Posts Tagged ‘Jewish tale’

The window and the mirror

July 28, 2011
window and the mirror

window and the mirror

A very rich young man went to see a Rabbi in order to ask his advice about what he should do with his life. The Rabbi led him over to the window and asked him:

‘What can you see through the glass?’

‘I can see men coming and going and a blind man begging for alms in the street.’

Then the Rabbi showed him a large mirror and said to him:

‘Look in this mirror and tell me what you see.’

‘I can see myself.’

‘And you can’t see the others. Notice that the window and the mirror are both made of the same basic material, glass.

‘You should compare yourself to these two kinds of glass. Poor, you saw other people and felt compassion for them.

‘Rich – covered in silver – you see yourself.

‘You will only be worth anything when you have the courage to tear away the coating of silver covering your eyes in order to be able to see again and love your fellow man.’

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

In Love Wins, Rob Bell discusses Jesus being asked by a rich man how to get into heaven. He tells him to dispose of his wealth.

Strictly speaking the rich man asked Jesus what good he had to do to obtain eternal life.

Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
“Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.'”
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

It is not possesions per se that are wrong, it is what we do with them. Are they nouns to impress or verbs to do good? Wealth is not for vulgar display to show we are better than others, we must use it to benefit others.

I can use my spade to till the earth, to grow food to feed myself and others. I can use my camera and laptop to expose injustice.

Jesus also spoke of a rich man who ignored Lazarus outside his gate. They both died. Lazarus went to heaven, the rich man to hades. The rich man still did not get it. He asked that Lazarus bring him water to quench his thirst.