with Rev. Rachel
2 THIS MAN - Luke 15
Luke seems to gather all the opposition there ever was to Jesus. He wraps it up tight. He makes a tag for it; that, or he pulls a sticker from the sheet.
It reads: “For: Jesus. From: The Pharisees. We just had to.”
--Had to give him a hard time.
There are a variety of explanations as to why Luke concentrates the opposition in the way that he does. (1) The sources he is using to write his gospel harbor ill feelings toward the Pharisaic tradition. (2) It is literary choice. Types help to tell the story. (3) He is experiencing in his own time energies that resemble that of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day and wants to remind folk that Jesus wasn’t about that.
Suffice it to say, it’s a Luke thing, more than it is a Matthew, Mark, and John thing.
Jesus never asks us to see the Pharisees as the bad guys. Stereotyping, scapegoating...he didn’t have much use for either phenomenon.
We know what he thinks about a good number of them, though. They are an uptight bunch, entirely too fond of picking people apart in the name of what is right. Heck, if the moral police could bring near the kingdom of God and then further it in keeping with God’s intent for creation, he (Jesus) would not have been anointed for the very ministry they questioned.
A billboard went up some time ago. It made plain the fact that Jesus ate with suspect company. Rumor has it that a group of Christians went berserk. I’d like to think it was because they disapproved of the diminished visibility at night or some such snafu. I wonder, however, if the opposition didn’t wade into Lukan Pharasaic waters, where Mr. Grumble loiters, and if Luke, from his place in the communion of saints, may have hollered “I done told y’all it persists!”
I am sure there was more to the story. In any case, watch out for those grumbling Pharisees, friends (v.2). The ones that set up shop inside of you and me are awfully persnickety.