Who can forgive sins? (Lk 7:49-7:49)

“Those who were

At the table

With Jesus

Began to say

Among themselves.

‘Who is this?

Who even forgives sins?’”

 

καὶ ἤρξαντο οἱ συνανακείμενοι λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Τίς οὗτός ἐστιν, ὃς καὶ ἁμαρτίας ἀφίησιν;

 

Luke uniquely had this response from those at this dinner party.  Luke said that those who were reclining at the table with Jesus began to say among themselves (καὶ ἤρξαντο οἱ συνανακείμενοι λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς) who was this who even forgives sins (Τίς οὗτός ἐστιν, ὃς καὶ ἁμαρτίας ἀφίησιν)?  This was a common topic among the Pharisees, since they maintained that only God could forgive sins, not this itinerant Galilean preacher.  Do you believe that Jesus can forgive your sins?

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Bel eats and drinks (Dan 14:6-14:7)

“The king said to Daniel.

‘Do you not think

That Bel

Is a living God?

Do you not see

How much he eats,

How much he drinks,

Every day?’

Then Daniel laughed.

He said.

‘Do not be deceived!

O king!

This thing is

Only clay inside,

With bronze,

On the outside.

It never ate

Or drank anything.’”

King Cyrus got into a conversation with Daniel about Bel and his living God. The king maintained that Bel was also a living god, since he was able to eat and drink every day. Then Daniel laughed at him. He told the king not to be deceived. Bel was only made of clay and bronze, so that it was not capable of eating or drinking.

The questioning of the second elder (Dan 13:56-13:57)

“Then,

Putting the first elder

To one side,

He ordered them

To bring in the other elder.

Daniel said to him.

‘You!

Offspring of Canaan!

Not offspring of Judah!

Beauty has beguiled you!

Lust has perverted

Your heart!

This is how

You both

Have been treating

The daughters of Israel.

They were intimate

With you

Through fear.

But a daughter of Judah

Would not tolerate

Your wickedness.’”

When he was finished with the first elder, he asked that the second elder be brought in to him. Daniel once again berated this second old judge. This time, he claimed that this elder was not from Judah, but from the pagan Canaanite area. Daniel maintained that this judge, along with his other elder judge had a perverted lust in their hearts, since beauty beguiled them. They had been both mistreating the daughters of Israel, forcing them to be sexually intimate with them out of fear. However, this daughter of Judah, Susanna, would not tolerate their wickedness.

Yahweh will not consult with the elders (Ezek 20:2-20:3)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Speak to the elders

Of Israel!

Say to them!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Why are you coming?

Are you coming

To consult with me?

As I live!

I will not be consulted

By you.’

Says Yahweh God.”

As usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. Yahweh told him what to tell the elders of Israel. Yahweh wanted to know why they were coming to consult with him. Yahweh clearly maintained that he did not want to consult with them.

The trustworthy servant (Ps 119:17-119:24)

Gimel

“Deal bountifully with your servant.

Thus I may live and observe your word.

Open my eyes!

Thus I may behold

Wondrous things out of your law.

I am an alien in the land.

Do not hide your commandments from me!

My soul is consumed with longing

For your ordinances at all times.

You rebuke the insolent.

You rebuke the accursed ones,

You rebuke those who wander from your commandments.

Take away from me their scorn and contempt.

I have kept your decrees.

Even though princes sit plotting against me,

Your servant will meditate on your statutes.

Your decrees are my delight.

They are my counselors.”

This psalmist maintained that he was a trustworthy servant. He wanted to live and observe the word of God. He wanted his eyes opened so that he could see all the wondrous things of the law. He was like an alien in his own land. He did not want Yahweh to hide the commandments from him. He was consumed with following the laws of Yahweh. He knew that Yahweh rebuked those who wandered from keeping his commandments, the insolent and the accursed ones. Even if other princes were plotting against him, this psalmist would continue to meditate on Yahweh’s statutes. The psalmist delighted in Yahweh’s decrees since they were like his counselors. Thus this section on the third consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Gimel, came to an end.

Prayer for deliverance (Ps 43:1-43:2)

“Vindicate me!

O God!

Defend my cause

Against an ungodly people!

From those who are deceitful,

From those who are unjust,

Deliver me!

You are the God

In whom I take refuge.

Why have you cast me off?

Why must I walk about mournfully

Because of the oppression of the enemy?”

Psalm 43, which was part of Psalm 42, has no title indications and is a very short psalm. The phrases and the themes are a continuation of the preceding psalm. The psalmist wanted to be vindicated. He wanted God to defend his cause against an ungodly people who were deceitful and unjust. He wanted to be rescued. He maintained that he took refuge in God. However, he still wondered why he was cast off. He was in mourning because of his oppressive enemy.