Wednesday, February 21, 2007

CSI: Jerusalem

I just read John 18. What a time to live in back in the first century! Imagine, your own country, overrun by these Italian people, who wear skirts as part of their uniforms and brooms on their heads. Yeah that was my attempt at being funny. Ok now for the serious part.

Warning: You really need to think hard from this point on and have a strong imagination as you continue to read.

Look at verse 3. Judas came with a gang. With weapons. At night. I can't imagine what they all were thinking: Judas, the high priests, the servants in the group, the soldiers.... I can't imagine what they were expecting to happen. All of a sudden in the middle of the night, you find yourself with a bunch of other guys, torches, swords, spears... its the beginning of a small mob really.

Now look at verse 10. Peter had a sword of his own. Did the other disciples have weapons on them as well? Was it common in those times to have a sword strapped to one's side, under a tunic? Did everyone carry some sort of weapon when they travelled? Look at the Parable of the Good Samaritan. In verse 30, the guy was wounded. I'm pretty sure they weren't little scratches on his knee because he was left to die on a dusty road. Attacked and ambushed by thieves, probably stabbed.

I wonder what the homicide rate was like in Jerusalem. People are angry at the Romans. Romans are angry at the way people don't respect them (despite they are the ones who have the power and are occupying Israel). And people are angry at other people for all sorts of reasons. I'm pretty sure there were lots of foreigners as well, milling around Jerusalem all the time, since it was a major city and they were pretty much smack dab in the middle of trading routes. With so many diverse, angry, people in one small patch of land, I wonder how easy it was for people to just go missing. For someone to all of sudden find a dead body in the middle of nowhere outside the city decaying (see title of post).

People were insensitve then, as they were now. In the parable, people passed by the half-dead guy without caring. In John 18, the mob was ready to fight against another small group of men in a silent garden. In a dark, damp, smelly back alley in the Downtown Eastside, some person is hurting, all alone. In a small home, a group of fanatics are planning to blow a bomb up in a market, half way around the world, or even in North America.

And yet, despite people walking around with swords, despite zealous groups planning to overthrow the government, and despite fighting and killing all around, Jesus says:

"The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel [Canada], the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31

Despite the lady who cut me off and then flipped me the bird on the highway, despite the company who charges me extra on my bill and then blames me for whatever, despite the small group of teenagers who beat up my friend, Jesus says, "Love them, as I have loved you."

NOTE: the above comments about certain verses/passages from the Bible are my own speculations, thoughts, and imaginations. Please don't take them as truth entirely, but do research yourself on what the Bible is actually saying.

Saw gas around 102-104¢/litre


eD said...

The sword might have been used to cut bread or fish. ^^ or ears. Now that's pre-Mike Tyson or Mike Tyson acting like Peter. >.<

Johnson said...

a good post to remind us of the 2 most important commandments, both of which are interdependent

one of my "despites" would be:

despite my neighbours who continue to play loud music and make noises, rendering my room a place no longer for quiet study, even after many times of telling them to tone it down

Paulman said...

Lol, funny comments, guys :P