This is perhaps the most scandalous story in the Gospels. Many scholars think that it is not part of St. Johnís Gospel because it does not quite fit here and does not appear in some of the ancient codexes.
It may have been a free floating parable of Jesus which the editor placed in St. Johnís gospel, changing it from a parable Jesus told to a story in which Jesus participated because it seemed less scandalous if Jesus was the principle actor.
The scandal of course is that Jesus forgives the unpardonable crime of adultery and indeed gives ďabsolutionĒ before the sinner confesses.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once upon a time a man named Dean Acheson who had served in the Roosevelt administration was called back to serve in the Truman administration. A friend of his was Alger Hiss who turned out to have been a highly placed Communist spy in late nineteen thirties and the early nineteen forties. After Hissís conviction on perjury charges, reporters asked Acheson who worked in the State Department (and probably designed the famous Marshal plan which saved Europe from hunger and Communism) what he thought of his friend Hiss now.
The son of an Anglican Bishop and a frosty, prickly man, said the famous words, ďI will not turn my back on Alger Hiss!Ē Immediately the Republicans in Congress branded him as soft on Communism and perhaps a Communist spy. This image stuck in the minds of many Americans, although Acheson was the most determined of Cold Warriors, perhaps indeed the first Cold Warrior.
He committed the unpardonable sin of forgiving a traitor who had not even asked forgiveness.
Thatís what Jesus did.
Gospel Reading: Luke 19:28-40 [See Passion Narrative & Meditation for Luke 22:14--23:56]
28 And when he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Beth'phage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, "Go into the village opposite, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat; untie it and bring it here. 31 If any one asks you, `Why are you untying it?' you shall say this, `The Lord has need of it.'" 32 So those who were sent went away and found it as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?" 34 And they said, "The Lord has need of it." 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their garments on the colt they set Jesus upon it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their garments on the road. 37 As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" 39 And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." 40 He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out."
1 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we
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