October 27, 2019
One of my favorite games for little kids was “Guess Who”. It had two trays with pictures of men and women with identifying features. The two players would take turns trying to eliminate all the possible people until only one correct person was left. You would ask a question like, “Does your person have blue eyes?” Depending on the answer, you could eliminate a number of possibilities. “Does your person have a beard? Is your person a woman?” Eventually, only one possibility remains. The first one to guess who the person was won.
I was reminded of this as I considered the story Jesus told today. Given the two people mentioned, which would you eliminate if the question were asked, “Is this person righteous?' How about, “Is this person a sinner?” From all outward appearances, the answer is simple; the Pharisee is righteous, the taxman is a sinner. But Jesus has a way of turning what seems obvious into a lesson for us all.