While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.
But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practised, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honour in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the market-places. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it.’
One of the lawyers ansered him, ‘Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.’ And he said, ‘Woe also to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute”, so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.’
When he went outside, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile towards him and to cross-examine him about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
My wife and I have very different approaches to loading the dishwasher. I put the dirty plates and cutlery in their allotted compartments, whereas she washes them first and THEN puts them into the dishwasher – and not always in their allotted compartments. Sometimes the dishes go in the plate section and vice versa and I have to reorganise. It drives me mad. I’m sure finding gravy-laden plates in the machine drives her mad, too. Of course, on a bad day, how one of us has ‘incorrectly’ loaded the dishwasher might just be the precursor to any number of niggling arguments and we look for the opportunity to take offence at the slightest perceived wrong word, look or action. Occasionally, we act more like scribes and Pharisees than we ought to. But don’t we all? And wouldn’t life be calmer and more pleasant if we could catch ourselves before we do? I might try it… Prayer
Parent God Forgive us when we try to find fault with other people. Help us to recognise those times when we’re just spoiling for a fight And help us to see that we all need each other.
Leo Roberts, Children and Youth Development Officer, North Western Synod