Friday, March 18, 2022. Good morning! What are the motives of my work and actions? What are the motives of my words, my feelings, my decisions? Am I claiming to be good, but one layer below the official mind set there are different motives active in my own heart and mind?
Humans are complex beings. Our mind and soul is a complex set of activities, processes, thoughts, motives and emotions. We use arguments, and they are one of the constitutive parts of our mind and soul. But there are many more such parts, such as emotions, images, stories, experiences. All these are active and they are driving our decisions and actions.
What is below? …
Jesus is touching the full motives of people. He does not stop with the things the eyes might be able to see. He does not stop with the official version. He looks deep into the heart and the mind of people. He knows the true motives of his disciples and of all his dialogue partners.
Let us read a story where Jesus fights the teachers of the law:
‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practise what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 ‘Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honour at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the market-places and to be called “Rabbi” by others. 8 ‘But you are not to be called “Rabbi”, for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth “father”, for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23, 2ff)
The teachers of the law search recognition. And we have to admit that the search for love and recognition is deeply rooted in all humans. Each and every one of us needs attention and recognition. The smallest baby needs attention, it needs it to grow, to survive! We all need it to keep going, to develop our skills both mentally and physically. We need it to live. Without recognition and proper attention the human soul deteriorates. We die without love, without someone who gives us his full attention!
Yet, the teachers of the law as Jesus describes them here do it the wrong way. They search love and attention by status, by their position. They look for the wrong way of distinction. Again, we have to admit that they basically do what humans do in many places, in many professions, on all layers of human activity. We search for uniqueness and distinction, one way or the other.
But Jesus tells his disciples that they are all brothers and sisters. We are all brothers and sisters in the Lord. In him, we are all equal, even if we serve differently, in different positions. There is no more or less important in the Lord, there is only “important to me”. He cares for each and every soul, for each and everyone. The bible is truly talking about heaven, about a place and lifestyle which makes us happy when we find Gods full attention in our life as well, and in the life of all the others. This is good news indeed! He gives you and me all the recognition we need. And his recognition is sustainable and lasting, it is good, it is eternal! (Roland Potthast)