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Cutting Room Floor - October 26, 2022

Cutting Room Floor - October 26, 2022

by Jason Cook on October 26, 2022


It’s a quick but good one today! I want to share one bombshell detail that I couldn’t figure out how to squeeze into this past Sunday’s sermon. Let’s dive in!

Adding To The Scriptures?

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” Mark 10:18–20

When confronting the rich young ruler on his obedience to the 10 commandments, Jesus sneaks in something that isn’t actually in the 10 commandments — “do not defraud.” It is so quick and subtle that I wonder if the rich young ruler heard him say it. But why? Why would Jesus sneak this in? I think there are at least two reasons why.

Jesus Knows How He Made His Money
If we take Jesus’ admonition later in the pericope to give all his possessions to the poor, we get a clue that perhaps he has become wealthy off of the backs of the poor. More specifically, he may have become wealthy by defrauding the poor and taking advantage of them for material gain. Jesus may be trying to reveal this man’s error to him by using a category, the Law, that he understood.

The Ethical Praxis of the Law
Jesus’ assertion of ‘do no defraud’ may have been a keen observation about the man and his wealth. It could also have served as a quick summation of the ethical requirements of the law, specifically how we treat one another, especially the poor. The Torah frequently speaks of the foreigner, sojourner, poor, and widows as those whom God’s covenant family serve and do not dismiss. The ethical standard set out by God in the 10 commandments is love of God (Commandments 1-5) and love of neighbor (Commandments 6-10). When Jesus adds this, he may be hinting at the truth that this man has not loved his neighbor as himself (Leviticus 19:9).

It is subtle but strong!

That’s it for today. I’ll see you Sunday!

Pastor Jason

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