Saturday, September 24, 2011

God chooses the weak and the despised

I'd like to share a bit more from Professor Bruce Longenecker's book The Lost Letters of Pergamum: A Story from the New Testament World

This book consists of a set of fictional letters between a number of people in the first century. Here is an excerpt from a letter written to Luke (the writer of Luke's Gospel) from a nobleman in Pergamum, after reading the last chapters of Luke's Gospel. The nobleman is not a Christian at this point.

"Clearly, the punch of your narrative comes at the very end, with the resurrection of Jesus and his ascension into the heavenly world. These acts seem to be more than a simple vindication of one who claimed to act on behalf of his god. They reveal that Jesus can fill the role he predicted for himself - that of the ultimate and sovereign judge of the world, the Son of Man exalted to the right hand of the mighty god. I noted that this provided the narrative with a fitting point of closure, with the resurrection of Jesus highlighting the point he had made throughout his life: Jesus' god chooses the weak and despised as the favored vehicles of divine power and mercy. That a crucified outcast is resurrected by divine power is itself a most dramatic example in the theology of reversal that Jesus espoused throughout his life."

By the way, if you are wondering where Pergamum is (in the Bible), check out Revelation 2:13.

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