Thursday, May 26, 2022

Left and Right against Jesus (Mark 14:1-11)

It’s two days before Passover. Head pastors and leading theologians in Jerusalem are busy with secret meetings on how to rid themselves of Jesus.

Jesus’ presence in Jerusalem annoys these leaders of the religious establishment. Of course, Jesus is a popular rival. Worse, if Jesus is right, then they are profoundly wrong. Worst of all, Jesus comes to free all people from the control of all religious establishments because he comes to free all people from all religion.

This is understandable if we understand religion as our very human attempt to earn righteousness. Earned righteousness brings two advantages appealing to our little hearts of darkness. One, earned righteousness allows us to feel superior to others of lesser righteousness. Two, it allows us to feel like God owes us health and wealth here and hereafter.

Tonight, Jesus dines with an acquaintance in a village near Jerusalem. A woman comes and pours a small jar of expensive perfume on his head.

Some of his closest friends rage and scold. In their opinion, this woman should have sold the perfume and used the money to help the poor instead of wasting it all on Jesus.

But is their concern really for poor persons? On the contrary, like the religious establishment, these disciples also worship Jupiter (false god of politics). The religious establishment betrays its loyalty to Jupiter by wanting to preserve its power by having Jesus murdered. They worship Jupiter as conservatives. The disgruntled friends feel that, by indulging this woman’s wastefulness in such a self-centered way, Jesus betrays his solidarity with the poor. They worship Jupiter as progressives.

The outcome for both conservative and progressive loyalty to Jupiter is the same: common cause to see Jesus dead. Judas goes to the head pastors and commits himself with them to Jupiter’s cause. They couldn’t be more delighted.

Copyright © 2022 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.