This person’s genius settled on my perception slowly, partly because my church friends were disparaging his work as ‘devilish’. Almost literally, because Andrew Lloyd Webber gave us a shrieking Judas, and a barely more peaceful Jesus, and my friends struggled to swallow that. So it was only after some time, and with the sense that maybe I was accessing something heretical and evil, that I first gave Jesus Christ Superstar a hearing. It was stunning ….
So many times in the gospels we hear Jesus questioned by people who are trying to trick him into giving himself away. In today’s reading I’m pretty sure the man asking the question of Jesus is sincere – he genuinely wants to know what he must do to have eternal life, to book his seat in heaven.
His approach is respectful and he is attentive to the answers Jesus gives him. On the surface it appears to be an honest exchange. But when Jesus looked at him he knew that there was something that the man was not acknowledging in his quest for eternal life. And, as we hear, the man did not get the answers he wanted ….
When musical geniuses are tossed around (figuratively), Mozart and Bach are usually the ones put forward most insistently. But, not to disparage them (for fear of inflaming the readership), they are the lightweights to Beethoven’s gravitas, the toast and marmite to Beethoven’s full lamb roast ….
This telling incident (the disciples have been arguing among themselves about who was the greatest) reveals to us how, when we become obsessed with self-interest, we miss truths of global significance that are right in front of us ….