This week was one where I just couldn’t get my thinking going beyond the traditional exegesis for the RCL texts.
When I saw what I had been searching for all week I had to scratch my head. Did I really understand what I was seeing? The Mark 10:17-31 must be about riches, that’s what I had always been told that’s what most commentaries cantered on. Right. But it was not what I was seeing. I must be wrong. I’d best check this out again, and I did.
So today I will share with you, and you can return to the morality teaching from this text or like me wonder if there is something more.
In Mark, we are told that a wealthy man, who was rich both financially and morally (he kept the commandments), asked Jesus how to get into the Kingdom of God. Jesus didn’t judge him, we are told he loved him, and in love there is no judgement. He replied that he would have to sell everything, and we know that the man left feeling disappointed. We don’t know why? Some translations include the line because he had many possessions, as if that justified his emotions. This young man is learning, learning that there is still more to do. He has heard the words, and we do not find out if he eventually does what Jesus asks, but we do know that after asking the initial question he has not asked any others. His learning at this point in the story is over. He has an apparent answer.
Later Jesus teaches the disciples, by initially making a statement and then as is his usual method teaches with a metaphor. Catching on that there was more, Peter speaks up, identifying that they, the disciples have already done what he asked of the wealthy man. Peter is thinking deeper, going further than the wealthy man did. Jesus doesn’t stop there, he still has more for them to think on.
Like a tetraheden dice, there are many sides and many facets to explore in this piece. Like the disciples, we’re going deeper with Jesus’s teaching, we too are taken on a journey that if we choose to follow it is far deeper than a simple moral outcome to the story. When we teach our children to dig deeper, when we don’t give them pat answers but struggle with the story with them we are teaching in a way that connects them to the story, that teaches them to find themselves in the bigger story of God and we are teaching our children like Jesus taught the disciples.
After seeing the Gospel story through the lens of teaching, it wasn’t hard to see teaching in the First Reading the story of Job, as well as fielding questions, Job is searching, another learning approach, today we can search for answers on the internet, from books, by meditating, by drawing, but we are still searching like Job, for God, even when we, like Job, cannot, at that moment find Him. These are lifelong skills for all of God’s children, and this is what we as parents are trying to do with our children, teach them to always search for God.
I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.