Patience worn out, revived somehow

Joseph’s brothers sell him passing caravan, coming from Gilead with gum, balm, and resin, heading for Egypt.  They would have already drowned him in a well if one of them, Reuben, hadn’t intervened.  Their beef against Joseph, the youngest of them, was that their father, Israel, liked him best.  They also resented him personally, as a “dreamer.”  This was sibling rivalry to the Nth degree.  It’s in Genesis 37.

In Matthew 21, on the other hand, we have the vintner patiently sending his agents to the tenants, who killed or manhandled them, one group after another, including the vintner’s sons!  We may ask what the vintner was thinking next time they won’t do that, until his family is half wiped out?  It’s a story, of course, told by Jesus to show God’s patience with his people.  No more, as in the story, he says, and the chief priests and pharisees got the message.  Like Joseph’s brothers, they would have did him in, but held back because of his popular support.

The 105th Psalm recalls or tells us that Joseph, “sold as a slave” in chains, was avenged by “the Lord,” who “called down a famine on the land” and ruined their crops.  The sequence of readings (Lent 2, Friday, C-cycle) places the Christian God in stark contrast to the pre-Jesus God.  Same God, but changed somehow, and that’s to be explained in the coming Lenten and Passiontide readings.


Later, Reader Phil gives retort simple:

If there were such a thing as Taliban catholics you would probably be a marked man for mentioning Reuben and beef during Lent.

To which I:

If you caught that, how many others did?  Oy vey.

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  • kp  On 03/09/2007 at 11:14 AM

    But God is unchanging? i look forward to your next posts to hear more


  • Jim Bowman  On 03/10/2007 at 11:28 AM

    KP: Wait and see. I’m going on what his word tells us: He was definitely changeable — got angry, changed his mind about people (ten honest ones would have saved Sodom), was definitely affected by what Jesus did (suffered, died). More later . . .


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