Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Rich Young Ruler, as translated by Jen (a person of undefined age).

Sometimes a story I've read hits me anew.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  This is why we read the Bible over and over again, because it speaks to us differently every time.  Or not.  I've been lax in my reading because I've been bored reading the same thing over and over again.  It bothers me a lot that the God of the universe might bore me.  But I have to say that time away has given me a fresh perspective (especially on what a sinner I am!).

So here's something I read today that I understood differently:

From Luke 18 -

The Rich Official

18 One day one of the local officials asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to deserve eternal life?”

Let's just see what this guy thinks of politicians.  

19-20 Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good—only God. You know the commandments, don’t you? No illicit sex, no killing, no stealing, no lying, honor your father and mother.”

Don't patronize me.  I hate that.

21 He said, “I’ve kept them all for as long as I can remember.”

Hey, I'm a good person.  

22 When Jesus heard that, he said, “Then there’s only one thing left to do: Sell everything you own and give it away to the poor. You will have riches in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

OK then.  Perhaps you should try doing what "good people" do.  

23 This was the last thing the official expected to hear. He was very rich and became terribly sad. He was holding on tight to a lot of things and not about to let them go.

Uh . . . NOT!  Who IS this guy? (rationalizes with reasons 1-bazillion).  God does not require me to step outside my comfort zone.  I'm going back to my own church where we believe the BIBLE.  I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN.  This guy is an extremist.  See, this is why people aren't Christians.  Guys like this ruin it for everyone.

24-25 Seeing his reaction, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who have it all to enter God’s kingdom? I’d say it’s easier to thread a camel through a needle’s eye than get a rich person into God’s kingdom.”

See this is what I am talking about.  Stuff is hard to give up for the stuff you can't see and possibly may get in the future but there are no guarantees.  Faith, people.  I'm talking about faith.

26 “Then who has any chance at all?” the others asked.
27 “No chance at all,” Jesus said, “if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”

So quit trying.  You can't do it on your own anyway.  That's why I'm here.

28 Peter tried to regain some initiative: “We left everything we owned and followed you, didn’t we?”

Well I DID IT.  What is the big deal?  Seriously, people?  Why is this hard?

29-30 “Yes,” said Jesus, “and you won’t regret it. No one who has sacrificed home, spouse, brothers and sisters, parents, children—whatever—will lose out. It will all come back multiplied many times over in your lifetime. And then the bonus of eternal life!”

Seriously folks, Peter has a point.  I promise that you actually WILL get all that stuff you can't see.  I guarantee it.  I bet my life on it.  

I love it when God translates the scriptures in my head.  Thank you Jesus.

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