Saturday, August 12, 2006

There are good days and bad days.

Bible study with just one other person is better than no Bible study, but it occasionally puts us into opposing camps when interpretation is at issue. There's no third or fourth opinion to steer the conversation toward more neutral ground. Silence envelops us as we ponder each other's views on a piece of scripture.

Today was John's version of Jesus throwing a hissy fit in the temple. One translation had him making a whip out of leather, another said it was rope... but all to the same conclusion: he trashed the place.

Aside from the fact that John implies this temple cleansing is at the beginning of Jesus' ministry and not the end, my feeling was that he was preoccupied with his future and its inevitable conclusion. Deeper concerns had him in an irritable mood and this was a way to blow off steam. I can definitely relate to that, and it made the humanity of Jesus that much more real for me. My partner focused on the fact that his indignation was righteous, and I can't argue that either. But he had been coming to this same temple since childhood, had seen the same flea market atmosphere in the outer courtyard for years. Suddenly it's a problem?

People like to think of Jesus as perfect, and that everything he did and said was perfect. I rather like that he had his bad days.


HeyJules said...

I've always thought of this part of the Bible as a little bit of both. I'm sure he's looking at it all a bit differently now that he realizes the importance of it all as a 30+ yr. old man instead of a 12 yr. old student. However, perfect or not, Jesus did seem to get a bit short tempered at times - even if for the best of reasons. Let the man have a bad day, I say - after all, there are much worse ones on the horizon...

Pat said...

Perfection is such a hard act to follow, in a manner of speaking. I can stay with his message a lot longer if I can see it in the context of a human being, granted a highly evolved human being, than I can when it is presented by perfection itself. (Whatever perfection might mean in the first place.) To think that Jesus might have to struggle over issues gives witness that our own struggles are valid.