Not my circus not my Monkeys, There’s a Polish adage which recent college grads frequently use today: “Not my bazaar, not my monkeys.” It’s a method of saying, “Don’t drag me into your dramatization and your issues—I’m not reaching out.”
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My girl utilized this expression once and it caught me, since Jesus utilized this reasoning regularly. The Samaritan Woman at the well in John 4 is an ideal model. We know the story; when Jesus requests that the lady call her better half, she says, “I have no spouse.”
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Not my circus not my Monkeys Mean
There’s a Polish proverb which millennials often use today: “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” It’s a way of saying, “Don’t drag me into your drama and your issues—I’m not getting involved.” My daughter used this phrase once and it captured me, because Jesus used this thinking often.
Where did the expression not my circus not my monkeys come from?
Au contraire. This is a Polish expression, Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy, which translates literally to “Not my circus, not my monkey.” In the original Polish, there is one lone mischievous monkey, instead of a plural number of monkeys.
And what does Jesus say to this? He tells her something he would not be expected to know; that she has had five husbands and is currently living with a man who is not her husband. Stunned I’m sure, she responds, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.”
Let’s pause for a moment and say collectively, “No kidding!”
She goes on however: “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain and you people (Jews) say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”
Jesus response? In the words of the Polish proverb, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” In John 4:21-23 he cuts right to the heart of the matter, saying it doesn’t matter where we worship; it matters who and how we worship.