Year C - Lent2 or Conviction2
February 21, 2016
At the very time Jesus was wandering the countryside with teachings such as, “Those now first will be last and those now last will be first”, some (2, 14, 42, more?) Pharisees warned him off.
Whether they were protecting one of their own, a Jew by birth, training, and in death, or trying to rid themselves of a difficulty regarding their own religious practice, the response would have been the same. Taking information at its most basic level, Jesus recruited them to his own cause or did a spiritual jujitsu on them to have them reveal their resistance.
Jesus’ word to himself is that he will continue his healing even as he understands it will have consequences—it will mean his death.
His word to the others is that he will lie low enough to enter Jerusalem to these words, “Beloved is the one who comes in the name of G*D.”
Yes, we have just equated blessing with belovedness. To be a beloved before, during, and after such a temptation to cut-and-run is to be a blessing to all those encountered between the warning/tempting and a next opportune time to meet when the warning/tempting will be reversed and the Pharisees will have to decide about their closeness to Jesus in Jerusalem rather than out in the wilderness.
Do you read this as a temptation story following last week’s reading? Is it a call to double down on tasks and responsibility? Are we seeing a foreshadowing of a later encounter not recorded by Luke? Is this Luke’s response to a threat from Herod that is different from Matthew’s (a standing ground instead of high-tailing it to Egypt) and is it only age that makes the difference? Your decision will make a difference in how your read this in public. Decide ahead of time so you don’t get caught starting down one path only to start stuttering as a second and third option surface.