by Herb Montgomery | February 12, 201
This past weekend we released our final installment of our two-year long series on what is referred to as Sayings Gospel Q from a liberation perspective. This is a group of sayings attributed to Jesus found only in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. I’ll explain.
Q theory states that when the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians were blended in the early church, Matthew’s gospel and Luke’s gospel were written to unite these two communities through blending two Jesus stories, the hypothetical Jewish Q Sayings Collection and the Gentile Gospel of Mark. Matthew’s gospel combined Mark and Q for the Jewish Galilean territories, while Luke-Acts combined Mark and Q for the larger Gentile world. Although Q source theory hypothesizes that this collection of sayings must have been lost after the early Gentile Christians squeezed the Jewish Christians out, we can rediscover these sayings to the best of our ability by simply looking at the sayings of Jesus held in common by both Matthew and Luke, but not found in Mark. (See here.)
What makes our series on Q unique is that we took modern Q scholarship and combined it with a contemplation of what these specific sayings might offer other liberation movements not typically associated with Jesus. It is important to remember that the Jesus of Q was an itinerant Jewish teacher from the margins of his own culture, standing in solidarity with those his community had pushed to the underside of their society. These are sayings from the margins. It is also telling that these sayings have repeatedly inspired significant positive, grassroots change throughout history. From Francis of Assisi and the anarchistic Anabaptists to more recent people like Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Oscar Romero, and so many others, whenever these sayings have been experimented with in contemporary applications, the result has been positive social change in each of their respective societies.
Taking Jesus’ own oppressed, social location seriously, each week we read these “Jesus sayings” from the perspective of contemporary movements such as our modern class struggle and workers movements, civil rights and racial justice movements, women’s liberation movements including both womanism and feminism, LGBTQ liberation and equality social movements, indigenous people’s movements, poor people’s movements and more. We’ve spent the last two years asking if these sayings could offer us anything in our social context, too. It’s been an incredibly thought-provoking and challenging two-year series and I’m happy to be able announce we’ve finally reached its completion.
In our intersectional justice work, whether it be survival, resistance, liberation, reparation, or societal transformation, I believe these sayings attributed to Jesus as a first century, Jewish prophet of the poor from the margins of Galilee still have much to offer.
If you have been tracking with us through the last two years, you are my hero. I’ve received so many emails and letters from you throughout the last 24 months. One encouraging email recently read, “I’m so thankful for Renewed Heart Ministries and for the paradigm shift I’ve been given. I receive your daily quotations and your weekly eSights. I am amazed with the degree of liberation I have experienced through these materials. I have been downloading your podcasts and presentations and passing them onto my family. Thank you so much for opening my eyes, renewing my heart, and moving my feet to action as I learn to follow more deeply a Jesus who is a liberator of the oppressed.”
I’m humbled that each of you made space in your life each week for this series. We’ve come a long way together and it’s been a beautiful journey.
For those of you who might have missed a few installments or maybe you’d like to go back through the entire series from the beginning, you can access the starting point here:
e-Sight Article: The Sayings of Jesus
Podcast Episode 156: The Sayings of Jesus
Here’s to many future podcast episodes and more e-Sight articles, and to the continuation of our work, together, of building a safer, more just, and more compassionate world for us all.
Thanks for being on this journey with us.
Keep living in love.
With much gratitude,
Director | Speaker | Author
Renewed Heart Ministries
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