Sometimes I wonder if we conservative Christians have become what might be called second and third article Christians (that is we care only about the second & third articles of the Nicene Creed). In other words, we think of Jesus as the one who gets us to heaven with the result that we then regard creation as of little importance by comparison
By Robert Kolb Introductory thoughts: These women appear to be bewildered, to be sure, and somewhat befuddled and bungling. They apparently had just not thought of how they would get to the body, behind that massive stone that blocked the entrance, behind those Roman guards. They could not know, of course, that theirs was a ..
By Travis J. Scholl As seems the case every time we encounter a pericope from the Gospel of Mark, we can start by noticing what is not there. The “Palm Sunday” in Mark isn’t triumphal, at least not with the same sense of triumph that we find in the other gospels. But Mark does give ..
By David R. Maxwell The Slave of All The Passion Prediction (Mark 10:32-34) This is the third time Jesus predicts his death and resurrection in Mark. The first time, Peter takes him aside and rebukes him (Mk 8:31-32). The second time, the disciples do not understand and are afraid to ask him about it (Mk ..
By Robert Rosin Although the reading begins with verse 14, the context from the start of the chapter is helpful. Nicodemus, a learned man, an expert in the law, and a leader of the religious community (Sanhedrin), came by night to see Jesus—to see but not be seen. Darkness provided cover, giving Nicodemus hope that ..
By Joel D. Biermann Thoughts from the Text The number of midweek Lenten series with at least one Wednesday devoted to a meditation on the scourge is probably beyond number. “Jesus and the Scourge” is a title that makes sense and you know the basic outline: our innocent Lord is made to suffer excruciating pain ..
By Travis J. Scholl This second Gospel reading in the season of Lent begins with a significant geographic border-crossing. Jesus has left the friendlier confines of Galilee, heading north to Caesarea Philippi. The name itself suggests the heavy hand of the Roman Empire, and the city was a significant site of pagan worship. Jesus has ..
By Travis J. Scholl This is the second time in this liturgical year we have encountered Mark’s account of Jesus’ baptism by John. The first was on the Baptism of our Lord, January 11. There, the baptism ends the pericope, preceded by John the baptizer’s ministry in the wilderness. Here, it prefaces Jesus’ own journey ..
By Paul Philp Transfiguration Sunday has some similarities to Christmas and Easter in the sense that the assigned Gospel reading is one of those very familiar texts that can be difficult to preach in a fresh and new way. The details of the account are familiar to us. The decision is whether or not to ..
By Wally Becker Mark gets right into the story. Immediately in chapter one, John the Baptizer is introduced and Jesus is baptized. He is tempted for forty days in the desert and then begins gathering his disciples. He drives out an evil spirit from a man on the Sabbath in the synagogue. Then, he goes ..
By William W. Schumacher The season of Epiphany is about the self-revelation of God in Jesus Christ, and the texts of the season relate in various ways how Jesus Christ shows himself to us and to the world. And so, in this Epiphany season, one question we always bring to texts is, “What does Jesus ..
By Gerhard Bode The Epiphany season highlights the revelation of Jesus as Savior to the world. The Gospel reading for this Sunday continues the identification of Jesus as God’s own Son and the promised Messiah, with a focus on Jesus as one who speaks and acts with divine authority. At the same time Jesus’ authority ..
By Francis C. Rossow Sermon notes 1. Like our text, the Epistle for this Sunday (1 Cor 7:29-31) has something to say about time. Paul’s comment that “the time is short” echoes the urgency of our Lord’s announcement, “The time has come” (v. 15)—the only difference being that Paul is speaking of the quantity of ..
By Robert Kolb Context Jesus has begun to gather his disciples. John the Baptist’s advertising of this “Lamb of God” has attracted the curious (1:15-37). Simon and Andrew have come to Jesus, and Simon has already begun to experience what it means when Jesus takes over a person’s life. Jesus changed his name, gave him a ..
By William W. Schumacher Jesus Christ, the Son of God—that is who Mark identifies in the opening tide verse of his gospel (1:1). As such, of course, Jesus was in no personal need of the “repentance and the forgiveness of sins” attached to John’s baptism (1:4). Yet, there he is, going down into the water ..
By Gerhard Bode Liturgical Setting The Gospel reading for the Second Sunday after Christmas again locates Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in the Jerusalem temple—twelve years after Jesus’ presentation there as an infant. The boy—Jesus’ return to his “Father’s house” re-identifies him as the promised Messiah in the person of God’s own Son, and anticipates the ..