is for those who are living in community with Jesus and as they immerse themselves in the Gospel trusting in the Spirit .. there will be better answers.
The Scripture is the perfect response to the life of ambiguity & ambivalence in our world. The Scripture does so not as a systematic theology but with a variety of genres such as poetry, narrative, epistles, Gospels even the weird apocalytic book at the end.
The Bible is so full of richness just awaiting for us to mine its depths.
We must be cautious with the word “Just ..” using it after the Gospel … as if the Gospel is just this or that … often reducing it to formulas .. the Gospel is way more than that ..
Truth is a person … Jesus!
this rings very close to my weekend… after a fun and stimulating time in Singapore. I was shocked to come home finding out that Gareth was admitted to hospital for an Asthma attack (I wasn’t able to be contacted because I didn’t have a roaming line). I felt terrible as a Father who wasn’t there for my son, wife and family during this emergency. thankfully, he’s better now and discharged by the time I cam back on saturday. There is also in the midst of the backdrop of the bombing in London where many of us are also shocked again by such acts of destruction.. so, life is full of ambiguity & ambivalence …
and there are no easy answers .. we are often tempted to look at life very simplistically … we are often afraid of the greys .. and prefer clear cut black and white solutions … but life is messy. Acknowedging the reality of no EASY answers doesn’t mean there is NO answers .. it’s an honest call for us to discover BETTER ones … for that to happen we would need to allow fresh questions to surface and be in community with Jesus and conversation with others in humility trusting in the Spirt to DISCOVER the answers. And even without neat and tidy answers we live on … refining them along the way!