Despised everyone else

This coming Sunday is the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In yesterday’ post we considered differing dispositions for prayer. Today we will explore the difference in how this parable might be understood by a  first century listener.

We read that Jesus is addressing those “who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else” and then we hear “one was a Pharisee.” And we nod our head, “I knew it!”  We know how Luke has been describing the Pharisees, thus even at the words one was a Pharisee we are disposed to have this not end well for the Pharisees. We are not surprised that the Pharisee will represent the one who trusts himself and his own righteousness rather than God and the one who judges others and holds them in contempt. But let’s consider how the first century listener might have heard this narrative. Continue reading