By Joel D Biermann Considerations in relation to the text 1. There is no doubt about the theme for this Sunday’s text. Every Scripture reading for the last two weeks has been swelling the volume and intensity of the message until today’s two readings conspire to fairly scream the theme: the eschaton is coming—the return ..
By Timothy P. Dost Introduction In this text Jesus encourages his disciples—and us—to look not to present things, no matter how externally impressive, but rather to find our hope in Christ, who has sent his Holy Spirit to defend us even in the greatest difficulties. These difficulties are the preparation for the Gospel, which will be ..
By Rick Marrs Several years ago, the parish I was serving invited the District’s Mission/Stewardship Executive to preach for our “New Consecration Sunday.” He surprised the congregation with this opening: “Sometimes Christians ask me what portion of their income they should really give to God and his Church? When they ask it like that, I tell ..
By Jeff Gibbs I would suggest that the preacher not try to “cover” the entirety of the Beatitudes; there’s too much here! For a relatively lengthy exposition, see Gibbs, Matthew 1:1-11:1 (CPH, 2006), 234-56. Below are only a few exegetical and homiletical suggestions. One of the major views regarding the structure of the Beatitudes sees 5:3-6 ..
By William W. Schumacher The assignment of this text for the festival of the Reformation suggests the question: Was the Lutheran Reformation about freedom? Luther’s famous early work, “The Freedom of a Christian,” developed the idea of the paradoxical identity of one who has faith in Christ: both utterly free and completely devoted to service to ..
By Robert W Weise From the Impossible to the Possible of God’s Grace Introduction We live in a world that continues to place personal wealth and individualism over and against the word of God and a life a dependent on Christ. Satan tempts us to believe that you can serve two masters: worldly wealth and ..
By Dale Meyer W.I.I.F.M.? That’s the question we always asked when we were preparing scripts for Lutheran Hour Ministries’ TV show, “On Main Street.” What’s in it for me? What’s in this program for the viewer—or in crafting a sermon, what’s in it for the hearer? The question isn’t intended to cater to the selfishness of ..
By Victor Raj “Bending the Rules” The question of divorce is what first meets the eye as one reads this text. To be sure, the OT reading for this day, Genesis 2:18-25, attests to it. The epistle lesson, Hebrews 2:13, however, adds a new perspective to our text. There it clearly states that disobedience of ..
By Kyle Castens “Whose Side, Anyway?” Charles simply figured there must be something wrong with his baseball glove. That was the fifth pop-fly in a row that fell straight out of the sky, right into the pocket of his mitt, and sprang out almost as high, landing on the green summer turf. It was a ..
By David Schmitt Literary and Liturgical Setting Our reading is the second of three passion predictions in Mark. In the literary context of Mark, these three passion predictions are held together. First, they span the period between the Galilean ministry of Jesus (1:14-8:30) and his Passion (11:1-15:47), between the revelation of who Jesus is and ..
By Tim Saleska Sermon Notes The question that presses the characters in this text is the same one that often presses modern Christian readers of this text. It is the question that the preacher himself must face and answer: What authority does Jesus really have? Put more simply: Can Jesus help us or not? The question ..
By Andrew Bartelt Literary Context 1. The pericope continues Mark 7. The near goal of the narrative is Mark 8, skipped in this Markan section of the lectionary, but thematically where the story is headed. So who is this Jesus? Is he the Christ/Messiah? Thus these stories are secondarily about faith and primarily about Jesus. So ..
By Travis J. Scholl This week and next week (Proper 17) make up a continuous reading of Mark 7. (Technically, Proper 18 brings the reading of Mark 7 to a close, but there is a thematic and geographic shift that separates it from Propers 16 and 17.) If we were to treat these two readings ..
By Joel Okamoto Notes on the text 1. For the context, see Propers 13 and 14. 2. At this point Jesus provokes a fresh concern among the people. We might say that their concern shifts from the person of Jesus to his flesh. When Jesus first declares himself the bread of life that came down ..
By Joel Okamoto Notes on the text 1. This passage is an excerpt from Christ’s “Bread of Life” discourse, and forms the middle section of a three-lesson series taken from this same chapter. This pericope’s exchange occurred after Jesus fed the 5,000 (w. 1-13) and after the people failed to discern the sign that he had ..