The Narrow Path

In the modern Internet of Consumers, everyone is treated as a profit center. Content, images, and themes are all engineered to attract the widest audience possible. If everyone likes your message, it must be good, right? This profit centered model has corrupted our media institutions and undermines our trust in each other. In 2018, everyone is in sales—even our universities—and it’s a catastrophe.

While the Bible was indeed written in such a way that the widest possible audience could understand it’s content, it was not written to be accepted by a broad audience. It was written to say what it has to say with no regard for its appeal. That is what it means to teach and the biblical teaching in Matthew is itself the narrow path of which Jesus speaks.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 7:13-14.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10992534/tbal%20episode%20261.mp3

Episode 261 Matthew 7:13-14; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Just Nasty” Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

The Title of Scripture

In the fourth part of his introduction to the Book of Genesis, Fr. Paul discusses the importance of the Hebrew words bereshit bara. (Episode 49)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10986857/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2049.mp3

Ask, Seek, and Knock

Too often, the Lord’s promise in Matthew 7:7, that those who ask will receive, and those who seek will find, is reframed by a consumer mindset, as though prayer is the adult version of writing a letter to Santa Claus. But if we hear this verse in the context of Matthew, we’re stuck with a different reality: God’s will is immutable and dominant, he already knows what we need, and we are not allowed to ask for stuff when we pray. So why and what are we suddenly asking for and seeking in verse 7?

In a gospel that began with an overview of the Old Testament and a crash course in biblical Hebrew, Matthew is challenging us: whatever we need is already available in Scripture—so ask the Torah and seek its pages. Everything you need will be provided.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 7:7-12.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10974858/tbal%20episode%20260.mp3

Episode 260 Matthew 7:7-12; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Club Seamus” Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

Toledot

In the third part of his introduction to the Book of Genesis, Fr. Paul revisits his discussion of the Hebrew word toledot. (Episode 48)

Listen: tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10965655/tbal-t-tue episode 48.mp3

Dogs, Swine, and Pearls

Too often, teachers use Matthew 7:6 to cast aspersion on the unchurched, difficult students, or people who are not interested in what they have to say. In doing so, they twist the meaning of the Gospel to serve themselves at the expense of others. When the Lord warns his followers, “Do not give what is holy to dogs,” it is the believer, not the gentile “dog,” who is under judgment.

Those entrusted with the Gospel are responsible to abstain from defiling it with their lips. If you sit on the seat of Moses and proclaim your words in judgment and not the words of Scripture, you can’t help but be self-serving. Such words defile you and those who hear you.

Therefore, Jesus warns, don’t be surprised when the people you abuse with your lies “turn and tear you to pieces.” In that moment, Ezekiel proclaims, ”you shall know that I am the Lord,” (Ezekiel 11:12) the only Judge, whose throne is in the heavens.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 7:4-6.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10952668/tbal%20episode%20259.mp3

Episode 259 Matthew 7:4-6; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Chillin Hard” Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

The Triliteral Root

In the second part of his introduction to the Book of Genesis, Fr. Paul continues his discussion of the language of Scripture with an overview of triliteral roots. (Episode 47)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10946657/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2047.mp3

Only One Opinion Counts

Too often, we co-opt the prohibition against judgment in Matthew as a mechanism of our self-imposed fragility. We don’t want to be challenged with our sins, so when confronted, we blather, “who are you to judge?”

Fortunately, Matthew 7 renders this question totally non-functional. “Who am I?” I am exactly what you are and what St. Paul proclaims me to be: nothing, absolutely nothing. It the Lord’s teaching that is the “something” by which we are judged. Since we are nothing, I have no right not to read his judgment aloud and you have no right to cover your ears.

Make no mistake, there shall be no “safe spaces” in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 7:1-3.

Listen:https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10937400/tbal%20episode%20258.mp3

Episode 258 Matthew 6:31-34; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Retrofuture Clean” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

The Language of Scripture

In the first part of his introduction to the Book of Genesis, Fr. Paul expounds on the language of Scripture. (Episode 46)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10933941/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2046.mp3

Sufficient for the Day

When we step back to consider the full scope of any effort, even when the work in front of us pertains to God and not to mammon, it’s easy to become paralyzed by stress and anxiety. In Matthew, Jesus solves this problem by narrowing the scope of our worries yet further: yes, we must limit our concerns to the Master’s instruction for us, but that is not enough. We must also become far more deliberate and practical in the execution of our duties because it’s not the Master’s commandment in abstraction that we serve, but the Master’s demands of us now, at this very moment, when both the need and the task are within reach.

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 6:31-34.

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10922377/tbal%20episode%20257.mp3

Episode 257 Matthew 6:31-34; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Laserpack” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/

Five Smooth Stones

Fr. Paul explains 1 Samuel 17:40. (Episode 45)

Listen: https://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/10915211/tbal-t-tue%20episode%2045.mp3

“Breakdown” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/