Posted by: Pauline | October 8, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday October 15

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Some people today see in Paul’s warnings about sin in this passage a confirmation that religion is about trying to control people by threatening them with hell. Others see justification of their own moral behavior and condemnation of those who do not keep the same high standards.

Paul does speak of the condemnation that is due for violations of God’s commandments. But his purpose is to remind his readers that they are no longer condemned for their former sinful way of life, but rather made righteous and holy through Jesus Christ, who has freed them from sin to live a new way of life in Him.

Luke 16:19-31

Interpretations of this parable vary widely, with some emphasizing the reality of heaven and hell, while others focus on the obligations of the wealthy to be generous to the less fortunate. Since Jesus told this parable in the context of a discussion of the management of money, there is clearly a warning to those who enjoy a place of economic privilege and disregard the needs of those around them. It also echoes a common theme in Scripture about the downfall of the powerful and blessings coming to those who had suffered.

A far less obvious interpretation sees Lazarus as representing Gentiles and the rich man representing Jews, who for centuries had seen themselves as enjoying the riches of God’s favor and revelation, while the Gentiles were dismissed as worthless. Christians who were being marginalized, whether Jews thrown out of synagogues because they professed faith in Christ, or Gentiles told that they could not be blessed by God unless they first became Jews, were to find encouragement in this story that, like Lazarus, they could look forward to a place of blessing in God’s Kingdom.

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