Sunday, May 31, 2009

A state of denial (Acts 4)

Puppet rulers are not usually known for their courage or piety. The last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, for example, was willing to surrender most of his country to foreigners, as long as his own palaces were untouched. The political rulers of Israel during this period were mostly Sadducees, a people who denied such things as the resurrection of the dead, and angels.[1] Let's look again into that ancient era, through the open window of İncil.
Act 4:1 Kâhinler, tapınak koruyucularının komutanı ve Sadukiler, halka seslenmekte olan Petrus'la Yuhanna'nın üzerine yürüdüler.
Act 4:2 Çünkü onların halka öğretmelerine ve İsa'yı örnek göstererek ölülerin dirileceğini söylemelerine çok kızmışlardı.
The chapter begins with the rulers in an uproar. Verse 2 shows why:
  • Çünkü onların halka öğretmelerine -- Because / they / to the people / taught
  • ve İsa'yı örnek göstererek ölülerin dirileceğini söylemelerine -- and / with Jesus / case / demonstration / from the dead / resurrection / they were telling
  • çok kızmışlardı -- very / angry they are said to have been. (-mış-, you'll recall, indicates that the action is reported, rather than personally seen.)
The resurrection had obviously happened. The rulers had earlier bribed the gaurds at the garden tomb to say that they'd fallen asleep. Miracles were now being done in the Name of the Resurrected One. Yet, people who know that they do not occupy their positions on the basis of their own merits have a strong talent for denying the obvious. No one wants to admit that he's a puppet, a quisling.[2] An affirmative-action hire.

Yet all of us inherit the efforts of those who have gone before us. All of us are prone to self-delusion. I pray we may have mercy to live gratefully, and leave more behind us than we took out of life.


[1] That is why they were "sad, you see!"

[2] A Mr. Quisling was the puppet ruler of Norway during that nation's time of occupation by the Nazis. His name has become a noun

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