Jesus declares his priorities in his first sermon

To understand who Jesus was and who Jesus declared himself to be, we can have no clearer signal than the very first sermon he gave, in which Jesus established the priorities of his ministry.

We read of this sermon in Luke 4:16-21:

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

And there was delivered unto him the book of Leviticus. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written:

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

  • D9000

    Fred, some loon is going to read this and think that’s what actually happened, you know.

  • friendly reader

    No, no, no, you’re not reading Luke right, Fred!

    He’s come to release people with same-sex attractions* from their captivity to sexual sin;
    to open the eyes of people blinded by godless readings of the Bible;
    and to free the poor oppressed Christians who are just standing up for the truth.

    Yeesh, you’d totally understand this if you’d just read the Bible literally instead of like some liberal secularist!


    *thanks  to Box Turtle Bulletin’s coverage for letting me know that the preferred alternative for “gay” or “homosexual” in many so-called “Ex-Gay” groups.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    You know that including that last line in your bible quote suggests that once Jesus sat down he proceeded to get busy with some bloke, right?

  • Brightwanderer

     Substitute “some loon” with “an atheist unfamiliar with the bible” and you get me, who has just spent about ten minutes trying to work out how this could possibly be seen as a positive thing, before finally clicking on the link and realising it was a parody of the real passage.

  • flat

    wasn’t that the book of turbojesus written by his most pettiest of diciples: lahaye

  • The_L1985

     There’s a link to the actual Bible verse right there in the post.

  • roisindubh211

    It’s still pretty confusing; I am somewhat familiar with the Bible and I went “I don’t remember that!” for way too long before I figured it out.

  • JustoneK

    I read that as “most prettiest” of disciples.  Mental drag ensued.

  • Carstonio

    I kept thinking that his first sermon was on the Mount, only because it’s the first one in Matthew.

  • Carstonio

    Homophobes who aren’t in those groups insist that orientation is a choice, often sounding as if they think of it as an addiction. The allegedly “ex-gay” groups have a point – I define orientation as about one’s romantic and sexual attractions, even if one never acts on them. But apparently it’s a very common idea that one’s orientation is defined by one’s behavior only. An old M*A*S*H episode labeled one soldier as gay even though he had only one such sexual encounter. That’s pretty much the definition used in the unscientific Regnerus study.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    “people with same-sex attractions”*thanks  to Box Turtle Bulletin’s coverage for letting me know that the preferred alternative for “gay” or “homosexual” in many so-called “Ex-Gay” groups. 

    It’s kinda like a bizzaro parody of the handicapped/persons with disabilities dichotomy…

  • vsm

    A few threads ago they were complaining about the lack of positive portrayals of Ex-Gay characters on TV. It seems to be intentional.

  • D9000

    I know that, but do you think a loon is going to notice? They’ll just assume that the reading from Leviticus is what’s in Luke, because it fits their prejudices.

  • Kirala

    *shudders* The Leviticus passage was on a “bumper sticker” on the car in front of me at the light this morning. I say “bumper sticker” because I’ve never before seen a bumper sticker which appears to be 10 x 15 cm in size. I don’t even. Even if you’re a Christian who thinks that verse still applies, in what universe can you imagine that that point deserves so much attention? Are the rules the point of Christianity?  *goes off reminding herself that good Christians shouldn’t focus on Galatians 5:12 all the time, either, regardless of how appropriate it might be on occasion*

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Even if you’re a Christian who thinks that verse still applies, in what universe can you imagine that that point deserves so much attention?

    We had a commenter here not too long ago — indeed, they might still be reading — who claimed that their attention to this and related passages was primarily a function of how much positive attention homosexuality was getting in the culture at large.

    Which I guess I’m prepared to believe; if all the queer folks stopped insisting that our loves and our families are just as decent as anyone else’s, all the anti-queer folks might eventually go be anti-something-else. After all, there’s no reason to devote energy to beating us down if we’re willing to do it ourselves.

    Then again, they also claimed that opposing the normalization of homosexuality was more important than opposing the normalization of usury, because usury was primarily an act performed by corporations, and Christianity was more about individual acts.

    Which is the point where I tapped out of the conversation.

    All of which is to say, there are many different universes populated by people who get to vote in my country’s elections.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Had I thought of it, I would have quoted this at the Bent cast party I just attended.

    Though someone might then have taken the bit about “this scripture fulfilled in your ears” part a bit too literally.

  • JustoneK

    We’re at the point where some Christians/Christianists think it’s the single most important rule.  It’s _the_ defining rule.

    And even for the ones who think it’s not the defining rule, they’re usually worried about trying to oppose it.

  • Carstonio

     So frustrating when opponents talk about “normalization” as if the goal was take away heterosexuality’s norm status and give it to homosexuality, instead of doing away with norms where individual orientation is concerned. Or when opponents insist that a gay couple holding hands in public amounts to forcing their sexuality on everyone else, while conveniently not making that accusation of straight couples doing the same thing.

  • The_L1985

    “Even if you’re a Christian who thinks that verse still applies, in what universe can you imagine that that point deserves so much attention?”

     Proverbs 26:11?

  • http://narrowcrookedlanes.wordpress.com/ Will Wildman

    There are cases where such a phrase is relevant – bisexual people have same-sex attractions and are not ‘gay’ any more than ‘straight’ – but I’m not sure if that’s intentional or not.  I guess it’s a win-win (for the bigots) in that they have a new phrase to make orientations sound like disordered conditions and they get to broaden their targets.  Sigh.

    Fred, as always, makes his point to great effect.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Yeah.

    I am often reminded of when a new baby is born in the family… there’s often a certain amount of resentment, even of acting out, on the part of older children who fear being replaced, of losing the privileges of childhood. That’s to be expected, and part of a parent’s role at that point is to ensure that the resentment doesn’t get expressed in inappropriate ways, without necessarily condemning the resentment itself.

    Similarly, I get that some straight people locked into a narrow exclusivist understanding of “normal” will fear I want to be normal instead of them. That’s false, but entirely to be expected.  I try not to condemn their feelings, though I share your frustration.

    Regardless, part of the job of the larger society is to ensure that those feelings don’t get expressed in inappropriate ways.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    bisexual people have same-sex attractions and are not ‘gay’ any more than ‘straight’ 

    (nods) I sometimes use the neologisms “androphile” and “gynophile” just to make people have to think a bit about this space. E.g., “Guys sometimes just have to deal with the presence of androphiles in their bathrooms.”

  • Carstonio

    To play Darkseid’s or Voldemort’s advocate, why shouldn’t resentment be condemned? It’s an emotion borne of entitlement and selfishness. Adults should be emotionally mature enough to recognize that the world doesn’t revolve around them as individuals. My children are close in age and incredibly competitive for not just our attention but also for each other’s attention, and they’re still learning that our love for them is not conditional or finite. They’re still at the stage where they complain about unfairness only when it’s in the other one’s favor. The folks we’re talking about are acting just like children, and they should know better. If they have those feelings, they should have the self-awareness to put them into perspective.

  • Victor

    Fred! I owe you an apology and/or should I say that sinner vic owes you an apology. Between you, me, myself and i, “I” think that they were wrong. Although, I’ve never read any complete packages of The Bible except for when the odd priest told me that I must do “IT” in order  for me to receive absolution. Anyway, I listen to The Gospel according to Jesus during every Mass and I still hold on to many portions of sermons that I really could not understand as a child like, being a slave to sin, as if sins really existed? http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/secondhandsmoke/2012/09/16/nyt-front-page-adult-stem-cell-story/#comments

     Before 1991, I must have really been crazy to believe such things like “Adam and Eve” really existed and the reason babies still get Baptized in the blood before birth was that they loved U>S (usual sinners) so much. How silly could “I” have been to think such crazy thoughts. “IT” got so bad in the pass that “I” couldn’t sleep and my wife would take me to the hospital for a needle so that I could get some sleep but on most of those occasions, the doctors would have me take a little visit to the funny farm. They were really funny and “I” silly me played along with them. When they asked me, what seem to be the problem, I simply asked them which one of the alphabets did they want to speak to! :) Although, “IT” was not very funny, when “I” was chased to the ground by a female officer and then a male officer. Come to think about “IT”, “IT” was kind of funny when I got to the funny farm and they placed me in a doctor’s seet and were waiting for me to tell them something. Don’t tell a soul but back then I honestly thought that they were aliens from other galaxies. NOW! I know that “IT” is much easier to believe in lost sins who have visited far off planets and want to come back then to believe that everything “Jesus” said is true and he’s the biggest liar that ever walked this world and……..

    STOP “IT” RIGHT THERE Victor!

    Butt “I’M” not finish yet sinner vic!

    OK! but have you taken your meds lately? http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/2012/09/st-joseph-of-cupertino/#comments

    You know as well as “I” do sinner vic that I take my meds and “I” must thank that Senior doctor for taking good care of me.

    Anyway Fred! Long story short, I’ve known of you for since before you got married and as a matter of fact I was reading and commenting a little back then in your old blog and if memories serves me right, I got an email from “Wintermute” asking me why I had not included your blog into mine with the rest back then?

    To make a very long story short, “IT” was all sinner vic’s fault and “I” must apologize for him cause he tells me, myself and i that he owns about 92% of my spiritual reality cells and if that was true, “IT” would be as if I was a skitso, kind of like two persons and in reality, 92% skitso would believe that he/s reversed are better off  and most nowadays might agree that  holding 92% of anything is much better then holding 7 and/or 8% would most not say? “IT” might  be visibly something like a little retarded child coming home to Mom and Dad and saying, with joy in his/her eyes saying something like, Hey Mom and Dad! Look! I got 7% on my exam! Some times “I” think after hearing about so many abortion which take place that Mom and/or Dads don’t really care about the unborn!  I wonder how many people would sooner ignore all of “IT” and believe that “IT” is much easier to  simply say stuff like,

     “Hey Victor’s Back! :) 

    Peace

  • SisterCoyote

    Man, I love this blog.

  • Seraph4377

    For the record, Jesus never says anything about abortion or homosexuality, and he’s pretty light on sexual sins in general.  What really seems to piss him off is greed or hypocrisy, and he once went into a berserk rage when confronted with religious figures using their authority to fleece the rubes.

    It’s OK that you’re unfamiliar with the Bible – there’s no reason you would be familiar with it, after all.  The real problem is that a lot of people who believe every word is literally true and who use those “literally true” words to guide their lives are equally ignorant. 
     

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    If they have those feelings, they should have the
    self-awareness to put them into perspective.

    Sure,
    that would be great. Given the option of living in a world where
    everyone has that level of self-awareness, I would choose it. In
    the meantime, I endorse preventing those who lack it — both children
    and adults — from acting out on those feelings inappropriately.

    why shouldn’t resentment be condemned? 

    Well, I included the word “necessarily” precisely because I didn’t want to get into the business of judging other people’s parenting styles. If someone wants to condemn their children for feeling the emotions they feel, I’m not going to argue  about it here.

    That said, I prefer to avoid condemning myself for having the feelings I have; I don’t think it does any good. I feel what I feel, and sometimes my feelings aren’t nice, and I find I do better in the long run if I’m OK with that. 

    And I prefer to avoid condemning others for things I don’t want to condemn myself for, both because it seems hypocritical and I don’t like being hypocritical, and because I find it’s easier not to condemn myself for something if I also don’t condemn others for the same thing, and because all things being equal I prefer to have internally consistent ethical judgments. (I fail at the latter a lot.)

    So I prefer to avoid condemning others for having the feelings they have.

    This is particularly true when it comes to children, as I suspect an additional result of doing so is I teach them to condemn their own feelings, and I’m not a fan of self-condemnation.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    I sometimes use the neologisms “androphile” and “gynophile” just to make people have to think a bit about this space. E.g., “Guys sometimes just have to deal with the presence of androphiles in their bathrooms.”

    I believe it was EGS (the forums, anyways) where the term ‘androsexual’ and ‘gynosexual’ were adopted.  Same basic concept, just different choice of terminology they really need to be used a lot more often.  (Especially since they cover the whole concept of ‘anyone attracted to X’ gender, i.e., ‘androsexual’ obviates the need for such constructions as ‘women who are straight or bisexual and gay or bisexual men, plus…’

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Oh, cool! Glad it’s not just me.

  • Carstonio

    My condemnation is not for having feelings of resentment, which one cannot control, but for indulging in them, which one can control. Fred has written many times about how many of his fellow evangelicals have a false sense of victimhood, something that’s almost intoxicating. Being emotionally mature doesn’t mean quashing resentment or denying it, but it also doesn’t mean getting drunk on it either.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.com/ D Johnston

    That’s actually the point. A lot of anti-gay studies will alternate between using “homosexuals” and “people with same-sex attractions” – the latter includes bisexuals, the former does not. Naturally, this is never disclosed – you have to dig into their sources to find this.

    It’s worth noting that since most anti-gay groups treat homosexuality as a set of behaviors rather than an identity, some of them hold that all gays are bisexuals. Scott Lively has said this in so many words.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    I sometimes use the neologisms “androphile” and “gynophile” just to make people have to think a bit about this space. E.g., “Guys sometimes just have to deal with the presence of androphiles in their bathrooms.”

    I believe it was EGS (the forums, anyways) where the term ‘androsexual’ and ‘gynosexual’ were adopted.  Same basic concept, just different choice of terminology they really need to be used a lot more often.  (Especially since they cover the whole concept of ‘anyone attracted to X’ gender, i.e., ‘androsexual’ obviates the need for such constructions as ‘women who are straight or bisexual and gay or bisexual men, plus…’

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Ah, OK. I have no problem with condemning inappropriate behavior. I had been trying to draw the distinction between feelings and behaviors from the beginning, but apparently I wasn’t clear enough… glad we cleared that up.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    What I have often seen is that sexual orientation is a matter of self-identification.  Someone might have attractions to any combination of genders, but what ultimately defines their sexual orientation is how that person themselves chooses to see that orientation.  

    In this, I can at least understand the efforts of ex-gay groups, even if I question both their goals and their approach to them.  What they seem to be trying to do is not to change what sexes and genders people have an attraction to, but how those people identify themselves.  Of course, it doing so also causes those people a lot of suffering in the process.  

    Another big part of the reason why I see sexual orientation as a primarily self-identifier is because I would rather orientation not be used as a bludgeon.  If it is a matter of self-identification, then it is in the hands of an individual how they choose to express the attractions that they have.  However, when orientation is a label that can be applied by others according to some arbitrary litmus test, you turn that label into not into a form of self-expression but into a restriction you can use to other someone and try to lock their sexual expression down into particular forms.  

    Frankly, I do not want to give other people that kind of power over me, and I can only speculate that the feeling is most likely mutual for anyone else I meet.  Goodness knows I got called “gay” enough in middle and high school, despite doing nothing that would imply a particular romantic or sexual attraction toward other men (or women for that matter, as I was a rather late bloomer as far as sexuality was concern.)  

    Bullies do not get to tell me who I am.  

  • LMM22

    thanks  to Box Turtle Bulletin’s coverage for letting me know that the preferred alternative for “gay” or “homosexual” in many so-called “Ex-Gay” groups.

    Given the fact that the CDC uses the line “men who have sex with men,” I can’t really fault them.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The CDC’s talking about behavior, the ex-gay groups are (as I understand it) talking about orientation. I can’t see how there could possibly be a significant medical difference between a straight man, a bi man, and a gay man when none of the three have ever had partnered sex. There might be a significant medical difference between a man who’s only had sex with women and a man who’s only had sex with men and a man who’s done some of both. Ex-gay groups (again, as I understand it) are as willing to go after a queer man who’s never had partnered sex as a queer man who’s only had sex with men, while a queer man who’s only had sex with women or who’s gone from having sex with men to only having sex with women is an ex-gay success story.

    None of this makes it any less appalling that potential blood donors have to answer whether they’re men who’ve had sex with men in the past twenty years, of course.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Given the fact that the CDC uses the line “men who have sex with men,” I can’t really fault them.

    I think it is important to draw a distinction between sexual acts and sexual orientation.  I see the orientation as the self-identification of a person with regard toward the sexual archetypes they are attracted to.  Because of this, orientation is a rather fluid thing, and there are a lot of ways to define it (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and asexual are simply very broad category labels.)  In contrast, sexual acts are much more definite, which are primarily divided into heterosexual acts and homosexual acts, depending on the physical sex of the partners involved (though trans-gender cases might make such a thing more complicated.)  So one cannot really have a bisexual act, though a bisexual person might engage in both heterosexual and homosexual acts.  

    Err, sorry, I got into a bit of a ramble.  I hope that was comprehensible.  

  • Freak

    For those unfamiliar, EGS == “El Goonish Shive” ( http://egscomics.com/ )

    (The comic involves gender transformations, so terms like “heterosexual” become ambiguous.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyra.janny Kyra Janny

    find hot bi sexual males,females and couples in your city at FindBi,, com
    chat and hook up with local bisexual

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    …and the spambot wins the thread.

  • Guest

     …in his ears, no less.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X