By James Voelz Introduction and Overview This well-known pericope is “typical” of Luke’s Gospel in several important ways. Chief is the portrayal of Jesus as a prophetic figure (in something of a contrast to Matthew, where he is more obviously a Yahweh and Moses figure). This theme is initiated and made programmatic for the third Gospel ..
Joel Biermann At first blush, the central theme of this pericope seems to be faith and its remarkable residence in a Gentile centurion. That motif fits well with the preceding context. The centurion distinguishes himself not only as a capable builder of synagogues, but he is also a competent builder of houses, clearly founding his ..
By Charles Arand “I Am” Your Creator and Redeemer This is one of the better-known passages in John and is a favorite passage for many when it comes to finding texts that speak to the deity of Jesus. And yet it is perhaps one of the more enigmatic passages as well. After all, what kind ..
By Andrew Bartelt We find ourselves at the third great festival day (LSB 489), having celebrated the resurrection and the ascension of our Lord. Our text takes us to the night he was betrayed, as Jesus anticipates what we now remember as having happened. He is preparing his disciples—and us—for resurrection life after his resurrection ..
By Rick Marrs Background Our text is the end of Jesus’s High Priestly Prayer. Parts of the rest of this prayer, 17:1– 19, are texts for the same Sunday in different years (John 17:1-11 in Series A and John 17:11b-19 in Series B), so the preacher may want to familiarize the hearers with the salient parts ..
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 David Maxwell The Breath of God “[Jesus] breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld” (Jn 20:22–23). This is not the first time that God breathed on human beings. By breathing ..
By Kent Burreson Passing from one divine feast to another, from palms and branches, let us now make haste, O faithful, to the solemn and saving celebration of Christ’s passion Let us behold him undergo voluntary suffering for our sake, And let us sing to him with thanksgiving a fitting hymn: “Fountain of tender mercy ..
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, January 1980. By William J. Schmelder The preacher needs to resist mightily the temptation to use this text as the occasion for letting the congregation have it. It would be easy to become a stern preacher of the law, and to use this text ..
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 Glenn Nielsen In this text Jesus doesn’t explicitly accuse someone of something that needs repentance. Rather, he says the unfortunate people in the tragedies were not worse sinners. So this sermon focuses on the second half of repentance—the turning toward Jesus in faith—although a short section does mention what we need to turn away from. ..
By Paul Sieveking This week’s lessons are confrontational. The Old Testament lesson is a confrontation between Jeremiah and the people of Judah. In the Gospel we hear of the confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees. They confront us with a “prophetic word” that our people and maybe we, ourselves, may not want to hear. In Luke ..
By Kou Seying Confessing the truth means renouncing the false at the same time, “Do you renounce the devil, and all his works, and all his ways?” Often, the latter is ignored due to various theological lapses or cultural and individualistic reasons. In this text, we have a glimpse of the nature of truth and ..
By Mark Rockenbach In the beginning God said, “Let there be light” (Gn 1:3) and there was light. The voice of God called into existence not only light, but also water, land, vegetation, and living creatures. Once all was created God did not go silent but he continued to speak. God said, “Let us make ..
By Paul R. Raabe This gospel lesson records part of Jesus’s Galilean ministry, after he went down from Nazareth to Capernaum. Here we see Jesus teaching, casting out demons, and healing the sick. It is important when preaching on this text to put it into the right slot or category. Here the malady is not human ..
By David Peter This text is appropriate for reflection early in the Epiphany season for several reasons. First, it reports one of Jesus’s first acts of his public ministry. Second, it is one of the first times that Jesus publicly identifies himself as the Messiah. Third, it sets him clearly on the path to rejection ..