As the story unfolds, it speaks of a small family by the name of the Gutres, which included father, son, and daughter, who came from a humble way of living, ignorant to the ways of the modern world. As described by the nineteenth-century American poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Men are idolaters, and want something to throw themselves down before; they always did and they always will”. Baltasar Espinosa was a medical student from Buenos Aires. He is described as having “unlimited kindness and an oratorical faculty that had earned him several prizes from the English school in Ramos Mejia. (para. 1).
At the time of the story, Baltasar Espinosa was thirty-three years old, same as Jesus Christ when he was crucified. The Gutres saw Espinosa as such a man. Someone that could save them, heal and deliver them from their sins. Three points that will be discussed in the story about the Gutres’ view of Espinosa: (1) The Gutres comparison of Espinosa to Jesus as a healer, (2) Espinosa as a teacher, and (3) Espinosa’s crucifixion. For example, the Gutres were very primitive people; they had their own ways of doing things. The young daughter of the foreman, Mr.
Gutre’, had a pet lamb that was adorned with a blue ribbon, had injured itself. To stop the bleeding Mr. Gutre wanted to put cobwebs on the cut, but instead Espinosa gave the animal some pills. By giving him the pills, it healed the lamb, which made Espinosa a healer in the eyes of the Gutres. Every time Espinosa read them a passage from the bible, they made the connection with him to Jesus Christ. The Gutres saw Espinosa as a teacher. Earlier in the story Espinosa took the time to read the Bible to the Gutres, who were very attentive, as did the followers of Jesus when he taught the multitudes.
They would sit anywhere and listen as the word was being spoken to them. In comparison, the Gutres would hurriedly eat their dinner in order to come and hear Espinosa read to them. In Mark 6:34, it speaks of Jesus when he saw all the people that gathered to hear him. It stated: “they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. ” So much so, that when Espinosa attempted to move on to another chapter, he was directed by the father to read the same chapter over again, as compared to “children who prefer repetition over variety or novelty” (para. 4).
The Gutres compared Espinosa so much to Jesus Christ that they re-enacted the crucifixion. There was a storm that came on a Tuesday and Thursday night the daughter came to his room. She was naked when she came to Espinosa’s room, didn’t speak a word, but just laid down next to him. Next day’s events began by the father asking Espinosa questions about Christ sacrificing himself to save others from “hell”. Without thinking Espinosa answers Mr. Gutre’ with a quick “yes. ” When he mentions hell to them, Mr. Gutre wanted to know what was “hell”.
Espinosa explains to him that it was a “place underground where souls burn and burn. ” (para. 17). Borges describes the Gutres as primitive. Jorge Borges describes in his short story how people are swept away and frightened into submission to the doctrine. The story shows how the Gutres were affected by the “Gospel According to Mark” that was read by Baltasar Espinosa. The bible story that was read to the Gutres by Espinosa was re-enacted, and because of the misinterpretation of the word and not being taught the right way, which happens when people who are not educated and taught the right way.
Jesus Christ came to save us and help us understand that we can live a better life, by studying and obeying the Word of God, and not be swayed by people who have other agendas by rearranging the word to suit man’s own wants and needs. For many years, the church has used religion as a scare tactic. People need something to believe in, and when they come to the church looking for answers, they are often misguided by man’s sometimes twisted message that is not taken from the text. Verses are taken from the bible and then rearranged to fit the situation at that time.
As stated by Thomas Hobbes, “Fear of things invisible is the natural seed of that which everyone in himself calleth religion. ” We as human beings only believe in what we see, what we can’t see terrifies us into making the next step very carefully. In today’s society, churches still try to scare people into believing that if they do not follow specific teachings, they will suffer. The Gutres’ family believed that Baltasar Espinosa was their savior. Because of this belief they took a specific teaching and misinterpreted it. This led to the crucifying of Espinosa as Jesus was crucified, to save them from hell.