Tobit- Narcissistic Religion

Tobit 11:1-18

Tobias returns home with his new wife, Sarah, and his guide, Raphael. Tobit’s sight is finally restored, and the family revels in their many victories.

In this chapter, we see the same theological problems we have seen throughout Tobit. Tobit’s sight is not restored directly by God, but by either materialistic or mystic medicine, probably mystic. In Chapter 3, verse 17, we saw God’s promise to answer Tobit’s and Sarah’s prayer. At the conclusion of Chapter 11, their prayers have been answered. Like the Greek epics, Tobias, the hero, had to go on a journey through which he became mature and was awarded the mystic tools by which he could heal both Sarah and his father, Tobit. So, we have seen elements of Greek comedy and of Greek epic at this juncture in the story. We have seen the book of Tobit for what it is—fiction meant for humor and moralistic inspiration. When Tobit’s eyes are opened he sees God’s light (3:17), and God’s light in this epic is Tobias (11:13-14).

So, it is revealed that God is not at the center of this story. Tobias is. Tobias is the hero. Tobias is the deliverer. Tobias is the overcomer. Tobias is the victor on his own behalf and that of others. As a result of Tobias’s journey, Sarah is free, Tobit can see, and the family is rich again.

In the Biblical narrative, no human person is treated like this story treats Tobias. Scripture is careful to point out each major character’s sin and unrighteousness. God alone is presented as the deliverer. That is one way we can tell the difference between human-centered and God-centered narrative. The reality of our lives is this—we are not the heroes, God is. Scripture is careful to make that truth evident. As we think about God, let us not be guilty of making ourselves the heroes in His story. He is the hero. He receives all glory, unlike what is presented in Tobit.

Andrew Paul Cannon

Andrew has been in vocational ministry since 2011 after volunteering from his teens. He has served in the lead pastorate since he was 25. He holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ministry with an emphasis on Youth Ministry and a Master’s of Divinity in Christian Ministry with an emphasis on Apologetics. Andrew is currently in pursuit of his Doctorate of Philosophy, where he will specialize in Systematic Theology. Andrew has written several books, has served in both large and small churches, and started his own non-profit missions organization. Andrew’s wife, Kati, and family serve alongside him.

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