Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Day of YHWH

In Malachi 3:2, it is described “as the day of HIS coming.” When the mission of the seventy return, they report, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" This report has no synoptic parallel. YHWH’s coming to judge is depicted as a theophany in which heaven and earth are shaken. The Lucan Jesus alludes to this eschatological day when he responds, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” To say this is a mere vision or remark or simple prophetic declaration is to miss the significance of what has happened. The work of the disciples is no small affair.

Jesus then tells them to “rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Clearly Luke alludes to Malachi 3:16-17. Malachi makes a distinction, not between Israel and the nations but, between the righteous and the unrighteous. Malachi 3:16 tell us there is a “book of remembrance.” This book to which the Lucan Jesus alludes records the names of the righteous and no distinction is made between Jews and gentiles but between the righteous and the unrighteous.

Birthdays are also a time of reflection and the older I get, the more I think about my name being written in heaven.

I plan to continue these remarks in a series on judgment, but not the monetary kind I obtain for my clients. However I suspect the image of judicial proceeding is not difficult to reconcile with that of the biblical judgment in that juridical language frequently appears in the sacred texts.

Copyrighted 2005


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