Paul continues on with talking about the futility of the Corinthians aligning themselves behind the various teachers of the community rather than behind Christ. In verse 7 Paul talks about the things that they have received, and that they have received them as a gift, a gift that is no way related to the leader, but only to God who has given them both the gift of Christ and of the Holy Spirit, and serve to fulfill God’s purposes and not those of the Corinthians.
This ties in rather neatly, which is sometime surprising with the lectionary, with the Genesis reading and Pharoah’s dream. In the Genesis account from this morning. Pharoah has a dream where 7 fat cows are followed by 7 skinny cows which eat them, and then 7 ears of good corn come up, followed by 7 skinny ears which devour them.
None of the Pharoah’s professional dream interpreter’s can given him an answer as to what it means, but the baker, whose dream, which involved a return to Pharoah’s favour, had been interpreted by Joseph. The reading ends with the baker relaying this to Pharoah. This allows us to pause for a moment and think about the interpretation being given as a gift to Joseph. Joseph does not have all the learning and secrets of divination that the Pharoah’s experts have, yet God provides Joseph with interpretation.
Much like the Paul’s writing to the Corinthians, the focus is not on the messenger, but on the message, a helpful reminder to all of us during this Lenten season.