Publicans and Pharisees

“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.” Matthew 9:10

Publicans, who were often of their own Jewish people, were the collectors of tax. The Jewish people of Jesus time hated paying tribute money to the Romans.

“So Publicans were accused, sometimes correctly, of being:

  • of “great detestation.”
  • “people often of abandoned character,”
  • “oppressive in their exactions.”
  • “associated in character with thieves and adulterers;
  • “profane.”
  • “lacking honesty and moral integrity”
  • material rapists —
  • lacking restraint.
  • They indulged in vice.

The Religious Pharisees also accused Jesus of being a friend of these, “publicans and sinners.” Indeed He sat with them. And ate with them.

Jesus list goes this way:

  • gluttonous
  • Winebibber
  • Friend of sinners
  • Friend of Publicans
  • Blasphemer

Judging by their appearance, the “all knowing” Pharisee conjured and surmised many things.

Lets borrow some thoughts on false-accusers from the web, “understanding-the-psychology-behind-false-accusation.”

(These refer to sexual assault cases)

“We can break down false accusers into two separate categories: intentional and unintentional. In the case of the intentional accuser, “…this accuser is motivated by self-preservation hinged on fear.” or “In other circumstances, the accuser is merely narcissistic, willing to destroy someone else’s life for the sake of attention. Typically, this accuser is a compulsive liar, and their narcissism stems from a mental disorder.”

The narcissistic person from James Masterson M.D. goes this way:

  • Grandiose sense of importance, exaggerates achievements and talents.
  • Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance etc.
  • Believes that he or she is “special.”
  • Requires excessive admiration.
  • Has a sense of entitlement. Takes advantage of others, lacks empathy etc etc.

In the case of the unintentional accuser:

“a person’s smile or voice can trigger a flashback, causing the wounded to erroneously accuse the person who triggered the flashback leading to a false accusation. “The police evidence mixed with their suspicions will cause the victim’s brain to formulate memories that never existed. ” “confabulation.” “Some accusers do it out of fear or love of attention; others do it because they’re confused and don’t know better. ” “understanding-the-psychology-behind-false-accusation.”

Of course, some are charged and truly guilty.

But Jesus rebuked the Pharisees: Could be, Jesus saw them as intentional accusers, but false ones.

“For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him:” Matthew 21:32

A society, or culture, or segment of a society, that adopts the half-truth of “what appears to be,” and replaces truth with circumstantial evidence only; is destined to discover the price for compromising truth. Frightfully this happens in Godless societies and cultures.

Lester DeKoster then expounds our free-societies’ premises.

  • Economic organization arises from within individuals.
  • Human freedom is respected.
  • Individual ingenuity is the best way to solve problems.
  • Variety and flexibility work best
  1. “Freedom involves the right to be wrong but not to stay wrong.” Yes, many corrections confront the truth seeking individual, and so whole societies. This we willingly acknowledge.
  2. And “we take risks to preserve ideals.”
  3. Yes we do fail, maybe often, but we humbly recover, rebound, repent. This all in freedom.


for this freedom we are accused. For the respect of individual rights we are accused. For the love of individual dignity, we are accused. For freedom to take risks, maybe trial and error is our way; we are accused. For the right to fail, we are accused. For believing in the cross of Christ, we are accused.

In closing, the Pharisee has no tolerance for meager mankind. As Esau didn’t in Genesis 33:14 — he seeks to drive and control the herd.

But many are with young, so Jacob takes the lead, but goes softly. He has patience and kindness.

Thank you Jesus, for being available to the Publican, and befriending the sinner. We are not made to be driven. Love ya


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