By Jeffrey A. Oschwald Luke 7:18‒35 presents the preacher with a challenge: although unified by references to John, the three subsections are diverse in topic and style. As Fitzmyer notes, the passage deals with (1) John’s question and Jesus’s answer, (2) Jesus’s testimony concerning John, and (3) Jesus’s judgment of his generation’s assessment of himself ..
By Dale A. Meyer Straightforward and familiar, this easy text isn’t easy. John the Baptist, “brood of vipers,” “wrath to come,” “bear fruits . . . and do not say to yourselves,” and the like are a routine Advent reading and its theme of repentance is what we do Sunday after Sunday, but familiarity with ..
By David Wollenburg Two gospel lessons are offered for this day: Both were recorded by Luke and so both are clearly Series C. They have complimentary emphasis as one, Luke 19:28‒40, is Luke’s account of Christ’s triumphal entry on Palm Sunday, and the second, Luke 21:25‒36, is about the times and seasons pointing to the ..
By Bruce Schuchard Sermon Suggestion Recent events here in our own country and elsewhere in the world may have more than a few of the faithful reeling in horror over the seemingly evident advance in the world of every evil influence and power. The experiences of the recent past may even have some wondering if the ..
By David Schmitt Textual Notes This reading captures a moment in Hebrews when the author moves from proclamation to exhortation. 10:11‒18: These verses capture the close of the writer’s proclamation of the work of Jesus. Jesus is the great high priest, who has offered a sacrifice once for all sin for all time and now is ..
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 ..
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, January 1988. By Francis C. Rossow Our modern rockets are useful for other than scientific and military purposes. In addition, they suggest a profound spiritual truth. It is characteristic of rockets to go through multiple stages. At some point after the initial liftoff, the ..
By Robert Rosin “Greeks seek wisdom,” Paul once wrote, and they had plenty to offer. Over the centuries, sages had tried to make sense of things with varied results. Their wisdom of the time had come to accept the idea of fundamental chaos as a starting reality, which they then sought to overlay with some ..
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 Charles Arand Twice Honored By God This particular lectionary provides an opportunity to connect the text with the overarching storyline of Scripture. At the heart of this reading is the quotation from Psalm 8 regarding how God made man a little lower than the angels but crowned him with glory by giving him dominion ..
By Anthony Cook The book of James is a collection of exhortations written to encourage Christians to live out their Christian identity in their daily lives until Christ returns. Due to the nature of the book, James feels more like a collection of proverbs than a narrative that flows from beginning to end. A common ..
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 ..
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, July 2006. By Joel P. Fritsche In chapter two of his epistle James warns these Christians about the danger of “head faith.” He doesn’t specifically label it as head faith, but that seems to be what he is referring to. Note what James says ..
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 ..