In the beginning of Mark’s Gospel it is mentioned that Jesus teaches with authority not like the legal experts. First I wonder what do they mean by legal experts then I think Jesus came down to teach people how to live their lives. The news of Jesus spread right away which makes you think that Jesus may have performed these miracles because I figure news in Galilee doesn’t usually travel that fast. Must have been word of mouth from shepherd to shepherd or something. When Jesus heals Simon’s mother in law Mark makes it sound like James and John are rushing miracle opportunities to Jesus as if they just found this talent God grew into. Does Jesus really call himself the ‘human one,’ does this imply there is another species form of God if that makes sense. Jesus says to the Legal experts why do you fill your mind with these questions, this passage in some ways makes it seem like Jesus read their minds, otherwise why would Jesus say fill your mind with these questions like he went into their mind and read it. Why would anyone in their right mind see Jesus heal someone and then imediately thing of a way to kill Jesus? Its almost unrealistic how dumb it is that someone that heals people deserves to die. These are my thoughts on the first part of Mark.
In Chapter 5 Borg gives us his argument that Jesus was a Jewish Mystic. This means that at some point in Jesus’ early life he experienced the presence of God in and around him. There are two ways of thinking of God as present. The first is supernatural theism, this means seeing God as separate from the Universe, basically God as its own entity. The other belief is God’s immanence, which means God is in all things. I tend to lean more towards God as immanent. I found both these theories interesting and I lean towards immanence because I believe that our natural environment is more than a place for us to use, but rather a home for life. God is basically our home.
Borg goes on to explain the type of experiences of God that Jesus is said to have had. Visions occur when someone sees into another reality brought upon by God. While, an audition is hearing a voice from another reality. I find myself growing jealous of these experiences offered up by God to mystics, and people of extreme patience and faith. I have never tried to sit perfectly still and empty my mind or meditate. Borg says these experiences are like a doorway into another reality, an experience that I would love to have. These experiences are examples of firsthand faith, or actually physically seeing or hearing ‘more.’ A couple of times in areas of complete silence I swear I have heard my name whispered. Theres almost nothing I want more than to have a firsthand religious encounter just to strengthen my faith and confidence. This always leads me to ask God the question of why not prove yourself to all of us, why not show up and enlighten us wouldn’t that be a good thing to do, to put it simply?
Reading on Borg mentions the experience of Jesus in the wilderness talking to the devil. What shocks me most in the reading is that one of the devil’s ‘evil’ questions is “if you are the Son of God then confirm it?” This question as not evil and it scares me to think I wonder the same thing. Why not just show us so we all know? If this question is considered evil, (or at least as a question the devil would ask), then curiosity must be considered evil because that is all this question is.
Chapter four of Borg is devoted to studying what Jesus would have studied. Jesus grew up in a village where education was tough to come by and the Torah was not just stories but also divine law. One odd question that popped into my head while reading and that is Why did God choose the time and place to unleash his son on the world? Why not send Jesus down right now in our generation, a world in which we could prove Jesus truly is the son of God because we would video tape those miracles. If God is all powerful and he wants our faith then why choose to send his son down to a world that cannot document as well the actions of the messiah, in that way God created the need for faith, some having it and some not. Why not end our doubts?
Borg explores the government type that Jesus would have had to suffer, and what the Jews of the times thought of the current government system. He mentions that Jesus would have either accepted Roman rule, or fought it. Borg claims Jesus’ upbringing shaped him, and to this claim I would agree but also believe that if Jesus was divine then he would do some divine things in his free time like talk to God or maybe just think to himself sense he is God. This chapter makes me want to know what Jesus did in his free time. Jesus grew up in a fairly violent world, which makes sense because he would later become a pacifist. This shows partially that Jesus may have been shaped to some degree by what he grew up witnessing.
Borg notes also that Jesus would have studied the Torah and possibly only the Torah. I would be interested to compare what Jesus says as teachings to the teachings found in the Torah and see how much Jesus broke off from the Torah when it came to what he preached. I was interested to learn a bit more about the sabbath. Borg explains that it was more of a day to relax then anything, some people just see it as all church and no play. Also the sabbath year was a concept I had never heard of: every seventh year removing all debt. Borg’s study of Jewish culture sheds light on how to picture Jesus’ as he was growing in his world.
Many thoughts circled my brain as I read Parker Palmer in full. Most often I agree with his ideas about life; more specifically the inner life. Countless times already I have asked myself the same questions Palmer claims to have fretted over for many years: What am I meant to do? Who am I meant to be? Palmer describes a life within that one must listen carefully to in order for it to awaken and give answers to these questions. Palmer also brought up the point that since birth we are taught to do what the majority say is right, often failing to listen to our own wants. On this matter I agree that through socialization we may get stuck in a phase of living the best we can in front of others to impress or show off. In my life this pattern has reared its ugly head often. Throughout high school I skipped out on many opportunities for fun because of a fear of being judged and a fear of failure to interact with others. Palmer describes both of these as fears that can cripple what should be an active life. Palmer mentions twice how he had an experience where he was paralyzed by fear. I believe fear like everything else must eventually come to an end and with this knowledge we can all push it away, because in the end fear stems from preemptively fearing fear itself.
Parker Palmer believes we have natural limits and potentials. He uses the metaphor of doors shutting being limits and open doors being our potentials. I disagree with his way of thinking however, he says if u see a door close then turn around and check out all the open doors. For me this is too quick of an acceptance of failure, I believe limits can be destroyed through focus and practice. Though I admit there are doors that will forever remain molded shut like my likelihood of becoming a professional basketball player, however, Parker writes as if he sees a shut door and so just walks away without even trying to break it open. He says you cannot fix your limits or at least do not waste time doing it, I say use your gifts and strong will to make your limits bow to you. Palmer claims to be stuck within his own ‘nature,’ submitting himself to what he can and cannot do.How can we know our true nature until we have tried everything? I believe just like nature itself is constantly changing so to are our individual natures constantly changing.
Finding a vocation is finding something you enjoy doing and helps others. Palmer in youth seemed indecisive and perhaps a little lonely; concentrating purely on vocation and perhaps not enough on a loving relationship (He never mentions his love life which I think is very important also to understanding who you are). In the end a vocation has to be service to others. Every job is service to others whether entertainment, construction or inspiring through art. “Once you want success as much as you want to breath then you will be successful.” (“How bad do you want it” (success story))
How much time do we have left? A question that can never be answered until our last breath. Even the best Doctor, with the perfect amount of skill, challenge and flow must still make an educated guess, usually in terms of months. The history books are riddled with dates of death for our world’s most important people, and an exact number waits out there for each of us. Making up for mystery most adults manage their lives as if in a race against time. The knowledge that we have no knowledge of our own mortality fuels our society into a speeding frenzy. Crossing and checking off our lists of things to do, meeting deadline after deadline, in our society you will need to run and if time were for sale it would be in high demand.
Many times a day I catch myself in a state of fast frenzy; bouncing my legs restlessly under my desk or bitting my nails impatiently. At this point I find something interesting to distract my mind with, whether a girl, idea or anything that doesn’t involve my list of things to do. Each day is brand new, with new angles and perspectives that pass in our point of view. Stop and examine the objects, people and nature around, and you will certainly want to see more of the world. Until we know our final deadline we must not sprint to the finish line, but perhaps a light jog.
im Eric Frame, i am man. Im from sacramento and went to all catholic schools from elementary through college. High School went to an all boys school. That was just fine. I like going out and having fun (aneedbriations). And so far i have done nothing truly useful for society, but Im optimistic.
I am me.
The Faith Hill
(just thinking without thinking)
Jesus is a man, that influenced more people in history than anyone else. He in some ways created a religion, but also relied on his many disciples. Jesus is worshipped as a god or the God or a man or nonexistent or a prophet.
He is one of those things