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Sermon by the Rev. Dr. George Hermanson, "."
The lectionary ends its 5 weeks of dabbling in John and returns to Mark. No murmurs from me about this.
Once again Malina and Rohrbaugh provide helpful background on this passage. (Pages 174-176, see footnote below.)
At one level, the controversy here is between the Judean elite who were 5% of the population, and everyone else. The elites lived in towns and cities and had access, time, and money for the water needed to follow their interpretation of the washing required to follow the Torah.