Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Saying 32


Jesus said, ‘A city built on a high mountain and fortified cannot fall nor be hidden.’


Matt 5–7 begins with Jesus proclaiming divine favor on different sorts of the underclass (5.1–12). This is followed by a small cluster sayings (5.13–16) which, together, seem intended to encourage those people to be ‘visible’ with their good works. Matthew’s equivalent to Saying 32 is situated between various teachings about being an ethical ‘light’ in the world. The arrangement of those sayings in Matthew was an editorial choice, leading readers to interpret each of them according to the surrounding ethical context. The version in Thomas lacks any such context, and includes the detail that the city is ‘fortified’ and unable to ‘fall’, suggesting a more militant application. Rather than being a metaphor about Jesus’ disciples putting moral acts on display, Saying 32 may instead be a teaching about the level of fortitude it takes to follow the ideology Jesus teaches. That is, people are to make themselves resilient to the sort of ostracism they may face for being disciples of Jesus.



5.14 ‘A city built on a hill cannot be hid.’

No comments:

Post a Comment