instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An unsettling thought

What if Jesus's visit home, as recorded in Luke 4:16-30, is meant to illustrate gratia mere sufficiens, the "merely sufficient" grace that does not result in the recipient acting in accord with it, which some distinguish from gratia efficax, the grace that effects the good God intends by giving the grace?

To put it less Latinly, suppose the townsfolk of Nazareth should have believed what Jesus told them in the synagogue -- "should," not because it just so happened to be true, but because they were given the grace necessary to make an act of faith in Jesus. And suppose their subsequent attempt at deicide can be understood as the logical consequence of resisting that grace.

That would be bad news, wouldn't it, for those who resist grace.

It would mean, I think, that the consequence of resisting grace is to trying to kill the Son of God as the grace resisted is to the grace of believing that Jesus is the Son of God.

Worse, perhaps, it would mean that Jesus will pass through their midst and go away.