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"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to
  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
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The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good
news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.
- Jesus, Luke 4:18

Context of Promised Support
Updated: 01/04/2020

By some measures, the following statements (demands, advice or promises?) are some of the more troubling that are reportedly made by Jesus. They seem to be extreme: extremely hard to believe, and extremely hard to follow. Christians that take these sayings literally don't do well, and have to slip into a state of denial until they come to the same disappointing end that the disciples and early followers did, when Jesus did not return as expected and where after prolonged celebration they had to pick up the pieces of their lives and go back to the mundane business of generating a living for themselves and their family.

Can these saying be understood in a good way?

Matthew 6:25-34  Luke 12:22-34  "Therefore I tell you{pl}, do not be concerned about your psyche <lifestyle or life content>, what you{pl} eat or what you{pl} drink, nor about your person, what you{pl} put on.  Is not the psyche <lifestyle or life content> more than food, and the person more than clothing?
     "Look at the birds of the sky: they neither sow nor do they reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them.  Rather by how much you{pl} differ from and excel them!  And which of you{pl} by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature?  If then you{pl} are not able to do such a little thing, why are you{pl} anxious about the other things?  Why are you{pl} anxious about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they labor not nor spin; yet I tell you{pl}, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like these.  But if God thus clothes the grass of the field, existing today, and being thrown tomorrow into the oven, how much more you{pl}, puny-faiths?
     "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What may we eat?' or 'What may we drink?' or 'What may clothe us?'  For all the world seeks these things.  For your heavenly Father knows that you{pl} need all these things.  But seek first God's kingship and his reasonableness, and all these things will be added to you{pl}.
     "Stop fearing, little flock, because your Father was pleased to share with you{pl} the Kingship.  Sell your possessions, and give alms; make purses for yourselves not growing old, a treasure in the heavens not failing, where a thief cannot approach and no moth destroy.  For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.  Then don't be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for one day is the trouble of it."

Commentary: Outside of any considerations for the untrustworthiness of selected passages in the Synoptic Gospels, there are further general issues, First of all, "purses for yourselves not growing old" is clearly symbolic. What if all the other tangible things mentioned are symbolic? Even if there is no need to go that far, can it all be sorted out for a reasonable mind?
     Notice that the "you" in the above passage is the plural, and this raises the issue of whether Jesus meant these statements to apply to individuals or to his ecclesia as a group. How you interpret that could make a big difference. Also, the verb voice, tense and mode may have been consistently misreported through a chain of retelling to sound much less positive and thus more burdensome. His statements may have been descriptive of his envisioned future for them, where he may have said, "You won't need to be concerned", or "Why would you be anxious about other things", or "Therefore you need not be anxious", and "You may stop fearing, little flock".
     What is also lacking is any context for this passage, and context can make all the difference in the intended and received message. During his public ministry while there was the potential to inaugurate the Kingship of the heavens for the human race, Jesus' followers were privileged to be under a temporary dispensation of safety. After that failed, they clearly were not, and Jesus urged his followers to buy a sword and carry it.
     Furthermore, what may remove any extreme interpretation is to hear that Jesus is NOT saying to think or deal irresponsibly with these areas of maintaining our lives, but that we should not be anxiously troubled or paranoid about these things.
     Finally, these words may be targeted or restricted to that special group of people that are seeking the truth with the highest priority and beginning to understand his message correctly, and beginning to understand the character of God and the nature of the Kingship of the Heavens. In which case they are not troubling at all but good news.

But the question remains: What can we reasonably expect from God in the way of tangible support while we are learning ALL the truth?

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