Politics in Jeremiah’s time

Jeremiah faced clever enemies, who resolved, “Let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word.”  They would pick apart what he said, using it against him.  He turned to God for help:

Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.

This is what prophets did, of course: they addressed God on behalf of his people.  When they prophesied, told the future, it was when going back to the people to tell them what would happen if they did not obey God.

The Psalmist turned to God all the time, of course, as with:

You will free me from the snare they set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.

That’s how Christ talked on the cross, we will recall.  Meanwhile, Jesus (the Christ, anointed, messiah) had to deal in Matthew 20 with a pushy mother.  She wanted her two sons to be given places of honor in his kingdom.  Not mine to give, he told her, but his father’s.

The other 10 apostles got bent out of shape by this motherly advance, and Jesus told them to forget it:

Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. 

Quite radical stuff, honored in the breach by every ecclesiastical climber who claims advancement was not his idea.  So it went then, so now.  It’s up to us to get over it, and on with faith, hope, and charity.

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