Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You are his disciple!

I'm struck preparing to preach John 9 soon that the man born blind is accused of being one of Jesus' disciples, as if it was a badge of shame - which it was later for Peter at his denial. I wonder if people would accuse me of this, and if so what they'd mean.

Stu quoted this on Sunday in his sermon from the Epistle to Diognetus about early Christians:
For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. 2 Corinthians 10:3 They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Philippians 3:20 They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. 2 Corinthians 6:9 They are poor, yet make many rich; 2 Corinthians 6:10 they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; 2 Corinthians 4:12 they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.

1 comment:

  1. Diogentus has to be the must-read book of the post-apostolic early church.

    Chapter 6 carries on from where the above-quoted chapter 5 leaves off, and explains that Christians love the world they are sojourners in, while the world hates them. It's a little bit alien, and perhaps a bit gnostic, to my ears, but it's a good explanation.

    But beating even that is chapter 9, with it's clear preaching of the gospel.

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