Saturday, August 8, 2015

Jesus: "separated from [the] sinners" he came "to call . . . to repentance"

"it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens [(ὅσιος ἄκακος ἀμίαντος, κεχωρισμένος ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ ὑψηλότερος τῶν οὐρανῶν γενόμενος)]" (Heb 7:26 RSV).

"'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance [(οὐκ ἐλήλυθα καλέσαι δικαίους ἀλλ᾽ ἁμαρτωλοὺς εἰς μετάνοιαν)]" (Lk 5:31-32 RSV; cf. Mt 9:12-13 and Mk 2:17, neither of which contain the phrase "to repentance" (though it is of course Matthew and Mark who stress that after the execution of John the Baptist (for preaching against sexual immorality!) Jesus took up his very call:  "From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'" (Mt 4:17; cf. Mk 1:14), and though it is actually remarkable how much the Jesus of the Gospels speaks of the importance of repentance; cf. also Titus 2:14:  "Jesus Christ . . . gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds").

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