Tag Archives: scandal of the cross

Me, crucified? Her, forgiven? Scandalous! (OT 11, Year C)

Galatians 2.15–21
Luke 7.36—8.3


Do you like scandals? I ask only because people are scandalised all over the place in our New Testament readings today.

The unnamed woman in Luke’s story has scandalised the pharisee Simon at his dinner party—and in front of all his guests. This so-called ‘prophet’ Jesus had allowed her to behave outrageously, crying all over his feet and kissing them while anointing them with amazingly expensive perfume. Simon had never seen such a disgrace—and in his own house!

But first, let’s look at the Apostle Paul. I hope you didn’t ’tune out’ in our reading from Galatians. It’s not just dry theology—it’s a scandal! Paul speaks of ’tearing down the law’, and ’dying to the law’. He speaks of being ’crucified with Christ’. But let’s think—only law-breakers were crucified! If Paul is crucified with Christ, he has become a law-breaker in the eyes of those who were the guardians of the Law. He has become an out-law for Christ, and even an out-law with Christ.

Respectable, law-abiding people like Simon the Pharisee would have been scandalised by Paul! Simon would rather lose his right arm than ’tear down the law’ as Paul had done. We’re law-abiding people, too. What sense can we make of this scandalous talk? Let’s try.  Continue reading

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