Friday, March 19, 2010

Job and the Sheep

Gustavo Gutierrez in his book On Job suggests that the maturation story in Job is in part an elaborate instance of what Jesus says is the case in Matthew 25 in the parable of the sheep and the goats.

Entering into the suffering of the weak brings individuals face to face with Christ. Christ is the one who is clothed, fed, and befriended. Service, suffering, and struggling is the path to encountering Jesus. And as the parable insists, this can be a surprising, unexpected conclusion -- the sheep wonder when they served Christ and the goats wonder when they didn't.

Gutierrez says this is a gloss on 1 Corinthians 13, where love of others is a mirror in which we see Christ dimly, and love is the excellent way toward the end of seeing Jesus face to face.

In Job, it is his suffering, the accusations, the loss which lead him to encounter Yahweh in the whirlwind. The darkness of death, pain, and accusations is how we see now "dimly," but this gives way to a conference with Yahweh, face to face.

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