Having successfully bested all challengers from the Jerusalem elites, Jesus now honourably moves to the offensive. However, as we move into the denunciation of these elites and the Temple, it is good to remember the Scribe we met last week whom Jesus praised with the high honour of being "not far from the Kingdom of God." Which is another way of remembering that what is being condemned is behaviour, and not a whole class of people.
And of course, before we get wagging our fingers at these Scribes, we should also remember to examine our own behaviours first. Are they any among us who have not felt entitled to be greeted with respect, to have our favourite seat in church or the honoured place at the potluck. Do any of live in ways that impoverish others - while reciting long prayers? Let those without sin cast the first stone I say. Well, actually it was Jesus who said that.
* Link to Amazon.com Bibliography for Bruce J. Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social Science Commentary on ... The Synoptic Gospels; The Gospel of John; The Book of Acts; The Letters of Paul; The Book of Revelation; and others.
+ Link to Amazon.com Bibliography for Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler, Jewish Annotated New Testament, The Bible With and Without Jesus, Short Stories by Jesus, Entering the Passion of Jesus, and others.