I’ve been struck, reading the last couple chapters, at how similar many members of the LDS church are to the Israelites. We seem to fall into the same traps. What brought this to mind this chapter was the story of the centurion- and this statement:
” “I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” This remark may have caused some of the listeners to wonder; the Jews were unaccustomed to hear the faith of a Gentile so extolled, for, according to the traditionalism of the day, a Gentile, even though an earnest proselyte to Judaism, was accounted essentially inferior to even the least worthy of the chosen people.”
I think there is a tendency to think that because we are members of the “only true and living church” that members of other faiths are below us on the salvation totem pole. I’ve seen people completely slack off, sure that their salvation is assured because they’ve been to the temple. Also, from a previous chapter, we do the same as the Israelites when it comes to creating new laws to make ourselves “more righteous” than other people, placing restrictions on ourselves and others that were never intended or commanded. I think some of us deep down wish for the law over the gospel- it’s more apparent where you stand (to yourselves and others), and so we mimic the law, taking prophets’ words out of context or just making up our own commandments. Anyway, it’s just interesting to compare.
This is beautiful: “The gospel He offered them was the embodiment of liberty, but not of license; it entailed obedience and submission; but even if such could be likened to a yoke, what was its burden in comparison with the incubus under which they groaned?”
I love love love the story of the woman who anoints Christ’s feet, I love that she has such belief and faith that she can’t stop herself from going to Him, even though it wasn’t socially acceptable. I love that every outward show of her belief was socially taboo, and she just didn’t care. It was too important that she reverence Him and seek forgiveness.
I also love this: “The figure of the bruised reed and the smoking flax is strikingly expressive of the tender care with which Christ treated even the weakest manifestation of faith and genuine desire to learn the truth, whether exhibited by Jew or Gentile.” Do we show that tender care to those struggling to learn?
I think it’s awesome and slightly hilarious that Talmage calls the analogy of the devil who has been cast out going back into the clean house and calling worse devils to come inhabit it, “this weird example”. Is it just me? I think it’s funny. I absolutely know that the condition it refers to is true, when those who have known truth turn away from it and descend farther than they ever started out.
In note 2 it talks about what was really meant by the phrase “Jesus marveled” at the centurion’s faith- in addition to what it says, I think He just appreciated it.
And lastly- most epic notes section ever.