No. what does the Kingdom of Heaven have to do with fornication?coccus ilicis wrote:In another thread Candace tabled the discussion with regard to Paul’s statement at 1Cor 5:6, the leaven associated with fornication and at Lu 12:1 the leaven associated with the teaching of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy, The discussion may for found here viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2099
Jesus spoke about the Kingdom using illustrations, in one of them he said:
The Kingdom of the heavens is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three large measures of flour until the whole mass was fermented… (Mt 13:33)
• Is this linked to what Paul referred to as leaven, and if so how?
No. What could the Kingdom of Heaven have to do with hypocrisy?• Does it have anything to do with the hypocrisy of the Pharisees?
In the context it would seem to be an illustration of Kingdom growth. The kingdom is "hid" - i.e. is small, does not come with striking observation, yet grows into a large tree and ferments the whole lump.• And why does the woman hide the leaven in three measures of flour?
A good question. There were also several other parables they did not ask about. Perhaps they were more intrigued by the parable about the wheat and the weeds because it was a more involved scenario and mentioned the weeds being gathered into bundles and burned in fire. Their curiosity was justified by the explanation, that angels would be the ones gathering and burning the weeds from within his Kingdom.But first let’s examine the first part of the statement … the kingdom of the heavens is like leaven… it this not a strange thing for Jesus to say; and yet his disciples did not question him about it? ........... If you had been there would you have wanted to ask what this meant, but they didn’t, why not?
An interesting theory, but it requires imposing an idea on the account which is not there and sidesteps that the disciples asked about the wheat/weeds parable after Jesus had made his comment about the reason for speaking in parables.Might I have considered myself above ‘them’ – the crowd that had closed their eyes and ears - quite possibly? Was that the reason they didn’t ask???
So the pattern that you are drawing up is based on matching up and combining "Pharisees" and "hypocrisy" with the "measuring out" and then combining those elements into an interpretive principal, then bringing that principal forward. The problem is that I do not believe these elements were meant to be cut out with scissors and spliced together. When Jesus tackles the issue of hypocrisy it is for specific outlined reasons. For example, in the exchanges with the Pharisees, hypocrisy is being defined as outward piousness, but inward evil. Regular fasting, precise tithing, regular worship, instructors of others, performing for public adoration, yet uncompassionate on lowly ones, loosing commandment in favour of tradition, blind guides who do not discern the time and in secret harbouring murderous intent. In the case of the individual disciple, the hypocrisy is a different kind - spend less time judging what others are doing - how can we judge others if we cannot judge ourselves first? To do so is hypocrisy and Jesus informs us that it will invite judgement on us - so the message is "listen hypocrite - stop doing it!"The reluctance to admit inadequacies, failures or wrong conduct is a very deeply entrenched human problem that we do not willingly face, and we steer attention away from it by focussing instead on the error or failure in others.
This kind of hypocrisy is also part and parcel of our own make up. We live in Satan's world; he is the father of the lie, so lying is all-pervasive. Even only speaking half truth's or being polite, saying one thing but thinking another are all a forms of lying and most times we are not even aware of doing it, but we tend instead to change the direction of our thoughts and focus on the fault in the other person. Every time we do this the following applies … with the measure you are measuring out they will measure out to you… Hypocrite! First extract the rafter from your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to extract the straw from you brother’s eye… (Mt 7: 2-5) In the account of the woman caught in adultery Jesus forced the Pharisees apply this principle to themselves, and he is telling each one of us to do the same.
The measurement principal in Luke 6:38 is about giving generously, not about hypocrisy. I understand how you can apply the phrase and there is some truth in it when we understand that the judgement with which we judge is how we will be judged, but equally the forgiveness with which we forgive is how we will be forgiven, which is also explained in the parable about the wicked servant. So the principal is there with God, but when Jesus speaks of "measuring out" it was in the context of giving to others and receiving a reward - not a punishment to be reaped.
So what bearing does this have on the illustration of the Kingdom being like leaven? Fully understanding this human proclivity Jesus knew that what little insight people at that time had with regard to this would be eclipsed after he left the scene. Paul appears to have understood this, he may even have read what Jesus wrote in the dust of the ground because he links fornication with leaven fermenting the whole lump (1Cor 5:1-7) And it is the same hypocrisy that is the root of the Pharisees obsession with cleaning the outside of the cup Mt 23:25 - presenting a false front to the world - pretending to be something we are not.
Again, the comment you make about what Jesus knew, is imposing a thought that isn't there. The account of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery does not have any relationship to the parable where the Kingdom is likened to leaven. Where Pauls comment and Jesus parable are similar, is not in the subject, but in the application - to growth - i.e. the fault could spread from one member to "the whole batch". I would also suggest that Paul makes his application, not so much to the fornication itself, although that is part of the problem. In fact, even though this passage deals with hypocrisy in the allusion to boasting rather than dealing with these issues, the actual application Paul makes of leaven is to "wickedness and malice". Thus there cannot be a relationship with the Kingdom of Heaven being like leaven.
An interesting idea once again in looking for an application for the "3" measures of flour. The thing is though, that the primary reason Judaism and Islam at least do not "grasp the full import of what Jesus taught", is that they do not pay the slightest attention to what Jesus taught. In the last days, God has spoken to us by means of his Son and he commands all men EVERYWHERE to repent. Christians have the only faith which looks to Jesus as the perfecter of faith and calls on people to turn back to God and repent. Judaism and Islam do not. I don't believe that can be a "riddled with guilt" statement, a "beam in the eye" - otherwise, how could one affirm anything out loud? Judaism is the remainder of a house which was abandoned to them and Islam did not exist until the 7th century and while claiming Jesus as a prophet, does not believe he is Gods Son and actually teaches that Jesus did not die - which is an anti-Christ teaching. Why is it that you place "believing in Jesus as a sin atoning sacrifice" on the same level as trying to keep the Mosaic law outside the land of Israel and without a priesthood? Matt 13:15 of course mentions the beginning of the real solution to having our heart healed, which is "turning" - or repentance. But who do you need to turn to? Who is going to do the healing? Jesus Christ said HE would do the healing - not us. Isn't that the most basic belief of Christians or am I missing something?The woman hides the leaven in three measures of flour – the measures of flour are Judaism, Christianity and Islam – all serving the one God; all stemming from Abraham; all accepting Moses as bringer of God’s Law; all looking forward to the coming of God’s kingdom. But not one of them has been able to grasp the full import of what Jesus taught; all of them in their own way point the finger away from themselves. Riddled with guilt they look for ways of atonement whether it is by obedience to the Law or being forgiven by believing in Jesus as a sin atoning sacrifice, anything rather than deal with the one thing that Jesus said would enable us to see clearly so that our hearts could be healed (Mt13:15). None of the three measures of flour or their many offshoots has understood what is meant by the leaven the woman hid.
So coming back to the leaven, while there may be some significance to the number of 3 large measures, it is at least understandable as a fairly large volume of flour, perhaps less so as a quantity - in which a seemingly small catalyst is hidden and the smaller absorbs the whole. I have to ask if you are equating the leaven with hypocrisy, when Jesus clearly said that the Kingdom of Heaven - i.e. the Kingdom of God is like leaven?