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Romans 15.17-29 – Illegals, share your $ with Natives

This thing Jesus is doing for Papa, this work I’m participating in–it is impressive! (18) It’s the only thing I want to talk about–what Jesus has done through me to win the allegiance of the Illegals:

  • By words and actions,
  • (19) By signs and wonders,
  • By the boundless strength of Sarayu,
  • successfully seeding the News about Jesus all the way from Judea to Greece and everywhere in between.

    (20) But I’m nowhere near done! I want to take the News to places where nobody’s heard of it yet, where no beginning has yet been made!

    (21) “The ones who haven’t been told–they will see him!
    The ones who never heard of him–they will understand!”

    (22) The only reason I haven’t come out to see you guys yet is that you already have heard. (23) But now I’ve run out of people who haven’t heard; this whole region is saturated with the News! So now I finally have a chance to come see you guys in person (24) when I take my trip to the fresh ears in Spain. I want to see you and have some good face-time with you. (25) Right now I’m on my way to Jerusalem to deliver a gift to our Jesus-friends there. (26) Our friends all over Greece were eager to share their financial resources with the poor in Jerusalem. (27) They were thrilled they got to do this! The Natives’ inheritance has been shared with Illegals, so it is fitting for Illegals to share their wealth with Natives.

    (28) Anyway, once I’ve delivered this gift, I will start my journey toward Spain. First stop: YOUR house! (29) I can’t wait! When I come, we will share together in the rich mutual self-giving of Papa, Jesus & Sarayu.


    2 Responses

    1. The language on this passage is a little confusing. In America, both terms – natives and illegals – have a lot of political and emotional baggage. Neither word, in my opinion, clearly communicates the position or relationship between the Jews and the Gentiles as understood in the original translation. The Gentiles were not “illegally” entering into the covenant with God – the covenant was all new.

    2. I hear what you’re saying; I know both are loaded terms. But the problem I have with just using “Jew” and “Gentile” is that they are NOT loaded terms for us, and they WERE for the original audience. What I’m *attempting* is to find similarly-loaded terms for modern audiences. I’m playing with and modifying these terms over time, so I’m certainly open to suggestions.

      I agree with you that the covenant was new, but the “Chosen People of God” was a very old thing. It was a royal priesthood of heirs to the promises made to Abraham. This community/family/nation had certain legal protocols for entry (circumcision, for example), and Gentiles were entering without them. Gentiles were “people without the Law,” and they were entering into the kingdom by means prohibited in the Law. For these reasons and others, I still think “Illegals” works.

      Chialphagirl, you have wonderfully thoughtful (and helpful) feedback! Thank you!!

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