Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jesus & popularity

A devotional thought taken from Mother Angelica's latest newsletter.... (from My Mom)

Mother Angelica noted that many teachers have told us how to identify with Christ in our troubles, but very few have addressed Christ's example when people played up to him, exalted him, tried to insist in gobs and groups that he do more of what they wanted...and that is worth learning from too.

I had never thought about it before. I will keep it in mind in my next rereads of the Gospels. I know there some examples from the rest of the New Testament too... In Acts, Paul was once publicly acclaimed by a Soothsayer. In another town Paul & Barnabas were briefly mistaken for Greek deities! [Acts 14:11-22]

Tom (DH) notes that group popularity didn't seem to last long outside the early Church, even though the good qualities so briefly recognized by those mobs never diminished.... Some general goodwill probably remained, but not enough to turn the crowd back. Indeed, Paul was often well regarded by his Roman 'hosts,' who seemed to regard him as a very kind, rather eccentric Jewish** scholar with an unfortunate fixation on telling everyone about how this Jesus fellow was the long promised Incarnation, the Son of God a time when only Emperors - like Nero - were allowed to claim such things.

**Christianity was not yet seen as a different faith, and for very good reasons, but that's another discussion.

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