Friday, January 29, 2010
This Generation Part II
The introductory post explains the purposes, goals and scope of this blog. If you have not read it, I suggest you start there and then, look through the posts to get a feeling for where I have gone and where I am going. But, if you don’t have the time, feel free to read this post alone. However, the blog is meant to be a series and so if you find it interesting you can go back and read it or, if you would prefer you can download a PDF of the entire blog. This PDF will be updated every Saturday so that it will have the entire blog, from first post to last, through the latest Saturday.
Moving on with the discussion of verses in the synoptic gospels where Jesus referred to this generation we will take a look at a few more in context. Mat 11:16-19 "But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates, (17) "'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.' (18) For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' (19) The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds." In this passage the generation referred to are the people who were alive to witness the ministry of John the Baptist and Jesus. Therefore, it would only be logical to consider that he meant the forty year generation that interacted with his ministry.
Next; Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." Here again in this verse, with the addition of the adulterous and sinful generation is a midrash reference to Deu 1;34-35. Now then, the only generation that could be ashamed of him is the generation he interacted with so, we have yet another verse with the Greek word genea in it in which Jesus is obviously speaking about the generation alive at the time of his ministry and definitely not referring to this class of people, i.e., Jews in general that could be postponed to a time two thousand years distant. He was obviously speaking of the current generation.
And; Luk 1:50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. In this verse, the idea of generation to generation demands that it be viewed as a generation of forty years.
In two posts we have looked at several passages from the gospels that the word generation (genea) is clearly meaning generation in the way in which it looks at a family that goes from parent to child and the child grows up to be able to have children.
Isn’t it very likely that Jesus meant generation in the same way in Matthew 24:34?
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