Jesus Fulfills Isaiah’s Prophecy

Text: Matthew 12:15-21 Reflection and Question: Matthew makes an audacious claim when he asserts that Jesus’ behavior fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 42:1-4. This poetry in Isaiah is the first of four Servant Songs. Ever since they were written, who the servant is has been a controversial matter. Of course, Christians through the ages have […]

Paul Attempts to Describe a Mystery

Text: 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 Reflection and Question: Paul lived and worked close enough to the time of Christ to still hold the strong conviction that the trumpet call of Jesus’ return in glory would come while some of the faithful were still alive. So he assures the Corinthians, “we shall not all die, but we […]

A Prayer for Revenge Against One’s Adversaries

Text: Psalm 28 Reflection and Question: Cries for help abound in the Psalms, including a host of pleas for God to judge and smite one’s adversaries. I try to remember that these prayers are just as available to those who disagree with me as they are to me. Instead of praying to God to tear […]

Jeremiah Preaches to the Exiled in Egypt

Text: Jeremiah 44:1-14 Reflection and Question: Jeremiah conveys God’s question to the Judeans seeking safety in Egypt from the Assyrian invasion of their home: “Why bring so great a disaster upon yourselves?” Then God reminds the people that there is no safety in Egypt, but only in obedience and reverence. When God’s people stray from […]

The Sending and Return of the Seventy

Text: Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 Reflection and Question: You may remember that on October 10 we reflected upon Matthew’s telling of Jesus declaring, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:37-38). Here, in Luke, these words are the energizing […]

Jesus’ Appreciation of John the Baptist

Text:Matthew 11:7-15 Reflection and Question: Jesus could hardly speak more highly of John the Baptist than He does here when He says, “Among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist” and “he is Elijah who is to come.” No prophet in Israel had higher stature than Elijah, who was […]

Jesus Appearing After Death

Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Reflection and Question: In response to members of the church in Corinth who are challenging belief in resurrection from the dead, Paul returns to the heart of his message: “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures and that he was buried, and that he was raised on […]

Jeremiah Rescued from the Pit

Text: Jeremiah 38:1-13 Reflection and Question: Jeremiah has preached a startling message of surrender that is utterly contrary to the victorious strength expected of God. So perhaps it is not strange that the conventional leaders in Jerusalem sought to put the prophet to death, burying him alive in the cistern of Malchiah. It is strange […]

God Made Manifest in Mount Zion

Text: Psalm 48 Reflection and Question: This faithful poetry draws in our minds a powerful impression of God by extolling the beauty and majesty of Mount Zion with both its stunning natural setting and the lovingly crafted manmade temple and palace. God’s strength as a refuge and sure defense for us and God’s just love […]

A Still More Excellent Way

Text: 1 Corinthians 13 Reflection and Question: These words are among the best known in the whole Bible. They are used in many weddings even of non-believers, even though Paul is commending “agape,” the generous love of others, to the church in Corinth, not the love between two people who commit themselves in marriage. But […]