Bad company...

What does the slur about Jesus that he "ate with tax collectors and prostitutes" tell us about us and our lives? Or is it completely irrelevant?

My supervisor at Yale Divinity used to say that the best part of the Bible is that it gives us an unvarnished truth about ourselves and about our relationship with God. Unlike kings, presidents, or presidential candidates, the Bible does not sugarcoat or edit the history of its heroes. Consider two cases:

David and Bathsheba. The Good Book gives us the full story, the off-record and behind the scenes (and sheets) story of David's ugly deed and his punishment. Which political or religious leader today would allow something like that in his biography?

Second case in point: Jesus. The Bible is happy to record the oldest slur about Jesus: he ate with prostitutes and tax collectors. One would think that later Christians would be embarrassed about the fact that their Savior had such undignified company for his dinners. 

This week's Sunday readings are exactly about that. What are we to make of these slurs? Do they really matter? Or do they tell us something about us and the way we relate to other people?

If you are curious - come and find out this Sunday at 9AM First Church on High Street

PS Last week's sermon on violence "Killing Enmity" is available here

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