Sunday, October 06, 2013

Tyndale: the peril of good intent

Sunday, October 6, 2013
    Feast of William Tyndale, Translator of the Scriptures, Martyr, 1536
    From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
    Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
    Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
    —Matthew 16:21-23 (NIV)
    Beware of thy good intent, good mind, good affection, or zeal, as they call it. Peter of a good mind, and of a good affection or zeal, chid Christ, Matt. 16, because that he said he must go to Jerusalem, and there be slain: but Christ called him Satan for his labour, a name that belongeth to the devil, and said, “That he perceived not godly things, but worldly.” Of a good intent, and of a fervent affection to Christ, the sons of Zebedee would have had fire to come down from heaven to consume the Samaritans, Luke 9; but Christ rebuked them, saying that they wist not of what spirit they were: that is, that they understood not how that they were altogether worldly and fleshly-minded... It is another thing then, to do of a good mind, and to do of knowledge. Labour for knowledge; that thou mayest know God’s will, and what he would have thee to do. Our mind, intent, and affection or zeal, are blind; and all that we do of them, is damned of God: and for that cause hath God made a testament between him and us, wherein is contained both what he would have us to do, and what he would have us to ask of him. See therefore that thou do nothing to please God withal, but that he commandeth; neither ask any thing of him, but that he hath promised thee.
    ... William Tyndale (1492?-1536), “Parable of the Wicked Mammon” [1527], in Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions, Cambridge: The University Press, 1848, p. 105 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33; Luke 9:52-56; Rom. 8:5-8; 12:2; 1 Cor. 2:14-16; Phil. 3:18-19; Col. 3:2-4
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I seek Your will.
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