Tuesday, June 15

Narcissistic Jesus?

Lenten Reflection

For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother's sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,
I looked for sympathy, but there was none;
for consolers, not one could I find.
Rather they put gall in my food,
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify God with thanksgiving:
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."

-Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34u


One thing that has always bothered me is the story of Jesus where he says, “the poor are always with you, but you will not always have me.”  It seems to be an incredibly narcissistic moment for Jesus.  We can dress it up all we want with talk of anointing, etc., but the Jesus that I have come to know and love would not be so self-centered as to say, “Hey!  It’s all about me!”  I wonder what really happened?

Perhaps Mary dumped the perfume on Jesus’ feet.  Judas rebuked her.  And Jesus defended her choice.  What was he to do?  It was done and he loved her (she was a beloved disciple too).  Maybe this is more a story about the relationship of Judas and Jesus than anything else.  It could be another beautiful spot where Jesus comes between an authoritative man and an accused woman and takes the heat on her behalf.  That sounds like the Jesus I know. 

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