In Luke today, John the Baptist sends some of his lackeys to find out if Jesus is the real deal or not. And Jesus is quite pastoral to John, for after he provides that beautiful poetry of:
Tell what you have seen and heard:
the blind receive their sight,
the lame walk,
the lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
the poor have good news brought to them,
Jesus then tells John's followers that no one should take offense at him. Jesus is reaching out to John saying, good job cousin, now it is my turn. You cleared the path for my walking.
And then Jesus turns to those who doubt and question and scolds them for criticizing John for his asceticism and in turn criticizing him (Jesus) for associating with tax collectors, prostitutes and eating and drinking at the homes of those thought unworthy. Which is it? Jesus asks.
Jesus is pointing to a common human endeavor: that of criticizing for the sake of criticizing and thereby bolstering our own position, no matter what the facts are in front of us. Today's Gospel account is a small part of the larger picture Jesus is painting of what the kingdom he is creating can and will be like. Where the glass is always half full, where there is plenty for all....
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.