Royal Laws on Trial


Lectio: Luke 12:8-12 (NRSV) 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. 9 He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. 12 That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.


Contemplatio: “Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him.”


Meditatio: The full authorative force of the whole justice system is unified against Jesus of Nazarath from Galilee. Pilate the governor of Judea, Herod the King of Galilee, the local judges, and the military soldiers are now aligned, in growing agreement, and marshalled to eradicate Jesus along with his infectous ideas and teachings. By treating Jesus with contempt and mockery, they are in effect attacking not only Jesus the human, but Jesus’ royal laws, divine ideas, and teachings which they fear because they threaten their worlds. It’s only a matter of time before their hateful thoughts founded upon their deep-seated fears, turn into deadly action that drives Jesus to his death by crucifixion.


Today I meditate on how the royal teachings and ideas of Jesus are both threatening and threatened, how they are held in contempt and mocked, but never eradicated. According to Jesus, as portrayed in Luke’s gospel, it’s always right to care for and lift up the poor. Its always right to set free those that are oppressed. It’s always right to share our bread with the hungry. It’s always right to resist the unclean spirits of evil and injustice in whatever forms they present themselves. It’s always right to do to others what we would have them do to us. It’s always right to lend of what we have to others. It’s always right to extend forgiveness when we have been offended. It’s always right to first be self-aware of our faults before pointing out the faults of others. It’s always right to be an agent of healing, reconciliation, and inclusion. It’s always right to persist in seeking and attaining provision for the dispossessed. It’s always right to hold that every life is sacred and worthy of God’s love and redemption. It’s always right to put the welfare of people above laws. It’s always right to start thinking about the kind of world we are creating and leaving behind from the vantage point of the children that will receive it. It’s always right to care for the well-being of people that are left half-dead by life, even when their own decisions led them down the dangerous road that led them there. It’s always right to live our lives oriented toward a vision of a world Jesus lived for and invites us to partake in.


Oratio: Today I pray for the grace to live more fully into the threatening yet beautiful royal laws and vision of a world Jesus Christ lived and invites us to live with him, in him, and for him.

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