The Way

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Have you ever wondered how a preacher understands the meaning of a passage in scripture or a parable of Jesus? Well, they seek to put that passage into context. For the New Testament, this is a 1st-century Jewish worldview within a Greco-Roman setting. But, how do we learn more about that? Thankfully, we have a lot of literature from this time period that helps us out. Though these works may not be in the Bible, they do help us place Jesus in his place and time. In this week’s episode, Fr. Dustin speaks with his classmate, Fr. John Cox, who used a work called I Enoch to understand the parable of the Wedding Feast told in Matthew 22.

Show Notes

The Bottom Line: Using 2nd Temple literature to give us a broader understanding of the worldview of Jesus’s time, helps us draw deeper meaning from the New Testament text.

  • Enoch, an apocryphal work written just before the time of Jesus, tells us about how the fallen angels came and corrupted humanity just after creation. But, it also tells us how God deals with these fallen angels—specifically one named Azazel. God binds him and throws him out.
  • In Matthew 22, Jesus us the parable of a wedding feast. When the host of the feast finds that one of his guests doesn’t have a wedding suite, or garment, on, he binds him and throws him out. This reminds us of the binding of Azazel in the Book of Enoch. 
  • Bringing Matthew and Enoch together, Fr. John reflects on the meaning of the wedding suite, which he sees a robe of righteousness that represents God’s justice in the world, a justice that brings the oppressor to account.
  • The parable, in Matthew, also shows us how God is renewing God’s call for Israel to be a light to all the nations so that everyone can come to the wedding banquet.
  • Fr. John also reminds us that the wedding suit is a free gift given to us by God, but we have the responsibility to continue to walk the Way.
  • In summary, looking at Enoch and the parable in Matthew, we see God’s announcement of how he’s going to deal with evil and bring his kingdom to bear on the world. In short, how he’s going to put everything in its place and bring justice to the world. 

What is The Way?

Fr. Dustin Lyon explores scripture to rediscover Christianity so that we can walk in the Way of the Lord.