By Jeff Kloha “Why Do You Not Leave Me Alone?” Narrative Focus This pericope falls within a series of four of Jesus’s miracles (8:22–56): calming a storm, casting out demons, healing a woman, and raising a girl from the dead. These together show Jesus’s power and reign over every sphere of danger and calamity: nature, ..
By Anthony Cook “If this man were a prophet, he would have known.” Simon’s statement implies that if Jesus were a true prophet he would know about the sinful lifestyle of the woman who was anointing him and refuse her expression of love. Simon was not only assuming how a prophet would respond, but also ..
By Glenn Nielsen In this text Jesus doesn’t explicitly accuse someone of something that needs repentance. Rather, he says the unfortunate people in the tragedies were not worse sinners. So this sermon focuses on the second half of repentance—the turning toward Jesus in faith—although a short section does mention what we need to turn away from. ..
By Kou Seying Confessing the truth means renouncing the false at the same time, “Do you renounce the devil, and all his works, and all his ways?” Often, the latter is ignored due to various theological lapses or cultural and individualistic reasons. In this text, we have a glimpse of the nature of truth and ..
By Tim Saleska Text and Grammar Notes 9:24: εἰσῆλθεν: the aorist verb emphasizes the central point of this text that, unlike the OT sacrifices, Christ’s sacrifice was “once and for all.” ἅγια: The author of Hebrews commonly uses both the plural and the singular, ἅγιον, without distinction to refer to the sanctuary (BDAG). ἀντίτυπα τῶν ..
By Joel P. Okamoto Notes on the pericope The pericope urges Christians to believe God’s promise of eternal rest and to hold on to it by faithfulness. The pericope is part of a passage that exhorts Christians to persevere in faith and faithfulness. The first part of the exhortation begins by quoting part of Psalm ..
By Joel Biermann This text hardly ranks among the most popular or familiar of those gathered in the pericopes; but with its stern warnings, emphasis on Christian responsibility, and explicit OT imagery, it serves nicely as a representative of the entire book, and offers some interesting opportunities for the preacher. These vital points can be ..
By Jeffrey Kloha James 3 and 4 stand among the harshest condemnations found in the NT. To be called “earthly, unspiritual, demonic” is certainly not the life to which the saints have been called. But it is nevertheless evident among us: bitter jealousy (3:14), strife (3:14, 16), disorder (3:16), foul deeds (3:16), quarrels, fights, (4:1–2), ..
By William W. Schumacher The text of this passage from the Epistle of James is interesting both grammatically and lexically. The passage is rich in imagery, and the vocabulary is rather unusual. The preacher is invited to echo the colorful, creative language in a sermon that does not reduce the message to simplistic platitudes and ..
By Jason Broge The image of the Christian as warrior has become more distasteful in recent years. War-weary people cringe at the classic battle hymns, fearing hymns like “Onward Christian Soldiers” create images of militaristic aggression that don’t fit with the gospel of peace. However, the hymn presents an image, not of a lone soldier, but ..
By Erik Herrmann The Christian confession of the Trinity is both sublime and difficult. Trying to grasp the distinction of the divine persons while maintaining the unity of the Godhead can feel like an abstraction that places God further away from us instead of drawing near. The distinctions are important as the language of the Athanasian Creed gives ..
By Kent Burreson The Feast Day of Pentecost is the fiftieth day of the Easter season, the eighth day beyond the seven weeks of seven days. It is the culmination of the joyous, uninterrupted feast of the resurrection of Christ Jesus. It is the end of the beginning (the celebration of the risen Christ among his people) and ..
by Leopoldo A. Sánchez M. Testifying in the Courtroom Life is one of the apostle’s favorite images of salvation, and he makes use of it in the assigned text: “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 Jn 5:11). John speaks of eternal life in a ..
By Robert Kolb Sometimes it seems as if our lives have wandered into one of the survival shows on television and we are about to be eliminated, or at least have questions about lasting longer than a few more weeks or months. Too many false calculations, too many wrong-headed decisions. Paul tells us in this lesson that this ..
By Kent Burreson The Just Way of God “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” This phrase leads Yahweh through Ezekiel to address Israel’s whining as they blame Yahweh for their woe and suffering in the destruction of the land and in the exile under Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar. The preacher is encouraged ..
By Paul Philp A lot has happened since Joseph’s brothers left him for dead in the desert. The brothers have been reunited with Joseph, and now their father, Jacob, has died. It is as if they are back in the desert staring into the pit where they left Joseph dying. Joseph’s brothers are face-to-face with the guilt of their ..