As more than one character in this week’s play involving Jesus’ further words about the “end times” says: here we go again! In a past blog entry about a related passage, I confessed to “cheating” a little in making the question of whether Jesus was talking about the End Times or his impeding entrance into Jerusalem cloudier than it really was if you took into account the second half of his monologue, which wasn’t included in that week’s lectionary reading. Well, this week’s play covers that second half…and the issue is still cloudier than I thought it would become!
Not only that, but another “surety” about this passage (at least in the minds of most Evangelicals – who are probably the only ones who really care about the issue) that to be “taken” means to be “raptured” (taken up to be with Jesus as his Second Coming, as described by later books of the New Testament) is not at all clear in these primal words spoken by Jesus himself. In fact, I side with Matthew in this play: in the context of Jesus’ whole monologue, “taken” sounds more negative than positive. You don’t want to be Taken!
So once again, I have the disciples wrangling over this and that, and toward the end, I was getting really tired of it, and wondering how tired you, my readers, must be getting. So I took a break from it and wrote a final scene in which the disciples who are with Jesus at the moment simply drink in his vague, mystery-laden words without debating their meanings or poking holes in their logic.
It was curiously refreshing!