Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What Jesus was/is on about

 John Courtneidge

Easter 2014

Somewhere recently, I posted my view on Facebook that Jesus was/is teaching that we should (and can) replace the 'economics' of ownership(theft)/exploitation (And thus poverty/inequality) with 'The Kingdom of Heaven' - by Tuesday!

Our friend, Steven asked for my response to his following additions.

Belated I do so (with >>j in his questions:

hi John Courteneige, why use the controversial 'gospel of Thomas'?

>> Because it seems closest to the actual words of jesus - ie prior to the pejoration by the pro-capitalist 'Churches' after Constantine

Stephen Booth hi John, if you understand the parable of talents solely as cash, then would it not be promoting of the accumulation of wealth by the institutional Church? consider these. - - -

>>J Not sure why . . . it's a clear rejection of people who act like the King/mafia boss described in these two versions of the same teaching.

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’

>>j She was obviously a low-income woman - note that she shared her joy - doubtless with hospitality (paid for by that same coin?)

10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”(from luke 15)

>>j Ie those who now get what Jesus was/is saying about the need for economic change . . .

- - - After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”(from Matthew 17)

>>j Note ''to not cause offence' - Jesus illustrating. the pacifist response to injustice

Stephen Booth hi John, it would seem what you lifted up relates to this parable, which is not about money and i find it odd to suggest that 'merchants' will not enter, or 'buyers', consider this: 22 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”(from Matthew 22)

>>j I don't remember the  "man there who was not wearing wedding clothes" bit in the Thomasine version.

Again, this Parable is an aide-memoire to the five TRIP-Up mechanisms that capitalism uses to impoverish everyone - the 'rich' 2% and their enforcer 10% especially.

See how Jesus repeatedly en-courages ('in-our-heart') us to give up power, pride and possessions - the anti-thesis to capitalism/imperialism/etc same forms of immiseration.

Stephen Booth “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.

35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.

38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”(from Matthew 21)

>>J Hmmm . . .

Stephen Booth John Courteneige, do you believe Jesus is the Messiah,
>>J a key messenger, yes

the Son of God,

>>J A son of God - just like you, me everyone

who was crucified

>>J Illegally killed - murdered b the 2and 10%

in relation to atonement of sins,

>>j No - but to point out/because he pointed out what was/is sinful, yes

who rose bodily from the tomb?

>>J Immaterial (no pun intended) - it is his teaching that matters - the life-event matters are a distraction (apart from his willingness to suffer- even unto death: a death he freely accepted - because of our sinfullness - in allowing capitalism to continue

- - 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

>>j Hence my pointer to the question of usury in Psalm 15

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

>>j Woo-hoo! for that!!

46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.(from Luke 24)

>>j But see above - the hierarchical-and-so-authortarian 'Churches' deceive - deliberately - when they substitute these life-matter-mysteries instead of Jesus' teaching on economics ('The ways in which we live (together) in the Household'

Stephen Booth 41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”

“The son of David,” they replied.

43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,

44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.”’[e]
45 If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?”(from Matthew j>>j Like
Stephen Booth 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”(from John 1)--33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved.(from John 5)--- ttyl John Courtneidge

>>j Hmmmm . . .  I'll read John and get back 2u

I prefer Matthew, Mark, Luke and Thomas - I must find Mary's Gospel, etc at some point, too!

Best - equally! - for all!

Just as Jesus said!


ps - see the papers' section at for more

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