Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mark 10 -- the astonished crowd

OK, time to 'fess up. I can't hope to hit it out of the ballpark every time I blog a chapter. [1] Some days, the course of wisdom is to simply comment on a few verses, and move along.
Mar 10:23 İsa çevresine göz gezdirdikten sonra öğrencilerine, "Varlıklı kişilerin Tanrı Egemenliği'ne girmesi ne güç olacak!" dedi.
Mar 10:24 Öğrenciler O'nun sözlerine şaştılar. Ama İsa onlara yine, "Çocuklar" dedi, "Tanrı'nın Egemenliği'ne girmek ne güçtür!
Mar 10:25 Devenin iğne deliğinden geçmesi, zenginin Tanrı Egemenliği'ne girmesinden daha kolaydır."
Mar 10:26 Öğrenciler büsbütün şaşırmışlardı. Birbirlerine, "Öyleyse kim kurtulabilir?" diyorlardı.
Mar 10:27 İsa onlara bakarak, "İnsanlar için bu imkânsız, ama Tanrı için değil. Tanrı için her şey mümkündür" dedi.
Let's look at two words. Jesus just told his disciples that wealth is an impediment to entering God's Kingdom. They were dumbfounded.
  • büsbütün --the definition from
    downright. quite. altogether. wholly. completely. entirely. neck and crop. out and out. teetotal. Turkish has only one form of common prefix -- you sometimes double the first syllable to intensify a word. In this case, the root is ...
  • bütün -- whole. entire. complete. total. all. every. solid. undivided. gross. all-out. aggregate. clear. continuum. out-and-out. round. sheer. unbroken. utter. one and only. the whole. the total. entire. gross. totality. complement. holo-. omni-. pan-. all ov.
  • şaşırmışlardı -- it is said that they were surprised.
    Let's examine the components of this lego-block word:
  • şaşırmak -- to be bewildered / confused. to be astonished / surprised. to wonder. to get muddled. to lose track. to be baffle d. confound. to become entangled. flabbergast. jolt. lose. puzzle. strike dumb.
    Add the "dubatative" syllable, sometimes called the "narrative" case marker: -
    mış- . This indicates action that the speaker did not see personally. It's often used like our "once upon a time."
    Add the plural syllable: -
    Finally, add the past syllable: -
The disciples were not just mildly surprised. They were astonished, to the roots of their souls. Their world had just been turned upside down. The Book of Proverbs often encourages the godly to exert themselves, to work hard, plan, save, invest.[2] In God's sovereignty, things will not always work out the way you expect them to, but usually, most of the time, as a rule, the diligent prosper, and the indolent end up "on the dole."

Yet Jesus is telling his people, a new kingdom is stepping onto the stage of history -- and the only way to enter it is to write off one's resources in the status quo as sunk costs.[3] This was especially true for those he addressed that day. Their nation was doomed. Within a generation, the majority of its inhabitants would be dead, or enslaved. Jewish slaves were so plentiful after the Jewish War that they cost less than horses.

Yet, there are rewards for those who "get with the program." Once you are in the kingdom, God's blessings can flow upon obedient servants. As Truett Cathy said, "I don't see a contradiction between Bible principles and success in business."[4]


[1] Two English idioms.
  • To 'fess up -- to confess, usually one's shortcoming, blunder, or ethical lapse.The sting of embarrassment is reduced by using the ungrammatical contraction.
  • To hit it out of the ballpark -- a baseball metaphor. A ball that a batter hits over the stadium wall obviously cannot be caught and used to tag the play out.
[2] Cynical maxim used to explain why Jewish people are often wealthier than Christians. "Jesus saves. Moses invests."

[3] Sunk costs -- investments that you just need to write off, since the project you invested in is irretrievably "gone south." Salvage operations are sometimes recipes for frustration. Sometimes, "you gotta know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run."

[4] I met the 80+ year old tycoon at a bookstore, autographing copies of his autobiography. The line was very short -- creating a fast food empire does not have the sex appeal of writing a new fantasy novel. Yet this elderly gentleman was still "on the go," still getting around, still meeting and encouraging people.

Chic-Fil-E is privately owned, to avoid shareholder demands that the company do things like open on Sunday, or curtail its donations to charitable causes.

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