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Proper 15

Isaiah 5.1–7
Hebrews 11.29—12.2
Luke 12.49–56

This Lukan passage is high on the list of Things We Would Rather Jesus Hadn’t Said. It’s not gentle, it’s not meek and mild; it’s not even nice. Parents and children at loggerheads, in-laws getting across one another – what can Jesus have had in mind?

The problem, as often, is that we fail to pick up the biblical allusion. Micah’s picture (7.6) of family dysfunction is part of his lament about his contemporaries. Like the suffering heroes of Hebrews 11, the prophet continues to trust in God (7.7) and his coming rescue. He looked by faith, Hebrews would say, to God’s future, now finally revealed in Jesus himself, the example of our faith and the object of our hope. But to those who refuse this faith and hope, this same Jesus declares that he has come, prophet-like, to divide Israel down the middle. If the vineyard is yielding wild grapes, what else is the owner to do?...

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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