The Rich Young Ruler Revisited

You might just want to go read his blog instead of mine, but Mike Todd of Waving or Drowning has a an excellent and funny paraphrase of the story of the Rich Young Ruler. He calls his “translation” The Massage: Because It’s All About Me. I hope Mike doesn’t mind my posting it here, but again I refer you to his blog well.

Mark 10:17-22, From The Massage-Because it’s All About Me
(A Paraphrase of the Bible by Mike Todd)

As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?”

Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.”

He said, “Teacher, I have-from my youth-kept them all!”

Jesus looked him hard in the eye-and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”

The man’s face clouded over, as this was the last thing he expected to hear. Suddenly, he had an idea.

“But Teacher, what if we try this: I’ll stay here with the way things are, I’ll keep all my stuff, and I’ll tell people it’s a blessing from you! It’s a win-win for both of us-I get to maintain my lifestyle, and you end up looking good! What do you think?”

Jesus pondered this and said, “Well, I hadn’t thought of that. Give me a second.” After a few moment’s reflection he turned to the man and smiled.

“Deal!” Jesus exclaimed.

And the man went away rejoicing and praising God, as he was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

With apologies to Eugene Peterson and thanks to Derek Webb.

“If it’s Us or Them, It’s Us for Them” and “My Enemies Are Men Like Me”

Sometimes we followers of Jesus forget his actual teachings, some of which can be difficult, if not impossible, to follow.  In particular I am thinking about these verses from the Sermon on the Mount:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (Mat 5:43-46, ESV)

These verses remind me of two songs.  One is a recent release by the group Gungor and the video is below. The other is an older song by Derek Webb, the lyrics of which follow the video.

My Enemies Are Men Like Me

Derek Webb

i have come to give you life
and to show you how to live it
i have come to make things right
to heal their ears and show you how to forgive them

’cause i would rather die
i would rather die
i would rather die
than to take your life
’cause how can i kill the ones i’m supposed to love
my enemies are men like me

so i will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
’cause my enemies are men like me
peace by way of war
is like purity by way of fornication
it’s like telling someone murder is wrong
and then showing them by way of execution

and i would rather die
i would rather die
i would rather die
than to take your life
’cause how can i kill the ones i’m supposed to love
my enemies are men like me

so i will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
’cause my enemies are men like me
when justice is bought and sold just like weapons of war
the ones who always pay are the poorest of the poor

so how can i kill the ones i’m supposed to love
my enemies are men like me
so i will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
’cause my enemies are men like me

Just something to think about, my friends.