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Wrestling with the Word, episode 77: Lectionary 11 (3 Pentecost), Year C (June 13, 2010) June 8, 2010

Posted by fostermccurley in Wrestling With The Word podcast.
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Lectionary 11 (Third Sunday after Pentecost)

Many of us have trouble with forgiveness. Sometimes the difficulty is granting forgiveness to someone who has deeply hurt, offended, or dishonored us. Sometimes the problem is with receiving forgiveness, either from another person or from God. The whole Bible, and indeed our lessons for the day make clear that whatever difficulties we might have with forgiveness, God is always reaching out to forgive our sin. God’s grace is abundant. Accepting the divine gift can change our lives. Through God’s forgiveness we can find peace and purpose.

Download or listen to Wrestling with the Word, episode 77: Lectionary 11 (3 Pentecost), Year C.

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Psalm 32
The psalm is one of thanksgiving for the forgiveness the petitioner experienced from God, merely by acknowledging sin.  Prior to that expression of guilt and the reception of forgiveness the petitioner’s physical and emotional life was in ruin.  The difference in his own life leads him to invite others to follow his example (v. 6).  After this invitation the psalmist takes upon himself the role of a teacher, and so the psalm develops into a wisdom psalm as it concludes.

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2 Samuel 11:26–12:10, 13-15
In spite of the sinfulness of God’s people, God nevertheless forgives us and uses us in the pursuit of God’s mission on earth.

Context
Chapter 11 begins with David’s view of Bathsheba’s rooftop bath.  It goes on to relate the subsequent sexual intercourse between the two, her conception, and David’s strategy to have her husband Uriah the Hittite killed in battle.

Key Words
12:7.  mešachtîkā = “I anointed you”:  David was anointed as a young boy by the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 16:13), and later the elders of Israel anointed David king over Israel (2 Sam. 5:3).  Since the former anointing was said to be the act of YHWH, the allusion here is to 1 Sam. 16.

12:9. maddûa‘ bāzîtā ’et-debar YHWH = “Why have you despised the word of the Lord”:  According to Prov. 14:2, one who despises the Lord “is devious in his ways”; at 1 Sam. 2:30 the wicked priestly house of Eli will suffer disaster because they “despise” the Lord.  The “word of the Lord,” which is said to be despised here, are the commandments prohibiting murder (Exod. 20:13) and adultery (20:14).

12:15.  wayyiggōp YHWH = “and the Lord struck”:  For other examples of the Lord smiting an individual, see 1 Sam. 25:38 (Nabal); 26:10 (Saul); 2 Chron. 13:20 (Jeroboam); 21:18 (Jehoram).

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Galatians 2:15-21
Against those who would presume to contribute to their own innocence before God, God justifies (declares innocent) those who believe in Christ, calling them to surrender their old identity in order to live as persons in whom Christ resides.

Context
Paul concludes his discussion of the argument with Peter regarding the imposition of Jewish practices on Gentiles who have become Christians.  The apostle insists that such an intrusion into the gospel negates it and surrenders the gospel to the whims of human traditions.  Immediately prior to our pericope, Paul wrote of his encounter with Cephas:  before James’ representatives appeared on the scene, Cephas ate with Gentiles; after their coming, he withdrew.

Key Words
V. 16.  eidotes [de] hoti … dikaioutai anthrōpos dia pisteōs ’Iēsou Christou = “seeing that … a person is justified through faith in Jesus Christ”:  Note the change that occurs in Romans 3:24: dikaioumenoi dōrean tē autou chariti dia tēs apolytrōseōs tēs en Christō ’Iēsou = “they are justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” Yet, at Romans 3:26, Paul writes that God “justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

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Luke 7:36–8:3
God in Christ forgives those who need forgiveness and come to him humbly, thereby enabling them to be “lovers” and to live in peace.

Context
Following his discussion about John the Baptist, Jesus spoke of the fickleness of the people of his times.  They accuse John of possessing a demon because he does not eat normal food or drink wine.  Yet they accuse Jesus of being a glutton and a drunkard and a friend of sinners.

Key Words
7:36.  tis … tōn Pharisaiōn = “one of the Pharisees”:  Elsewhere Jesus eats with Pharisees (11:37; 14:1) just as he also eats with those despised by the Pharisees:  Zacchaeus (19:5) and unnamed sinners (v. 34; also cf. 5:30; 15:2).

7:37, 39.  hamartōlos = “sinner”: The same word appears for Jesus’ associates at v. 34 and   often elsewhere in Luke (5:32; see also 15:7, 10).

7:44-46.  “tears … kiss … anoint”:  The terms describe here the woman’s love.  “Tears” demonstrate Paul’s love for the Corinthians at 2 Cor. 2:4.  “Kiss” denotes forgiving love at Luke 15:20; tender affection at Acts 20:37; Christian affection at Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20.  “Anointing” the head with oil is done by a host to an honored quest; see Ps. 23:5; Amos 6:6.

7:47, 48.  apheōntai (sou) hai hamartiai (autēs) = “Your/her sins have been forgiven”:  The perfect tense indicates the woman had already been forgiven; a theological passive. Jesus had already explained through his parable that forgiveness leads to her loving act rather than her action resulting in forgiveness.

7:50.  poreuou eis eirēnēn = “Go in peace”:  The same dismissal occurs at 8:48 where Jesus likewise commends a woman for her faith (following Mark 5:34).  See also 1 Sam. 1:17; 20:42; 29:7.

8:1.  kēryssōn kai euaggelizomenos tēn basileian tou theou = “preaching and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God”:  The two verbs indicate one action, and that preaching of the kingdom of God is accomplishing its presence among the people.

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