The familiar words of the Patriarch Joseph, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20 ESV) capture something of the uniqueness of Luke’s account of Jesus’s suffering, death, and resurrection. Enemies, faithless disciples, hapless crowds, pragmatic powerbrokers, and Satan himself are all arrayed against the perfectly innocent ..
By Jeff Gibbs This lection from John 16 shows how important it is to first interpret what a text meant before one can take in hand the question of what it means. These words of Jesus address his disciples in the upper room the night that he was betrayed, the day before he was crucified, ..
By Jeff Gibbs I say to my students with some regularity, “Careful exegesis often makes the text harder to preach.” What I mean, of course, is that the concerns of a particular text of Scripture might not, at first glance, be the sorts of things that concern a Christian/Lutheran congregation in twenty-first-century North America. When this is the ..
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 Jeff Gibbs Colossians 3:1–13 divides neatly into two sections. The first (vv. 1–4) calls believers to focus their attention on Christ, in relation both to his finished work (v. 1“sitting”), as well as the coming work of Christ on the last day (v. 4, “whenever”). The second (vv. 5–13) commands believers to act on ..
By Jeffrey Gibbs Textual Notes (using English Bible versification) One of the challenging issues in translation occurs in verse 10, the first verse of the appointed reading. The second line reads, literally, “And whoever loves abundance, not revenue (or income)—also this is vanity.” James Bollhagen suggests that since the particle לֹא normally negates a verb, ..
“Reaching the Summit and Holding On to Hope: 1 Corinthians 15 and the Resurrection” is presented in five video vignettes. The first four videos feature discussion of the text of 1 Corinthians Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs with Dr. Jeffrey Kloha in a casual, fun setting. In the video for the last session, Dr. Gibbs and Rev. Gary Ellul discuss implications for hope in Christ as it applies to challenging questions of life and death. The Leader Guides and Student Handouts were written by Pastor Ellul. The flexible format allows the facilitator to complete this study in as little as one session, or up to five
by Jeffrey A. Gibbs The reading offers, in its OT context, a strong example of the truth that “God’s ways are higher and greater than our ways.” Specifically, the reading presents a powerful contrast between David’s (and Nathan’s) understanding of what the God of Israel planned to do for his people and their king on the ..
The “Who is the Greatest? (It’s Not Who You Think)” series is presented in 4 separate video vignettes discussed by Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs with Dr. Jeffrey Kloha in a casual, fun setting. The Leader Guides and Handouts were written by Pastor Gary Ellul. The flexible format allows the facilitator to complete this study in as little as one meeting or up to four
by Jeffrey A. Gibbs The Text’s Limits: A Strong Suggestion Although the lectionary has put together 5:13–16 and 5:17–20, I would strongly suggest separating them. A very solid case can be made for the view that 5:13–16 adhere closely to the Beatitudes (5:3–12). On the other hand, 5:17–20 introduce a new and significant topic in ..