08 May, 2010

Of Farmers and Urbanites

Luke 23: 26 records "One Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country..."

Many commentators talk about how Simon was a farmer who in town on business. How do they know that Simon was a farmer? Well, of course! It is because the text says that he came in from the country- what other reason would he have been out there?

As scholars, pastors, and teachers of the Word of God we need to be careful in our reading of the Scriptures. We must not want to read into the Scriptures our own particular views of the world, of life, and of the way things should be. I am an urban pastor which makes me question what in the world Simon was doing out in the country. That does not mean that he was a farmer though! Maybe he was an urbanite who just happened to be coming back into the city.

We need to be careful pastors, teachers, and scholars. We need to be careful that we are not reading our ideas into the text, but instead should be reading out of the text.

Here is how William Hendriksen handles these commentators that want to put Simon in overalls and a straw hat, "The further speculation that the man must have been a farmer, because on this particular Friday morning he came from the country, is... without any basis. Even today many people besides farmers have business or social connections in the country. Some even live there!" NTC, Luke, 1023.

Some live in the country- that does not make them all farmers. Friends, watch your reading of the text. Be careful as you work with God's Word. They're not all farmers.

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