Posted by Rev. Jon Dunbar

Readings for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 7:36-8:3; Galatians 2:15-21 & 3:10-14; 2 Samuel 11:26-12:10,13-14

Forgiveness of sins is the greatest gift God has to offer us. Without it there can be no hope of friendship with Him now or life with Him in eternity. Two of the readings for Sunday are powerful stories about forgiveness. They also teach us about some of the barriers we can erect to keep ourselves from experiencing God’s forgiveness.

     In the Gospel, a well-known sinner breaks up a dinner party Jesus is attending with Simon the Pharisee. Simon considers himself a much better person than this sinner. But in fact he himself is hiding behind a barrier of self-righteousness that keeps him from trusting Jesus or loving him as the sinner does (Luke 7).

     In the Old Testament, the LORD sends his prophet Nathan to confront King David about his sin with Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah. For some time David hid behind a barrier of power and authority that caused him not to care about God’s will. But God’s Word exposes his sin and leads him to a full confession of what he has done. As a result, David receives God’s forgiveness (2 Sam 11,12).

     In the Epistle, the apostle Paul explains where the Christian gets his new spiritual life. It comes not from the performing of righteous deeds (which can never be done perfectly) but from trusting in the power of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection (Gal 2,3).

     Which sinful attitudes  are most likely to keep you from receiving God’s forgiveness?