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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1/26/10 Matthew 12:15-21 Jesu enjoins temporary silence

(Jesus appears before crowd Alexander Iwanow 1850s)
1/26/10- Mt. 12:15-21 (PP: Mk 3:6-12; Lk 6:11)

15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. 16 He warned them not to tell others about him. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 18 "Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19 He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. 21 In his name the nations will put their hope."

Calvin abridged: Jesus fled the plots of the Pharisees not by fear (later he voluntarily presented himself to die); he could have easily protected himself by a miracle, but chose to submit to our weakness by taking flight. Thus this was part of his “emptying himself” (Phil. 2:7). He delayed his death because it was not the appointed time (Jn 7:30; 8:20). This was also why he silenced the crowd and the demons- so that his time would not come too soon. He wanted his miracles and teachings to take root in order to produce fruit.

Thoughts; “If you don’t toot your own horn, nobody else will.” [British and Aussie- “Blow your own trumpet”] I don’t think that quite fits in here. Then there’s the book, “Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It!” The idea is basically, humility is okay for church, but not for getting ahead in the workplace- don’t leave it to God to lift yourself up- pull yourself up by the bootstraps. Jesus was not only not tooting his own horn, he was quieting the horns of others here. When the greatest comes, we do not need to have great PR in order to get ahead. In 2003 Chris Rock starred in a movie, “Head of State” in which a lowly alderman became president despite terrible PR. In the 2008 election roughly 2.5 billion was spent on the presidential election alone, and this leads to the idea that only the rich can be elected to any office. This past week much ado is made about nothing by the democrats and Limbaugh over the un-limiting of corporate spending limits. If we are so dependent on advertising, then the worst candidate may win. I believe facebook, twitter, and free internet and web will limit the effects of newspaper, cable TV and sign advertising. Regardless, Jesus shows us to entrust our future to the providence of God. Certainly there is a time for advertising- Palm Sunday’s parade was an advertisement for Jesus. Yet consumption with being a celebrity and always on the news is an evil, proud thing. Spin and hype are not nearly as important as substance in the end.

Prayer: Lord, give us grace to lift up ideas more than our own reputations. Give us a passion for humility in a world that worship celebrity.

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