Saturday, October 16, 2010

SIN OF THE LEGALISTS – OCTOBER 14TH – THURDAY (Lk 11: 47-54)


1. Zechariah – killed between the altar and the sanctuary: A priest called Zechariah was struck dead in the court of the house of the Lord, according to 2 Chr 24: 20-22. He is not the prophet Zechariah son of Barachiah. The point to be noted is that the contemporary generations’ sanguinary rejection of Jesus and his emissaries places it in a line with previous such rejections.

2. The sayings about “building the tomb of the prophets” or killing and persecuting the apostles and prophets” fit precisely within the journey of the Prophet towards Jerusalem and his own death. Jesus had now made the conflict open; the narrative takes on a new integrity. The rage and watchfulness of the opponents had now smoldered into a lingering grudge and the fixed intention to trap their foe.

3. Having celebrated the ancestral prophetic murders and participated in killing Christian prophets and apostles, this generation could take credit for it all. They were responsible for killing all the prophets since the creation of the world. What an accomplishment! They could read their history in the Bible beginning with Abel in Gen 4, the Bible’s first book, clear through to the killing of Zechariah in 2 Chronicles 24: 21, the Hebrew Bibles’ last book.

4. The experts of the law reinterpreted, over interpreted and misinterpreted the law that the key to know about God. They tried to burden the people. When the laity tried open the door, find the necessary knowledge and enter God’s kingdom, the legal experts hindered them.

5. The scribes shut the people off from Scripture. Their interpretation of Scripture was so fantastic that it was impossible for ordinary people to understand it. In their hands Scripture became book of riddles. They did not allow the ordinary people to see the plain meaning in the scripture. The Word of God became the property of the expert and a dark mystery to ordinary people.

Jesus is amidst the conflicts and the method he employs here is that of confrontation. Although there are many ways for conflict resolution, Jesus chooses to confront. Jesus had another easy option, which is nothing but the compromising method which would have fetched him several friends. But he chose not to do that. All of us are peace loving people and in order to avoid conflicts, we choose to compromise in the shelter of being prudent. We cannot go on living a life of compromise. When occasion arises we need to call a spade a spade. We cannot please everyone and embrace everyone. When we stand for justice, we are forced to gain enemies. Situations of this sort should not discourage us because our Lord Himself faced similar situations and stood always for the justice and truth.

Courtesy
Holman New Testament Commentary
Sacra Pagina Series
Anchor Bible Commentary
William Barclay – The New Daily Study Bible

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