Tag: roman empire

Summary: Jesus tells a parable about two men who go to the temple to pray: a Pharisee and a tax collector. They pray two very different prayers, and the parable concludes with Jesus declaring that the tax collector, who assumes a posture of contrition and prays a simple prayer asking for mercy, leaves the temple justified, or restored to a right relationship with God. The Pharisee, in his prayer, betrays his contempt for the tax collector. Because Luke’s Gospel treats Pharisees and tax collectors nearly as caricatures, interpreters often get sidetracked in efforts to determine what Jesus is up to in this parable. The parable’s main emphasis, however, falls on the depths of God’s mercy, which results in “justification” even for a tax collector, someone who betrays his own people for personal gain and to support the Roman occupiers. The parable warns that our contempt for others whom we may see as villains does not square with the extravagant grace that God pours out on all who ask for mercy.

I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Summary: During Holy Week, when Christians commemorate the final events of Jesus’ life, they usually read and hear the biblical accounts of Jesus’ appearance before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. Pilate held the power to decide Jesus’ fate. As the Gospels tell the story, Pilate does not express sympathy or apathy toward Jesus. How he deals with his helpless prisoner reflects a commitment to mocking Jesus’ identity as a purported king, to disgracing Jesus, and to reasserting Roman authority over the Jewish people.

Read the full article on The Huffington Post.

Bible commentary: general audience The Bible and Christian practices