This is primarily a Bible reading and commentary blog entry, but I decided to give everyone a thrill and use a "National Enquirer" type of title for this blog posting! I mean, who wants to read another of my "Bible reading" or "Bible commentary" titles when they can read one about my being sad or uncomfortable or afflicted instead? ;-)
Being homeless I have been taken in by a Christian man where I earn my keep being his housekeeper. Tonight he rebuked me for some bad manners of mine from yesterday (cussing) and while he was on the subject mentioned that I'm not saved, don't know what God wants, and belong to a pagan cult (he means the Catholic Church).
Well, he said his piece and I said mine and I hope he feels better, since I sure do not.
However, I'm good at making lemonade out of lemons, and wine out of vinegar (much harder than the lemonade trick) so this lesson or, rather, this quiz for my readers popped into mind. (I'm logged on using my battery power on the laptop to save electricity, it sure costs a lot around here...)
I have a question for any Christian reading this blog. Why did Jesus say the following using the words he used and not the alternative I suggest below?
What he said:
"Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many mansions. Were it not so, I should have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again, and I will take you to myself; that where I am, there you also may be. And where I go you know, and the way you know." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where thou art going, and how can we know the way?" (Matthew 14:1-5)
Now, before I point out the specific question I have, I need to put this in context. This statement by Jesus is the beginning of a long passage where he is comforting the Apostles at the Last Supper. Jesus knows he is going to be betrayed and in fact the whole episode of Jesus announcing that someone will betray him and the betrayer thereupon leaving (Judas Iscariot) the Last Supper has just taken place (Matthew 13:21-30). For those of you who do not have the scripture in front of you, even though Jesus identified Judas as the betrayer and Judas did leave the table, the Apostles did not make the connection that Judas was the betrayer and leaving the table in order to do so: "But none of those understood why he said this to him. For some thought that because Judas held the purse, Jesus had said to him, "Buy the things we need for the feast"or that he should give something to the poor (Matthew 13:28-29).
OK, here is my question to you. And yes, I know the answer. Do you?
Why didn't Jesus say either or both of the following:
1. "I go to prepare a place for you, except for the betrayer Judas Iscariot."
2. "I go to prepare a place for you, except for the betrayer Judas Iscariot, and I also go to prepare a place for the disciples not present here at this Supper, and also for every person who believes in me in the future."
Since the Apostles understood that Jesus was speaking to them (that's why I included up above that Thomas' being the first to reply makes that clear), but they did not know that Judas had left not on routine business but to betray Jesus... why would Jesus during some of the last words he ever spoke to them make clear that Judas was not having a place prepared for him in heaven? Why would Jesus have allowed the Apostles to assume that Jesus, who never lied or was disingenuous, meant all Twelve, including Judas? And to be perfectly clear, why is Jesus only referring to preparing a place for the Twelve, but not the other seventy disciples, not at the Last Supper, or, better yet, state that he, as the Son of God, is preparing a place for all those who believe in him in the future? Why does Jesus use wording indicating only all of the Twelve?