This week's Bible reading from Luke 18:9-14 reminds me of the film "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" -- Especially this scene:

“Only the penitent man will pass. Only the penitent man will pass. . . "
“The penitent man will pass. The penitent... the penitent. The penitent man... “
“The penitent man is humble before God.”
“He kneels before God. Kneel!!”

And because Indiana Jones knelt – he didn’t get his head lopped off by the giant rotating blade.

I wonder what kind of treatment Hollywood could give the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector?

What if Indiana tried to decipher and ancient clue based on this parable?
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector”
“A Pharisee and a tax collector. Tax collector”
“The Pharisee thanked God and exalted himself. Stood there and Exalted
“The tax collector stood far off and asked God for mercy. Far off. Asked God for mercy.”
"All who exalt themselves will be humbled. All who humble themselves will be exalted."
"Humble themselves."
"Stood far off."
"Stood far off."
"Far off! Run!!"

And because Indiana Jones ran far off, he just missed being trampled by a giant herd of stampeding rhinos.

What’s the common element in the Bible reading, the Indiana Jones scene, and my silly Hollywood version of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector?
  • I don’t think it’s about making a villain, hero, or a scapegoat out of any of the characters.
  • I don’t think it’s about finding ways to make God love you.
  • I do think, rather, that it’s about learning to be humble, and trusting in God’s unending mercy.

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