Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Friday is for Friends

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.)
Our Friday series is special: not only are we gathered together as blog friends, but the author of our book, Stories with Intent, is a personal friend. Klyne Snodgrass is one of the highlights at North Park and I’m privileged to know him and to have gleaned wisdom from him all these years. Our parable today is from Luke 7:41-43. Here it is; read it first:


40 Jesus answered him, ?Simon [the Pharisee], I have something to tell you.? ?Tell me, teacher,? he said. 41 ?Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?? 43 Simon replied, ?I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.? ?You have judged correctly,? Jesus said.

Talk about obvious. But wait …
This double indirect parable — the hearer is addressed by not speaking directly and the subject is parabolically expressed.
Klyne provides the helpful primary material — like Lev 25:8-55 (Jubilee) and Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness (Matt 6:12-13; 18:21-35). He sorts through some Greco-Roman festive meals. Forgiveness of the other is not a common theme in Jewish literature. (The best I’ve seen on this by Jewish scholarship is Solomon Schimmel, Wounds Not Healed by Time.)
Klyne thinks this event is not the same event as the one in John 12 and Mark 14/Matt 26.
“The Pharisee was not obligated to wash Jesus’ feet, anoint him with oil, and greet him with a kiss, but he should have provided water so that Jesus could wash his own feet” (82). Kissing another’s feet is the ultimate sign of gratitude … and deep humility. Anointing feet with oil was extravagant. A woman who lets her hang down in public is acting shamelessly. Women did not normally eat with men at banquets but the woman’s presence here is not “completely out of the ordinary” (83).
Meaning: clear and rather straightforward. Forgiveness.
“The kingdom comes with limitless grace … but grace that does not bring forth a response is grace unknown” (90). The presence of emotion is also notable. She acts as did Jesus when he washed his disciples feet.
I like this: The Pharisee is sure the woman is a sinner; Jesus is sure she is a forgiven sinner. Take that one with you.

Comments read comments(7)
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Michelle Van Loon

posted March 7, 2008 at 7:45 am

Another gem from the chapter: “Faith will love, or it is not faith” (p.90).

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John Frye

posted March 7, 2008 at 8:37 am

I just read Klyne’s discussion of the lost sheep and the lost coin in *Stories with Intent*.With a brevity packed with meaning, he opened my mind to hitherto unknown insights. I am glad you’ll walk us through this book.

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posted March 7, 2008 at 11:38 am


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Cody Weaver

posted March 7, 2008 at 1:45 pm

How is it that one is to pronounce ‘Eikons’? I really like the imagery, do you mind if I ask you where you got it? Also, do you see it as a ‘synthetic heuristic’ or as actually ‘carving the world at its joints’? Thank you for what you do.

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Scot McKnight

posted March 7, 2008 at 8:16 pm

I use it in Embracing Grace and A Community called Atonement.
Not sure what that last question means brother; help me out.

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posted March 8, 2008 at 7:38 am

Re Calvinist John Piper… I can’t for the life of me figure out how someone who is so into grace can be so legalistic about gender roles for men and women. To me that seems inconsistent with Calvinism… I have heard the same Calvinists question my Christianity because of the grace and freedom I have in Christ. Sooo, in this view, there are “works” that save… gender works.

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Robin Scott

posted March 8, 2008 at 5:04 pm

“The Pharisee is sure the woman is a sinner; Jesus is sure she is a forgiven sinner.”
Or might you go so far as to say that Jesus rejects the whole idea of classing people as “sinners”? To say she is a “forgiven sinner” still retains the idea that God’s (almost) primary concern is the “sinfulness” of humanity. (Cue the need for punishment, penalty, etc) Maybe God just LOVES the woman and Jesus is affronted by the judgmental and ignorant attitude of the Pharisees.

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