Jesus just lambasts the scribes and Pharisees today: he just lights into them. He has been in an extended conversation with them throughout his ministry in Matthew's Gospel. But it appears that he has just "had it up to here" with them in today's selection.
Jesus begins his chastisement of these leaders of the community saying how dare they lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. How can they twist Scripture to exclude rather than welcome? How can they miss the importance of what is sacred and place that blessing of sacredness, and give importance to things that are not sacred in and of themselves? Jesus condemns them by saying they "have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith." These leaders have become so consumed with who can be "in" and who shouldn't be, that they have lost themselves in the minutiae.
Jesus is making clear, yet again, that all are welcome into this kingdom he was sent to proclaim. All of us.... I cannot emphasis those three little words enough....all of us are welcome. Such good news this morning.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.