Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who Are the Sinners Again?

Heard something new in Mark the other day and was surprised I hadn't heard it before.  Mark 14 is a dark passage, betrayal, denial and friends who can't do the simple things like stay awake.

In the middle of this Jesus says “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.   Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

What caught my attention was the term sinners.  While most people know it as religious term,  used to insult people, it's not a term Jesus uses in that way most of the time.  In Mark the word only appears Mark 14 and Mark 2.

Here's how the term Sinners is used in Mark 2
Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.  As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
In Mark 2, the "teachers of the law" are up set that Jesus is eating with sinners, tax collectors being the worst kind of sinners for cooperating with Rome.  In Mark 14 it the "chief priests" who are coming to arrest Jesus.  The Gospel is often an inversion, the least being divine, the last being first.  In Mark 14 it's the religious leaders who protested Jesus eating with the wrong type of people, conspiring to commit murder. 

- Peace

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