He Won’t Invite You Back…

by MW Cook

Luke 11:37-54

So a Pharisee invites Jesus over for lunch. It seemed like a good idea. Jesus had been stepping on many religious feet and maybe a friendly meal would help bridge the gap that had sprung up between Jesus’ followers and the fundamentalists. It looked like a good PR move. Except that Jesus forgot to wash his hands.

But somehow, I cannot imagine that Jesus actually forgot. I mean, he was raised in a nice, religious Jewish family and would have been taught from a young age about the importance of hand-washing. To avoid washing his hands, Jesus would have needed to go against his upbringing. He must have done it on purpose. He wanted, I think, to pick a fight.

But his host was too gracious! He kept his thoughts to himself and didn’t say a word against Jesus. Maybe he wanted to secure a bit of unity before getting Jesus to fall in line. He was astonished, to be sure, but he seemed to bury it inside and hoped to move on to more productive topics.

Jesus didn’t want to move on, though. As soon as the Pharisee shows his surprise, Jesus jumps into action and starts insulting and belittling his host. Fool! Grave! Dirty dish!

A lawyer tries to calm the situation down, reminding Jesus that he is being rude and insulting.

It doesn’t work. Jesus rounds on the lawyer and calls him an idiot, too. No, not an idiot, but a murderer of prophets and holy men.

I don’t think he was invited back.