Jeremiah 18:1-11; Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; (Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 1;) Philemon 1-21; Luke 14:25-33
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23; Psalm 125; (Isaiah 35:4-7a; Psalm 146;) James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17; Mark 7:24-37
Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 149; (Ezekiel 33:7-11; Psalm 119:33-40;) Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20
Christ as weapon, Paul?
Blessings and curses? My usual relational language with God does not include curses.
The juxtaposition of this text from James with Mark’s story of the healing of the Syro-Phoenician woman reveals a wicked sense of humor on someone’s part. The passage in James begins with an assertion of the fundamental incompatibility of faith in Christ, the Lord of Glory, with partiality in human relations. It then goes on to list a variety of ways in which believers might typically display such favoritism.
These six verses of Matthew do not mean that if two or three people agree on something, then they can ignore others and do whatever they want.
Paul was in Rome, the epicenter of empire, the magnet for people on the lam such as fugitive slaves. He was a “prisoner of Christ Jesus” not only because the Messiah had captured his heart but also because he had boldly proclaimed the grace and peace he had found. Somehow, through the Christian grapevine, Onesimus found Paul and sought shelter with him. Now Onesimus is going back to his owner.
When I was in first grade, teachers assigned students to reading groups based on how well they could read. They would name all the groups after birds so that everyone would feel equal, but you could always tell how well you were doing by what bird your group was named after. There were the Eagles, the Robins and the Pigeons. The Pigeons were not reading War and Peace .
Jesus knew forgiveness would always need special emphasis.