Saturday, May 14, 2011

Did you know? (Matthew 11 and Sirach)

Did you know?
... that when Jesus says in Matthew 11 for his audience to "Come to me" and "take my yoke on you," he is echoing Sirach 24 and 31, a book that was widely used in the first few centuries of the church and remains in the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Old Testament?  In Sirach, it is wisdom talking, and for various reasons it seems likely that Matthew wants us to think of Jesus as God's wisdom come to earth in a fuller sense than the Law was God's wisdom.

In Sirach 24:19, wisdom tells Israel to "Come to me" and in 24:23, this wisdom turns out to be the Law of Moses.  In Sirach 51, the teacher speaks of how he found wisdom and then invites the uneducated to "draw near to me" (51:23), to "put your neck under wisdom's yoke" (51:26), by which the teacher labored little and found much rest (51:27).

So Jesus is God's wisdom and a teacher of wisdom, under whose yoke you will find peace, a fuller peace than you would find under the Law.

Did you know?


Josh Wiley said...

I am really enjoying the "Did you know" segments, learning what pieces of lit. were interacted with in the first century. Keep them coming!

Anonymous said...