It’s Tuesday of Holy Week. In the Gospel of Mark, it’s a busy day. Jesus is spending a lot of time teaching, or more accurately, ‘schooling’* the powers-that-be.
The Pharisees come and it’s chatter about Caesar and taxes and such. Flummoxed, the Sadducees are sent in next and it’s all about heaven and which husband does the woman married to seven of them on earth get in heaven (I’m left wondering if the gal gets any say in this and chortling over Jesus’ smack down).
Then it’s a scribe who starts out as a trickster too (you know it’s desperate when they send in the lawyer), but turns into a serious conversationalist as he and Jesus ponder together the greatest, the most important, thing to know, to do, when it comes to God. Jesus’ answer is elegant simplicity itself: love God, love neighbor. The scribe is moved to throw out all the observances and paperwork that had, no doubt, been his life’s work up to that point. And Jesus rewards him with a blessing – the blessing of knowing he’s not far from God.
The ability of Jesus to see into hearts and minds, to understand the subtext and get at the real issue is a thing of beauty and humor, grace and challenge.
Some days we need the blessing.
Some days we need the conversation.
And some days, we just need schooling.
*school (verb - slang): to strongly defeat during a competitive activity. Etymology: someone that was "schooled" has been "taken to school." That is, taught how to do something. And then they are badly beaten in the process. Tto tell one about. to try and teach or educate one about. Online Slang Dictionary