Monday, August 27, 2012
jesus and the money, part 4
Good old Yeshu ben Yusuf, that travelin maverick rabbi, such a radical he was.
Some young rich young guy asked Yeshu what he had to do to have eternal life. Yeshu said he should keep the commandments, which the veck said he'd done. Then Yeshu says, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." The young man was sad because he wasn't willing to.
At that point, Yeshu says, "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
I love watching the contortions wingnuts pretzel themselves into when anyone slow-pitches this passage at them. They'll do almost anything to avoid admitting the obvious meaning of this unambiguous and pithy exchange, which in addition highlights the radical collectivist philosophy of Yeshu ben Yusuf, a balls-to-the-wall leftist if there ever was one.
But don't take my word for gospel truth. It's all right there, in Matthew 19: 23-24.
So when I posted this at my fave discussion grew-up, sure enough one of the resident Repubs wants to know what it means! Why is it hard for a rich man to get into heaven? he wants to know. I thought about drawing him a picture, but stayed polite, and wrote...
I don't know if anyone ever concisely answered ___'s question, i.e., Why is it so hard for a rich man to get into heaven? So I'll give it a stab.
That maverick traveling rabbi, Yeshu ben Yusuf, taught that a person has to have a pretty thick skin to own two pair of shoes as long as there was somebody--anybody--in the world with no shoes. He quite obviously believed that it's wrong to be very rich in a society where there are lots and lots of people who have very little.
In fact, it looks to me like he believed it was what he called "a sin." I don't know how he said that in Aramaic, or how well it translates, but it's obvious that's how he thought.
Therefore, in his opinion, it's easier for a big-ass bolshy old camel to squeeze through the tiny eye of a little old needle than it would be for a billionaire to get into heaven.