Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Matthew 19:16-17

السلام عليكم

بسم الله

16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

This brings up a lot of questions and thoughts for me.

1. If Jesus=God and God=Good then why would Jesus object to being called Good?
2. If the only way to get eternal life to to accept that Jesus=God, then why does Jesus say that to get eternal life we should keep the commandments?
3. If Jesus=God and this is what is most important, then why does he go out of his way NOT say that?

There is so much in the Bible that I do agree with (almost 100% of which are basic tenants of Islam) but there are these really glaring things that just keep me completely baffled.

Why base a religion on a central idea that is supposed to be supported by a text that contradicts that idea?


Banana Anne said...

The Injeel (Gospel) was originally revealed from ALLAH to Jesus (as). And even though it's been tampered with so much, I believe there are still bits that retain its original essence. I think this is one of those bits, Subhanallah.

LK said...

In all the Gospels, even the ones not in the Bible, Jesus (as) never directly claims to be God. He, as you sited, somewhat rejects the idea. He indirectly accepts the title of Son of God ,which could be symbolic, but does not necessarily mean God. Its always baffled me too. And I agree with most of the Gospel myself.

NeverEver said...

Anne: SubhanAllah, yeah that is exactly how I feel as well.

LK: Yes you bring up a really good point. Jesus alaihi salam did indirectly accept the title Son of God, and at the same time assured us that God was his Father just as God is Our Father. On top of that, he goes out of his way to tell us all the ways in which the Father is greater than the son.

It is all so interesting to me :-)

My parents keep telling me "Just read the Bible and let it SPEAK to you. Quit thinking so much about it."

And I tell them "Mom... Dad... I read the Bible more than you do and THIS is what it is telling me."


Texan in UAE said...

Salam sis, I hope your well. I don't know if you've ever noticed. But, in old old old movies they never have said, isa (jesus). They have always said, God. subhana'Allah! There are to many bibles out there to read. Subhana'Allah! all tampered with. May Allah guide them and ameen

Thought provoking... Insha'a'Allah (God's willing) they will read this. Allah open their minds and hearts.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Really good and tough questions. I can't say that I have answers to them all myself.
1. I have heard a Christian response to the question about Jesus and "the good." The person who was explaining said that Jesus wasn't objecting, but was using this to test the questioner, basically saying "Do you realize who you are talking to?" He also willingly receives worship from his followers in Matt 28:9. and 14:33.
2. I see the central point of Jesus message being what he said in Matt 22. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as you love yourself." In the same passage you are referring to (Luke 18) the plain reading is that the young man will go to heaven for keeping the commandments, but that he will gain treasure in heaven if he gives his wealth to the poor.
3. Jesus used a lot of veiled and cryptic statements for some reason. Perhaps he did this so that he would be left alone long enough to complete his mission on earth. He said things like "Before Abraham was, I am," which seem to say that he has the characteristic of eternality. If you also look at John 10:28-36 Jesus almost gets stoned because the people thought that he was deifying himself, but he is able to convince them not to stone him by using cryptic language. This passage uses the same references to the father and son that LK mentioned in her comment. I agree it is fascinating, but also frustrating to put together at times.

Rubber said...

yeah i just did somthing good
and everyone thinks i am mental
but I AM HAPPEH~~~~!

Rubber said...


NeverEver said...

Heyyyy Stacy: Thanks for the response!

This is what I have read about the points you bring up, though I am definitely not a scholar and can't really verify it because I don't read Greek or Hebrew.

1. For him willingly receiving worship, I know I have read something about this before and I have it written down somewhere but I can't find it. InshaAllah when I do I will try to post it back up here. Anyway, the word used for "worship" in these verses has another meaning as well. I think it is something like "kissed his hand" which would be acceptable for a man to do toward someone seen as a benefactor, but altogether different than "worshiping" in the same way that you worship God.
2. This is my point as well. Do we go to heaven for believing that Jesus (alayhi salam) is God, or for keeping the commandments (that Paul told us weren't that important)? This is reallllly important, as many many many Christians don't keep the commandments and see them as unnecessary because they are already "saved."
3. The verse about "before Abraham was, I am" again could be a translation thing. I have read that the verb translated here as "I am" is the same verb used by the apostles in other instances and yet when they say the verb it is translated as "I lived" or "I existed" instead of "I am." To me this seems like selective translation. Again I have this written out somewhere but not with me now, inshaAllah will try to post when I find it.
Also as for Jesus being created before Abraham, there is another man in the Old and New Testament named Melchizedek who is said to have been in existance from the beginning of times and without end.


NeverEver said...

Also I just read that Melchizidek shows up in the dead sea scrolls as a "Christ" figure who will atone for sins and judge everyone.
I never knew that before :-)

See all the interesting things you can learn! :-D!!!

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

melchizedek is confusing too. He seems like a relatively minor character when he appears in the story of Abraham, but he is made to be a huge theological figure in the dead sea scrolls and the book of Hebrews in the N.T. The idea of vicarious atonement through a person is also expressed in Isaiah 53, although the Jewish interpretation has been much more allegorical.
1.I am going to look specifically at the terms used for the worship of Jesus in the NT and get back to you on it. I may actually do it as a post on my own blog linking back to you here.
2. I think this whole idea of Paul against the commandments of the Torah is coming to light in Christianity today. Salvation should not be seen as a free ticket. As the book of James says "faith without works is dead." The works need to exist as an evidence of a person's changed heart that wants to live in obedience to God's commands.
3. The Greek phrase I am, εγω ειμι, can also just mean I exist. It is seen as expressing eternality because there is not an indirect object connected to it. It is a present tense, so I don't think that "I lived" would be a good translation. The same verb is used in a general sense with an indirect object, such as when Jesus says "I am the bread of life" or "I am the way, the truth, and the life." There are way too many things to learn to fill just one lifetime!

NeverEver said...

Okay thanks Stacy!! You are so right... so much to learn!!!

I think the "free ticket" idea that I was taught as a kid and later as an adult was a big turn off for Christianity for me. It is an attitude that just really really hits me on the wrong level.

Like the attitude my brother has that no matter what he does, he cannnnnnooooot be righteous, and it isn't his fault because of original sin, so why try that hard when Jesus came to wash our sins?
This is his argument for why Jesus necessarily came and died as a sacrifice... because he cannot be righteous.

But to me... if I cannot be righteous, then I ask for God's forgiveness. I don't see the need for a middle man. God is forever merciful for those who turn to him, alhamdulillah.

Me and my brother have had some lively conversations about this topic for sure.

Susanne said...

I enjoyed this post and the comments. Interesting stuff. :)

Anonymous said...

Jesus is not god but the son of god, the image of god. Eternal life is badly translated here; should be aionian life.

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