Friday, October 14, 2011

The Demise Of A Category

The Scriptures are rich.  There is so much there for us.

Take one little paragraph in Luke chapter 23.  Jesus has just died.  Luke introduces us to a man named Joseph who was

a member of the council, a good and upright man, 
who had not consented to their decision and action.

Rats.  This screws up everything.  Members of the council were not supposed to be good and upright.  I had just figured out that the Pharisees were the bad guys.  Pharisees are the self-righteous idiots in the stories that Luke tells.  And I liked it that way--keep people in neat and tidy categories so I know who to love, who to hate, who to respect and who to despise.  The Democrats are the bad guys, the Republicans the good guys...or is it the other way around?  Doesn't really matter, I just need to know who's who so I can decide without thinking whether I like you or not.

But the stories told throughout Scripture continually mess with my categories, and no more so than those told in the Gospels.  And here's one of the secrets about the narrow path that Jesus calls us to:  it's full of surprising people who we'd never think would be on it...and conspicuously absent are some of the people we thought for sure would be.  Categories mean nothing...a person's heart is everything.


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