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We Felt Like Grasshoppers: The Little Ones in Biblical Interpretation

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image of Biblical Interpretation

Applying an autobiographical interest and perspective, an attempt is made at a "short person's" reading of relevant biblical texts. The OT background to the notion of "little" ones in Matthew is examined. Various OT characters are called by others, or see themselves as, "little," including the Israelite scouts and Jacob, Saul, Solomon, David and Jeremiah. Invariably the sense is of perceived inadequacy for a divine task, God providing the necessary physical or inspirational aid. In the NT, the short man Zacchaeus, painfully aware of his own shortcomings, is rescued in a similar way, and set right by Jesus. The "little ones" of Matthew, mirroring a special interest of Matthew's, are "immature scribes": apparently insignificant student disciples sent out on Jesus' mission. Despite appearances, they have the necessary spiritual insight, fully qualify as "disciples" with a prophetic calling and—far from being despised or ridiculed as "little ones" often are—are to be received and affirmed without negative prejudice or neglect.

Affiliations: 1: Deo Publishing, Leiden


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