Our church’s reading for today made me think about how we oftentimes read about the Pharisees of Jesus’ day – and the apostles too – marking how they couldn’t see Jesus as he is, and judging, even mocking them from a temporal distance. We joke how the apostles didn’t “get it”, or the Pharisees as “religious” people who also didn’t get it, a sly way of saying “we get it, but not those other Christians over there.” We do things like this not only out of a self-righteous pride we barely notice, but also because we forget to be reflexive, and misunderstanding the function of the Scriptures.
We must never forget to see ourselves in every Biblical character, from Adam to Sanballat, from Jesus to Judas. The passages from Leviticus and Matthew prompt me to ask myself whether I confuse Jesus as mundane, even profane, rather than sacred. If Jesus were to walk into our churches, disguised as one of the marginalized and disinherited, would we pass the test? Would I pass the test? Would Jesus receive honor when he walked into his home?
Moreover, when Christ speaks in my heart, do I recognize what I’m hearing? Or do I filter this raw, powerful otherworldly interruption of my world through what is known, worldly and safe, sanitizing it so it doesn’t move me to religious change – as the Pharisees did with Jesus? Is the Prophet of prophets honored within my own soul, or do I take offense at him?
These are only some of my questions, when I turn these Scriptures upon myself. What do you ask?