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 ..
By David I. Lewis Introduction Today’s gospel lesson records the beginning of the miraculous signs (αρχη των σημειων) which Jesus did as recorded in the Gospel of John: Jesus changes gallons of water into excellent wine (καλος οινος). How preachers and commentators have interpreted the significance of this event has varied. For instance, some argue ..
By Robert Kolb I am not particularly fond of John the Baptist. It is not his strange clothes or his strange diet that puts me off. I know lots of people with strange clothing eating strange foods. His threatening me with fire is the reason I would rather avoid John. Fire hurts, a long time. ..
By Thomas Manteufel This story shows the holy family in Jerusalem at the feast of Passover. According to Deuteronomy 16:16, all male Israelites were obligated (though the women were not forbidden to show devotion in this way also) to come to the Lord’s house to celebrate the feasts of Passover, Weeks, and Booths. The young ..
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 David Wollenburg Two gospel lessons are offered for this day: Both were recorded by Luke and so both are clearly Series C. They have complimentary emphasis as one, Luke 19:28‒40, is Luke’s account of Christ’s triumphal entry on Palm Sunday, and the second, Luke 21:25‒36, is about the times and seasons pointing to the ..
By Bruce Schuchard Sermon Suggestion Recent events here in our own country and elsewhere in the world may have more than a few of the faithful reeling in horror over the seemingly evident advance in the world of every evil influence and power. The experiences of the recent past may even have some wondering if the ..
By David Schmitt Textual Notes This reading captures a moment in Hebrews when the author moves from proclamation to exhortation. 10:11‒18: These verses capture the close of the writer’s proclamation of the work of Jesus. Jesus is the great high priest, who has offered a sacrifice once for all sin for all time and now is ..
By Tim Saleska Text and Grammar Notes 9:24: εἰσῆλθεν: the aorist verb emphasizes the central point of this text that, unlike the OT sacrifices, Christ’s sacrifice was “once and for all.” ἅγια: The author of Hebrews commonly uses both the plural and the singular, ἅγιον, without distinction to refer to the sanctuary (BDAG). ἀντίτυπα τῶν ..
By Robert Rosin “Greeks seek wisdom,” Paul once wrote, and they had plenty to offer. Over the centuries, sages had tried to make sense of things with varied results. Their wisdom of the time had come to accept the idea of fundamental chaos as a starting reality, which they then sought to overlay with some ..
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, July 2006. By Joel P. Fritsche In chapter two of his epistle James warns these Christians about the danger of “head faith.” He doesn’t specifically label it as head faith, but that seems to be what he is referring to. Note what James says ..
In a special excerpt from his online D.Min. course on Mark, Prof. Jim Voelz discusses the Gospel pericopes for both the 13th and 14th Sundays after Pentecost (Proper 16 [Mk 7:1-13] and 17 [Mk 7:14-23]), in the context of the Year B lectionary
By William Wrede Marriage. A man and a woman united. The standard for this union has been established by God and is fully rooted in his love for us in Jesus Christ. A quick review of the readings from Ephesians for the prior two Sundays will frame our reading for today; we are imitators of ..