Thursday, 9 April 2015

Blurring the edges of identity, deliberate, non-literal, effective

‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked.‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. 

Acts 9:6 (NIV)

There is an understanding among believers that Jesus so identifies with his church that he himself is persecuted, feels his followers' pain, and so on. Our hands are also his hands in this world (see Matthew 25:40). However, these hands and identity association are, I firmly believe, non-literal (in the same way we can read stacks of biblical passages, including Jesus saying to the Father "into your hands I commit my spirit"). But at the same time they are real, powerful ways of changing the way we think and act, which is a correct goal. Jesus still has literal, resurrected hands, so my hands, as his follower, cannot be his hands in the same way that his hands are his hands (John 20:27). This technique is applied to make a strong and effective point and realise change.

This idea is also connected with Christ's usage of hyperbole to drive home ideas in mega-strong images and wording so that people will properly think about deeper changes, change the way they think, and finally, change the way they act. If I had time I would love to dive into some and then ask some questions of Christian interpretation. I may need to make the time, since interpretation is what my paper is all about!

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