Do you see this woman?

Proper 6C
2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-15
Psalm 32:1-8
Galatians 211-20
Luke 7:36-50

I only regret that I’m not preaching this week. So much good stuff here.

Uriah was Hittite. Was Bathsheba? Hittites consitituted one of those groups with whom true Israelites were not supposed to intermarry (see Ezra 9). Did David think he could take Bathsheba from Uriah because Uriah was Hittite? Interesting how it’s always the women whose bodies mark the boundaries between inside and outside. Bathesheba has no voice in this whole episode.

Galatians — one of the most unvarnished pictures of the early history of the christian movement. Peter and Paul fight, never to speak again. Again, it’s all about boundaries.

Luke. How did this woman get to the feast? The NRSV does an awful job of translating. Verse 37 says something like, “And look, there was a certain woman in the city who was a sinner. And when she recognized that he was reclining in the house off the Pharisee, she brough out an alabaster jar of myrrh.” She’s already at the party. She recognizes Jesus.

She wipes Jesus’ feet with the hair of her head. Her hair is down. She is a courtesan, part of the entertainment for the guests at Simon’s banquet. It’s not shocking to Simon that she’s there (he hired her), but shocking that Jesus, a prophet, would let a courtesan touch him.

Jesus says to Simon, after his little lesson about being forgiven and loving, “Do you see this woman?” The answer is “No.” Simon sees the entertainment. He sees a sinner. Jesus reverses the logic of his earlier story and says that her many sins have been forgiven because she has loved much. Or implies that her sins were forgiven before this encounter. In any event, she has been more hospitable than Simon. Jesus does not upbraid Simon for hiring entertainment. He simply lets the woman go in peace.

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