Yr A ~ Epiphany 6 ~ 1 Corinthians 3:1–9
We’ve been looking at Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians for a few weeks now and this is the first time we’ve experienced him verbally poking them in the eye. The main gist of what he’s saying is, “You are not spiritual! You’re babies!” You can imagine how they’d react to such an accusation.
He says that they are obviously babies because they’re acting immature – thinking they’re all grown up, thinking they’re better than other followers, thinking they’ve got the one and only true teaching while others follow the wrong people, and behaving badly toward one another. So Paul says, “Fine, if you’re babies then I’ll feed you milk instead of solid food!” Again, ouch!
Paul has called this community of faith to account. Now, do I mean the Corinthians or the Faith-ians? Can we see some of ourselves in his rant? Maybe a little. And that starts to make us squirm. Because we want to think we’re pretty grown up and mature in our faith and that we’ve got an insight into this whole spirituality thing that “other” versions of Christianity don’t have – so we’re better!……Oops!
Paul’s charge is that they’re behaving badly – but he doesn’t literally say behaving. The Greek word he uses means something closer to “walking in the way of.” So his indictment isn’t exactly about doing right or wrong it’s that they’re not really following the way of Jesus even though they think they are. That statement should really give us pause. The Corinthians obviously thought they were doing right, but Paul said not. We obviously think we’re doing right or we wouldn’t be doing what we do. Are we wrong too? How would we know? read on