The gospel reading for today comes from Mark 2 and immediately follows the calling of Levi (Matthew) as a disciples. Later that same day Jesus is seen and criticized for eating with sinners and tax collectors. These incidents still deal with the question about whom God forgives and under what circumstances.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins? (Mark 2:5-7)
This coming Sunday is the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, in Lectionary Cycle C, the Year of the Gospel of Luke as the primary source of our Sunday gospels. We begin with the opening verses of the Gospel according to Luke. It’s inclusion with the main body of the Sunday Gospel, is not for biblical scholarship or context, but it serves to emphasize the certainty of the story that follows (from Chapter 4). While many scholars note that it flawlessly follows the conventional form of prologues, it is surprising how little we are actually told. Unlike other gospels, it does not mention Jesus by name or title, gives no indication of the subject matter of the writing, does not name its sources, nor describe the scope of the writing. That being said, Luke’s concerns are more than historical (orderly sequence; more specifically, historical rhetoric). It promises to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us that has been passed from the eyewitnesses from the beginning and the ministers of the word that handed the accounts onto Luke’s generation (ca. 85 CE).