Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We gather on Friday under this title to discuss a good idea or a good book with friends, and the book we are now discussing is Klyne Snodgrass’s Stories with Intent, a complete study of the parables. It is written for pastors and teachers and is a handbook — that is, it gives you the material to interpret the parables.
We turn today to the parable of the treasure in Matt 13:44: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
How would you teach, preach, or explain this parable? What is the “treasure”?
Again, a masterful selection of the possible background texts, including cultural codes about hiding money.
Snodgrass suggests the parable is about both the value of the kingdom and the cost of discipleship. A focus is on the behavior of the person in the parable. Do you think his selling all is a call for us to sell all? Why or why not? And do you think the parable indicates that the kingdom is present and awaiting recognition?
Does this parable teach salvation by grace?
Is there anything you have experienced like the man in this parable?



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Peggy

posted May 30, 2008 at 11:38 am


I agree — it is an example of recognizing the cost of discipleship as a result of recognizing the value of the kingdom. When we are not willing to give up significant things in order to obtain the kingdom, we show that we do not properly value it.
Particularly, I think it is important to see that Jesus talks about someone who found something of “incredible value” that could be “bought” — but that it would take all the resources that he had. That may or may not require selling all for us today. It does, however, require a willingness to sell all — if necessary. And it also requires that we hold possessions very lightly. Very lightly.
The individualistic consumerism rampant as primary idol is very telling, IMO…. It speaks to the fact that many Christians just do not understand our duty to each other — our hesed — to share one another’s burdens and assure that basic needs are being met in our family/sphere of influence.



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Peggy

posted May 30, 2008 at 11:44 am


…and I do wish that more people had a more robust definition to go along with the word “grace” … :( … so that one could see that the grace of God in Christ is part of his faithful covenant-keeping with us when we join the New Covenant. That is how there is so much “cheap grace” talk — when that should be a flat-out oxymoron!
Grace is costly! It is costly for God — and even though we do not “earn” it by our faithful “hesed” in response, it is meant to be costly for us because it is meant to help us be molded into the image of Jesus.
“Cheap grace” gets you fire insurance, as it were. “Costly grace” gets you transformation that leads to reconciliation and restoration. And those words all cost a lot!



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Georges Boujakly

posted May 30, 2008 at 4:52 pm


“Does this parable teach salvation by grace?”
It depends. If by grace one means only the work of God without human participation, then this parable would not support such a view. The man did a lot to receive the treasure: He sought/found, hid, and bought.If grace, on the other hand, includes human involvement (actively receiving it, actively disbursing it) then yes this parable is teaching salvation by grace.
Grace is accepting, receiving, and participating in the power of God which enables us to accomplish what on our own we could never accomplish.
Peggy, is what I am describing here what you mean by a robust definition of grace?



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Peggy

posted May 30, 2008 at 5:39 pm


George,
Yes, you are describing a robust grace! :) There are way too many, IMO, who miss the covenant nature of grace, and therefore devalue the participation that we are to have in the kingdom. It also is a big part of the shallowness and immaturity that is seen in so many members of the Body of Christ.
Oh, that we would have eyes to see the treasure of God and hands ready to do whatever is needful to secure that treasure. And there’s the rub … folks are so scared of seeing that we have work … and so your: “Grace is accepting, receiving, and participating in the power of God which enables us to accomplish what on our own we could never accomplish.”
Faith and Works — two sides of the same covenant coin!



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Mason

posted May 31, 2008 at 8:01 pm


First off I have found Snodgrass’ book to be quite while utilizing it the last couple months, dont always agree with his conclusions but excellent discussion and information.
I think that the parable would certinly be implying at least that to a certian level the Kingdom (or kingly reign of God) is present. In this and other Mattheian passages the kinddom of God is something that is at hand as Jesus is speaking.
As far as selling all ones posessions, I dont know that I’d say it is advising some sort of monasticism (even though that is a critique we need in the west)but rather is a call to Jesus’ audience to give themselves fully to his kingdom movment while the time is now and ‘the wood is green’.



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Anonymous

posted June 8, 2008 at 12:39 pm


Sundays are for?studying « Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should…or does it?

[...] Sundays are for?studying Scot McKnight over at his fantabulous blog, Jesus Creed, has a regular post: Friday is for friends. My family’s version of this has become “Sunday is for studying”. Some Sundays, church is in there. It’s been an interesting season as we try and sort out a ‘place of worship’. I left my job as an assistant pastor at The Seattle Vineyard? laaaaaast April – a great church in a sweet old? building? about 2 blocks west of the University of Washington. That marked the end of an almost 12 year relationship at the church (not a bad ending) where I became serious about my life as a disciple of Jesus, got my feet wet in ministry, preached my first sermon, dedicated my first baby, performed my first wedding – and heck,? even tried to plant? a church (”Along the Way”). The last year there I had the privilege of reading the bible wiht homeless and street-involved young adults and start a youth group. I became exposed to the rich and worthwhile challenge of reading scripture with those whose life circumstances are unbelievably different and more challenging than mine. I drew a lot from the veterans of that ministry and Bob Ekblad’s model of “Reading the Bible With the Damned“. I could say so much more about that but I’ll pause there. [...]



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Anonymous

posted June 8, 2008 at 12:50 pm


Sundays are for?studying « Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should…or does it?

[...] Sundays are for?studying Scot McKnight over at his fantabulous blog, Jesus Creed, has a regular post: Friday is for friends. My family’s version of this has become “Sunday is for studying”. Some Sundays, church is in there. It’s been an interesting season as we try and sort out a ‘place of worship’. I left my job as an assistant pastor at The Seattle Vineyard? laaaaaast April – a great church in a sweet old? building? about 2 blocks west of the University of Washington. That marked the end of an almost 12 year relationship at the church (not a bad ending) where I became serious about my life as a disciple of Jesus, got my feet wet in ministry, preached my first sermon, dedicated my first baby, performed my first wedding – and heck,? even tried to plant? a church (”Along the Way”). The last year there I had the privilege of reading the bible with homeless and street-involved young adults and start a youth group. I became exposed to the rich and worthwhile challenge of reading scripture with those whose life circumstances are unbelievably different and more challenging than mine. I drew a lot from the veterans of that ministry and Bob Ekblad’s “Reading the Bible with the Damned“. I could say so much more about that but I’ll pause there. [...]



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