Monday, October 13, 2008

for your contemplation

"...greet no one on the way."

did you know this was one of the instructions that jesus gave his disciples when he sent them out? what do you think about that?

18 comments:

Erin said...

Well I've always been taught "don't let anything distract you from your mission"....but seriously, I have no idea.

Barry said...

This is in Luke 10. As I understand it, Jesus was sending them ahead of him into the town he was heading for. If they had stopped to exchange the customary lengthy pleasantries, they wouldn't have had enough time to prepare the ground for Jesus, so to speak.

Interestingly, David H. Stern, in the Complete Jewish Bible, translates this bit as "... and don't stop to schmoose with people on the road."

Mike said...

I think that it says for them not to get sidetracked (as we humankind often do).

I can imagine though, "and don't talk to anyone". As Jar Jar would say, "how wuude".

Ruth said...

I wonder it's kind of like how I'm suposed to be getting my work done before the kids get home from school but insted I'm am stopping here to "schmoose".

Barry you are just a wealth of biblical trivia and I really appreciate that about you.

Manuela said...

hey Jon. How are ya
I've wondered about this too... Was Jesus saying, don't be friendly? It could be misconstrued that way...
I agree with the others, that he most likely wanted them to stay on the task he gave them to do. Didn't he also tell them not to take much with them on their journey...?.... it's interesting to think about. I'll have to go back and re-read it...

Manuela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manuela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manuela said...

sorry I had to delete the previous comments because blogger keeps posting all my comments multiple times- I don't know what's going on!
But hey, now it looks like you have a gazillion comments... : )

jON said...

thanks for the input, gang. i do think jesus meant "don't get distracted from your goal." but i also wonder if he wasn't being a little more literal?

of course this could all be speculation shaped by the fact that i live in the inner city. but i know there is some wisdom in this. saying "hello" to too many people can really get you into situations you don't want to be in. in fact, i have had more than a few adventures i didn't really want simply by making eye contact.

as much as saying "hello" can get you involved in a story that might be hard to resist. there are billions of needy people out there and you just can't help them all individually. and i think it can be easy to get off the course father sets you on if you get involved with people he has not intended you to.

at least, i HAVE had experiences like that. anyone else?

sorry, i just notice these little phrases. they kind of pop out now in a way they never did before. and then i have to think about them because this kind of goes against the classic piture of the traveling minister that i had gotten in my head.

manuela!!!!! great to see you here. this is a first, is it not? welcome, welcome, welcome.

Ruth said...

Yes Jon I have had experience with that. I've been learning about boundaries in helping others because sometimes they can become a heavy burden that I am not meant to carry. I've also learned that sometimes I am meant to be a burr in their saddle rather than a salve to thier wounds. I hate that when that happens because I just want everyone to like me! Which comes to another question I must ask myself - "Am I just helping people for approval?"

Barry said...

Jon: I doubt he was being literal in that sense, not least because in that culture it would probably have been considered rude not to greet people (very different from 21st century Western city culture).

I don't think Jesus was telling them to ignore people. IMO he was just telling them to get on and do the job and not get sidetracked by chatting to everyone they met.

Barry said...

Ruth: Thanks. I'm also a wealth of completely useless trivia outside of Bible discussions :o)

Barry said...

Jon: I don't know if you'd be interested, but I'd love to add you as a contributor over on the Open Bible Blog. If you're up for it, email me at glan dot islwyn at btinternet dot com.

(Sorry, I would have emailed you but don't have your addy).

Manuela said...

Jon, have stopped by before...haven't commented. Enjoyed some of the comedy acts, me and my husb.!

Ruth, wowe, really good points!!

Ruth said...

Thanks Manuela! It was brought to you by the school of hard knocks.

Erin said...

I found this interesting note for this verse at Blue Letter Bible for the Greek #782, which is translated as greet, or salute:

"...of those who greet one whom they meet in the way; a salutation was made not merely by a slight gesture and a few words, but generally by embracing and kissing, a journey was RETARDED frequently by saluting." [emphasis added]

In other words, it was understood that "greeting people" in this manner slowed down a journey considerably. Maybe Jesus just needed this sending to take place quickly...like an imperative. Go! Now! Quickly!, because he knew time was short. Not quite sure as to why he would want his disciples to seem rude, but then I wonder maybe if, say, couriers on "official" or state business, or people on missions of some importance could not greet people and still not be considered rude. Maybe this fell into that category.

-OR-

This is the other thought I had. This same word is also translated in Acts 21:6 to mean "bid farewell". Could it be that Jesus wanted the disciples not to "bid farewell" to anyone, but instead to gather people with them as they traveled?

Anyhow, this is all just some things that came to mind, so Barry, go easy on me ;-)

Katherine Gunn said...

Hmm... don't get distracted from the task at hand...

jON said...

do look now, erin but i do believe you're studying the bible again. ;-)