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Grasping God’s Grace – Family Values?

"The Feast in the House of Levi" - Pablo Veronese

“The Feast in the House of Levi” – Pablo Veronese

Key Bible Verse:  Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.  This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain. Luke 15:1-2

Bonus Reading:  Luke 15: 11-32

In the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice hangs a painting by Pablo Veronese that got him in trouble with the Inquisition.  It depicts Jesus at a banquet with his disciples, complete with Roman soldiers playing in one corner, a few drunks, and North African blacks.

Called before the inquisition to explain these irreverences,  Veronese showed from the Gospels that these were the very kinds of people Jesus mingled.  The scandalized Inquisitors made him change the painting’s title and make the scene secular rather than religious.

In doing so, of course, the Inquisitors replicated the attitude of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.  They too were scandalized by the tax collectors, half-breeds, foreigners, and women of ill repute who hung out with Jesus.

They too had trouble swallowing the notion that these are the people God loves.  While Jesus was captivating the crowd with his parables of grace, Pharisees stood by grumbling.

In the story of the Prodigal Son, provocatively, Jesus brought in the older brother to voice proper outrage at his father for rewarding irresponsible behavior.  What kind of virtue would throwing a party for such a renegade encourage?

—Philip Yancey in What’s So Amazing About Grace?

 

My Response: Is an us vs. them attitude of mine undercutting God’s grace?

Adapted from What’s So Amazing About Grace? (Zondervan, 1997)

 

 

Prayer for the Week:  I’m blown away, Lord, by your gift of salvation, which I could neither earn nor repay.  I’ll be forever grateful.

 

 

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