Tired of trying to fit into society's mold of religion? Following someone else's path to spiritual enlightenment? Efforts to do this have left most of us feeling like we are sitting alone in the dark. The Weekly Eureka invites you to flip on a light switch - ask the questions - question the answers and join others on the journey to the most important discovery of all - that of your true self.


In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."  This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' "  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance."  (Matthew 3: 1-8)

Many in the Christian tradition think of repentance as being synonymous with being sorry and asking forgiveness for something you've done wrong.  However, a deeper study of the word is telling.  The word "repent" in Greek is metaneo, which means simply "think, and then think again." 

Notice here several things concerning the Pharisees.  In the days of Jesus, the Pharisees were thought of as being separate from society and as living "sin-free" lives.  If this were actually true, why would Jesus call them a "brood of vipers" and tell them to repent?  If they did not commit sin, what did they have to repent of?  The true meaning of the word, however, points to the idea that "repentance" is not specifically dealing with turning from, renouncing or even apologizing for sin.  Rather, in this passage, Jesus, in no uncertain terms lets them know they do not know as much as they think they do and admonishes them to "produce fruit in keeping with repentance" - or in other words, "think, and then think again" if you want to experience the kingdom.

This passage of Scripture is commonly misunderstood because people simply don't know the true meaning of the word "repentance."  As we read and study the Bible, we must always do so with an openness to several considerations:

1 - WHO is speaking / writing (what is this writer's background and experience?)

2 - WHO is the RECIPIENT (who is being addressed and why?)

3 - WHEN was the particular book or letter written and what was happening at the time?

4 - WHAT was the CUSTOM of the day; the CULTURE of the people; and the CONTEXT of the Scripture?

When we speak of the need to "consider the source" we must remember that the Bible was written exclusively by Jewish, heterosexual men.  Why are these considerations important?  Because there will inevitably be biases and prejudices that inherently determine an individual's ability to speak or write objectively.

If you want to experience the kingdom, repent and consider the source.
Quote of the Week

"Spirit of Truth, carry us where You will, bring to us what You will, take from us what You will - we are surrendered."
- D.E. Paulk

Until next week, remember... Truth is a Journey - Not a Destination!
D.E. Paulk
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