5:23 PM

What to bring? Matthew 10:8-11

1. One of the most fascinating exegetical issues I see is the issue of money in Mt. 10: 8-11. Here Jesus is discussing the necessary supplies for mission work, and by necessary, I mean he basically defines what you cannot bring. The key item Jesus is refereeing to is money, but also extra supplies and cloths. This is fascinating because if you don’t bring supplies you have to rely on others.

2. Hauerwas deals with this issue by simply saying the apostles are told to bring “little money” (p 106), and goes into greater detail about how they are supposed to “bestow” hospitality on others. Hauerwas isn’t going deep into the heart of this matter however, there seems to a connection between money and hospitality that he is not addressing.

Carter on the other hand will take a completely different route, arguing instead that by not bringing this list of provisions is a safety precaution. Carter points out that each item Jesus prohibits the apostles from bringing with them is an item that could flag the apostles for possible banditry. This is an interesting argument but I’m sure I quite buy it. I think it pulls away from the spiritual dimension of the text and the radical love that is brought by the apostles.

3. At first glance it seems like Jesus is asking us to “step out on faith,” but it looks like he is telling us to bring the kingdom with us. If people need to be hospitable to the apostles, they could therefore learn to love. It’s important to remember that those who give love also receive love in their giving. This could be why Jesus tells the apostles not to bring money on their journey. Money is the artificial barrier of the inhospitable, the barrier who someone puts their trust in another’s greed rather than their heart.

Post 2

I think a great verse to preach on would be Matt 10:31-33. Often time’s pastors have to address the issue of the problem of evil and it’s always a difficult thing to answer both personally and in a community. When in reality these verses tell us the hard truth; that bad things happen and God knows what is happening. Now whatever comfort someone can glean from that, I’m not sure. But I think it’s a much better dichotomy than, “something bad happened, ergo God doesn’t exist.” How could Christianity have ever gotten off the ground if the early martyrs (and martyrs today) believed the formula of God’s existence being based on whether or not bad things happen to you? In Mt. 10:31-33 Jesus is clearly warning the apostles of the evil coming their way. And at the same time Jesus is trying to reaffirm their infinite value in the face of that evil. It would be a hard thing to address, because where is the intervention? The divine providence? The parting of the red sea? But who is to say that the lack of divine intervention means God’s love is somehow void?

Comment (1)

Post 1: I think your response to Carter is right. Would it be fair to say that the Kingdom simply cannot live with only what the apostles bring/give. It lives also with what they receive. This is important for Christians because we often think we "have" Jesus when it's Jesus we're likely to meet as missionaries.

Post 2: I think the problem of evil is an insightful frame for these verses about persecution. Evil is not the sort of problem that we're trying to escape/solve as Jesus' disciples. Instead, disciples should expect to draw evil to themselves and to respond in such a way that does not extend but checks its power. Can this witness to the end of evil?

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