He Would Have Known!

Cobblestone Woman

From the Introduction to my forthcoming book, Jesus, a Life (365 musings on the life of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke, with 29 black and white photographs, available from Amazon in mid-November):

“This collection is for people who deeply love Jesus, God, and the church, but it’s more purposely directed to those who’ve given up on all three because of the harm authority figures and religious institutions have inflicted on them. This is a long list that includes those who’ve been devalued, discouraged, and denounced because of their gender, their life experiences, their marital status, their ethnicity, their race, their addiction, their disability, their sexual orientation, their politics, their doubts, or their questions.”





 As the religious leader watched the woman washing Jesus’ feet, he thought to himself, “If Jesus were a true prophet, he would know the dubious character of this woman touching him. We all know she’s nothing but a sinner. Luke 7:39

The host is offended, not only with the woman who crashed his party but with Jesus, who was far too at ease with the devotion she lavished on him.

Simon the Pharisee was right about many things; this woman violated all sense of religious propriety. In touching Jesus, she caused him defilement. By letting down her hair in public, she displayed immodesty. If Jesus were a real prophet, he would have protested graciously and sent her on her way. What good is a prophet if he doesn’t recognize sin and call sinners to task when they’re exposed? Like a bloodhound on the scent, Simon knows a sinner when he smells one. The conventional wisdom of the day labels this woman a definite sinner.

The wisdom of conventional religion is nothing if not decisively clear-cut and unambiguous. Conventional wisdom of any sort doesn’t put up with loose ends. That may be why we opt for conventional wisdom more often than not.

Conventional wisdom says: The poor are lazy.

Conventional wisdom says: Not in my neighborhood.

Conventional wisdom says: God helps those who help themselves.

Conventional wisdom says: Close our borders to the south.

Conventional wisdom says: America, right or wrong.

Conventional wisdom says: We’ve got Middle East oil to protect.

Conventional wisdom says: Gays will fray the fabric of the family.

“If Jesus were a true prophet,” Simon protests, “he’d know all about conventional wisdom.” That much Simon seems to get right. Jesus is well aware of conventional wisdom, and has no use for it.

With which conventional wisdom do you agree?

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  1. Dennis Keefe October 28, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    Let us know when the book becomes available. Can’t wait to read it.

  2. Dick Dunn October 28, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

    Thanks Bro. Dan,
    On target, as usual. Think of you and your bride often.

  3. donald jiskoot October 28, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    I do NOT identify with the conventional Wisdom statements…..but do identify with the person or persons to whom it is directed or about whom it is stated. Thanks Daniel.

  4. Judy Atwater October 29, 2015 at 7:56 am #

    Thanks for the update Dan. I am excited about this for you. I can hardly wait to see your photos and text together. I miss you and Jody.

  5. Marge Vander Wagen October 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

    As humans we prioritize what our neighbors, our relatives, “the church” thinks. The most important point is what does God think.
    I feel a fresh wind blowing. I look forward to the book.

  6. Allan Martling October 30, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    Jesus said “The poor will always be with you”. Damn right. Look how we live. Of course there will always be the poor. Our riches are upon their backs. And that is OK with us.