Crooks and Whores are Going to Proceed You Into God's Kingdom

I think the most difficult passages of literature to understand, are those that you think you understand and then discover you don’t understand, and then have to start at the beginning to try to understand.

If you know Robert Frost’s poem- “Mending Wall” you know that the best line in that poem is that “good fences make good neighbours.” That is often quoted by isolationist types who want to shield themselves from everybody else, and so they build walls instead of bridges. And they think that Robert Frost is giving them some support. If you read the poem carefully however you discover that that is not the poets sense of it at all. He is simply quoting his next door neighbour who is bathed in clichés and he got that from his father & he passes it on to his children. But Frost himself does not accept it. In fact he begins the poem by saying, “There is something that does not love a wall.” And it’s his sentiment that all of nature tries to pull walls down, and only bigots & stupid people try to build them up.

You discover then as you come to that poem, that you have that cliché in your mind, that you have to read it 2 or 3 times if you want to understand what Frost was trying to say.
The most difficult thing to understand is something you think you understand, and then discover you don’t understand, and then you have to start at the beginning to try to understand.

I often find that is true with passages in the Bible:

The story of two sons

28"Tell me what you think of this story: A man had two sons. He went up to the first and said, "Son, go out for the day and work in the vineyard.'
29"The son answered, "I don't want to.' Later on he thought better of it and went.

30"The father gave the same command to the second son. He answered, "Sure, glad to.' But he never went.

31"Which of the two sons did what the father asked?"

They said, "The first."

Jesus said, "Yes, and I tell you that crooks and whores are going to precede you into God's kingdom. 32John came to you showing you the right road. You turned up your noses at him, but the crooks and whores believed him. Even when you saw their changed lives, you didn't care enough to change and believe him.

We are looking at a number of those paradoxical, confusing, 'hard', sections of the Bible at inhale and trying to make some sense of it...the door's open, the coffee's hot.

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