Here is one of the more over-interpreted Epistle readings, and the fact is that it is really very straightforward. For all of the extra “stuff” some might want to add, the answer is simply to use the protection you have been given to keep yourself from danger.
Understand that sin is really about, and you’ll understand. We don’t want to replace something that’s worth the effort with some “quickie” that only brings brief gratification.
Here’s more potential controversy! At any rate, it won’t sit well with some folks. In the Epistle, Paul points out that the same grace is given to all. This extends from those who were closest to Jesus, such as Peter, to those like Paul who had once persecuted Jesus’ followers.
The gospel points out another basic fact, that being that excessive pride does not bring grace. A Pharisee and a tax collector went to pray in the temple. The Pharisee was supposedly a paragon of righteousness, while the tax collector was seen as a crook. But who was it that went home justified?
CONTROVERSY ALERT! This Gospel reading seems to be one of the most important and also most ignored in the Bible! Jesus says “I have yet many things to say to you, but ye cannot bear them now.” Does that mean that he has more to say, and what he has to say won’t be found in the Bible we own?
If so, then where do we get this additional learning that Jesus has for us? He gives us a clue to that, too!
In the Epistle for today, Paul reminds his gentile followers of how different they are now compared to who they once were. This is a point often made to recent graduates of some courses of study, and it applies here as well.
I note, however, an appreciation shown for the realities of life and an appeal to common-sense moderation. “Be angry and sin not” shows that people are going to upset you. The difference is what you do as a result.