Distinctive themes and patterns for preaching Mark in year B of the lectionary
David I. Lewis Literary Context In the verses proceeding today’s text Jesus confronts the religious authorities about their hypocrisy (11:37–54) and then warns his disciples to be faithful in the midst of persecution (12:1–12), persecution that would come in part from those very religious authorities. Today’s pericope then follows. Here Jesus turns from the disciples ..
By David I. Lewis Introduction Today’s gospel lesson records the beginning of the miraculous signs (αρχη των σημειων) which Jesus did as recorded in the Gospel of John: Jesus changes gallons of water into excellent wine (καλος οινος). How preachers and commentators have interpreted the significance of this event has varied. For instance, some argue ..
By David I. Lewis Literary Context The text is part of the section of 2 Corinthians where Paul is defending the integrity of his apostolic ministry and his past actions in dealing with the believers in Corinth (1:12–7:16). In the section immediately preceding today’s text, 3:7–11, Paul contrasts the ministry of Moses in mediating the Torah to Israel to ..
By David I. Lewis Today’s OT text is found in the section of Isaiah known as “the Isaiah Apocalypse” (Is 24–27). This “apocalypse” follows upon the oracles against the nations (Is 13–23) and offers a vision of Yahweh’s plans of judgment and grace for the entire world. Isaiah 24 depicts the judgment that will come upon the earth. Isaiah ..
By David I. Lewis Overview In 2 Thessalonians 2 the Apostle Paul discusses matters of eschatology as he exhorts the church in Thessalonica not to be disturbed by false teachings that said that the day of the Lord had already come. He quells these fears by pointing out what must take place first, namely the apostasy and revelation ..
By David I. Lewis Introduction The Old Testament lesson for Proper 14 contains the introduction to the narrative of Elijah’s flight to Mt. Horeb and his confrontation with Yahweh there (1 Kgs 1:1–18). As only the first eight verses of this narrative are included in the lesson, it appears that this reading was designed not ..
By David I. Lewis Introduction: Today’s Gospel reading contains a parable that is unique to Matthew’s Gospel, the so-called parable of the workers in the vineyard. A title that better reflects the pragmatics of this parable might be, “Jesus’s parable of warning to his disciples against focusing upon the rewards for discipleship and then making sinful ..
“His Blood Be on Us and our Children!”: Joseph Ratzinger on Matthew 27:25
By David I. Lewis Introduction Several challenges face the preacher of this text: one challenge is how best to understand this text in its literary and historical context where it speaks to the restoration of Israel from captivity and how—if at all—this message then relates to our hearers today. Other challenges stem from this text ..
By David I. Lewis Literary Context Today’s Gospel is the first of a series of three lessons taken from the so called “Bread of Life Discourse” of John 6:22-71. Here Jesus engages in an extended dialogue first with the crowd (6:25-59) and then with his disciples (6:60-71). At several points, this dialogue shifts to monologue/short ..
By David I. Lewis, Introduction: In the three year lectionary the Fourth Sunday of Easter is also designated “Good Shepherd Sunday” with readings from John 10 as the Gospel text dispersed over the three years. Today’s Epistle is read on this Sunday perhaps especially because of verse 25 which does relate to this theme—”For you were ..
By David I. Lewis, Introduction: This Sunday provides one key point of structure within the church year, both in how it looks back over the season of Epiphany and how it also looks forward through the season of Lent to Easter. The Sundays in Epiphany are “framed” between the Baptism of our Lord and His ..