By Michael J. Redeker The fourth Sunday in Lent is known as Laetare (rejoice) Sunday. It is the midway point in Lent and has been viewed as a day of celebration as the mood of Lent is briefly lessened. Luke 15 is filled with parables of rejoicing; the shepherd rejoices over finding the one lost sheep, ..
by Wally Becker We are saved by God’s grace, through faith in Christ Jesus, for the purpose of living as God’s people to this world which he loves (Jn 3:16). This passage gives us a picture of “the two kinds of righteousness.” The first portion of the text focuses on the grace of God: dead in sin, ..
By Robert Kolb Introductory thoughts The final verse of the pericope governs our use of it and its context in chapter 42. The Lord takes pleasure (חפצ)—he gets a kick out of—placing his instruction, the script of the conversation he wishes to have with his human creatures (תורה), before them. He does so in accord with his righteousness. ..
By David R. Maxwell New Creation, New Identity In this reading, Paul employs two dominant themes: 1) new creation and 2) reconciliation. Are these the same thing? Or does reconciliation correlate with justification, while new creation correlates with sanctification? Or is there some other distinction being made here? I would suggest that new creation and ..
By Paul R. Raabe Numbers 21:4–9 is the appointed Old Testament lesson for Lent 4 in series B, where it is paired with John 3:14–21 as the Gospel lesson. It is also appointed for Holy Cross Day (Sept. 14) with John 12:20–33 as the Gospel lesson. Both Gospel lessons appropriately correspond with the Numbers 21 ..
By Paul Raabe John 9 is the appointed gospel lesson for the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Series A). The appointed Old Testament lesson works well with the gospel lesson, since Isaiah 42:14–21 announces both God’s promise to lead the blind and his rebuke of ancient Israel for its spiritual blindness. Jesus picks up this Isaianic ..
By Erik Herrmann There is some stiff competition in the lectionary with our Old Testament lesson for this Fourth Week in Lent. The Epistle reading is 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Paul’s declaration that we are a new creation in Christ who has reconciled us to God and given the church the ministry of reconciliation. The Gospel ..
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 P. Fritsche, All of the Lenten epistle readings in series A are from Romans with the exception of this one from Ephesians. The pericopes from Romans have provided a number of opportunities to ponder justification in a number of ways. We know that all men are condemned to death through the sin of ..