Daily Archives: December 15, 2011
Nativity on the Front Porch
Arguing for Argument’s Sake
When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. Luke 7:36 (36-50)
As Tim Chester points out in his book “A Meal with Jesus”, in the gospel of Luke, Jesus is either, going to, coming from, or at, a meal. This passage is a case in point.
There is a lot happening in this passage but I just want to reflect on one thing. Why did Simon invite Jesus in the first place? He had obviously “forgotten” his hostly duties. So why was Jesus there? We can only guess at his motives.
One conclusion I have come to is that he wanted to argue with Jesus in order to destroy Jesus’ reputation in front of his other guests. Jesus was certainly not an “honoured” guest. Honour was only shown by the sinful woman.
Over the years I have encountered numerous people who argue, at best, only to have a good argument, or at worst, to destroy and belittle. They will argue about faith, Scripture and the finer points of doctrine but the motive is not honourable. Their intention is not to discover, learn or refine, but simply to win points, make others look foolish or just have a good fight. Too often I have seen this occur in Christian circles, with combatants justifying their behaviour with sanctimonious claptrap.
Let us remember the Bible is the book of life and death. It is not a book intended to enable us to play foolish games. It is there for us to find out about the Messiah and His kingdom, and God’s purposes. It is there for us to shine light into the world. I can’t think of too many arguments that have shone that light.