Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Power of a Paradigm

Mark 2:6-7 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
6Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7"Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

Paradigms, or ways of looking at the world, fascinate me because they make all the difference for good or bad. In the text, Mark 2:6-7, I see a faulty paradigm. What would have happened if the teachers of the law had asked instead, "Who but God can forgive sins? What then, does this mean?"

In verse 16 of Mark 2, we see another faulty perspective:16When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

What if they had asked instead, "This man eats with the wounded and broken-- what does this mean? Could he be the one spoken of by the prophet Isaiah (see chapters 53-61)?”

Their paradigm was "the law" as an end in itself and it had become their focus of worship so that they couldn't see the one who was the fulfillment of the law standing before them.

Dear Lord, keep my point of view -- my paradigm -- clear. Help me to see the circumstances of life through your eyes.

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