TODAY’S READING: LUKE 21-22
“Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, ‘Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs?'” – Luke 22:52
Jesus had just reminded his disciples how sent them out with no moneybag, knapsack, or sandals yet they did not lack anything. So, Jesus now sent the disciples out with a moneybag, a knapsack, and a sword.
However, Jesus was not telling the disciples this was a new way that he would send them out. This was not some new strategy of proclaiming the kingdom of God. Jesus reminded the disciples of how he sent them out previously to provide a contrast for what he was doing now.
And, what he was doing now was fulfilling scripture. Specifically, the scripture that says, “And he was numbered with the transgressors.” If you are out and about at night with a moneybag, a knapsack, and a sword, then you will look like a transgressor, a lawbreaker.
So, the chief priests, officers of the temple, and elders came out to arrest Jesus like a robber, a common criminal.
When Pilate offered to release to the Jews a man at the Passover, the Jews cried out, “‘Not this man, but Barabbas!’ Now Barabbas was a robber.” (John 18:40)
When Jesus was crucified, “then two robbers were crucified with him, one one the right and one on the left.” (Matthew 27:38)
Of course, Jesus was not a robber. But, the chief priests, officers of the temple, and elders considered him one. Even though, the chief priests, scribes, and elders were the true robbers.
“And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, ‘It is written, “My house shall be a house of prayer,” but you have it a den of robbers.'” The chief priests, and scribes, and principal men of the people sought to destroy Jesus for this.
So, the chief priests, scribes, and elders mapped onto Jesus, onto God, who they were. What they did they counted Jesus as and treated him as such.
This always seems to be the case. We map onto God the evil that we do or the good that we fail to do. Then, we blame God for all that is wrong and seek to destroy him for it.
Weo do this over and over until see Jesus, until we see God for who he really is.