|07|10|12|“Just a number”
There is a vivid memory I have of high school. Agroup of basketball players thought it would be funny to write numbers on the back of papers and hold them upas girls were walking by… It’s funny when they areholding up “8.7’s” and “9’s”, but what happened when they held up a “2”? The Pharisee in this story embarrasses thetax collector, but what Jesus does is even moreastounding… he says, “the real 10 in this story, is the taxcollector” and the question he leaves us with is this:this happens… everyday. We are all guilty of it. As we’vebeen talking about the past few weeks, parables, inviteus to find ourselves in the story and to see the worldthrough God’s eyes… and through God’s eyes, we’re all10’s.
The scene: twice a day jews made sacrifices foratonement. So the scene takes place in the temple.the Pharisee
He is the elite of Jews. Pharisee’s areregular jews, but have more strict standards forthemselves. In the passage he is standing by himselfbecause if so much as touches the clothes of an“unclean” person, it will defile him.The Tax Collector
like we looked at last week with theSamaritan’s, tax collectors were hated because they dothe work of the romans… namely collecting taxes. Inthis passage, we don’t know why he’s unclean… but weknow that in their culture, if you’re unclean, you knowit… and so does everyone else. So he’s seen beating hischest, which is not common for men to do in middleeastern culture. He has money, but cries out, “have mercy on me”, but the original language is a little bit different,he’s actually saying, “Lord,
make an atonement