Monday, January 25, 2010

Matt. 12 -- a strong man

Macbeth, Shakespeare's thrilling play of destiny, sorcery, and skulduggery, begins with three "weird sisters," witches, laying a plot to capture the soul of the protagonist. In Shakespeare's day, as in Macbeth's, two wars were in progress for the future of Great Britain: a visible and a spiritual. The playwright's[1] background was the Elizabethan obsession with the Church of Rome, and its earthly allies -- France, Italy, Spain.

A war was in progress for the soul of first-century Israel, as well. On the macro level, the ruling class, the Sadducees, were in league with Rome. On all too many personal levels, tormented souls were in thrall[2] to demons. When a culture is on its last legs, strange psychic phenomena multiply. Something about societal insecurity pushes unstable souls over the edge.

It's interesting how disease hates health. Jesus, the epitome of sanity, health, and exuberant joy, had more than enough of these traits. He bubbled over, and imparted wholeness wherever he went. This was, of course, a standing rebuke to the self-obsessed spiritual athletes of his day, who assumed the worst of him:
Mat 12:24 Ferisiler bunu duyunca, "Bu adam cinleri, ancak cinlerin önderi Baalzevul'un* gücüyle kovuyor" dediler.
Mat 12:25 Onların ne düşündüğünü bilen İsa şöyle dedi: "Kendi içinde bölünen ülke yıkılır. Kendi içinde bölünen kent ya da ev ayakta kalamaz.
Mat 12:26 Eğer Şeytan Şeytan'ı kovarsa, kendi içinde bölünmüş demektir. Bu durumda onun egemenliği nasıl ayakta kalabilir?
Mat 12:27 Eğer ben cinleri Baalzevul'un gücüyle kovuyorsam, sizin adamlarınız kimin gücüyle kovuyor? Bu durumda sizi kendi adamlarınız yargılayacak.
Mat 12:28 Ama ben cinleri Tanrı'nın Ruhu'yla kovuyorsam, Tanrı'nın Egemenliği üzerinize gelmiş demektir.
Mat 12:29 "Bir kimse güçlü adamın evine girip malını nasıl çalabilir? Ancak onu bağladıktan sonra evini soyabilir.
Jesus, the burglar, was busily restraining Satan, and pillaging those precious people who had been treated as the property of the evil one.

And for this, he was condemned. In an age of envy, the good is hated for being good, the healthy for being sound, the wise for staying out of trouble.

[1] A play writer is a playwright. Wright is an archaic English word for maker. A wheelwright makes wheels, a cartwright makes carts, and two bishop's boys named Wright made airplanes.

[2] Thrall is a somewhat archaic word, derived from the Scandinavian language of England's Viking invaders/settlers, meaning slave. It is usually found in verb and combined form in modern English -- enthralled.

No comments: