Showing posts from December, 2023

Consider Our Triune God (preaching resource for Epiphany 2: January 14, 2024)

This post exegetes 1 Corinthians 6:9-20, providing context for the RCL Epistle reading for 1/14/2024 (Epiphany 2). This exegesis draws on commentary from Warren Wiersbe ("Bible Expository Commentary") and Bruce Winter ("New Bible Commentary"). Ruins of the temple of Apollo with acrocorinth behind (Wikimedia Commons) Introduction   In addition to being divided by competing factions, the church at Corinth was being disgraced by the sinful behaviors of some of its members—two behaviors in particular: It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you… (1Cor. 5:1a)  The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already… (1Cor. 6:7a)  Some of the believers in Corinth were behaving like non-believers (and sometimes worse). Not only were they caught up in gross sexual immorality, they were misusing the legal system to settle disputes within the church. Of course, no church is entirely free from sin—indeed the church i

Proclaiming the King: Baptism of Jesus (preaching resource for Epiphany 1: January 7, 2024)

This post exegetes Mark 1:1-13, providing context for the RCL Gospel reading for 1/7/2024 (first  Sunday of Epiphany, which focuses on the baptism of our Lord). This exegesis draws on commentary from Alan Cole ("New Bible Commentary") and John Grassmick ("Bible Knowledge Commentary"). Introduction The kingdom of God (in its relationship to the cross of Christ) is the key organizing theme of Mark's Gospel—a theme encountered in the section of Mark spanning 1:1-8:6. This section addresses the declaration of the kingdom . Here Jesus is preaching (and healing) throughout Palestine. Though crowds flock to him, most people fail to understand him. Moreover, the religious leaders bitterly oppose him—opposition that will intensify all the way to the cross. Throughout this section, Jesus keeps what commentators refer to as the Messianic secret —he does not tell people openly that he is the Messiah. In Mark 1:1-13 we see how Jesus' is proclaimed as Messiah (King) throu

From Slavery to Sonship (preaching resource for December 31, 2023)

This post exegetes Galatians chapter 4, providing context for the RCL Epistles reading for 12/31/2023. This exegesis draws on commentaries from John Stott and G. Walter Hansen. Scripture quotes are from the Revised Standard Version (RSV). Introduction In Galations chapters 1 through 3, we learn from Paul that it is in union with Christ that Jews and Gentiles alike receive the inheritance promised to Abraham. Thus any attempt to gain that inheritance through observing the Law of Moses (the foundation of the Old Covenant) is foolish. In chapter 4, Paul emphasizes the temporary nature of the law and shows that living under it is a form of slavery that is to be abandoned in order to live in the freedom that is the privilege and calling of the children of God under the New Covenant. "St. Paul" by Rembrandt (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Slave or son?  Galatians 4:1-10 NRSV Verses 1-2 : The Law of Moses was given to Israel under the Old Covenant in order to illustrate God’s

Responding to God's Words of Promise (preaching resource for Advent 4, December 24, 2023)

This post exegetes Luke 1:5-38, providing context for the RCL Gospel reading for 12/24/2023 (the fourth Sunday of Advent). This exegesis draws on commentary from Warren W. Wiersbe ("Bible Expository Commentary") and I. Howard Marshall ("New Bible Commentary"). Introduction Luke writes to share the gospel with all who read his retelling of Jesus’ story, which fulfills God's many promises to all humanity. He begins in chapter 1 by contrasting the response of several people to God’s promises. In this post we'll look at the response of two people: Zechariah (who responds with unbelief) and Mary (who responds with faith). It is Mary's response that we are called to emulate. "The Annunciation" by Waterhouse (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Zechariah’s response  of unbelief It was a time of darkness in the Jewish nation—no prophetic word had come from the Lord for some 400 years. The Jewish spiritual leaders were shackled by tradition and tainted