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Featured Did Jesus basically say 'live in the now, and do not plan for later'?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Inkfingers, May 20, 2020 at 5:48 AM.

  1. Inkfingers

    Inkfingers Somebody's heretic Supporter

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    When Jesus said "give no thought for tomorrow" in Matthew 6:34, and gave as an example of what he meant by this a comparson with the Birds of the air who "sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns" (Matthew 6:26), was Jesus saying essentially do not plan for the future, not even planning tomorrow's dinner schedule (Matthew 6:31)?

    And if not, on what basis would you say that this was not his line?

    I would say that this is precisely what Jesus is saying. That, according to his teaching, people should not be farmers now, planting crops for next season, nor parents planning the family meals for tomorrow, but should live entirely from day to day on God's providence...

    Which raises some rather challenging questions to us all.
     
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  2. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    That's because all that exists is now. Once time is gone it cannot be brought back, the future hasn't happened yet.

    Jesus may have been encouraging a society bogged down with many worries to live in the moment and rely on God to provide.
     
  3. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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    I've not sure how 'thought' might be properly translated? Perhaps it was meant to be 'worry'?.

    Luke 12:25-16

    25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

    Matthew 12:33-34

    33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

    I think he meant to imply - attend to what is in front of you at the moment; this doesn't mean don't plant, what it means is, don't spend all your years of planting worrying that there's a drought coming, or locusts or bad crop or whatever. Yes, sometimes those things happen and you get through them when they do, but on the whole, not every year is like that. In general - the sun shines, the rain comes, the crops grow and are harvested. The root of worry is a lack of faith and without faith 'it is impossible to please God'. Faith is more than belief that something is there, it is a belief that the nature and character of that something or someone is good and fair and will help you through things.

    So if you have faith as a child has faith in his father, and you have seen that the Father has the power even to resurrect his Son... why worry about tomorrow? Do good as your Father would have you do. Be a Son as the Son showed you. 'be holy even as He is holy' And if evil slays you for doing good, what is that to you?

    The Father can resurrect his Sons.
     
  4. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    My view is that the wording should NOT be taken in such a severely literal way.

    It is another of several places in which the Lord is saying to trust him, not worrying all the time about how life will go. He is the savior of the world, the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who did for us what we cannot do for ourselves and, in so doing, opened the gates of heaven to us. Why should we fuss and worry all the time about the future with such a Savior?

    Look at the comparison to the birds of the air who do not strategize all the time, stew over every religious rule, and worry incessantly about tomorrow. Yet they live and function as they were meant to.
     
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  5. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I began following the Sermon on the Mount as a career in the 1970s after giving up a career that hindered my relationship with Christ. This left me and my wife homeless without any marketable skills.

    So it then involved walking through doors the Lord opened. And not losing heart for the doors he closed. I noticed he created jobs where there weren't any and provided good housing we could afford, well below the going rate. Some of the jobs were dead-end unskilled labor that I performed in thanksgiving the best I could do. Over my working years, I did everything from washing dishes to being a factory manager, to selling the best of the best in high priced merchandise. Eventually retiring early from my own pocket. Never missing a day's work even though we had a couple of job closings along the way. Never needing public assistance.

    There are some fascinating trials along the way that would tie most people in knots that had little effect on me. Knowing God is my provider and that he never let me down. It was an adventure not making plans but going with the flow having a willingness to try anything that came up.
     
  6. Inkfingers

    Inkfingers Somebody's heretic Supporter

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    Are you certain of that?

    The example is birds who forage rather than harvest. The command is to give no thought to what you will eat.

    This to me is saying "live spontaneously on the providence of God".
     
  7. Radagast

    Radagast comes and goes Supporter

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    There's an old saying "trust in God and keep your powder (gunpowder) dry."

    That is, pray, and do the sensible things right now to stop bad things from happening in the future.... and then stop worrying and leave it up to God.
     
  8. Radagast

    Radagast comes and goes Supporter

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    2 Thessalonians 3:10: For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

    Luke 14:28-30: For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
     
  9. Inkfingers

    Inkfingers Somebody's heretic Supporter

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    I'm fairly certain I could never live that way. :/
     
  10. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    God might place you in a position where it's your only choice.
     
  11. Inkfingers

    Inkfingers Somebody's heretic Supporter

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    I'm fairly certain that TSOTM is saying not to build a tower in the first place...

    The entire thing seems to be woven around the idea of being an itinerant preacher with no thought for the future (even savings are castigated as open to rust and the moth). The more I see of it the more that I think TSOTM is proposing a radical change in behaviour to every part of life (even the notion of thinking beyond the here and now in this world - focusing only on the present and o eternity).
     
  12. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    Jesus's concern in that passage seems to be inordinate anxiety and worry about basic necessities. Moreover, Jesus and the disciples carried a common money purse (John 12:6; 13:29). Carrying a money purse is a plan for meeting future need.

    Maybe the ideal is a mean between having no future plan and assuming one's elaborate future plans are somehow a safeguard against calamity? Or, live reasonably while trusting God?
     
  13. Inkfingers

    Inkfingers Somebody's heretic Supporter

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    The teaching about the birds not harvesting is not simply about excess anxiety, but saying that the birds are fed without having to farm so God will certainly feed you without you having to do so.
     
  14. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    So, did Jesus disregard his own teaching by carrying money?
     
  15. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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  16. Inkfingers

    Inkfingers Somebody's heretic Supporter

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    Who was it who carried the money again...
     
  17. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jesus also made statements supportive of planning ...

    Luke 14

    28 Which of you, wishing to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost to see if he has the resources to complete it? 29 Otherwise, if he lays the foundation and is unable to finish the work, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man could not finish what he started to build.’

    31 Or what king on his way to war with another king will not first sit down and consider whether he can engage with ten thousand men the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if he is unable, he will send a delegation while the other king is still far off, to ask for terms of peace.
     
  18. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    It was a common purse. In other words, they all depended on the money in that purse. When Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman at the well, the disciples went into town to buy food, presumably for everyone using money out of the common purse. The fact that Judas carried it as a kind of treasurer is not relevant.
     
  19. Inkfingers

    Inkfingers Somebody's heretic Supporter

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    Nothing in the Bible is irrelevant.

    Judas, the man who would betray for money, was perhaps allowed to carry a purse to symbolise who and what he was...
     
  20. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    The fact is that, on this thread, we are talking about advice that is advocating a sensible, balanced, approach to living.

    It is not advice that calls for any extreme response, whether it be that you should not make a move to go inside if it starts to rain on you, or, at the other extreme, that you ought to spend every waking moment worrying about the smallest things that might go wrong.
     
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