Small town

Thursday December 27th, Matthew 1: Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. All indications in Matthew are that Mary and Joseph were living in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a small town outside of Jerusalem. I grew up in a small town of 250 people. Don’t tell me that anyone can divorce quietly, most times if I drove to fast through town, my parents would get a call before I got home. The theme of divorce is Matthews way to relating the birth of Jesus back to the midrash stories of couples divorcing so as not to conceive male children after Pharaoh gave that decree that all male children were to be killed (the First Christmas by Borg & Crossan). Matthew is presenting Jesus as the new Moses who will lead his children, and that includes all of us, to a new kind of freedom. Not just from slave masters but from our own deceits, lies and destructive thoughts and behaviors. Jesus came to save us from the cruelest taskmaster of all, ourselves.


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