It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A life offered in exchange for others', a reflection on 4 Maccabees 6

After refusing the king's insistence to break Jewish law, Eleazar was tortured. He bore the pain showing a courageous spirit. Partly out of pity for his old age, partly out of admiration for his endurance, one of the king's men asked him why was he letting this happen and offered him a way to escape further punishment: "We'll cook you some meat and pretend that it is pork so you can satisfy the king and your conscience."

Eleazar refused the offer. They burned him. As he was dying, he prayed to God, "Be merciful to your people and take my life in exchange for theirs."

The writer of 4 Maccabees uses this example to prove that reason prevailed over emotion.

Questions raised: How do we decide which religious laws to obey and under what circumstances?

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