some random notes:
Midrash Rabbah on Song of Songs 1:41 (another later rabbinic work) states that when a pregnant woman worships in a heathen temple the fetus also commits idolatry. This is only one example of how, in rabbinic Jewish thought, an unborn child was capable of sinning. (http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=1318)

Genesis Rabbah 63:6 says that Esau committed idolatry. The Rabbis couldn’t come to grips with the fact that YHWH would allow a ‘bad’ thing to happen to someone, or that God would curse someone from birth, so they deduced that Esau must have committed idolatry in the womb.

There were a lot of rabbinical debates in Jesus’ day, and the disciples and the Pharisees often asked Jesus about them to find out whose side he was on. The issues of taxes, resurrection, and divorce, were other controversies in Jesus’ day. As I think about those questions, I don’t remember Jesus EVER giving a straight answer, but always cut through the politics to the heart issue. I wish I could do that as people at work talk about stem cells and evolution.

Looking at my notes from the 10th, wondering about how throughout all history people have really had trouble with the idea of ‘bad’ things coming from God. All of the advice given to Job is based on him deserving it b/c he must have sinned, but we get a look at the very beginning that he is about as righteous as a man can get!
Then I think about Jesus being THE most righteous and undeserving person on earth getting crucified, and that God wanted that!  Isaiah 53.10

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

The wisdom of the wise is confounded and the ways of the Lord are as high above our ways as the stars are above the land. Even the simplest switch in thinking needed an absolute miracle to be comprehended. The switch from seeing hardship as punishment for sin to seeing hardship as a method for God to reveal His Glory is so hard to believe that a man had to be born blind, then healed illegally (kneading on the Sabbath) to help us believe in it!

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