From the Moveable Type chuck-pearson.org blog, February 21, 2008.
Brant Hansen has had a couple of really thought-provoking posts lately on a guy who simultaneously claims to be Muslim and Christ-following. Yes, please, by all means read them. But that’s not what’s important.
What’s important is what Brant immediately buried in the comments in response to the first couple of comments back on the latter post (the 21st century version of “burying the lead”). It is something I have heard several times before, but it broke my brain all over again.
This is what’s important:
So, this guy walks up to Jesus (stop me if you know this one) and says, “What do I have to do to live forever?”
Jesus says, basically, “Well, what do you think? What’s the law say?”
And the guy answers definitively. And Jesus says, “THAT’S IT! You got it. Do that, and you will live.”
Ask this question to 100 American evangelicals, and *maybe* one will know the answer. I know this, because I’ve asked. (It’s not the “rich young ruler” story, BTW.)
Curious, isn’t it? You’d think everything would ride on that, kids would memorize it, and it would be put to music 15,000 times. But…no.
And this is what breaks my brain even more:
You’ve read that scripture. Pretty much all of you, if you’re reading this post, you know that story full well. But Brant’s right. When we’re approached needing to know what we need to do to get to this place that we’ve taken to calling “heaven”, we make our answers a WHALE of a lot more complicated than Jesus did.
It’s so tempting to call this a game, and see if you can answer the question right, and prove yourself to be the one of the one hundred. But, then again, if you haven’t read it lately, you really ought to go read the parable of the Good Samaritan – and the story surrounding it. Because “going and doing likewise” is much more important. For all of us.