At the end of the story, refraining from being thankful that we are not like the Pharisee is nearly impossible. It is an instinctive reaction that our minds do not control. Yet, as soon as we find ourselves being thankful that we are not like him, then we are him,
That is what people who cannot bear to see bent over people stand up always seem to do, but it is never what Jesus says. No. He is the one who always says Come unto to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest. Let the little children come and do not hinder them for to such as these belong the Kingdom of God.
Imagine that, so many Christians trying to tell us how much God hates homosexuals and what God really hates is for people to be hungry.
Jesus does not send Mary back to the kitchen, back to the place she belongs, because in his eyes, in his life, death and resurrection that is not where she belongs. In him, walls that divide us are broken down. He comes not just to bring peace, he is peace. The hostility between us and them runs out of gas in the presence of Christ. He Is here to take us back to the garden in a matter of speaking to create a new humanity in place of all the divisions and groupings we’ve created. Because of Christ, there are no longer strangers and aliens but members of the household of God. He is the Cornerstone of whole new way of being human and we are being built into it, a dwelling place for God. In John’s gospel, Jesus sums it all up with a simple prayer, “. . . That they may all be one.” That is his prayer and his mission.