Thursday, June 27, 2013

We're a Whole Lot Smarter Than Jesus

There are some great ironies in the Bible.  One is when Pilate says, "What is truth?" to Him who is Truth itself.

Another is when the smart-aleck Sadducees try to prove there is no resurrection to Him who is the Resurrection itself.

Some Sadducees – who deny that there is a resurrection – came to him and they put this question to him, ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, if a man’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first married a wife and then died leaving no children. The second married the widow, and he too died leaving no children; with the third it was the same, and none of the seven left any children. Last of all the woman herself died. Now at the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be, since she had been married to all seven?’ - Mark 18:23 
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though he die." - John 11:25

We are more like the Sadduccees than we would care to admit.  "What a fool!  Preaching resurrection from the dead!  Well, he's just a rube from Nazareth.  We can get one over on him.  Let's see if he can wiggle out of this."

Just this week in these comment boxes, a reader indignantly asserted that St. Paul was antisemitic - and he based that on Paul's epistle to the Romans, which contains Paul's greatest lament for his fellow Jews and their fate.

For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, - Rom. 9:3

You see, Paul didn't mean this, my reader claims, because Paul was speaking hypothetically, "I could wish I would be damned for the sake of the Jews" but "I don't really wish I would be damned for the sake of the Jews".  Clear as a bell, you see?  Bingo.  He's antisemitic.

And on Facebook, a friend who boasts of being a product of "Catholic education" insists that Jesus told the Pharisees to kill their own children, that Jesus was anything but pro-life.  This he asserts based on an utter blindness both to the context and to the plain literal meaning of Mat. 15:4-7.

Such malicious deliberate perversions of Scripture leave one speechless.

And it's not so much the obvious stupidity that accompanies such deliberately wrong interpretations of the Word of God, but the smug attitude that goes with it.

Pilate denying truth in the face of Truth Himself.

The Sadducees denying the resurrection in the face of the Resurrection Himself.

And the rest of us, tricking our way through life in the face of Life Himself.

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