Not all of those who say to me, “Master, master,” will come into the Rule of Heaven, only the one who does the will of my father, who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, “Master, master, in your name did we not prophesy, and in your name did we not expel demons, and in your name do many deeds of power? And then I will tell them frankly, “I never met you. Out of my sight, you rascals!”

Traditionally the Greek “kurios” has been translated “Lord”, and there is plenty justification for this in the habit of the first Christians calling Jesus by the word often used in the Greek translation of the Torah for God. But perhaps in the mouth of Jesus the teacher, it would have had denoted the relation of pupil to master.

Jesus strongly emphasised obedience to the father’s will, here and in his Prayer (see Magical Matthew 21) The kind of faith that is mainly a matter of speech was forcefully rejected by him. The millions of tons of Christian verbiage produced annually, including the shameless number of Christian blogs, is evidence of the Church’s disregard of Jesus’ wisdom.

Of course, the spurious believers who will complain to Jesus at the final judgement – Jesus’ phrase, ‘that day’ is a lighthearted reference to the popular expectation – see themselves as serious Christians, running congregations, preaching sermons and doing miracles. Sadly, because they have done these things for selfish purposes, they have never met up with Jesus. The Greek ‘epignosco‘ can mean know, recognise, make acquaintance of. My translation has Jesus using this last meaning laconically and devastatingly.

The Greek characterises these rejects as ‘workers of lawlessness’ which has led to translations such as ‘evildoers’ and the like. I think it is humorous but dismissive: ‘rascals.’ I respond to the gospel record of Jesus as to one balanced, forceful, witty and wise, able to counter opponents without wanting to destroy them.

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