Lectionary Year A
June 30, 2002
Matthew 10:40-42

Step V: Hermeneutical Bridge


The most salient features might be found in the context. Here, in this passage of very few statements, we read some of Jesus' earliest callings of the disciples to go out into mission. He knows the environment into which He calls them to go. He also assures them they will find accommodations. Even more than that, the "center of gravity" here seems to be God's will for the mission and the followers' discovering that this God is preparing for their obedience to be facilitated by cooperation on the parts of those who reside where they go. Another nearly major theme is in the identification of the receivers with the Sender and God, too.


40 Whoever welcomes you warmly welcomes Me. Whoever welcomes Me receives God who sent Me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet, as one prophesying, receives a prophet's reward. Whoever welcomes a righteous person trying to be righteous, will receive the reward of Righteousness attempted and approached. 42 Whoever gives even a cup of water to anyone thirsting, as disciples do (both thirst and give), definitely, I tell you, will never loose their rewards.


People today are taught to avoid hitchhikers and not to go out of town without confirmed reservations. Jesus' contemporaries learned no such cautions. So, when our Lord sends out folk today to engage in mission work, they need some confidence they will be respected and supplied what they need. If and when they/we go anticipating they/we represent Jesus Christ, surely, our attitudes and styles will get appropriate responses. They/we won't know unless and until they/we try it. Faith requires us to experience these promised hopes before we believe/trust them to be true and accurate. In the movie "Instinct", the psychiatrist, Ethan Powel played by Anthony Hopkins, got "welcomed", he said, by the gorillas in Africa he lived with and studied for 2 years, as "a man among gorillas", he called it. Does that dialogue suggest that in our generated form, we have instincts that welcome others, as different as they might be, into our circle of family and friends?

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