Much Better

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Today's readings come from Matthew 4:6 and John 15:5-6

The first reading is thus:

"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"

The second reading is thus:

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

Those two italicised parts are the same Greek word.  And how much better does this verse read if you translate it:

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers;  such branches are lifted up to the sun.
Darin Hufford asked several vineyard owners, "What do you do if a vine is not bearing fruit?"  They all answered the same:

"If it's not bearing fruit it's because the branch is too low and it's not getting sunlight, or it's covered in mud if it's too low.  So what we do is we pull out a rock and we lift it up and we put it on a rock.  And we lift it up to the sun so that it will bear fruit."

12 comments

  1. I LOVE this. Thank you for showing us the sun.

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  4. What a difference a word makes, Sue. How much misery has that translation inflicted on generations of folks?!

    Darin's a fine fella. I rarely miss his podcasts, as he never fails to make me laugh!

    (I kept making silly mistakes, Sue, that's why I removed those other comments!:))

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  5. I loved the way that little word changes the entire meaning of the parable. I sometimes wonder how much else of the book has been buggered up by similar, changes....

    Zinger

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  6. Wow. I love those fascinating little tidbits when one looks at the original words. It's amazing!

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  7. I'm glad you all liked this. It just changes the feel of the piece so much.

    I love what Darin said in that podcast about how there have always been things in the bible that just did not fit for him, that felt wrong. This was one of them. I do love that resistance to making the Bible your own little personal God :)

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  8. How beautiful it is to believe in a God who will lift us up and place us in the sun rather than one that will take us dead and discarded to be thrown into the fire and burned.

    Some might say that our reach for loving words for God are our inability to face the harshness of judgment - I would continue to say to them, God is a god of love and not one that seeks our destruction but seeks our life and resurrection.

    Nice post.

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  9. Hey Sue I think I heard that podcast, do you remember which one it was???

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  10. Glad it spoke to you all. I agree, SS.

    Anon, if you click on the link I put to Darin Hufford in the post, you'll go to the podcast

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