Reflecting on Mark 6:1-6
How many times were you told as a child, and have since told your own children, that true wisdom comes from learning when to keep your mouth shut? That’s a central lesson of our lives, and most of us feel enormous gratitude for the many times we wanted to say something horrible, and didn’t. That’s true maturity, and society functions so much better when people exercise that discipline. Ahem.
But here’s the question: when is it holy and right to speak up? I admit that I congratulate myself every night, when I make my examen, that I showed such maturity in staying quiet in situations where I might have wanted to speak. Hey, I didn’t make any waves. And there go my baptism and confirmation vows, right out the window.
I don’t know how I missed it for years and years, but the actual image of Jesus that emerges now from the distortions of my youth is One who took issue with the religious and political authorities, and those who were profiting because of them. He put his life at risk―and yes, died terribly for it―every time he spoke, when it was so much smarter to stay silent.
Jesus the Prophet broke all the rules. He healed on the Sabbath. He ate with sinners. He touched the “unclean.” He even went into the Temple and discharged those who were cheating the poor. And when he came into Jerusalem the week before his death, he came on a colt, a beast of burden, an animal of peace. The Romans, of course, entering from the west at that same time, came in on their war horses.
Oh, Jesus. How did we miss you?
How has your image of who Jesus truly is changed through the years?