Wanderings for Feb 15, 2009
This Sunday our Scripture is taken from Mark 1:40-45. Today I want to spend some time talking about word usage.
Each Bible is different and each Bible translates their words differently, and these translations can affect how we view Jesus, approach Scripture and think about ourselves.
Take for example today’s readings. First we are told a man approaches Jesus. Some translations says he is a "leper." Other translations say he is "a man with leprosy." Do they mean the same thing? Is a person defined by their condition or is their condition just part of who they are?
In verse 41 we are told Jesus is moved with compassion. Some translations use the word "pity." But if you look at the little notations in your Bible (if you Bible happens to have footnotes), you’ll see other translations use the word "anger."
Again, is there a difference in being moved with compassion, being moved with pity or being moved with anger? Do you ever imagine Jesus angry? And if Jesus was actually angry, what do you think Jesus would have been angry about? That the man was bothering him? That the man was sick? That society treated people with leprosy in such a way?
Then look at verse 43. Jesus sternly warns the man not to say anything. Jesus as stern? How does that sound. Can one have compassion or pity and still be stern? And why tell the man to not tell anyone?
As you can see, although this scripture is only 5 sentences long, it opens itself up to numerous possibilities. And in those possibilities we have the chance to step up, step in, and wrestle a bit with who Jesus really is and how that matches how we have been thinking about him.
I pray you all have a blessed night and an enjoyable Valentine’s Day.
Peace, Pastor G