Our readings today come from 2 Samuel 11-12 as well as Luke 7-8.
In 2 Samuel, Nathan (a prophet) comes to King David with a story about one man who has wronged another. David is filled with anger and demands that justice be served. Nathan informs David that he is in fact the man who has done the wrong. The reference is to the story of David and Bathsheba, at best David and Bathsheba had an affair, at worse and what more scholars believe is that David raped Bathsheba. Afterwards, her husband was moved to the frontlines of combat. David well aware that he would be killed by the sword of the enemy and then David took Bathsheba as his wife.
In our gospel text, Jesus goes to a dinner party hosted by a Pharisee named Simon. Tradition would have held that he would have greeted Christ with a kiss and washed Christ’s feet. He did neither, but a sinful woman in town crashes the party doing just that: washing Jesus’ feet with tears, drying them with her hair, anointing his feet with expensive ointment, and kissing his feet. A sign that she was well aware that her social status was well below that of Christ.
Simon from his pedestal thinks ‘if this man was really a prophet, he would know exactly what kind of woman that woman is and would never let her touch him.’ Christ presents a parable about two people who own a debt, but unable to pay it. The one that they own the debt to forgives them of their debt. He [Christ] asks which one would love their master the most. And Simon says ‘I would say the one who owed more debt’.
Now, we can get into a conversation about if we can really qualify sin like that, but that is another conversation.
Because, Nathan and Jesus to the exact same thing in these texts today. What they do is lift up a mirror in front of each of us, forcing us to confess our wrong doings, to recognize our own sin, our own need for forgiveness, and points our way back to Christ as the example of who and how we are to be in this world.
I pray that we each have at least one friend, who is willing to hold that mirror up before us not out of malice but rather out of love.
When was the last time you took a hard look in the mirror? What did you see? What are you willing to do to change it?
Thanks be to God!
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:15 and Luke 7:36 – 8:3.
Originally Preached on 12 June 2016