January 19, 2005

Ketchup Post (without pickles)

Nicodemus.

John takes great care to present poor Nicodemus as a bit thick. Learned for sure. But trapped by his letter-of-the-law literalism and unable to recognize a good metaphor if he tripped over one in a well-lit room. I feel sorry for the poor guy.

The name just oozes wisdom and learning. Perhaps I'm being unduly influenced by the classic Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and the animated film based upon it The Secret of NIMH. Yet still. Learning usually opens the imagination to a certain extent. Or at least makes one aware of it.

John uses Nicodemus the same way as Mark uses the disciples, not as well-rounded characters in a realistic drama (realism in literature doesn't come round for another 1800 years or so) but as cannon fodder (canon fodder?) in a battle of rhetoric. The point being similar to Hamlet's, there are more things in heaven and on earth than can be dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.

In the spiritual life, logic, reason, and science can take us only so far. When reason is being reasonable it sees it and doing so leaves us, like Vergil, in the loving care of Beatrice, herald of divine grace.

The Baptist

Like Nicodemus there is something sad about this. The work of the Baptist was to prepare the way for another. A successful prophet works himself out of a job.

Reminds me of Jonah who preached against Nineveh so well that Nineveh repented and the hand of judgment passed over the people. I wonder if the Baptist felt a similar resentment and regret to that which Jonah felt.

3 Comments:

At 1:38 p.m., Blogger Marjorie said...

The blog opened on my computer screen, I'd have to scroll down to see the by-line, and yet, as the picture from NIMH opened, I knew it had to be kwakersaur's post. :-)

 
At 1:43 p.m., Blogger Marjorie said...

oooooo....I just got ketchup post...he he. I love puns, but I also love pickles. Sigh.

RE: the Baptist, I don't find this sad, he did his job and he did it well -- pointed out the Messiah, even sent some of his disciples over to him.

 
At 7:52 p.m., Blogger Larry said...

Re sad: no way. The man had completed what he was sent for. He might well have said what Paul said in II Timothy:

4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Speaking personally whenever I feel like I've done somthing really worthwhile I say to myself,"Well I can die more easily now."

 

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