Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Insulted (11/01/04)
TITLE: What A Dinner Guest!
By Robin Wisch
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
The disciples sat with the Teacher at a table in the home of the synagogue leader of Capernaum. Several prominent synagogue leaders were there along with some scribes and lawyers.
Shortly, the host became indignant because Jesus and his disciples hadn’t followed the ceremonial customs of washing. Jesus stated pointedly to him, "you Pharisees are careful to clean the outside of the dish, but inside you are filthy, full of greed and wickedness! You love the seat of honor in the synagogues and the greetings of respect in the marketplaces, but you are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on!" Immediately, several Pharisees stood up appalled at the audacity of this unlearned Carpenter. Unfazed, the Lord pressed on.” You crush people under impossible religious demands and you never lift a finger to ease the burden! You build tombs for the prophets that your ancestors killed long ago. You are Murderers! You agree with what they did and would have done the same yourselves!"
The table grew deathly quiet. Icy stares glared back at the Master. No one ate. Peter and John eased their cups back to the table. Tension hung thick in the room.
One of the lawyers finally broke the silence. “Teacher,” he said, “when you speak this way, you insult us.” (Luke 11:45) “At last,” thought John, “the Master will relent and temper his comments so as not to offend His prestigious host.” Peter sighed heavily and muttered, “now can we please eat.”
Undaunted, Jesus replied to the lawyer, “you will be charged with the murder of all of God's prophets from the beginning of the world until now. From the murder of Abel to the murder of Zechariah, who was killed between altar and the sanctuary, it will surely be charged against you!" Peter nearly choked on the fig he’d just put in his mouth. John and the other disciples slunk down in their chairs.
The scene which followed was indescribable. Naturally, when invited to dinner at a person's house, especially a religious leader’s, offending them deeply will not produce the most amiable of feelings. This ran true to form. Jesus had little interest in either the Pharisee's feelings or his position. That was obvious to Peter. As the furious crowd jumped up from the table, plates and cups began to fly. Angry shouts echoed through the air. The disciples moved towards the door. Peter, feeling out of his element anyway, slid along the wall. John crawled under the table. The angry mob wanted to get at Jesus, but amazingly, He slipped away. The disciples, seeing Him up ahead, sprinted after Him. Breathless, Peter said to John and Andrew, "He has no fear!" Andrew shook his head. "He cares nothing about status or money. He speaks the truth regardless of the consequences!" John remarked, "he spoke the truth; they took it as insults.” “Religious people always do,” added Peter.
Back in Jerusalem, a meeting was starting. A single torch cast a shadowy light, in the dark room. Several staunch Pharisees and members of the high council met together with a small group of lawyers. In low tones, they discussed the recent Passover festival. Their subject of conversation though was one, Jesus of Nazareth. “Two weeks ago, in Capernaum,” whispered a lawyer, “he said that we were to blame for the death of the holy prophets.” “What?” shrieked a council member. “Hush! Keep your voice down,” instructed his counterpart. Silence filled the room.
The portal from the dark spirituals opened slightly. A hideous figure slipped through the black curtain. Slowly, the black-blooded presence of murder rose to its full stature. He filled every man’s soul with a thick, suffocating mist. In every heart, pride and self righteousness joined forces. Carefully, they spoke about how to handle this Jesus, whom they call Christ. "His words are too wise," said one, "we are going to have to resort to more drastic measures." Murder crept closer. "He has the gall to declare himself, one with God," stated another Pharisee. "He is no more God than I am," another voice spoke from the darkness. Hatred spewed from another council member. "I really hate that man!" Bingo! Murder crouched at the door! Everyone's blood boiled as violence rose up in their flesh. Finally, the last high council member whispered in a barely audible voice, "He should die!" With that, murder slipped in and a sinister plan was hatched!