Monday, February 07, 2011

speak to which mountain?

"If anyone says to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done.'  (Mark 11:23). If you want to be charismatic about it, you can pretend this refers to the mountain of your circumstances--but that is taking the passage out of context.  Jesus was not referring to the mountain of circumstances.  When he referred to 'this mountain,' I believe (based in part on Zech  4:6-9) that he was looking at the Temple Mount, and indicating that "the mountain on which the temple sits is going to be removed, referring to its destruction by the Romans..

Much of what Jesus said was intended to clue people in to the fact that the religous system of the day would be overthrown, but we miss much if it because we Americanize it, making it say what we want it to say,  We turn the parables into fables or moral stories instead of living prophecies  that pertain as much to us as to the audience that first heard them."
-Steve Gray, "When The KIngdom Comes," p..31

“Indeed, read in its immediate context, Jesus’ subsequent instruction to the disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain..’ can refer only to the mountain on which the temple is built!... For him, the time of the temple is no more.” 

"The word about the mountain being cast into the sea.....spoken in Jerusalem, would naturallly refer to the Temple mount.  The saying is not simply a miscellaneous comment on how prayer and faith can do such things as curse fig trees.  It is a very specific word of judgement: the Temple mountain is, figuratively speaking, to be taken up and cast into the sea."
 -N,T. Wright,  "Jesus and the Victory of God," p.422 

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