The Gospel reading for this Sunday has a special “treat” for conspiracy theorists and those who want to explore history beyond what your teacher taught. When the religious leaders sent priests and Levites to ask John the Baptist who he was and what could be expected of him, John replied by telling them that one among them would come and be greater than him.
Does this tell us something more, including what happened to Jesus between the Finding In The Temple and his baptism by John?
Here’s more potential controversy! At any rate, it won’t sit well with some folks. In the Epistle, Paul points out that the same grace is given to all. This extends from those who were closest to Jesus, such as Peter, to those like Paul who had once persecuted Jesus’ followers.
The gospel points out another basic fact, that being that excessive pride does not bring grace. A Pharisee and a tax collector went to pray in the temple. The Pharisee was supposedly a paragon of righteousness, while the tax collector was seen as a crook. But who was it that went home justified?
The Epistle can be seen by many as yet another announcement of what should be obvious, but there are those who need to know. And there are those who need to be reminded.
And speaking of reminders, the Gospel reading exposes an uncomfortable issue which is at least as much an issue today as it was in Jesus’ time! Most of us can see that issue in someone, and we all need to be sure that we prevent it from being seen in ourselves!