Luke 8.19-21

His mother and brothers arrived but could not get to him for the crowd.

He was told, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, and they want to see you.”

He replied, “My mother and my brothers– They are those who hear the word of God and act upon it.”

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2 responses

  1. Justo Gonzalez says this passage is self-explanatory. He’s writing a commentary on Luke from his perspective in liberation theology. He glosses over the history of the debates (mostly Catholic) about this passage mired down in Mariology and perpetual virginity. And he offers milky soft quotes from women in gender biased cultures (India, Asia) where he says this scripture about a new family is good news to women. My problem with Gonzalez on this point involves asking whether Gonzalez takes into account how this good news for women could end up getting women killed? In cultures where the closing words of Jesus’s benediction become practiced – “.. and act upon it?" So long as those women in gender-biased domains who “hear the word of God” are confined to private audiences (say in private homes) who are merely studying this passage without acting upon it, then the second part of this saying (the, “and act upon it”) can get indefinitely delayed, Almost in a perpetual state of standing outside the text, that is, outside in this sense, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, and they want to see you." I don’t have the practical parts of – “act upon it” – detailed as if I’m competent (I’m not) to give women in violently misogynist cultures advice. I do benefit from comments here by NT Wright – and wish to hear more. It’s just that even Wright sometimes gets a little mired into the Protestant side-bars (say with Piper) over justification by faith – such that any “and act upon it” property of action gets killed in all the throat-clearing about how action does not justify us. I think often that I’d rather “act upon it” and be ignorant of the complex theological undertones – ignorant and yet active. This too breaks down – loving with all our heart, mind, soul, strength – calls for integrity. Still, this “act upon it” might be quite costly. Say for women in violently misogynist cultures. ~ Jim

  2. "Act on it" can always be costly.Note that this does not mean "Act on what you think it ought to be." Still, there are times when "a person's gotta do what a person's gotta do," and sometimes the person survives, even flourishes. Sometimes not.The Testimony of Prudence, however… is the riskiest of all.

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