By Erik Hermann This second of Isaiah’s so-called Servant Songs continues the theme of Israel’s redemption. Like the exodus of old, God will gather his people out from under the hand of oppression and bring them back to himself. And as in the former days, this salvation will be accomplished through a chosen servant, a vessel and instrument ..
Editor’s Note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, October 2003. By Thomas Manteufel It can be exciting to meet a famous personality. In this Scripture text, God, by the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, introduces someone whom he wants his people to meet. Behold! Look! He calls out in the original Hebrew. See the ..
By Leopoldo A. Sanchez M. Our text proclaims the manifestation of the Lord’s “light” and “glory” upon his people (v. 1), and through Israel to the “peoples” of the earth who dwell in “thick darkness” (v. 2a). Isaiah uses the contrast between light and darkness to offer us an image of salvation: The light of the Lord “will ..
By Joel Biermann Israel, God’s rebellious son, God’s adulterous bride, remains always the unexpected recipient of God’s greatest giving. He even intervenes for Israel as a Savior who chooses to suffer affliction for the sake of his chosen people. In response to such extraordinary loving kindness, Israel, of course, rebels… and then yet once more remembers her saving Lord. ..
By Wally Becker “Behold the virgin is about to become pregnant and bear a son, and you will call his name Immanuel” (Is 7:14). Unfortunately, the commentary for this part of Isaiah, written by Dr. Andrew Bartelt, that will be part of the CPH Commentary Series, has not yet been published. It should be available in three years, ..
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 Francis C. Rossow The tree metaphor with which the text begins is a continuation of the same metaphor introduced at the end of the preceding chapter (Is 10:33–34). There the metaphor is used for law purposes. “The Lord Almighty will lop off the boughs … the lofty trees will be felled” (NIV), and “Lebanon with its majestic ..
By Paul Philp A new church year has begun, and the prophet Isaiah gives us a glimpse of the future new creation by focusing us upon the past. Isaiah is prophesying about that which is yet to come in the restoration of the church, begun in Christ’s first advent and yet to be concluded in his second advent. ..
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 ..
by Tom Egger In this pericope, Jesus is proclaiming the blessings of his reign to those gathered around him on the mountain. His words address a repentant, lowly people with the assurance of God’s presence and reign over them (in Jesus: Immanuel) and the promise of eschatological blessings. These blessings which are yet to come ..
by Bruce M. Hartung How rich can a text be? How many options can one text give a preacher? The richness of options is almost overwhelming as God speaks to us as preachers and to his people. Following his temptation, Jesus begins his Galilean ministry. In summary and rapid-fire form, Matthew ushers in Jesus’s work. ..
by Bruce Schuchard Because They Have Seen? Seeing is believing. Or so the saying goes. In the gospel of John, however, there is much to be said for the suggestion that what the gospel is meaning to extol is hearing not seeing. If one is to see what only the mind and the heart—what only ..
by Dale A. Meyer Still Waters Run Deep Introduction: Over time you get to know some people well enough to know how they’ll react. You have a good idea how friends, family, and co-workers will react in certain situations. Some people you know keep a calm composure on the outside but inside are deeply intense. ..
by William W. Schumacher So soon after the sometimes sentimental scenes of the infant Jesus we cherish at Christmas, this unique account of Jesus as a twelve-year-old boy accelerates us toward the mature ministry of the Savior. The sense of leaving infancy behind and jumping ahead toward Jesus’s mission is integral to the text (rather ..
by Travis J. Scholl Talk about good news, bad news. The day after Christmas (“On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”), and already the evangelist has swept up the holy family to Egypt, and Herod is massacring the innocents of Bethlehem. Of course, as much as the news might wake ..
by Paul Robinson We were driving home from a Wednesday evening Advent service when my three-year-old daughter announced from her car seat, “I’m afraid of angels.” Her mother and I, in mild shock that our daughter should express such a sentiment, asked, “Why are you afraid of angels?” “I’m afraid they’ll talk to me,” she ..