|Implements of Creation, 2011, jfd+|
Jesus "puts-it-to" the Pharisees in our short MP reading from Matthew today. He asks them a theological question about scripture and how God works in the world: where and from whom does the Messiah come? They answer from the text-book they understand: David. And then Jesus causes them to be speechless by asking how that is possible, since David refers to the Messiah as his Lord.
This may not seem all that important, but it is a real turning point in Jesus' relationship (contentious as it was) with the Pharisees. Jesus is continuing to undercut the known and long understood presumptions of how God operates in the world, of how God works in this world. Pushing to the forefront the idea that not all questions are going to be answered, that things are not as black and white as the religious leaders kept insisting that they were (and are).
Jesus is saying, quite simply and in a direct manner here, that God will surprise us, in particular when we think we have all the answers. By being so very "book-smart" the Pharisees were creating their own understanding of how God works. One of the things Jesus is saying today is that the starkness and one dimensional nature of a black and white understanding of scripture leaves out all the areas of gray in which God actually operates.
We are being challenged today to live into the gray, and allow ourselves the gift and grace of uncertainty in which to find God in the unanswered questions.
Copyright 2012, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.