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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee
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Did Jesus not really go around grumbling all the time as Mrs. Merriweather suggests in To Kill a Mockingbird? In Chapter 24, a few pages in, Mrs. Merriweather talks about her maid, Sophy who "is simply not being Christian today." Then she says something or another about Jesus not grumbling. I'm not so sure that is true.

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Mrs. Merriweather does speak about Jesus "not grumbling" in Chapter 24 in regards to her maid named Sophy.  First, it is pertinent to see the passage in its entirety:

"'Sophy,' I said, 'you simply are not being a Christian today.  Jesus Christ never went around grumbling and complaining,' and you know, it did her good.  She took her eyes off that floor and said, 'Nome, Miz Merriweather, Jesus never went around grumblin'.' I tell you, Gertrude, you never ought to let an opportunity go by to witness for the Lord." (232)

Mrs. Merriweather is, of course, quite a self righteous jerk; however, I agree with her AND with Sophy in this case.  It is important to remember that Jesus IS human, however, in all ways but sin.  So, if it is not a sin to grumble, then perhaps Jesus DID grumble at some point, . . . just not during what is recorded in The Bible.  In regards to the biblical Jesus Christ, there are a few instances in question.  I would consider them to be more "righteous concern" instead of "grumbling," but I suppose that's up to interpretation.  First, there is a moment when Peter approaches Jesus and tries to persuade Him not to enter Jerusalem (if that is where Jesus is supposed to be killed).  Jesus replies with, "Go away from Me, Satan!"  Grumbling?  No, He is angry at Peter, telling Peter that Satan is speaking through him.  Jesus had to go into Jerusalem to die.  That is what saved us from sin.  Second, when Jesus finally does enter Jerusalem, He sees lots of buying and selling going on in the entrance to His Father's holy temple.  Jesus chides the people here with His righteous anger saying, "My temple should be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!"  Grumbling?  No, Jesus is teaching his flock a lesson.  Finally, one must mention the agony in the garden, when Jesus asked His Father to "take this cup away from Me," asking for this horrible death not to happen if it is His Father's will.  A human emotion?  Yes.  Grumbling?  No.

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I think that you have hit upon an interesting point made in the book. Jesus really did not go around grumbling and complaining all of the time. However, many so called Christians go around with a sour expression, gossiping, and complaining all of the time.

You would have to refer to the Gospels of the New Testament for the details regarding the life and teachings of Jesus. He taught, ate, walked everywhere he went. He is attributed to have healed blind, crippled, and leprous infections. He is attributed to have turned water into wine, fed 5,000 persons with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, and other things.

Jesus had a moment at the tomb of Lazarus, his best friend, just before he is attributed to have raised him from the dead. The scripture records: "Jesus wept."

Jesus was most angered by the money changers who were buying and selling livestock just inside the temple. He flipped over heavy wooden tables and drove them all out of the temple with a small whip made of rope.

For the most part, as I have read the gospels, I have gotten the idea that Jesus lived in the moment and attempted to teach his followers to share what they had with others, do good deeds and kind acts, and to be respectful in the House of God. Jesus encouraged his followers to trust God for everything they needed rather than be selfish and greedy regarding their possessions.

I really don't get that Jesus grumbled or complained.  I do get that Jesus encouraged others to stop grumbling and be more appreciative for all that they had.

"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered…….. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died." John 6:43-49

Matthew 25, beginning with verse 34: "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'" This shows a life of service.

But read what the righteous say: "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?" The righteous simply did all they did without noticing that they were doing good deeds but out of the fullness of knowledge that they were followers of Jesus.

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of one of these brothers of mine, you did for me,'" and they were given eternal life.

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