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Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 6!!

Our guest: Christopher Scott.

His blog posts on Philemon are here.

Remember the Prodigal Son and the forgotten famine?

See it  here in the original book.

The big idea:

What goes without being said for us can lead us to miss important details in a Bible passage, even when the author is trying to make them obvious. Mark Allan Powell offers an excellent example of this phenomenon in “The Forgotten Famine,” an exploration of the theme of personal responsibility in what we call the parable of the prodigal son. Powell had twelve students in a seminary class read the story carefully from Luke’s Gospel, close their Bibles and then retell the story as faithfully as possible to a partner. None of the twelve American seminary students mentioned the famine in Luke 15:14, which precipitates the son’s eventual return. Powell found this omission interesting, so he organized a larger experiment in which he had one hundred people read the story and retell it, as accurately as possible, to a partner. Only six of the one hundred participants mentioned the famine. The group was ethnically, racially, socioeconomically and religiously diverse. The “famine-forgetters,” as Powell calls them, had only one thing in common: they were from the United States.

Later, Powell had the opportunity to try the experiment again, this time outside the United States. In St. Petersburg, Russia, he gathered fifty participants to read and retell the prodigal son story. This time an overwhelming forty-two of the fifty participants mentioned the famine. Why? Just seventy years before, 670,000 people had died of starvation after a Nazi German siege of the capital city began a three-year famine. Famine was very much a part of the history and imagination of the Russian participants in Powell’s exercise. Based solely on cultural location, people from America and Russia disagreed about what they considered the crucial details of the story.

Americans tend to treat the mention of the famine as an unnecessary plot device. Sure, we think: the famine makes matters worse for the young son. He’s already penniless, and now there’s no food to buy even if he did have money. But he has already committed his sin, so it goes without being said for us that the main issue in the story is his wastefulness, not the famine. This is evident from our traditional title for the story: the parable of the prodigal (“wasteful”) son. We apply the story, then, as a lesson about willful rebellion and repentance. The boy is guilty, morally, of disrespecting his father and squandering his inheritance. He must now ask for forgiveness.

Christians in other parts of the world understand the story differently. In cultures more familiar with famine, like Russia, readers consider the boy’s spending less important than the famine. The application of the story has less to do with willful rebellion and more to do with God’s faithfulness to deliver his people from hopeless situations. The boy’s problem is not that he is wasteful but that he is lost.
Our goal in this book is not, first and foremost, to argue which interpretation of a biblical story like this one is correct. Our goal is to raise this question: if our cultural context and assumptions can cause us to overlook a famine, what else do we fail to notice?  link


---Your Esther observations:



Review, with an eye to signature



Key Concepts
Three Worlds
Signs
The Grid
Timelines
KINGDOM:


Week 6:
Moodle followup
All Signs from Quiz
Temple Tantum
Top Ten

Reading from scratch:
  • Esther
  • Philemon 
Syllabus instructions
Mechanics

Some of the best papers

Bib 314  Prep
Prayer
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The Power of The Historical World:




CHIASMs: they can grow larger, and the recurrence can be more general, thematic.
And getting over VERSE-ITIS helps a lot in seeing chiasm in the big sweep.  This is Genesis 6:


Or the tower of Babel in Genesis 11:
link


And we're only in the FIRST book of the Bible (:

Sometimes chiasms  are are so large that they  almost become a genre..or encompass an entire book.



In fact, they can become as large as life,  See
James B. Jordan, “Chiasm and Life” in Biblical Theology Basics:


Very much of human life is ‘there and back again,’ or chiastic. This is how God has designed human beings to live in the world. It is so obvious that we don’t notice it. But it is everywhere. This shape of human life arises ultimately from the give and take of the three Persons of God, as the Father sends the Spirit to the Son and the Son sends the Spirit back to the Father. We can see that literary chiasm is not a mere curiosity, a mere poetic device to structure the text. It arises from the very life of God, and is played out in the structure of the lives of the images of God in many ways and at many levels. It is because human beings live and move so often chiastically, that poets often find themselves drawn to chiastic writing. God creates chiasms out of His inner life, and so do the images of God.
Biblical chiasms are perfect. That is, they are perfectly matched to the human  chiasms they address and transform. As we become more and more sensitive to Biblical chiasms, we will become more and more sensitive to one aspect of the true nature of human life under God. We will be transformed from bad human chiasms into good human chiasms. In this way, becoming sensitive to chiasm can be of practical transformative value to human life, though in deep ways that probably cannot be explained or preached very well.
One further thought. We saw in our previous essay that chiasms often have a double climax, one in the middle and the greatest at the end. The food we bought at market is put away in the cupboard and refrigerator when we get back home. Moving forward to a final climax is what all literature does, whether it has a middle climax or not. (Shakespeare’s five-act plays always move to a climax in the third and in the fifth acts.) This is just another way that human life matches literary production, in the Bible as well as in uninspired human literature. Becoming familiar with the shape and flow of Biblical texts will have a transforming effect on human life.”
James B. Jordan, “Chiasm and Life” in Biblical Theology Basics.
------------------------------





Mike Rinaldi, a Visalian, and filmmaker (and Fresno Pacific grad) told this   story at the first "Gathering to Bless Christians in the Arts":
Blake Snyder, the screenwriter behind the classicSave The Cat"  book became a Christian not long before he died. 

Often at this point in such a story, folks ask "Who led him to Christ?" 

Go ahead and ask. 

The answer is: 

Chiasm. 

It happened in large part because Mike, not even knowing if such a well-known and busy writer would respond to his email,  asked him if he had heard about chiasm. 

Turns out Snyder was fascinated with it all, and Mike was able to point out chiastic structure and shape in scriptwriting....and one thing led to another...and then in Scripture. 

All roads, and all chiasms, lead to the Center and Source. 


Mike, of course, learned chiasm in THIS CLASS.



Here is video from another class on many of your signs.

Contains the Mike Rinaldi story on large chiasms.

Remeber a possible large chiasm in Philemon, in addition to the small one.

____
A    1   Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker,  2  and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:  3  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
B    4  I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,  5  because I hear of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints;  6  and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. 
C    7  For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
D    8  Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do that which is proper, 
E    9  yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you— since I am such a person as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus–
F    10  I appeal to you for my child, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, Onesimus,  11  who formerly was useless to you,  /  but now is useful  /  both to you and to me
G    12  And I have sent him back to you in person, that is, sending my very heart,
H    13  whom I wished to keep with me, that in your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel,
I    14  but without your consent I did not want to do anything, that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion, but of your own free will.
H’   15  For perhaps he was for this reason parted from you for a while,
G’   that you should have him back forever, 
F’   16  no longer as a slave,  /  but more than a slave, a beloved brother,  /  especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
E’   [Me: The appeal:]  17  If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me.  /  18  But if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account;  19  I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand, I will repay it
D’    (lest I should mention to you that you owe to me even your own self as well).
C’   20  Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 
B’   21  Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, since I know that you will do even more than what I say.  22  And at the same time also prepare me a lodging; for I hope that through your prayers I shall be given to you.
A’   23  Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you,  24  as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers.  25  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.  Link

Both discussed on our Philemon help page.
 
 The most important sign ...the core message..we didn't talk about yet is Kingdom


>>How does the Kingdom "come" from the " past"?:
In light of  (and in spite of ) everything we just said  there also  WAS a sense  in which the Jews believed  that --in a  limited but vital way--- the Kingdom had begun on earth..  at a specific Old Testament  time and place... and worked "forwards" from there.
Thus today's video field trip..


The video video on The Exodus and the "Dance Party on the Beach"   points to  how this was the seminal/foundational/formative microcosmic event of   (perhaps all) Scripture, in that:

1)It presents a pattern and prototype of any deliverance from bondage/slavery; and every "way out" (Ex-Odus)
from an old way/world to a new way/world.  We had some good discussion about "in-between times" in our lives that we recognized  (maybe only in retrospect) as pivotal  and formative.  Crossing the sea is often meant to call to mind crossing a barrier (remember the Jordan River video from Week One) into a while new world, creation  or order; from allegiance to forbidden gods to The One God.  Jesus is seen in Matthew as the New Moses in that just as Moses led God's people out of bondage to an oppressive ruler/"king" (Pharoah) and an empire that infected them (Egypt), so Jesus leads God;s people out of spiritual bondage to an oppressive ruler/"king" (Herod) and an empire that infected them (Rome).  This is a classic intertexting/hyperlinking/parallelism.

2)It is really the first time God's people are formed/forged into a community; they have "been through stuff together" and are inevitably bonded and changed through a corporate experience.  Thus:

3)Also, remember  (for the test) the Jewish tradition that the Kingdom of God functionally, and for all practical purposes began (or landed in a foundational way on earth) when God's people there on the beach danced and sang, "The Lord is reigning" ( Exodus 15:18 )...remembering that "reigning" could be translated "King" or "Reigner".  Thus, God's Kingship "began" when God's people publicly recognized it after seeing God in action in dramatic way as King.  Vander Laan: "The Kingdom begins when God acts"

...Exodus 15:18:
  • "The Lord is                           reigning from this point onward."
  • "The Lord is   King      from this point onward."
---

The key place for Israel; the seminal event, the central memory  in the Jewish mind in Jesus' day, was



The dance party on the beach. 








The very place the Kingdom began.

As a 'beach-head," if you will. 

I'm glad no one has built a taco stand there..

Here it is..



The Jews believed  that --in a  limited but vital way--- the Kingdom had begun on earth..  at a specific Old Testament  time and place... and worked "forwards" from there.  Even though this "seminal event": (Van DerLaan's phrase) happened 1000+ years before Jesus, and no one  alive in Jesus' day was there when  it happened, it was as if they were.  Common memory.






  to The Exodus and the "Dance Party on the Beach." This video, which we will draw from all semester is not online in any form (though you can buy it as episode 5 on this DVD).    The points to remember are how this was the seminal/foundational/formative microcosmic event of   (perhaps all) Scripture, in that:

1)It presents a pattern and prototype of any deliverance from bondage/slavery; and every "way out" (Ex-Odus)
from an old way/world to a new way/world.  We had some good discussion about "in-between times" in our lives that we recognized  (maybe only in retrospect) as pivotal  and formative.  Crossing the sea is often meant to call to mind crossing a barrier (remember the Jordan River video from Week One) into a while new world, creation  or order; from allegiance to forbidden gods to The One God.  Jesus is seen in Matthew as the New Moses in that just as Moses led God's people out of bondage to an oppressive ruler/"king" (Pharoah, who is a hyperlink to Herod, see chapter 4 of H  & Y textbook) and an empire that infected them (Egypt), so Jesus leads God's people out of spiritual bondage to an oppressive ruler/"king" (Herod) and an empire that infected them (Rome).  This is a classic intertexting/hyperlinking/parallelism.
  

2)It is really the first time God's people are formed/forged into a community; they have "been through stuff together" and are inevitably bonded and changed through a corporate experience.   They have experienced "communitas" and "liminality"  (both terms will be on exams) together.. Thus:

3)Also, remember  (for the test) the Jewish tradition that the Kingdom of God functionally, and for all practical purposes, began (or landed in a foundational way on earth) when God's people there on the beach danced and sang, "The Lord is reigning" ( Exodus 15:18 )...remembering that "reigning" could be translated "King" or "Reigner".  Thus, God's Kingship "began" when God's people publicly recognized it after seeing God in action in dramatic way as King.  Vander Laan: "The Kingdom begins when God acts"

...Exodus 15:18:

  • "The Lord is                   reigning from this point onward."
  • "The Lord is   King      from this point onward."
  •  
REMEMEMBER This "literary technique"  above (of two phrases being so related as to be almost synonymous/interchangeable is called, in computer language,
DROP-DOWN BOX
a "DROP DOWN BOX.  We will picture it by this symbol:



In the same way as  when you encounter a drop-down menu on a website, and you know you can choose different options, when we talk about "drop-down boxes" in the "text message" of the Bible, will mean a place where you can choose between two options/terms.


You might notice in the video that VanDer Laan also gave   another example:

   veanvehhu

in teh Hebrew text of the song the Israelites sang on the beach 


  could be translated either              "praise"                     
or                                                 "oasis."

This of course makes it a "fuzzy set."

---



in Jesus, in large part, the “age to come” has come. The Future has visited the present.

any Jews of Jesus' day (and actually, the Greeks) thought of the Kingdom of God as largely a  future identity/reality/location.
So when Jesus, in Matthew 4:17 announces that he, as King, is ALREADY bringing in the Kingdom,
this not only subverted expectations, but sounded crazy....and like he was claiming to bring the future into the present.

The Jews talked often about "this age" (earth/now) and "the age to come." (heaven/future).
"Age to come" was used in a way that it was virtually synonymous with "The Kingdom."

Scripture suggests that:

The "age to come"  (the Kingdom) 
has in large part already come (from the future/heaven)

into "this age"

 (in the present/on the earth




by means of the earthy ministry of Jesus: King of the Kingdom.



Thus, Hebrews 6:4-8 offers that disciples ("tamidim") of Jesus have

"already (in this age) tasted the powers of the age to come."


In Jesus, in large part, the age to come has come.
The Future has visited the present,
 










 

 
"The presence of the Kingdom of God was seen as God’s dynamic reign invading the present age without (completely) transforming it into the age to come ” (George Eldon Ladd, p.149,The Presence of the Future.)





Here are some articles that may help:

 Devotions from David Letterman
  Coffee shop prank  
These were to remind us of how shocking, subversive, surprisingJesus' temple tantrum was.

Here's BSN 12 getting pranked.  Click here 




---


--

==

 class discussion on Matthew 21 (Mark 11)

Three Acted Parables about Nationalism)

especially focusing on the temple tantrum..


Note, the chapter started with "Palm Sunday":
-- 

we  watched the "Lamb of God" video and discussed how it was actually a nationalistic misunderstanding.  If Jesus showed up personally in your church Sunday, would you wave the American flag at him, and ask him to run for president? 



a)Van Der Laan:
Jesus on his way to Jerusalem
On the Sunday before Passover, Jesus came out of the wilderness on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives (just as the prophecy said the Messiah would come).
People spread cloaks and branches on the road before him. Then the disciples ?began, joyfully, to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen? (Luke 19:37). The crowd began shouting, ?Hosanna,? a slogan of the ultra-nationalistic Zealots, which meant, ?Please save us! Give us freedom! We?re sick of these Romans!?
The Palm Branches
The people also waved palm branches, a symbol that had once been placed on Jewish coins when the Jewish nation was free. Thus the palm branches were not a symbol of peace and love, as Christians usually assume; they were a symbol of Jewish nationalism, an expression of the people?s desire for political freedom   __LINK to full article


b)FPU prof Tim Geddert:
Palm Sunday is a day of pomp and pageantry. Many church sanctuaries are decorated with palm fronds. I’ve even been in a church that literally sent a donkey down the aisle with a Jesus-figure on it. We cheer with the crowds—shout our hosannas—praising God exuberantly as Jesus the king enters the royal city.
But if Matthew, the gospel writer, attended one of our Palm Sunday services, I fear he would respond in dismay, “Don’t you get it?” We call Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem “The Triumphal Entry,” and just like the Jerusalem crowds, we fail to notice that Jesus is holding back tears.
Jesus did not intend for this to be a victory march into Jerusalem, a political rally to muster popular support or a publicity stunt for some worthy project. Jesus was staging a protest—a protest against the empire-building ways of the world.
LINK: full article :Parade Or Protest March

c)From Table Dallas:
Eugene Cho wrote a blog post back in 2009 about the irony of Palm Sunday:
The image of Palm Sunday is one of the greatest ironies.  Jesus Christ – the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, the Morning Star, the Savior of all Humanity, and we can list descriptives after descriptives – rides into a procession of “Hosanna, Hosanna…Hosanna in the Highest” - on a donkey – aka - an ass.
He goes on to say it’s like his friend Shane Claiborne once said, “that a modern equivalent of such an incredulous image is of the most powerful person in our modern world, the United States President, riding into a procession…on a unicycle.”
          -Link 


-



Article By Dave Wainscott
“Temple Tantrums For All Nations"
Salt Fresno Magazine, Jan 2011:


Some revolutionaries from all nations overlooking the Temple Mount, on our 2004 trip


I have actually heard people say they fear holding a bake sale anywhere on church property…they think a divine lightning bolt might drop.



Some go as far as to question the propriety of youth group fundraisers (even in the lobby), or flinch at setting up a table anywhere in a church building (especially the “sanctuary”) where a visiting speaker or singer sells books or CDs.  “I don’t want to get zapped!”



All trace their well-meaning concerns to the “obvious” Scripture:

"Remember when Jesus cast out the moneychangers and dovesellers?"

It is astounding how rare it is to hear someone comment on the classic "temple tantrum" Scripture without turning it into a mere moralism:



"Better not sell stuff in church!”

Any serious study of the passage concludes that the most obvious reason Jesus was angry was not commercialism, but:




racism.



I heard that head-scratching.



The tables the Lord was intent on overturning were those of prejudice.

I heard that “Huh?”



A brief study of the passage…in context…will reorient us:


Again, most contemporary Americans assume that Jesus’ anger was due to his being upset about the buying and selling.  But note that Jesus didn't say "Quit buying and selling!” His outburst was, "My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations" (Mark 11:17, emphasis mine).   He was not merely saying what he felt, but directly quoting Isaiah (56:6-8), whose context is clearly not about commercialism, but adamantly about letting foreigners and outcasts have a place in the “house of prayer for all nations”; for all nations, not just the Jewish nation.   Christ was likely upset not that  moneychangers were doing business, but that they were making it their business to do so disruptfully and disrespectfully in the "outer court;”  in  the “Court of the Gentiles” (“Gentiles” means “all other nations but Jews”).   This was
the only place where "foreigners" could have a “pew” to attend the international prayer meeting that was temple worship.   Merchants were making the temple  "a den of thieves" not  (just) by overcharging for doves and money, but by (more insidiously) robbing precious people of  “all nations”  a place to pray, and the God-given right  to "access access" to God.



Money-changing and doveselling were not inherently the problem.  In fact they were required;  t proper currency and “worship materials” were part of the procedure and protocol.  It’s true that the merchants may  have been overcharging and noisy, but it is where and how they are doing so that incites Jesus to righteous anger.


The problem is never tables.  It’s what must be tabled:


marginalization of people of a different tribe or tongue who are only wanting to worship with the rest of us.


In the biblical era, it went without saying that when someone quoted a Scripture, they were assuming and importing the context.  So we often miss that Jesus is quoting a Scripture in his temple encounter, let alone which Scripture and  context.  Everyone back then immediately got the reference: “Oh, I get it, he’s preaching Isaiah, he must really love foreigners!”:
Gary Molander, faithful Fresnan and cofounder of Floodgate Productions, has articulated it succinctly:
“The classic interpretation suggests that people were buying and selling stuff in God’s house, and that’s not okay.  So for churches that have a coffee bar, Jesus might toss the latte machine out the window.

I wonder if something else is going on here, and I wonder if the Old Testament passage Jesus quotes informs our understanding?…Here’s the point:

Those who are considered marginalized and not worthy of love, but who love God and are pursuing Him, are not out.  They’re in..

Those who are considered nationally unclean, but who love God and are pursuing Him, are not out.  They’re in.

God’s heart is for Christ’s Church to become a light to the world, not an exclusive club.  And when well-meaning people block that invitation, God gets really, really ticked.”

(Gary Molander, 

Still reeling?  Hang on, one more test:


How often have you heard the Scripture  about “speak to the mountain and it will be gone” invoked , with the “obvious” meaning being “the mountain of your circumstances” or “the mountain of obstacles”?  Sounds good, and that will preach.   But again,  a quick glance at the context of that saying  of Jesus reveals nary a mention of metaphorical obstacles.   In fact, we find it (Mark 11:21-22) directly after the “temple tantrum.”  And consider where Jesus and the disciples are: still near the temple,  and still stunned by the  “object lesson” Jesus had just given there  about prejudice.  And know that everyone back then knew what most today don’t:  that one way to talk about the temple was to call it “the mountain” (Isaiah 2:1, for example: “the mountain of the Lord’s temple”) .


Which is why most scholars would agree with Joel Green and John Carroll:
“Indeed, read in its immediate context, Jesus’ subsequent instruction to the disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain..’ 
In Jesus’ time, the temple system of worship had become far too embedded with prejudice.  So Jesus suggests that his followers actually pray such a system, such a mountain, be gone.


Soon it literally was.


In our day, the temple is us: the church.


And the church-temple  is called to pray a moving, mountain-moving, prayer:


“What keeps us from being a house of prayer for all nations?”


Or as Gary Molander summarizes:


“Who can’t attend your church?” -Dave Wainscott, Salt Fresno Magazine

-- 
--------------------
the money changers  were in the Gentile courts of the temple..Jesus' action opened up the plazaso that Gentiles could pray."  -Kraybill, Upside Down Kingdom, p. 151.
-----



--

FOR ALL THE NATIONS: BY RAY VANDER LAAN:

 Through the prophet Isaiah, God spoke of the Temple as ?a house of prayer for all the nations? (Isa. 56:7). The Temple represented his presence among his people, and he wanted all believers to have access to him.
Even during the Old Testament era, God spoke specifically about allowing non-Jewish people to his Temple: ?And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord ? these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer? (Isa. 56:7).
Unfortunately, the Temple authorities of Jesus? day forgot God?s desire for all people to worship freely at the Temple. Moneychangers had settled into the Gentile court, along with those who sold sacrificial animals and other religious merchandise. Their activities probably disrupted the Gentiles trying to worship there.
When Jesus entered the Temple area, he cleared the court of these moneychangers and vendors. Today, we often attribute his anger to the fact that they turned the temple area into a business enterprise. But Jesus was probably angry for another reason as well.
As he drove out the vendors, Jesus quoted the passage from Isaiah, ?Is it not written: ?My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations??? 
The vendors had been inconsiderate of Gentile believers. Their willingness to disrupt Gentile worship and prayers reflected a callous attitude of indifference toward the spiritual needs of Gentiles.
Through his anger and actions, Jesus reminded everyone nearby that God cared for Jew and Gentile alike. He showed his followers that God?s Temple was to be a holy place of prayer and worship for all believers. - Van Der Laan

---
TEMPLE TANTRUM

INTERCALATION is a "sandwiching" technique. where a story/theme is told/repeated at the beginning and ened of a section, suggesting that if a different story appears in between, it too is related thematically.  We looked at  this outline of Mark 11:

CURSING OF FIG FREE
CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE
CURSING OF THE FIG TREE


We discussed how the cursing of the fig tree was Jesus' commentary of nationalism/racism/prejudice, because fig trees are often a symbol of national Israel.  That the fig  tree cursing story is "cut in  two" by the inserting/"intercalating" of the temple cleansing, suggested that Jesus action in the temple was also commentary on prejuidice...which become more obvious when we realize the moneychangers and dovesellers are set up in the "court of the Gentiles," which kept the temple from being a "house of prayer FOR ALL NATIONS (GENTILES).

This theme becomes even more clear when we note that Jesus  statement was a quote from Isaiah 56:68, and the context there (of course) is against prejudice in the temple.


double paste: Often, two Scriptures/texts are combined into a new one. Ex. : Jesus says “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of thieves.” The first clause (before the comma) is from Isaiah 56:6-8, and the second is from Jeremiah 7:11  
 

hemistiche/ellipsis: when the last section of a well-known phrase is omitted foremphasis: Matthew says "My house shall be a house of prayer......," intentionally
leaving out
the "...for all nations" clause.


--
SOREQ

Temple Warning Inscription:

 

The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was surrounded by a fence (balustrade) with a sign (soreq)  that was about 5 ft. [1.5 m.] high.  On this fence were mounted inscriptions in Latin and Greek forbidding Gentiles from entering the temple area proper.
One complete inscription was found in Jerusalem and is now on display on the second floor of the “Archaeological Museum” in Istanbul.
The Greek text has been translated:  “Foreigners must not enter inside the balustrade or into the forecourt around the sanctuary.  Whoever is caught will have himself to blame for his ensuing death.”  Compare the accusation against Paul found in Acts 21:28 and Paul’s comments in Ephesians 2:14—“the dividing wall.”
Translation from Elwell, Walter A., and Yarbrough, Robert W., eds.  Readings from the First–Century World: Primary Sources for New Testament Study.  Encountering Biblical Studies, general editor and New Testament editor Walter A. Elwell.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1998, p. 83. Click Here
Temple Warning Inscription
=So Jesus is intertexting and double pasting two Scriptures  and making a new one.
But he leaves out the most important part "FOR ALL NATIONS"...which means he is hemistiching and making that phrase even more significant by it's absence,
-----

Three thought experiments.
  • -Think if I offered you a drivers license, claiming  i had authority to issue it
  • -Think if someone destroyed all bank records and evidence of any debt you have owe
  • -Think  what would happen if you pointed at something, hoping your dog would look at it.
Now watch this short  and important video for explanations...Temple as SIGN-post.
 



"If anyone says to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done.'  (Mark 11:23). If you want to be charismatic about it, you can pretend this refers to the mountain of your circumstances--but that is taking the passage out of context.  Jesus was not referring to the mountain of circumstances.  When he referred to 'this mountain,' I believe (based in part on Zech  4:6-9) that he was looking at the Temple Mount, and indicating that "the mountain on which the temple sits is going to be removed, referring to its destruction by the Romans..

Much of what Jesus said was intended to clue people in to the fact that the religous system of the day would be overthrown, but we miss much if it because we Americanize it, making it say what we want it to say,  We turn the parables into fables or moral stories instead of living prophecies  that pertain as much to us as to the audience that first heard them."
-Steve Gray, "When The KIngdom Comes," p..31

“Indeed, read in its immediate context, Jesus’ subsequent instruction to the disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain..’ can refer only to the mountain on which the temple is built!... For him, the time of the temple is no more.” 

"The word about the mountain being cast into the sea.....spoken in Jerusalem, would naturallly refer to the Temple mount.  The saying is not simply a miscellaneous comment on how prayer and faith can do such things as curse fig trees.  It is a very specific word of judgement: the Temple mountain is, figuratively speaking, to be taken up and cast into the sea."
 -N,T. Wright,  "Jesus and the Victory of God," p.422 


see also:
=

So Jesus is intertexting and double pasting two Scriptures  and making a new one.
But he leaves out the most important part "FOR ALL NATIONS"...which means he is hemistiching and making that phrase even more significant by it's absence,-- Bib 314prep:
Extras that will help you prep:


Temptations and "Testations"

Headsup:
(a) is shorter video and shorter answer
(b) is longer video and longer answer.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As a follow-up to class discussion on Nouwen, timelines and the three  temptations/testations of Jesus  (remember the Nouwen book categorized the three temptations as to be relevant; spectacular, and powerful), you should know that long before Jesus, God's people (Israel) under Moses were also tempted/tested.
a) Watch  Dave's  2-part video on the topic (  click this for part 1  and this for part 2).He may include some of the signs and topics we haven't discussed yet.  That's OK, just give it a shot.  Read the  "testation" section found on this link.   Post a few sentences about this topic.  Include at some point how you might name/categorize the three types of testations differently.   At some point,  bring "set theory" into the discussion.
b)) Write below a 2-3 paragraph response (or fairly complete outline or bullet point) including fairly detailed summary, even if  mostly questions-- to the video "Into the Desert to Be Tested".   It's by the same tour guide who took us to the Ten Commandments  Mountain. Note: At some point,  bring "set theory" into the discussion.  If the video has too much history; just go for the big picture.  A study guide is here, and may help.  See page 128-133, which may help you orient to the video, and provide an outline for taking notes;  you can ignore  the rest..
Direct click below to watch the video
click  here to watch it
 ( If it doesn't work, you may need to be use Firefox and/or have downloaded the free VLC videolan player here. Problems playing? Call FPU COL here). 


Matthew 24:36 “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[h] but only the Father. 37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left behind 41 Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left behind . 42 Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day[i] your Lord is coming. 43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

---
LUKE 17 2 Then he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. 24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.[i] 25 But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation. 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man27 They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them 30 —it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. 34 I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.[j] 37 Then they asked him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”



of course Christians will be left behind

Preface (sigh); Don't hear what I'm not saying. I am not necessarily saying there is no "rapture," etc. I am just saying read this one particular scripture in context. No hate email necessary.


It astounds people when I tell them that

no one 


reading the famous "one will be taken; the other left behind" 'rapture' passage..

(in context; and without everything you've ever heard that it said influencing what you hear)

will read it as Christians being taken/raptured.

It is the most obvious interpretation in the world that in this Scripture:

the Christians are left behind.

!

Try it out! Follow the flow and logic; read text and context prayerfully and carefully.

There's a reason this passage was not spun this way in the early church (B.L.H.-"Before LaHaye")


the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.

And Rossing:


Only by combining this passage together with First Thessalonians can a dispensationalist begin to piece together their notion of 'left behind'...But here's the problem with their use of this passage in Matthew: Dispensationalists make the leap of assuming that the person 'taken' in this passage is a born-again Christian who is taken up to heaven, while the person 'left' is an unbeliever who is left behind for judgement. This is a huge leap, since Jesus himself never specifies whether Christians should desire to be taken or left! In the overall context of Matthew's Gospel, the verbs 'taken' and 'left' (Greek paralambano and apheimi) can be either positive or negative.

In the verses immediately preceding this passage, Jesus says that his coming will be like the flood at the time of Noah, when people were 'swept away' in judgement. If being 'taken' is analogous to being 'swept away' in a flood, then it is not a positive fate. That is the argument of New Testament scholar and Anglican bishop N.T. Wright:

'It should be noted that being in this context means being taken in judgement.
There is no hint here of a , a sudden event that would remove individuals from terra firma...It is, rather, a matter of secret police coming in the night, or of enemies sweeping through a village or city and seizing all they can.'
(NT Wright, Jesus and The Victory of God, p. 366

If Wright is correct, this means that 'left behind,' is actually the desired fate of Christians, whereas being 'taken' would mean being carried off by forces of judgement like a death squad. For people living under Roman occupation, being taken away in such a way by secret police would probably be a constant fear....McGuire suggests that the 'Left Behind' books have it 'entirely backward.'. McGuire, like Wright, points out that when analyzed in the overall context of the gospel, the word 'taken' means being taken away in judgement, as in the story of Jesus' being 'taken' prisoner by soldiers in Matt 27:27. 'Taken' is not an image for salvation"

(Rossing, pp 178-179)




‘But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son,nor the Son');"; but only the Father. For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day at what hour');your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. '
-Matt. 24

Please, Jesus, may i be left behind with the other christians


Pretty surprising and cool this article excerpted appeared in Christianity Today.  It says what I said several years ago here...and folk far more famous like N.T. Wright have been saying all along ,

Maybe the Camping thing will help bring this to the table...(But you should've seen the rabbi's face when I brought it up on his radio show   (:    ...it's worth it to hear his voice in the podast here. (Click May 28).

Jesus' best-known teaching about end times is recorded in Matthew 24-25, with perhaps the most famous section found in 24:40-41. Here Jesus describes the impact of his Second Coming: "Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left." These two verses, along with the parallel passage in Luke 17, have inspired one of the most famous Christian songs of all times, Larry Norman's 1972 classic "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" (from an album tellingly titled Only Visiting This Planet). More recently, the hugely successful Left Behind book and film series has inspired the imaginations of countless Christians.

These verses are worth close consideration. According to Jesus, at least one key to understanding this teaching is the story of Noah, as Jesus explains in the preceding passage, Matthew 24:37-39:
As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Notice what Jesus says twice in this passage. The coming of the Son of Man will be "as it was in the days of Noah" (v. 37). In case we missed it, we are told again: "That is how it will be" when the Son of Man comes (v. 39). Anytime Jesus says something twice, it is doubly worth paying attention to. Jesus seems to be emphasizing two aspects of the Noah story. One is simply the surprise factor of the Flood. Nobody was expecting it. Until the day it happened, people were going about their business, living their daily lives. They were taken by surprise. So too will the Second Coming of Jesus come unawares. We should always be ready.

We ought also to notice the presence of two groups of persons. One is Noah and, implicitly, his family. Noah is righteous and follows God. He and his family are saved; they are not caught by surprise. The second group is the unnamed "people" (v. 38): those who were eating, drinking, and marrying. This second group—described in Genesis 6:5 as full of wickedness, their hearts and thoughts continually evil—gets caught by surprise. Its wickedness prompted the judgment of the Flood. But as the story makes clear, the people who "knew nothing about what would happen" got taken away.
       

We have to pause for a moment and observe how thoroughly this inverts some popular understandings of the end times. Those who do not follow God are, in the language of this passage, "taken away." By contrast, Noah and his family are "left behind." While the flood washes away the wicked, God rescues Noah and his kin, leaving them to enjoy the goodness of the renewed and restored creation.
And then, we are told—not once, but twice—that the Second Coming of Jesus will happen just like this. Consider once more verses 40 and 41. They describe two pairs of persons. In each case, one person is taken away and one is left behind. And verses 37 and 39 tell us that this outcome mirrors the days of Noah. The entire passage strongly suggests that the ones "left behind," in Jesus' description of the Second Coming, will not be the wicked ones but the followers of God. They are rewarded by being left behind to enjoy, as embodied creatures, God's new kingdom. The wicked are "taken away," losing the chance to experience the new creation.

Christ or Plato?

Of course, I may be wrong. Jesus often tells stories whose main ideas are not immediately obvious. Indeed, other passages seem at first glance to shine a different light on the concept of being "left behind." In Luke 17:26-36, for example, we have a different version of this teaching, where Jesus twice speaks of two persons, only one of whom will be taken. Here, Jesus refers not only to the Flood, but also to the story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom. In the Lot story, the righteous are taken away from Sodom, while the ones left behind get destroyed. Does this reverse the lesson we derived from the Noah story? Perhaps it has nothing to do with being taken or left, but simply with the imperative of being ready.
There is, however....continued: Who Gets Left Behind? How end times theories shape the ways we view our earthly abode" byMatthew Dickerson

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Jesus' surprising answer to "Where did all of these people go?": More on leaving behind Left Behind

of course Christians will be left behind

Preface (sigh); Don't hear what I'm not saying. I am not
- See more at: http://davewainscott.blogspot.com/2009/05/of-course-christians-will-be-left.html#sthash.5DxrH5Co.dpuf

of course Christians will be left behind

Preface (sigh); Don't hear what I'm not saying. I am not
- See more at: http://davewainscott.blogspot.com/2009/05/of-course-christians-will-be-left.html#sthash.5DxrH5Co.dpuf

of course Christians will be left behind

Preface (sigh); Don't hear what I'm not saying. I am not
- See more at: http://davewainscott.blogspot.com/2009/05/of-course-christians-will-be-left.html#sthash.5DxrH5Co.dpuf
As a followup to the post, "Of course, Christians will be left behind," which looks at  Matthew 24 "left behind" passage with  NT Wright and Barbar Rossig..




of course Christians will be left behind NT Wright and  Barbara Rossing..

Here's Benjamin Corey, who builds the case from Luke:


Jesus Says Those “Left Behind” Are The Lucky Ones (the most ironic thing the movie won’t tell you) byBenjamin Corey:

left
In the lead up to the release of the remake of Left Behind hitting theaters in a few weeks, I wanted to take a moment to tell you about the most ironic thing the Left Behind movie (or rapture believers) won’t tell you about getting “left behind.”

The basic premise of the theology is this: the world is going to get progressively worse as “the end” draws near. Before the worst period of time in world history (a seven year period called the “tribulation,” though there’s no verse in the Bible that discusses a seven year tribulation) believers in Jesus are suddenly snatched away during the second coming of Christ (which rapture believers argue is done in secret and without explanation, instead of the public second coming described in scripture).
The entire premise of the theology and the Left Behind movie is based on a passage from Matthew that you’ll see in the official Left Behind image included to your left. The passage states:

“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left”.

And this is where we get the term “left behind”… Jesus said “one shall be taken and the other left.”
Pretty simple, no? It appears from this passage that Jesus is describing an event where some people actually do “get taken” and the others are “left behind.” It must be a rapture then.


Or maybe not.

As I have explained before, the chapter of Matthew 24 is a chapter where Jesus describes the events that will lead up to the destruction of the temple which occurred in AD 70. That’s not so much my scholarly opinion as it is what Jesus plainly states in the first few verses of Matthew 24; it is a context pretty difficult to explain away since Jesus says “this temple will be destroyed” and his disciples ask, “please, tell us when this will happen.” The rest of the discourse is Jesus prophesying the events that will lead up to the temple’s destruction, which we know historically unfolded as Jesus had predicted. (As I have alluded to in What Jesus Talked About When He Talked About Hell andDon’t Worry The Tribulation Is In The Past, if one does not understand the significance of the destruction of the temple to ancient Judaism, one will have a very hard time understanding what Jesus talks about when he talks about “the end.”)

Anyhow, during the end of this discourse in Matthew we hit the “rapture” verse: “one will be taken and one will be left.” Surely, this part must be about the future, and Jesus MUST be describing a rapture. Since that’s what my childhood pastor taught me, it’s probably a good idea to stick with that.
Just one problem: Matthew 24 isn’t the only place where Jesus talks about “some being taken and some being left behind.” Jesus also discusses this in Luke 17 when he says:
 “I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”
Building a compelling case for the rapture yet? Not quite. Check this out: Jesus’ disciples in the Luke version of the discourse must have been interested in this left behind stuff, because they ask a critical followup question. However, they actually seem more concerned with those who were “taken” than those who were “left behind” and ask Jesus for a little more information on this whole getting taken away stuff.

“Where, Lord?” is the question of the disciples. Where did all of these people go??

If this were a passage about the “rapture” as depicted in the Left Behind movie, one would expect Jesus to answer something to the point of “they were taken to be with me to wait out the tribulation.” But, that’s not what Jesus says. Instead, Jesus gives them a blunt answer about those who were “taken”: “just look for the vultures, and you’ll find their bodies.” (v37)

That’s right. The ones who were “taken” were killed. Not exactly the blessed rapture.

The Roman occupation was brutal, and when they finally sacked the city and destroyed the temple in AD70, things got impressively bloody. To be “taken” as Jesus prophesied, was to be killed by the invading army. This is precisely why, in this passage and the Matthew version, Jesus gives all sorts of other advice that makes no sense if this is a verse about the rapture. Jesus warns that when this moment comes one should flee quickly– to not even go back into their house to gather their belongings– and laments that it will be an especially difficult event for pregnant and nursing mothers. He even goes on to warn them that if they respond to the army with resistance (the very thing thatcauses the mess in the lead-up to AD70), they’ll just get killed (“whoever seeks to save his life will lose it”). Jesus, it seems, wants his disciples to get it: when the Roman army comes, flee quickly or else you might not be left behind!

Surely, Jesus is not talking about a rapture. He’s not warning people to avoid missing the rapture because they went home to get their possessions… he’s talking about fleeing an advancing army and not doing anything stupid that will get them killed (v 30-34).

Very practical advice for his original audience and would have come in handy for those who wanted to avoid being “raptured” (slaughtered) by the Roman army.

And so my friends, this is the most ironic thing the Left Behind movie won’t tell you: in the original “left behind” story Jesus tells in the Gospels, the ones who are “left behind” are actually the lucky ones.
So the next time folks tell you that they don’t want to be “left behind,” you might want to tell them to be careful what they wish for.  -Benjamin Corey, link


of course Christians will be left behind

Preface (sigh); Don't hear what I'm not saying. I am not
- See more at: http://davewainscott.blogspot.com/2009/05/of-course-christians-will-be-left.html#sthash.5DxrH5Co.dpuf


--
Adam Maarschalk adds some evidence from sources in 1700s and 1800s:

In our study of Matthew 24:36-51, I also proposed that Jesus said it would be better to be “left behind” than to be “taken,” and noted that 2-3 centuries ago this was taught by John Gill (1746-1763) and Albert Barnes (1834). Benjamin Corey does an excellent job showing the revealing connection between what Jesus says in Luke 17 and what He says in the more frequently quoted Matthew 24:40. His article also comes at a good time, less than two weeks before the remake of the Left Behind movie hits the theaters on October 3rd. Hopefully the theology in this film will soon be left behind by many followers of Christ.  link

--

don't seek first the Kingdom, and don't make God your top priority!


If you think about it,  and look at context, it's obvious that "seek first the Kingdom" cannot be what Jesus means.

I know, I know, you have it memorized that way,
your Bible says it that way..
.............and so does the song.

But..

"First" implies one would seek something second, third, etc.  But he says "seek...the Kingdom, and all these things [food, clothes etc] will be added to you."  Not: "seek the Kingdom, and then you can seek food , clothes."  No, "all these things" are given you, without you seeking them at all.  They are a by-product of seeking the one thing.

To seek them..even sincerely; even secondly... would be idolatry.
"Purity of heart," Kierkegaard said, "is to will one thing."
Christianity is seeking one thing: the Kingdom thing.

Besides, we are so far only quoting a (poor)translation of Matthew's version of this saying
In Luke's version, the word "first" is not there...in any translation.
Don't take my word for it..check it out!

How often have you seen it suggested  (here in the West, of course), that our priority list should follow this order:


  1. God
  2. family
  3. church
  4. work    etc etc


Give it up.  Get your priorities right, and ditch the priority list.

Read Joel Green  (below) carefully and carefully; and then check out Matthew 6 all over again:

 When Jesus calls on would-be disciples to "seek first the Kingdom," is he thinking of a list of priorities with "my relationship with God" at the head?  In fact, a closer reading of this part of the Sermon on the Mount may indicate that putting God at the top of our list of priorities is precisely what we must never do.

Some may take offense at this suggestion.  After all, they may say, look at the passage!  Doesn't Matthew 6:25-24 teach just this order of priorities?  Doesn't it say, "Don't put food and drink first; don't put clothing concerns first; rather, out the Kingdom of God first'?"  On the basis of this passage, should we not say that "seeking first God's kingdom" must occupy the top spot on our list of priorities?  Is this not what Jesus is teaching?"

Maybe be can get closer to the meaning of this passage if we paraphrase Matthew 6:33 differently.  Consider these alternatives: "Let the Kingdom of God be at the center of your life...not at the top."
"Let the Kingdom of God set the standards for your life."  "Let the kingdom of God determine how you live, how you work, how you communicate, how you play."  These alternative readings make good on the fact that the Greek word often translated "first" in this context, proton, is used in the gospels not only to denote "the first in a series," but also "that upon which everything hinges."

In other words, do not put the Kingdom of God first on your priority list; rather, let the Kingdom of God determine your priority list! [emphasis mine]

In order to measure our response to Jesus' message in Matthew 6:33, we must ask more than, have I prayed today, or have I read the Bible today?  As important as those spiritual disciplines are, they are not the heart of Jesus' message here.  We must go further, deeper.  We must begin to ask: What had God's kingdom to do with the job I am doing?  The way I drive?  The church I attend?  The friends I have?  How I relate to my next-door neighbor.  And so on. -Joel Green, The Kingdom of God: It's Meaning and Mandate, pp. 68-69 (review and summaryhere)
--
 Let me  now (I am editing this post later) add  to this post the picture inspired by Tim Geddert
 (faculty, FPU Seminary) that Tim Neufield (FPU faculty) drew...the pic I mentioned in the comments below
 
































Pastor D.J. Criner
Sometimes in a Bible class, I will leave the room for five minutes,
and challenge the students to practice presenting anything they've learned.
It's totally up to them: they can tea- teach it, one person can present etc.

Sometimes I am even brave/dumb enough to say they can choose someone to impersonate (roast/toast( me and my style.

I should have known that with  the delightful and daring Pastor D.J. Criner (of Saint Rest Baptist Church) in class, that  the class would choose him for that impersonation option (:

It was caught on video ...
video
I guess I say ":awesome" a lot.

Be sure to catch his whiteboard artwork of me. as well:


Post by Dave Wainscott.Philemon as allegory...Martin Luther: "Here we see how St. Paul lays himself out for poor Onesimus, and with all his means pleads his cause with his master: and so sets himself as if he were Onesimus, and had himself done wrong to Philemon. Even as Christ did for us with God the Father, thus also St. Paul does for Onesimus with Philemon… We are all His Onesimi, to my thinking.” 
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Philemon, an allegory?

Consider the following passage (Philemon 8-18) with these analogies in mind:

  • Paul (the advocate) : Jesus
  • Onesmus (the guilty slave) : us (sinners)
  • Philemon (the slave owner) : God the Father

Martin Luther:  "Even as Christ did for us with God the Father, thus also St. Paul does for Onesimus with Philemon"
Accordingly, though I (Paul) am bold enough in Christ to command you (Philemon) to do what is required, yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own free will. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self.   LINK: Philemon, an allegory?