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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Day 307: Signs of the end

Blood, thunder and judgement from Jesus.
Jesus denounces the scribes and pharisees
Matthew 23:1-32, Mark 12:28-40, Luke 20:45-47
Jesus prophesies judgement
Matthew 23:33-36
His lament over Jerusalem
Matthew 23:37-39
The widow’s mite
Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4
The Temple to be destroyed
Matthew 24:1-2
Signs of the end times
Matthew 24:3-31
The parable of the fig tree
Matthew 24:32-35
The coming of the Son of Man
Matthew 34:36-51

Matthew is in his element here - portraying Jesus as an Old testament prophet. Jesus utters a series of “woes” against the pharisees, sounding like bookends to his “Blesseds” back at the beginning. Jesus is pronouncing judgement on the corruption of the well meaning but misguided religious leaders. As well as this, he talks about the second coming of the Son of Man in apocalyptic tones - this sounds like the Day of the Lord that Amos and others warned Israel about. A great and terrible day.
Matthew certainly makes more of the judgement theme than Mark or Luke. They include a little story that he leaves out - an elderly widow showing her devotion by giving two small coins in the Temple offering. Jesus, whose eyes miss nothing, notices this sacrifice and rates it more highly than all the extravagant giving of the rich. From the great and cosmic, to the small and insignificant, all are alike to Jesus.

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