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 Jeff Gibbs It would be tempting to regard this text, a series of short imperative clauses, as a random series of “inspired one-liners” that exhort the Thessalonian believers (and us) to general Christian behaviors and attitudes. To be sure, there’s some truth in such a description, for there is no complex argument involved and the hardest structural ..
Editor’s Note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, October 1998. By Jeffrey A. Gibbs Textual observations: The historical situation at the time of Isaiah’s prophecy isimpossible to determine. Oppression by Assyria is one possible setting. These verses are matched with Isaiah 34 as oracles regarding Edom’s doom and Israel’s salvation; the present text is ..
By William Utech “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Most days I have a pretty hard time with that one. I don’t think I’m alone… I have a friend in the ministry who, for the past half-dozen years or so, has been battling cancer. On more than a few occasions, ..
by William Wrede Behold Your Salvation The Season of Advent presents unique challenges not only for the preacher but for the congregation as well. While shorter than Lent, the pastor and the people may find the challenges of Advent to be significant. How do you schedule special programs prepared by the day school, Sunday school, choir, ..
by Jeffrey A. Kloha Textual Notes Two phrases are problematic in this text. First, Jesus seems to diminish John in verse 11. So who is the “greatest?” Greatness in the kingdom is the opposite of what is considered greatness outside of it. The greatest are those who serve (Mt 20:26; 23:11) but above all—directly answering ..
By Gerhard Bode Throughout the Church Year the church rejoices in the gracious coming of Christ to itself in the Word of God and in the sacraments. Yet during the season of Advent the church applies the teaching of God’s Word in a unique way as it also prepares for the commemoration of our Lord’s first ..
By Jeffrey A. Oschwald The Gospel for Advent 3 from John seems to overlap extensively with the previous Sunday’s Gospel from Mark. Both provide an introduction to John the Baptist, and both describe details of his ministry. Our goal this week, then, will be to discover the ways in which this text builds upon the ..