Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Seeing and blind -- Birinici Yuhanna'nın mektuba 2

Troubled times require clear thinking. How can you tell who is on your team? How can you detect, ahead of time, the people you can rely on "when push comes to shove?" For that matter, how can I become a reliable team player in the ultimate game? I'd started making notes on the first part of I Yuhanna 2 before reaching the end of the chapter, then had to do some re-thinking.

John (Yahunna) is know as "the apostle of love." This does not, however, mean that he was unaware of the turmoil swirling around him, and his people, during the times when he wrote. Let's look at verse 10 and 11:
Kardeşini seven, ışıkta yaşar ve başkasının tökezlemesine neden almaz. Ama kardeşinden nefret eden karalıktadır, daranlıkta yürür ve nereye gittiğini bilmez. Çünkü karanlık, onan gözlerini kör etmiştir.
Now, a few words:
  • Kardeş -- brother
  • sevmek -- to love
  • nefret -- hate. nefret etmek -- to hate.
  • tökezlemesine -- stumbling block.
  • göz -- eye
  • kör -- blind
Condensed version: folks who love their neighbors don't create physical or moral hazards for them. Folks who hate their neighbors harm themselves first of all, since hatred impairs one's common sense. Haters stumble around in the darkness.

The reference to the "stumbling block" traces back to a Mosaic law against making life even harder for those with handicaps. "You shall not curse the deaf, nor set out a stumbling block for the blind." Some practical jokes are off-limits.

In context, perhaps John was warning his people to watch out for folks who made it look safe, or easy, to do the wrong thing. These tempters are not your friends.

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