Buscamos inspiração na pessoa de Jesus para fazermos a nossa jardinagem do espírito. Ele foi o jardineiro por excelência. Soube cultivar as sementes da fé para produzirem plantas que fornecem abrigo e sustento. Este blog é um esforço para fazer a nossa jardinagem das passagens bíblicas à luz de Jesus que é digno de servir como nosso modelo.
Convidamos os leitores a aprenderem com ELE e fazerem a sua própria jardinagem.
sexta-feira, 16 de dezembro de 2016
THE GREAT CONFRONTER
said to them,
“Truly I tell you,
the tax collectors
and the prostitutes
are entering the kingdom of God
ahead of you.”
Matthew 21:31b (read 21:28-32) - NIV
Jesus offended the religious leaders. They confronted Jesus many times, and
each time Jesus’ response was direct and to the point. As religious leaders,
they considered themselves to be supreme authorities in matters of manners and
morals. Also they took upon themselves to determine who were the "decent
people" that were accepted by God. They had a closed system of thought and
did not admit changes. Jesus was a bother to them. He did not follow their
norms of tradition and he mingled with "unworthy" people. They
challenged Jesus by asking him “By what authority are you doing these things?”
and “Who gave you this authority?"
John the Baptist who came to show the way. His message was about social justice
(Lc.3.10 - 14) and a change of lifestyle (repentance) (Mt.3.2). His message was
rejected by the leaders but accepted by the common folk. With this background,
Jesus told the parable of the two sons and cited the tax collectors and the
unfolds around a planting of grapes belonging to the father. The father called
his two sons to work with him. Traditionally, we interpret the vineyard in
terms of religion and church life. Working in the field would be equal to a
profession of faith in religious belief and being active in church. But the
context does not support such a narrow interpretation. The vineyard symbolizes
something bigger - the Kingdom of God. It includes the whole world that God
created to which we belong. We are called to take care of God’s great vineyard.
One of the sons
of the narration said he would go help, but he didn’t. It is a criticism of the
religious leaders confronting Jesus. Their practice was incompatible with their
words. They were in position to take care of people, but they only took care of
religious affairs. Jesus never accused them of heinous acts. Their evil was
omission. They lacked compassion! Their "vineyard" was merely a
system of rules and standards to be met. The system itself was more important
than the welfare of the people. They defended the institution and left the
people to fend for themselves.
The other son,
at first refused, but eventually went. He symbolizes those who are open to
change. When they know that they made bad decisions they are willing to change.
They are able to feel the suffering of others, because they recognize their own
limitations. They are able to hear the call and to change their lives. Jesus
rightly cited the tax collectors and prostitutes as citizens of the kingdom ahead
of the religious leaders! They had no illusions about being righteous and owners
of the truth.
The absence of
the church in secular movements for the liberation of the people from social
evils such as poverty, all kinds of violence, prejudice, discrimination,
economic inequality, and consumerist materialism attests to the failure of the
church to work in the global “vineyards” of the Kingdom. We ignore the gospel
that Jesus taught by His words and actions when we say that salvation is by
faith alone and go into isolation by taking refuge in closed ideological
systems. When we measure our lives in the light of the Jesus of the Gospels, we
can see many reasons to be perturbed. Many times moralistic Christians commit
more aggressions against the wellbeing of others than do those whom they
severely criticize. Rightly understood, Jesus continues to be a The
Great Confronter to those who hide behind religious moralism.
21:28-32 – NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons.
He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his
mind and went.
“Then the father went to the other son and said the
same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax
collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For
John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe
him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this,
you did not repent and believe him.