Sunday, September 18, 2005

Don't call me good

I have been re-reading the Gospel According to Mark lately, and Mark 10:18 has been in my mind over this past weekend:

10:17 Now as Jesus was starting out on his way, someone ran up to him, fell on his knees, and said, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 10:18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.(From The NET Bible)

When I read that, it sounds like Jesus does not consider himself to be God. There is a note in the NET bible that seems to say that Jesus was suggesting that if only God is good, and the man considers Jesus to be good, then there is only one logical conclusion. I googled on this verse, and most of the pages I found seemed to express the same sentiment as the NET bible. I consulted a number of commentaries and study bibles, and most of them indicate that in Mark, Jesus is not equated with God, which is in obvious contrast to John (not to mention most of those sites on the Internet).

I think that this verse is a good one for revealing how we read the bible with our own preconceived notions. This verse could legitimately be taken at least two ways, and either way would be in harmony with other verses, and in conflict with some others. In the end, I think that we get so caught up in debating what the verse is supposed to mean that we miss the true message. To put it into Jesus' time period, I think that we become Pharisees.

1 comment:

  1. I kinda doubt it. But it is possible to read the bible with the awareness that you have your own preconceived notions and be open to the possibility that there are other ways to look at what you are reading. I think that is a wonderful avenue for growth.