This was an interesting reading today with lots of implications for us. We discussed John the Baptist. His father was the high priest and obviously well connected in political and religious life. But he appeared to be a righteous man and was a prophet of God. His son went out in the wilderness somewhere by the Jordan river in rough camel hide garments and a leather thong belt and preaching against the wealthy people in that era. He railed against the Sadducee and the Pharisees, and obviously, his father was possibly a Sadducee or a Pharisee. However, one rumor is that Zechariah refused to tell Herod where his son was when Herod was killing all 2 year old boys and was therefore killed. In the Quran, Zechariah, John the Baptist, and Jesus are seen as ushering in a new era of prophets — all of whom came from the priestly descent of Amram, the father of the prophet Aaron. We then got into a discussion of the wealth disparity in this country and where we were in the hierarchy. Are most of us in the 1%. Many of us probably are. Certainly compared to the rest of the world. Norm asked how we deal with the people that have less than us and bring them out of poverty. He mentioned that a homeless man he had met at Free Lunch said that he had been shooed away from Zion because he had been sleeping in the window wells. So he couldn’t go back. Is this what we want and are we so uncomfortable with the poor that we just want them to go away? Are we the Sadducees of today? Would we be uncomfortable to have Jesus around because he would make us rock the boat and take us out of comfortable lives?
It is also interesting to note the emergence of the concept of the trinity in verses 16-17. This may be the first indication of that and it is certainly a New Testament concept. There are Old Testament references like Isaiah 61:1 that talks about the spirit of God to dwell upon you, but I think they are a little far fetched. The form of the word Elohim is a plural word which could imply a trinity. But I think it is more of a New Testament concept as it appears in Matthew 3:16-17.