Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nov 16, 2010.

Through Chapter 8 of the Gospel according to St. John, Jesus' exploits are related in even more easy, plainspoken, real talk prose than the book of Matthew - which is itself quite straightforward. Jesus shows up at a wedding. His mom hollers at him that the wine is done and he tells them fill up the jugs with water and all of a sudden it's wine and that's his first miracle. The Pharisees, come at him talking shit. He tells them that his Father sent him so they can't tell him shit and they go away mumbling. The prose is so easy and plain spoken that it even says on a few occasions; The Jews came to kill him. Like... there is, for much of the Gospel according to St. John, little by way of extraneous description to bog down the action or by which one can infer anything that isn't coming either directly from the mouth of Jesus or from the actions he takes. Why then when the Pharisees bring the adulteress to him, is there this show of writing in the sand as he talks to them. The book doesn't tell us what he's writing or drawing but he's at the beach, chillaxing, when they bring him the adulteress, tell him that according to Moses' law she should be stoned and so 'whatchu gonna do now Jesus?'

The book reminds us that Jesus continues writing in the sand, practically never looking up when he utters the now famous challenge, that he who is without sin should cast the first stone. He returns to his writing, engrossed in it, until it dawns on him that no-one is left. He lifts his head to speak to the woman it would appear almost in that comical facetious way, "where they at? nobody here? where all them niggas who was talkin shit? they aint here, is they? that's what i thought. aight den, keep it pushin. don't fuck around on your husband no more and you good..."

Here's the thing, the Pharisees continue to beseech Jesus with evidence of his breaking of traditional law and Jesus continues to break these laws. Jesus continues to pay no attention to any law that he feels unjust. He stays revolutionary, and on a strictly common sense tip. Indeed, the symbology seems to suggest that even his own edicts are dust. Even what he suggests might need someday to be re-thought. Why else the continued engraving in sand that will not hold. He builds his church on Peter, the rock. It is principle to which Jesus holds, but not law. Jesus knows law is temporal and will not sacrifice that principle for the expediency that is law (to bite from a speech of my high school principal's).

Of course you know where i'm going with this. We could stand to learn quite a bit from it. Though like the disciples we're often looking at the trappings, trying to see through the intricacies, pull apart nuts and bolts, when the obvious truths are large and right in front us. It is part of the lesson Peter must learn when he starts walking on the water, and then takes his eyes off Jesus to look down at his feet, and so, begins to sink. Thing is, as a Western Judeo-Christian society, we've long since took our eyes off Jesus and looked down at our feet, even as we swear to our mothers we're following Him. We hold fast to things of men, when even Jesus knows those things must come and go; even when Jesus acknowledges that his own ideas might be so much dust.

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Anonymous OfRoyalOrigin said...

We held our breaths and kept our eyes stayed on the place he vacated

Roger, I didn't really noticed Jesus' gangsta-fabulousness until you began to point it out. Also I have read or been told the story of the adulteress several hundred times and completely missed the fact that Jesus was writing in the sand and basically not honoring anything the Pharisees were saying to him. It is difficult to stand on your principles these says, it seems we are not willing to suffer the consequences of being out casted.

On your point that laws are temporal, and Jesus is steadfast. What do you think about the ideas of say, Sam Harris, who believes that religion in itself should be irradiated? In your blog you suggest that even Jesus knew that his own ideas could one day become obsolete. If this is true, where are we headed?

Gangsta line in John 8:15 when Jesus is like I know who I'm with. Who vouched for ya'll?


3:37 PM  

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