‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner'

Jesus was heading for Jerusalem. There the powerful Christ/Messiah, the glorious Son of Man, would be humiliated, brutalised, dehumanised and killed, convicted by the religious and secular rulers of the day. Common expectations would be turned on their heads. Even the sense of God, of sacrifice and of priesthood, would be re-defined.

As has been noted, Luke used Jesus' journey to Jerusalem as the setting for his collection of teachings of Jesus relevant to the life of discipleship within the Christian community. Like his crucifixion, so much of Jesus' teaching turned accepted wisdom on its head.

Today's teaching is a classic case in point – the discerning of genuine openness to grace. The story is well known.

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