Not sure I have ever felt the reassurance of relationship between Jesus and the Pharisees which my read this morning reveals. Most of my life, they have been presented as the bad guys. Then, after so many years, I guess it was time for me to hear Luke's observations.
"At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
Luke 13:31 NIV
Here, these long thought of as enemies of the Christ are actually showing concern. I was caught off guard.
All of a sudden, I hear with new ears, the conversations about "healing on the Sabbath", the "Great Banquet", the "Lost Coin" and the "Prodigal Son" not as Jesus ridiculing the Pharisees, but as him helping them understand this both/and God who cares for those who have strayed, those most unlike the Pharisees.
His treatise on the "Elder Brother" is him acknowledging their righteous ambition, though at times overboard in their perception of their Kingdom value.
“ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”
Luke 15:31-32 NIV
I guess that means we, who were lost and prodigal must now respect, even love those high in the ranks of the institutions of religion, who at times appear privileged, above the law of sin, sickness and poverty.
Maybe their ancestrial lineage, personal discipline and life choices have carried them to places I could never go. My impressions of God's distain perhaps in reality was my envy, often justified by way of the verses until now seen as Jesus chiding their arrogance. This Living Word now revealing my own arrogance and jaded envy.
Wow, guess it was time for me to hear that Jesus loves those whom I at times have despised.
Forgive me Lord and help me to love all your creatures big and small, learned and unlearned, rich and poor, churched and unchurched, Jew and Gentile...for there are no such divisions in the kingdom of God.
This Living Word is such a gift in my life!