Sunday, April 27, 2014

4/27/14: Praying forRabbi Adam and Lifebridge/Misconceptions of Jesus/The Woman With Holy Chutzpah

We prayed for Rabbi Adam (pictured here, left, at one of our gatherings; Keltic Ken on right) in Clovis Community, heart attack.
Watch for updates on our facebook page

We got an update on, and prayed for, LifeBridge Community Church and Kevin Foster (pastor).
Here's the audio (in two parts of the day in 2004 we welcomed them to town:

We'll miss John Milor (second from left), Eupemist/Drummer Man,  who'll be stationed out of state for a few months:

We enjoyed some "Misconceptions of Jesus":

All the videos are on our main website here
Here's the quote from "Starving Jesus," by  XXX Church's  Craig Cross and JR Mahon:

We're sick of pastors with planes, pastors with record deals, pastors with bodyguards,pastors who offer time alone with them (for a fee), pastors with head shots.
What happened to pastors with sexual sin problems?
Bring back Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. At least we knew what we were getting.

We’re sick of not seeing Jesus
in the pulpit. Instead, many of us are getting a weaselly,
feel-good message veiled with Scripture, so people won’t
run from the ten-million-dollar building.
We’re sick of it! And yet … happy. We’re happy because
something is on the horizon, and it’s not offering the five keys
to spiritual freedom. It’s a mad army of disciples who are just
like us: sick and tired of the shepherds who only talk to their..
"Starving Jesus," p, 16 Gross/Mahon of XXX Church , read whole chapter here

Here's the audio  (oops. Ken, link broken, can you replace with correct link?) of interview Keltic Ken and Dave did with the Craig Gross and Jason Harper

Great conversation on "The  Woman with  Holy Chutzpah"

Two shifts happen in this pivotal section of Matthew:

"Jesus is healed of his racism by the Canaanite woman." That is a shocking, obviously overstated statement from "Jesus Freak" by Sarah Miles, p. 18)

Here's the text:

Matthew 15:21-28 :

The Syrophoenician Woman 
21 Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.” 23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting [a]at us.” 24 But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and began [b]to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 And He answered and said, “It is not [c]good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 But she said, “Yes, Lord; [d]but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed [e]at once.

>>>1)Jesus "reluctance" to heal this Cannaanite/Syrophenician/Greek (Read "Gentile" or "Foreign") woman becomes a huge shift.  Did he come "Only for...Israel?"


Ironically, the Gentile shows Jewish "Chutzpah".
Short Van Der Laan audio about "chutzpah" here

From "Jesus Liked a Little Chutzpah":
A surefire way to immerse yourself in the culture of Israel is to take a public bus in Jerusalem. Because of the bumper-to-bumper traffic, everybody, rich and poor, rides the “Egged” buses around town.\

Ethiopian Jews wrapped in swaths of white fabric sit next to wizened Russian babushkas. A college-age girl in army fatigues chats on a cell phone. Little boys in black suits clamber up the huge steps, side curls and tassels bouncing in the breeze. Their long-skirted, head-scarved mother follows closely behind.
Ladies on Bus
One afternoon when I was riding downtown, I got an even stronger taste of the culture. A grey-haired, matronly retiree climbed aboard and plunked herself into an empty seat halfway back. She hadn’t, however, paid any fare—she had just shuffled past the driver, feigning ignorance. Believe it or not, Jesus actually liked this kind of boldness.

Craning to make eye contact in his mirror, the driver called back to her over the crowd. “Eifo geveret?” (Where to, ma’am?) At first she stared out the window, pretending not to notice.

Eiyyyfo, geveret?” The whole bus looked on.

Finally, she barked back a gruff response, completely impenitent. A flurry of indecipherable Hebrew filled the air, the gist of which was obvious: either buy a ticket or get off.
But the woman was immovable—glued to her seat, adamant. The driver threw up his hands at her, the universal (and widely used) Israeli gesture of annoyance and disgust.
The bus didn’t move either. Right in the middle of Nevi’im Street, a major artery with only a single drivable lane, the driver shifted into park, snapped open a newspaper, and sat back to read the headlines. Blocks and blocks of traffic snaked to a standstill behind us. After what seemed forever, the woman slowly rose and exited the side doors.
Half of Jerusalem came to a stop for this lady. That’s what you call chutzpah—utter nerve, sheer audacity that borders on obnoxiousness. Both the woman and the bus driver knew how to push the boundaries of propriety for their purposes!

If you grew up as a small-town Midwesterner like me, you’d find this behavior nearly unimaginable. I come from the land of “Minnesota Nice,” where we’d rather die than violate our code of mild-mannered courteousness. For me, the bus ride was a cultural journey to the ends of the earth. We’re not in Minnesota anymore, Toto.

But an attitude of chutzpah (HOOTS-pah
play /ˈhʊtspə/) has been part of Middle Eastern culture since ancient times. If you were one of Jesus’ first-century disciples, you’d be quite familiar with this kind of behavior.

Consider, for instance, the Syrophoenician woman who wouldn’t take no for an answer after pleading with Jesus to heal her daughter (Mark 7:25-30). Jesus and his weary disciples had taken cover in a house in Tyre, hoping to evade the crowds, but her continual pounding at the door threatened to expose their hideout.

Exasperated, the disciples could tolerate her no longer, imploring Jesus, “Send her away! She keeps shouting at us!” But the distraught young mother pushed right past them, bowing before Jesus himself. Surprisingly, he rebuffed her too, like the Israeli bus driver: “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” His mission, at that point, was only to the Jews. But the desperate woman boldly contradicted the greatly esteemed rabbi. “Yes, but even the puppies eat the crumbs at the children’s feet!”

Unlike the lady on the bus, this woman’s tenacious, brazen nerve won out. Jesus healed her daughter and congratulated her for her chutzpah.
        Believe it or not, Jesus actually liked this kind of boldness.

LINK: Jesus Liked a Little Chutzpah

You'll remember the Feeding of the 5000, and then the 4000 (on the other side) found in this section showed Jesus becoming very cross-cultural...the 4000 were likely GENTILES on the "wrong" side..

>>>>2)Robert Farrar Capon  (In 

"Kingdom, grace, judgment: paradox, outrage, and vindication in the parables")

also sees the Feeding of 5000 as a huge shift in the gospel, both as a literary division:


...and in Jesus' thinking...

 away from "right handed" power to :left handed"


CAPON...on Jesus LEFT-HANDEDNESS..What does he mean?

In the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus' reluctance about signs becomes manifest (p. 14) is pivotal (page 21, 22)

 After 5000 are fed, the crowds attempt to get Jesus/tempt Jesus to operate in right-handed power (28)...This is a major shift in his thinking toward moving only in left-handed power (55)

Note: John's gospel does not mention Jesus' Three Testations...thus this whole "right-handed" testation is his version of them

“But Jesus will save the world by dying for it – undergoing ghastly, unimaginable suffering. He will not be a charismatic, convincing political leader. He will not be an incomparable warrior. He will not rule by winning, but will win by losing. He will be, to the contrary, the eerie example of what Isaiah had seen in the Suffering Servant centuries before (Isaiah 53:2-3)” (H. King Oehmig, Synthesis 4/6/03). 


"Unfortunately (right-hand power) has a whopping limitation. If you take the view that one of the chief objects in life is to remain in loving relationships with other people, straight-line power becomes useless. Oh, admittedly, you can snatch your baby boy away from the edge of a cliff and not have a broken relationship on your hands. But just try interfering with his plans for the season when he is twenty, and see what happens, especially if his chosen plans play havoc with your own. Suppose he makes unauthorized use of your car, and you use a little straight-line verbal power to scare him out of doing it again. Well and good. But suppose further that he does it again anyway—and again and again and again. What do you do next if you are committed to straight-line power? You raise your voice a little more nastily each time till you can’t shout any louder. And then you beat him (if you are stronger than he is) until you can’t beat any harder. Then you chain him to a radiator till… But you see the point. At some very early crux in that difficult, personal relationship, the whole thing will be destroyed unless you—who on any reasonable view, should be allowed to use straight-line power—simply refuse to use it; unless, in other words, you decide that instead of dishing out justifiable pain and punishment, you are willing, quite foolishly, to take a beating yourself.” (Capon, page 18-19)  

“Every one of us would rather chose the right-handed logicalities of theology over the left-handed mystery of faith. Any day of the week—and twice on Sundays, often enough—we will labor with might and main to take the only thing that can save anyone and reduce it to a set of theological club rules designed to exclude almost every one.” 

 The Messiah was not going to save the world by miraculous, Band-Aid interventions: a storm calmed here, a crowd fed there, a mother-in-law cured back down the road. Rather it was going to be saved by means of a deeper, darker, left-handed mystery, at the center of which lay His own death.

"The Messiah was not going to save the world by miraculous, Band-Aid interventions"-Capon

There are two kinds of power in the world. Robert Capon call them right and   left handed power. Capon carefully shows in his book, The Parables of the Kingdom, that Jesus talked in parables so that our right brains could grasp what our left-brains can never. He says that the gospel is a gospel of left-handed power, the power of weakness, submitting, and obedience. He says that God used  right-handed power in the olden days, when we were still young in our development,  but that since the incarnation, God pretty much sticks to the non-interventive approach. According to Capon the whole thing turned at the feeding of the multitude. Jesus had been doing miraculous signs out of compassion, but then he realized that he was in danger of being misunderstood as a provider of right-handed power. When Peter suggests that he understands who Jesus is, meaning that he wants him to be the provider and protector extraordinaire, Jesus says, "Get out of my face, you Satan."  It is when we think we understand what God is up to, especially when this knowledge is linked to right-handed power that we are in the most danger.  link

Read the whole section of Capon  here.

So how do you see the connection between Jesus' two shifts (toward nonIsraelites and left-handed power)?



1 comment:

  1. Question for Rev. Capon: Is writing in all caps an example of right-handed power or left-handed power? Either way, it's painful to read.


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