Matt. 10.26-27

Mark 4.22

Luke 8.17

Luke 12.2-3

GTh 6.4;33.1

26 So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered

22 For there is nothing except to be disclosed; nor is

17 For nothine is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor

2 Nothing is covered up that

6.4 There is nothing hidden which shall not be made manifest, and there is nothing covered that shall remain without being revealed.

33.1 What you shall hear in your ear proclaim in the other ear upon your housetops.

up that will not be

will not be

uncovered. and nothing secret that will not become

anything secret.

except to come to light.

anything secret that will not become known and come to light.

uncovered. and nothing secret that will not become


27 What I say to you in the dark. tell and what vou hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.


3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the and

what vou have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.

Here again there seems to be a sense of contested truth, the disciples' sense of having been privileged with revelatory insights by Jesus, which they had a duty to make known and which would be vindicated in the end. Quite what it was that Jesus had said remains obscure(!), but the point is that he is recalled in these sayings as implying that his message was illuminating,33 and that (presumably) his disciples had a responsibility to share it more widely before its truth is finally revealed to all. It is worth noting that the sayings have not been much developed or made the base for a more elaborate Christian claim to divinely given insights,34

33. The imagery of teaching, particularly Torah, as light giving guidance for life is firmly rooted in the Psalms and Wisdom literature of Israel (e.g., Pss. 43.3; 56.13; 119.105; Prov. 6.23; Eccl. 2.13; Sir. 32.16) (H. Conzelmann, 'phos', TDNT9.322).

34. Notably, the material gathered in Mark 4.21-22, 24-25 remained scattered through Q, as also in Thomas (see above, chapter 8 n. 295). But Matt. 5.15/Luke 11.33 has been integrated into a similar light' cluster in Matt. 5.14-16), and combined differently in Q into a light/ darkness cluster (Luke 11.34-35/Matt. 6.22-23).

which suggests that they remained somewhat obscure to the disciples but were retained because they were remembered as something said by Jesus.

Hearing Jesus, then, was not a straightforward business. The parable of the sower certainly suggested that there would inevitably be different hearings with different results. Those who heard and responded positively were, in the event, a relatively small group. How much of this was foreseen by Jesus? Were his realistic aims quite modest? Did he count his preaching mission a success? It is dubious whether we can give any clear answers to such questions. What we can do, once again, is to focus on how he was heard by those who responded to his preaching and became his disciples.

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