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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

+ PENTECOST + S I X + 2 0 1 0 +

Lexegete | Year C | St. Luke


Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

July 4, 2010 (Lectionary 14)
Complementary Series

Isaiah 66:10-14
Psalm 66:1-9 (4)
Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Semicontinuous Series

2 Kings 5:1-14
Psalm 30 (2)
Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Prayer of the Day

O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, you are the city that shelters us, the mother who comforts us. With your Spirit accompany us on our life's journey, that we may spread your peace in all the world, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Let the peace of Christ rule | in your hearts,
and let the word of Christ dwell | in you richly. Alleluia. (Col. 3:15, 16)

1a. CONTEXT: Luke 10: 1-11 [12], 16-20

Luke enhances the parallel between Moses and Jesus in this pericope. Like Moses, Jesus appoints persons to assist in his work, to share in his authority. These persons are not intended to supplant the twelve disciples; rather, they are "seventy others," an extension of the ministry of Jesus and of his disciples. Since it follows Jesus' treatment of discipleship, and the suggestion that his own work is reaching its climax, Luke 10 offers a different understanding of the work of the seventy than what is connoted in Moses' experience. For Moses, the commissioned persons share in directing the life of Israel, cultus and faith, toward national destiny. In Luke, Jesus, like Moses, shares his power of his person and office. But the nature of Jesus' followers work is universal - to proclaim the presence of God's kingdom. Furthermore, they are to elicit response for the kingdom of God, pro or con. The lection omits verses 13-15, which ascribe woe to particular places, such as Tyre and Sidon, and Capernaum. The OT and epistle accompanying this passage emphasize the two kinds of response to the proclamation of God's kingdom - response which invites judgment, and response which brings peace.

1b. TEXT: Luke 10: 1-11 [12], 16-20


Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two

10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two [1] others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’

[12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. ]

16 “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

The Return of the Seventy-Two

17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

10:1 Some manuscripts seventy; also verse 17

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by
Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


1Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ἀνέδειξεν ὁ κύριος ἑτέρους ἑβδομήκοντα [δύο], καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς ἀνὰ δύο [δύο] πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ εἰς πᾶσαν πόλιν καὶ τόπον οὗ ἤμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι. 2ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς, Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς, οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι: δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ ὅπως ἐργάτας ἐκβάλῃ εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ. 3ὑπάγετε: ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω ὑμᾶς ὡς ἄρνας ἐν μέσῳ λύκων. 4μὴ βαστάζετε βαλλάντιον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ ὑποδήματα, καὶ μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀσπάσησθε. 5εἰς ἣν δ' ἂν εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν, πρῶτον λέγετε, Εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ. 6καὶ ἐὰν ἐκεῖ ᾖ υἱὸς εἰρήνης, ἐπαναπαήσεται ἐπ' αὐτὸν ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν: εἰ δὲ μή γε, ἐφ' ὑμᾶς ἀνακάμψει. 7ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ μένετε, ἐσθίοντες καὶ πίνοντες τὰ παρ' αὐτῶν, ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τοῦ μισθοῦ αὐτοῦ. μὴ μεταβαίνετε ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν. 8καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν πόλιν εἰσέρχησθε καὶ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐσθίετε τὰ παρατιθέμενα ὑμῖν, 9καὶ θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς, καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς, Ἤγγικεν ἐφ' ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ. 10εἰς ἣν δ' ἂν πόλιν εἰσέλθητε καὶ μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐξελθόντες εἰς τὰς πλατείας αὐτῆς εἴπατε, 11Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ὑμῶν εἰς τοὺς πόδας ἀπομασσόμεθα ὑμῖν: πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ.

[ 12λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι Σοδόμοις ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἀνεκτότερον ἔσται ἢ τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ. ]

. . . 16Ὁ ἀκούων ὑμῶν ἐμοῦ ἀκούει, καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ: ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν ἀθετεῖ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με. 17Ὑπέστρεψαν δὲ οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα [δύο] μετὰ χαρᾶς λέγοντες, Κύριε, καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ὑποτάσσεται ἡμῖν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου. 18εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς, Ἐθεώρουν τὸν Σατανᾶν ὡς ἀστραπὴν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πεσόντα. 19ἰδοὺ δέδωκα ὑμῖν τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πατεῖν ἐπάνω ὄφεων καὶ σκορπίων, καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ, καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς οὐ μὴ ἀδικήσῃ. 20πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται, χαίρετε δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ἐγγέγραπται ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition
© 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart;

The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition
© 1975, United Bible Societies, London

2. ANALYSIS: Luke 10: 1-11 [12], 16-20

'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few' offers a rationale for Jesus' appointment of seventy emissaries, namely, the extent of the need for proclamation and the potential for affirmative response. 'Peace be to this house' suggests a Passover image. In this context, it portrays the meaning of God's kingdom for those who dare to accept it and to follow it. Participation in the kingdom brings fellowship, symbolized by eating and drinking. This reference suggests a redaction in light of early Christian structure and worship. It has eucharistic possibilities. 'Heal the sick' depicts the ethic of service set forth as Christian responsibility.

'Kingdom of God,' of course, is perhaps the most encompassing theme in Jesus' teaching. The contours of the ministry to which Jesus commissions the seventy highlight the nature of the kingdom. It is the product of proclamation and of relationship. It brings a common life which emphasizes service. The kingdom requires energetic dedication to extend and perpetuate it. It brings peace to those who are its participants.

'He who hears you hears me....' The seventy bear the full authority of Jesus. Theirs is a powerful responsibility, as latter-day disciples must remember. They participate in electing and in rejecting the members of God's kingdom. They are to leave those who fail to respond. References to 'demons' and to 'spirits' are treated in an interesting manner. Jesus downplays charismatic or spiritual prowess; instead, he stresses that 'names are written in heaven.'

3. STRATEGY: Luke 10: 1-12, 16-20

Obviously the passage is ideal for a sermon on mission. Naturally, the instructions given to the seventy have become the model for directions given in later generation to those commissioned for the ministry. They are 'lambs in the midst of wolves,' who must travel lightly. The focus upon mission is not so much dramatic conversion, although the passage certainly stresses decisive response. Rather, the extension of the kingdom is the expansion of community, the offer of inclusion in a fellowship, the Church. The Church offers a common life and an ideal of service. Personal conviction is married to common purpose. This life is an anticipation of the fulfillment of God's kingdom. The extent of Jesus' diatribe against those who reject the kingdom reflects Jesus' critique of Israel, the epitome of those who reject the proclamation of the kingdom of God. Nevertheless, the passage is not anti- Jewish, nor is it focused upon a condemnation of those persons who refuse the offer of fellowship. The passage rejoices that through the efforts of the seventy, and of all of Christ's followers, many will be included in God's kingdom. The Church's mission must reflect a positive, inclusive spirit, rather than a condemning, exclusive one.

4. MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: July 4, 2010

There is a ample supply of patriotic songs which can be used
To accompany the Day’s lessons, allowing the congregation to both celebrate the Independence Day holiday and address the concerns raised in the lessons. Here a few suggested hymns:

Gather – Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory (ELW 8990)

Day – We all are One in Mission (ELW 576)

Meal – You Satisfy the Hungry Heart (ELW 484)

Send – O Beautiful for Spacious Skies (ELW 888)

Exegete: William L. Sachs

William L. Sachs, Ph.D., is author of many books, including The Transformation of Anglicanism: From State Church to Global Community. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.



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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

+ June 24 -- July 3, 2010 + Year C +

Lexegete™ | Year C | St. Luke

John the Baptist

June 24, 2010
Malachi 3:1-4
Psalm 141 (8)
Acts 13:13-26
Luke 1:57-67 (68-80)

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, by your gracious providence your servant John the Baptist was born to Elizabeth and Zechariah. Grant to your people the wisdom to see your purpose and the openness to hear your will, that the light of Christ may increase in us, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righ- | teousness' sake,
for theirs is the king- | dom of heaven. Alleluia. (Matt. 5:10)

Color: White

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

June 27, 2010 (Lectionary 13)

Complementary Series
1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21
Psalm 16 (8)
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

Semicontinuous Series
2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20 (15)
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Luke 9:51-62

Prayer of the Day
Sovereign God, ruler of all hearts, you call us to obey you, and you favor us with true freedom. Keep us faithful to the ways of your Son, that, leaving behind all that hinders us, we may steadfastly follow your paths, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Lord, to whom | shall we go?
You have the words of e- | ternal life. Alleluia. (John 6:68)

1a. CONTEXT: Luke 9:51-62

Some scholars see Like 9:51 as the fulcrum of Luke's Gospel. Jesus begins his journey toward Jerusalem, a journey which will end upon the Cross. In Luke, the motif of Jesus' resolute journey compares closely in both literary and theological senses with Moses' ascent of the mountain and travails with the people of Israel. Jesus' movement toward Calvary parallels Moses' frustration in attempting to lead Israel. Luke 9:51 - 18:14 corresponds in this sense to Deuteronomy 1-26. For Luke, Jesus' life and teachings intend to achieve a faithful Israel, rather than a new Israel. Nevertheless, Luke is no mere restorationist. For Luke, Jesus is the "Son of Man" (9:58), a Christological attribution found also in Matthew and Mark, e.g., Matthew 8:20, Mark 2:10. Thus, Jesus may fulfill ancient Israelite hopes, even in a manner which approximates Moses. But Jesus is building on the foundation of Israel in a new and universal way. "Leave the dead to bury the dead" reflects the newness and radicality of the discipleship Jesus demands. Another illustration of the same dynamic is "no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." While the image suggests Lot's wife, it is transposed into a new ethic. This shift is highlighted by the selection of Galatians 5 to accompany this text. Galatians 5 contrasts flesh and spirit and presents the fruits of the spirit. The Christian life is described as freedom for servanthood.

1a. TEXT: Luke 9:51-62


Lk. 9:51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.

Lk. 9:52 And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him;

Lk. 9:53 but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.

Lk. 9:54 When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?"

Lk. 9:55 But he turned and rebuked them.

Lk. 9:56 Then they went on to another village.

Lk. 9:57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

Lk. 9:58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."

Lk. 9:59 To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

Lk. 9:60 But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

Lk. 9:61 Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home."

Lk. 9:62 Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."


51Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ,
52καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ἀγγέλους πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ. καὶ πορευθέντες εἰσῆλθον εἰς κώμην Σαμαριτῶν, ὡς ἑτοιμάσαι αὐτῷ:
53καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν, ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ.
54ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης εἶπαν, Κύριε, θέλεις εἴπωμεν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς; 55στραφεὶς δὲ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς.
56καὶ ἐπορεύθησαν εἰς ἑτέραν κώμην.
57Καὶ πορευομένων αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ εἶπέν τις πρὸς αὐτόν, Ἀκολουθήσω σοι ὅπου ἐὰν ἀπέρχῃ.
58καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Αἱ ἀλώπεκες φωλεοὺς ἔχουσιν καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνώσεις, ὁ δὲ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἔχει ποῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν κλίνῃ.
59Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς ἕτερον, Ἀκολούθει μοι. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν, [Κύριε,] ἐπίτρεψόν μοι ἀπελθόντι πρῶτον θάψαι τὸν πατέρα μου.
60εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ, Ἄφες τοὺς νεκροὺς θάψαι τοὺς ἑαυτῶν νεκρούς, σὺ δὲ ἀπελθὼν διάγγελλε τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ.
61Εἶπεν δὲ καὶ ἕτερος, Ἀκολουθήσω σοι, κύριε: πρῶτον δὲ ἐπίτρεψόν μοι ἀποτάξασθαι τοῖς εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου.
62εἶπεν δὲ [πρὸς αὐτὸν] ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Οὐδεὶς ἐπιβαλὼν τὴν χεῖρα ἐπ∍ ἄροτρον καὶ βλέπων εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω εὔθετός ἐστιν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ.

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition
© 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart;

The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition
© 1975, United Bible Societies, London

2. ANALYSIS: Luke 9: 51-62

"He set his face to go to Jerusalem," in verse 51, is a significant form of expression. "Set his face" is found in Jeremiah 21:10 and, more frequently, in Ezekiel where it is often accompanied by references to a "son of man" and to the commissioning of a prophet. Cf. Ezekiel 27:7, also 6:2, 13:17, 15:7, 21:2. "Set his face," more common in the LXX, refers to a prophet's commission to deliver a message of judgment. Luke 9:51 also seems to combine the themes of commission and judgment.

"Son of man," in 9:58, has been noted in the preceding section. The juxtaposition with "foxes and jackals" is striking. Foxes and jackals hardly were honored members of the animal kingdom; rather, they were viewed as scavengers and vagabonds. The comparison elicits several themes. First, that God provides places even for the meanest members of the creation. Next, the comparison underscores the humility associated with Jesus' role. Even the "Son of man," because of his discipleship, must experience degradation and suffering. Those who follow the life of faith must expect hardships, perhaps even the migratory character of Jesus' ministry, literally or metaphorically. Faith is a lonely, wandering pursuit.

"Leave the dead to bury the dead" is one of the NT's more shocking commands. Aligned with "no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God," the meaning focuses. It compares with the fact that Jesus had "set his face to go to Jerusalem." In other words, discipleship requires the firmest kind of resolution. It asks a complete break with one's past, not lingering regret nor wistful remembrance. The references also reveal the depth of Jesus' understanding of his own commitment and fate. They serve to warn his followers of the total commitment required of them. Theologically, the references also convey the extent of Jesus' break with Judaism. It is ironic that Jesus "sets his face" to go to Jerusalem, the focal point of Judaism, as the means of breaking with Jewish precedent. Similarly, James and John suggesting fire be poured upon a village recalls the experience of Sodom. Jesus' rebuke represents the abandonment of precedent.

3. STRATEGY: Luke 9: 51-62

The passage abounds in fruitful themes for the preacher or teacher. The general topic would be discipleship, following the emphasis of Luke 9. Another look at D. Bonhoeffer's THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP might be useful. In Luke the focus is upon discipleship as dramatic, decisive break with one's past, setting one's face resolutely toward a new, better destination. In general, that destination would be an enduring form of life. The passage could have great power for persons struggling with chemical dependency or with destructive domestic situations. They would recognize the worth of the goal and the cost of reaching it. They would understand leaving "the dead to bury the dead." The passage also suggests linking faith to moments of life transition, or to personal ethical dilemmas in business or professional life. The road of faith can be lonely, painful, uncharted territory.

Exegete: Rev. William L. Sachs, PhD, is the author of—inter alia—several works in Patristics and contemporary theology, and also the Director of the Center for Interfaith Recon- ciliation, housed at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. For more information on the Center, go to:

Peter and Paul, Apostles

June 29, 2010

Acts 12:1-11 or Ezekiel 34:11-16
Psalm 87:1-3, 5-7 (3)
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18 or 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
John 21:15-19 or Mark 8:27-35

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, we praise you that your blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified you by their martyrdoms. Grant that your church throughout the world may always be instructed by their teaching and example, be knit together in unity by your Spirit, and ever stand firm upon the one foundation who is Jesus Christ our Lord, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. This Jesus | God raised up,
and of that all of | us are witnesses. Alleluia. (Acts 2:32)

Color: Scarlet/Red
Thomas, Apostle
July 3, 2010
Judges 6:36-40
Psalm 136:1-4, 23-26 (1)
Ephesians 4:11-16
John 14:1-7

Prayer of the Day
Ever-living God, you strengthened your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in the resurrection of your Son. Grant that we too may confess our faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea | and Samaria,
and to the ends | of the earth. Alleluia. (Acts 1:8)

Color: Scarlet/Red

Monday, June 7, 2010


Lexegete ™ | Year C | St. Luke

Third Sunday after Pentecost

June 13, 2010 (Lectionary 11)

Complementary Series

2 Samuel 11:26–12:10, 13-15
Psalm 32 (5)
Galatians 2:15-21
Luke 7:36–8:3

Semicontinuous Series

1 Kings 21:1-10 [11-14] 15-21a
Psalm 5:1-8 (8)
Galatians 2:15-21
Luke 7:36–8:3

Prayer of the Day

O God, throughout the ages you judge your people with mercy, and you inspire us to speak your truth. By your Spirit, anoint us for lives of faith and service, and bring all people into your forgiveness, through Jesus Christ, our savior and Lord.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. In this is love, that God loved us and | sent the Son
to be the atoning sacrifice | for our sins. Alleluia. (1 John 4:10)

1a. CONTEXT: Luke 7:36-8:3

The general theme of the two volume work of Luke-Acts relates to beneficial actions of God in the lives of people in this world. The theme is developed in the meaning of what God has done, first in the servant, Jesus, and then in the servant, the church. In volume one, the Gospel, after introducing Jesus, the work of Jesus is described in two stages. This is followed by a report of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

This lection is a portion of stage one of the report of Jesus' work. This stage focuses on the identity of Jesus. After reporting the call of the disciples, Luke includes his version of the Sermon on the Mount. Following the sermon is a series of segments describing contacts by Jesus with people. In these contacts the nature of his mission is revealed. Jesus healed the son of a Roman Centurion. He restored life to the son of a widow. He related his work to the ministry of John the Baptist. In this lection, Jesus contrasts his contact with the reputable guests at a party with his contact with a woman known to be a sinner.

1b. TEXT: Luke 7:36-8:3

ESV: A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among [1] themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Women Accompanying Jesus

8:1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them [2] out of their means.

1 - 7:49 Or to

2 - 8:3 Some manuscripts him

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


1. 36 Ἠρώτα δέ τις αὐτὸν τῶν Φαρισαίων ἵνα φάγῃ μετ’ αὐτοῦ· καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Φαρισαίου κατεκλίθη1. 37 καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ ἥτις ἦν ἐν τῇ πόλει ἁμαρτωλός, καὶ ἐπιγνοῦσα ὅτι κατάκειται2 ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ Φαρισαίου, κομίσασα3 ἀλάβαστρον4 μύρου5 38 καὶ στᾶσα ὀπίσω παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ κλαίουσα, τοῖς δάκρυσιν6 ἤρξατο βρέχειν7 τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ καὶ ταῖς θριξὶν8 τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτῆς ἐξέμαξεν9, καὶ κατεφίλει10 τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἤλειφεν11 τῷ μύρῳ5. 39 ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Φαρισαῖος ὁ καλέσας αὐτὸν εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ λέγων· οὗτος εἰ ἦν προφήτης, ἐγίνωσκεν ἂν τίς καὶ ποταπὴ12 ἡ γυνὴ ἥτις ἅπτεται αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἁμαρτωλός ἐστιν. 40 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν· Σίμων, ἔχω σοί τι εἰπεῖν. ὁ δέ· διδάσκαλε, εἰπέ, φησίν. 41 Δύο χρεοφειλέται13 ἦσαν δανιστῇ14 τινι· ὁ εἷς ὤφειλεν δηνάρια15 πεντακόσια16, ὁ δὲ ἕτερος πεντήκοντα17. 42 μὴ ἐχόντων αὐτῶν ἀποδοῦναι ἀμφοτέροις18 ἐχαρίσατο19. τίς οὖν αὐτῶν πλεῖον ἀγαπήσει αὐτόν; 43 ἀποκριθεὶς Σίμων εἶπεν· ὑπολαμβάνω20 ὅτι ᾧ τὸ πλεῖον ἐχαρίσατο19. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ὀρθῶς21 ἔκρινας. 44 καὶ στραφεὶς22 πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα τῷ Σίμωνι ἔφη· βλέπεις ταύτην τὴν γυναῖκα; εἰσῆλθόν σου εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν, ὕδωρ μου ἐπὶ τοὺς πόδας οὐκ ἔδωκας· αὕτη δὲ τοῖς δάκρυσιν6 ἔβρεξέν7 μου τοὺς πόδας καὶ ταῖς θριξὶν8 αὐτῆς ἐξέμαξεν9. 45 φίλημά23 μοι οὐκ ἔδωκας· αὕτη δὲ ἀφ’ ἧς εἰσῆλθον οὐ διέλειπεν24 καταφιλοῦσά10 μου τοὺς πόδας. 46 ἐλαίῳ25 τὴν κεφαλήν μου οὐκ ἤλειψας·11 αὕτη δὲ μύρῳ5 ἤλειψεν11 μου τοὺς πόδας. 47 οὗ χάριν26, λέγω σοι, ἀφέωνται αὐτῆς αἱ ἁμαρτίαι αἱ πολλαί, ὅτι ἠγάπησεν πολύ· ᾧ δὲ ὀλίγον ἀφίεται, ὀλίγον ἀγαπᾷ. 48 εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῇ· ἀφέωνταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι. 49 καὶ ἤρξαντο οἱ συνανακείμενοι27 λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς· τίς οὗτός ἐστιν, ὃς καὶ ἁμαρτίας ἀφίησιν; 50 εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα· ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε, πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην. 1 Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ καθεξῆς28 καὶ αὐτὸς διώδευεν29 κατὰ πόλιν καὶ κώμην30 κηρύσσων καὶ εὐαγγελιζόμενος τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ οἱ δώδεκα σὺν αὐτῷ, 2 καὶ γυναῖκές τινες αἳ ἦσαν τεθεραπευμέναι ἀπὸ πνευμάτων πονηρῶν καὶ ἀσθενειῶν31, Μαρία ἡ καλουμένη Μαγδαληνή32, ἀφ’ ἧς δαιμόνια ἑπτὰ ἐξεληλύθει, 3 καὶ Ἰωάννα33 γυνὴ Χουζᾶ34 ἐπιτρόπου35 Ἡρῴδου καὶ Σουσάννα36 καὶ ἕτεραι πολλαί, αἵτινες διηκόνουν αὐτοῖς ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐταῖς.

κατακλίνω, ϖερβ, σιτ δοων, σιτ ατ μεατ, μακε σιτ δοων (5−0)
κατάκειμαι, ϖερβ, λιε, σιτ ατ μεατ, κεεπ, σατ δοων (12−0)
κομίζω, ϖερβ, ρεχειϖε, βρινγ (12−0)
ἀλάβαστρος, νουν, αλαβαστερ βοξ, βοξ (4−0)
μύρον, νουν, οιντμεντ (14−0)
δάκρυον, νουν, τεαρ (10−0)
βρέχω, ϖερβ, ραιν, ωαση, ραιν , σενδ ραιν (7−0)
θρίξ, νουν, ηαιρ (15−0)
ἐκμάσσω, ϖερβ, ωιπε (5−0)
καταφιλέω, ϖερβ, κισσ (6−0)
ἀλείφω, ϖερβ, ανοιντ (9−0)
ποταπός, αδϕεχτιϖε, ωηατ μαννερ οφ, ωηατ, ωηατ μαννερ οφ μαν, ωηατ μαννερ οφ περσον (7−0)
χρεοφειλέτης, νουν, δεβτορ (2−0)
δαν(ε)ιστής, νουν, χρεδιτορ (1−0)
δηνάριον, νουν, πεννψ, πενχε, πεννψωορτη (16−0)
πεντακόσιοι, αδϕεχτιϖε, φιϖε ηυνδρεδ (2−0)
πεντήκοντα, αδϕεχτιϖε, φιφτψ (7−0)
ἀμφότεροι, αδϕεχτιϖε, βοτη (14−0)
χαρίζομαι, ϖερβ, φοργιϖε, γιϖε, φρεελψ γιϖε, δελιϖερ, γραντ, φρανκλψ φοργιϖε (23−0)
ὑπολαμβάνω, ϖερβ, συπποσε, ανσωερ, ρεχειϖε (15−0)
ὀρθῶς, αδϖερβ, ριγητλψ, πλαιν, ριγητ (4−0)
στρέφω, ϖερβ, τυρν, τυρν ονεσ σελφ, τυρν ονε, τυρν αγαιν, τυρν βαχκ αγαιν, τυρν ονε αβουτ, βε χονϖερτεδ, ϖρ τυρν (22−0)
φίλημα, νουν, κισσ (7−0)
διαλείπω, ϖερβ, χεασε (1−0)
ἔλαιον, νουν, οιλ (11−0)
χάριν, αδϖερβ, φορ τηισ χαυσε , βεχαυσε οφ, ωηερεφορε , ωηερεφορε , φορ σακε, το σπεακ ρεπροαχηφυλλψ (9−0)
συνανάκειμαι, ϖερβ, σιτ ατ μεατ ωιτη, σιτ ωιτη, σιτ τογετηερ ωιτη, σιτ δοων ωιτη, σιτ ατ ταβλε ωιτη (7−0)
καθεξῆς, αδϖερβ, ιν ορδερ, αφτερωαρδ, αφτερ, βψ ορδερ (5−0)
διοδεύω, ϖερβ, γο τηρουγηουτ, πασσ τηρουγη (2−0)
κώμη, νουν, ϖιλλαγε, τοων (26−0)
ἀσθένεια, νουν, ινφιρμιτψ, ωεακνεσσ, δισεασε, σιχκνεσσ (24−0)
Μαγδαληνή, νουν, Μαγδαλενε (12−0)
Ἰωάν(ν)α, νουν, ϑοαννα (2−0)
Χουζᾶς, νουν, Χηυζα (1−0)
ἐπίτροπος, νουν, στεωαρδ, τυτορ (3−0)
Σουσάννα, νουν, Συσαννα (1−0)

2. ANALYSIS: Luke 7: 36-8:3

Notes from the English Text: Simon, a prominent community leader, invited Jesus, the traveling Rabbi, to a dinner party at his home. The polite atmosphere of the dinner was soon disrupted when a woman of the city, known to be a sinner, approached Jesus while he was at the table. To the shock of the host, Jesus allowed the woman to wash his feet with her tears and dry them with her hair.

When Simon challenged his behavior, Jesus told his host a small story about two men who owed debts they could not repay. One owed a small amount while the other owed much. The Lender cancelled the debts of both. Jesus then asked: "Which of the two will be more grateful?" Simon selected the one whose cancelled debt was larger. Jesus agreed and then pointed out the contrast between the way she had treated him and the way Simon had treated him. The behavior of both revealed the attitudes in their hearts.

Notes on Greek words and phrases:

7:37 - [ ]; "a sinner in the city;" This arrangement of words to describe her is a reflection of her notoriety. It does not in itself describe what kind of sin.

7:41 - [ ]; "debtor;" This word is used only here and Luke 16:5 in the New Testament.

7:42 - [ ]; "forgave;" This is a warm word for forgiveness. It is a favor freely and graciously offered.

7:47 - [ ]; "forgiven;" This word describes a direct assurance of forgiveness or pardon.

Notes from commentaries:

In the social setting of Jesus' day, dinner parties were often community events. The table in the middle of the room was for invited guests. People of the community were welcome to stand around the wall and listen in as the guests talked. Dinner guests literally "reclined" at table. Couches were set at angles around the table. Guests reclined with their heads near the table. The woman who approached Jesus, left the wall and went to his feet which were extended away from the table. With that arrangement, she could easily wash his feet and dry them.

While the typical conclusion about the woman who was "a sinner of the city" is that she was a prostitute, that is not necessarily so. A "sinner" could be one guilty of immorality, like a prostitute. "Sinner" also referred to people who engaged in a dishonorable or ritually unclean occupation. Some such occupations were tax collector, shepherd, donkey-driver, peddler, and tanner. Her husband or father could have followed an occupation that set the family apart in the city.

The text does not report the cause of the woman's tears. What it does report is her exceptional gratitude to Jesus. The implication of gratitude is that she had already been forgiven and responded accordingly.

Simon invited Jesus to a dinner because he was a visiting Rabbi. He half-thought he might be a prophet. His reception was polite but not warm. Some of the expected courtesies of a host were omitted. Simon did not have a servant wash Jesus' feet - a sign of concern for a guest's comfort when people wore sandals and accumulated dirt in travels. He did not offer perfumed oil for Jesus's head - a relief after walking in the hot sun. The contrast is between the host whose hospitality is restrained and the woman whose ministries were excessive. Jesus indicated that her care was prompted by deep gratitude for forgiveness.

Simon was shocked that Jesus allowed a woman, a sinner, to touch him in public. That Jesus did so weakened Simon's belief he might be a prophet. He expected a prophet to know what kind of woman she was.

In good Rabbinic fashion, Jesus told Simon a story. "Two men borrowed money. One owed 500 coins; the other owed 50. Neither was able to repay the loans. The lender forgave both." Which would be more grateful, Jesus wanted to know. Simon thought the person who had the larger debt cancelled.

Simon thought Jesus did not really see the woman like he did. Jesus questioned that: "Simon, do you see this woman?" Simon only saw her exterior. Jesus saw deep into her heart. Jesus really was a prophet. Then, perhaps it was obvious that Simon was unable to see her like Jesus did, Jesus explained what was happening in her life. Her behavior was an expression of deep gratitude for being forgiven. The character of her heart was revealed by what she did.

Her behavior was in sharp contrast to that of Simon. His behavior had revealed not even courteous care for Jesus at the same time her behavior revealed deep gratitude. She had been forgiven - he had not.

3. STRATEGY: Luke 7: 36-50

The text offers several possibilities for application to human life today. The loving, forgiving activity of God precedes the human response. The text strongly emphasizes that the woman's grateful behavior was a RESPONSE to what God had done for her. She did not minister to Jesus to be forgiven; she ministered to Jesus in gratitude for having been forgiven. In a society that can so easily require one to earn or deserve what is received, this text offers an opportunity to explore the grace of God. If people must earn or deserve God's love, they are "out of luck." None do. BUT they have hope because God chooses to give love first.

A second option can focus on the grateful response of the woman to her forgiveness. Genuine gratitude prompts one to do acts of devotion to Jesus. While she was able to serve Jesus directly, today we serve him in the people around us. Anyone in need, hurting, or helpless becomes "Jesus" whom we can serve. It requires little effort to discover many we can care about.

A third option could be self-righteous blindness. The malady of Simon exists in us today. Too easily those of us who are "reputable" stereotype those who are not like us and label them "sinner." This text, and its "meta-story" may convict us and call us to spiritual insight and true repentance that can accept the freely offered forgiveness of God.

A fourth option might assist the church in responding to a current issue. While it may not address the entire lection, it does stimulate a new perception. The question of Jesus: "Simon, Do you see this woman?" could be asked of us. While society has often failed "to see" women, the church is worse. We have looked at the exterior of gender or role and missed seeing God's call, God's gifts in women. This lection could become the opportunity to "see women." [In 1984, a guest Chaplain for the Minnesota House of Representatives learned about women in politics. In his prayer to open the House session, the minister asked the Lord "to bless the men" in the chamber" and to help "the men make wise decisions." He made other references to male legislators, none to women. When he said, "Amen," and returned to the House retiring room, he was followed by the 19 women House members. They let him know they did not appreciate being left out of his prayer. He apologized and told them: "I am sure God gave his blessing to you, too."]

4. Hymn Suggestions: Luke 7:36–8:3

Gathering: Healer of Our Every Ill (ELW 612; HB )


Meal: O Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts (ELW 658)

Sending: Great is thy Faithfulness (ELW 733)

Exegete: Brian A. Nelson, D. Min. (Disciples of Christ, W. Lafayette, IN)


LEXEGETE™ © 2010

Tischrede Software

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Friday, June 4, 2010

+ St. Barnabas Day + (June 11) +

Barnabas, Apostle
June 11, 2010
Isaiah 42:5-12
Psalm 112 (1)
Acts 11:19-30; 13:1-3
Matthew 10:7-16

Prayer of the Day
We praise you, O God, for the life of your faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the well-being of your church, gave generously of his life and possessions for the relief of the poor and the spread of the gospel. Grant that we may follow his example and by our actions give glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. This Jesus | God raised up,
and of that all of | us are witnesses. Alleluia. (Acts 2:32)

Color - Scarlet/Red

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

+ PENTECOST + T W O + 2010

LEXEGETE | Year C | St. Luke

Second Sunday after Pentecost

June 6, 2010 (Lectionary 10)

Complementary Series

1 Kings 17:17-24
Psalm 30 (2)
Galatians 1:11-24
Luke 7:11-17

Semicontinuous Series

1 Kings 17:8-16 [17-24]
Psalm 146 (8)
Galatians 1:11-24
Luke 7:11-17

Prayer of the Day
Compassionate God, you have assured the human family of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Deliver us from the death of sin, and raise us to new life in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. A great prophet has ris- | en among us!
God has looked favora- | bly on us! Alleluia. (Luke 7:16)

1a. CONTEXT: Luke 7:11-17

The account of the raising of the widow's son is form the special "L" source. It shares many similarities with the Elijah story in 1 Kings 17:17-24. The story follows the healing of the centurion's slave and leads up to Jesus' reply to the disciples of John the Baptizer, "the dead are raised up" (Luke 7:22).

The story gives witness to the fulfillment of the prophesies in the Songs of Mary, Zechariah and Simeon and the Isaiah prophecy in Luke 4:18,19 in the person of Jesus. He is the one Israel has hoped for. The Lucan theme of mercy and compassion for the poorl, women and all marginalized persons is developed.

1b. TEXT: Luke 7:11-17

ESV: Jesus Raises a Widow's Son

11 Soon afterward [1] he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”
14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”
15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus [2] gave him to his mother. 16 Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”
17 And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

[1] 7:11 Some manuscripts - The next day

[2] 7:15 Greek - he

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


11Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς ἐπορεύθη εἰς πόλιν καλουμένην Ναΐν, καὶ συνεπορεύοντο αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ ὄχλος πολύς.
12ὡς δὲ ἤγγισεν τῇ πύλῃ τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐξεκομίζετο τεθνηκὼς μονογενὴς υἱὸς τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ αὐτὴ ἦν χήρα, καὶ ὄχλος τῆς πόλεως ἱκανὸς ἦν σὺν αὐτῇ.

13καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὴν ὁ κύριος ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ' αὐτῇ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ, Μὴ κλαῖε.
14καὶ προσελθὼν ἥψατο τῆς σοροῦ, οἱ δὲ βαστάζοντες ἔστησαν, καὶ εἶπεν, Νεανίσκε, σοὶ λέγω, ἐγέρθητι.
15καὶ ἀνεκάθισεν ὁ νεκρὸς καὶ ἤρξατο λαλεῖν, καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ.

16ἔλαβεν δὲ φόβος πάντας, καὶ ἐδόξαζον τὸν θεὸν λέγοντες ὅτι Προφήτης μέγας ἠγέρθη ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ὅτι Ἐπεσκέψατο ὁ θεὸς τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ.
17καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ λόγος οὗτος ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ πάσῃ τῇ περιχώρῳ.

Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 26th edition © 1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart;
The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition © 1975, United Bible Societies, London

2. ANALYSIS: Luke 7:11-17

Luke 7:13 - And when the Lord aw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep." - ho kyrios - Among the gospels, this title appears only in Luke, as mentioned elsewhere in this volume of LEXEGETE. The title is introduced her and reflects a later Christological understanding of Jesus' identity.

Lk. 7:13 - esplagchnisthei - to have compassion - The theme of compassion is developed here. It was the through the tener splagchna of God that Jesus was sent to preach the good news (Luke 1:78,79). One's innermost being, bowels, are moved with pity and mercy. This is the feeling of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) and the father of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). Luke helps us realize the compassion and mercy God pours out to all who fear him and especially to the poor, lost, the broken.

Lk. 7:13 - do not weep - The beatitudes are here coming alive...."Blessed are you who weep now for you shall laugh" (Luke 6:21b).

Lk. 7:14 - And he came and touched the bier - heipsato - Touching the dead resulted in ceremonial uncleanness for Jewish priests, those who had been anointed to serve God (Lev. 21:11,22:4f.). Jesus ignores this concern about purity in touching the bier. He is willing to touch and be touched by the "untouchables." (See 5:13, the leper; 6:19, the crowd; 8:43f., the woman with the flow of blood; 7:36;f., the woman who anoints his feet; 18:15, the infants; 22:51, the slave's ear).

Lk. 7:16 - Fear seized them all and they glorified God saying, "A great prophet has risen among us!" and "God has visited his people!" - fear - phobos- This is similar to the fear experienced by the shepherds when the angel appeared to them and announced the birth of Christ. "Fear" is an awareness of God which leads to glorifying God. "Fear" is the attitude of humility Jesus invites his followers to in the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector (187:9-14). As Mary proclaimed, "his mercy is on those who fear him."

Lk 7:16 - great prophet - In the Elijah story (1 Kings 17:17-24) after the prophet restores life to the widow's son she remarks, "Now I know that you are a man of God." The miracle pointed to the authority of the prophet and the authenticity of his message. In calling Jesus a "great prophet," the bystanders link Jesus to the prophets of old: Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jonah, et alia. Jeus is authenticated, sent by God to communicate the invitation to repentance and God's love and mercy. But Jesus more than parallels the prophets of old (see Luke 4:25-27). In the person of Jesus many will be raised from the dead (7:22;8:54,55). Many lepers will be cleansed (5:12f.; 17:11-19). The greater number of healings indicates that Jesus is greater than the prophets. He is the one of whom the prophets foretold (24:44f.).

Lk. 7:16 - God has visited his people - As predicted by the prophets and lauded by Zechariah (1:68), "the Lord has visited and redeemed his people." God has come to look after and care for his people. In coming Jesus demonstrates God's concern and responsibility for humanity.

3. STRATEGY: Luke 7:11-17

Several approaches can be taken in exploring this text in the sermon:


If Jesus came to us today, would we know to be the Lord, the Christ?
One way we might be able to identify Jesus is through Scripture. Knowing what the prophets foretold about him would help us to recognize him. If we are weak in our understanding of Scripture, Jesus would help us by pointing out passages which point to who he is. We might recognize him through what he does, his actions, or what he teaches. If we are humble and fear God, then Jesus will be able to make himself known to us.


Jesus has shown us the importance and power of touch in our daily lives. Touch communicates our love and our concern for others. Touch demonstrates our presence with others. As the AIDS (HIV) epidemic continues to spread globally and reach into more and more of our relationships, our willingness to touch victims and the HIV positive conveys our presence and God's in ways that words and prayers cannot.


What a tremendous feeling it must have been for the bystanders to realize that God has visited his people. What an awareness of God's concern and sense of responsibility for them. They counted for something, were valuable in God's eyes. God had not forgotten them. In parish visiting we demonstrate our concern for the health and wellbeing of others. We communicate their importance to us (and God) by visiting with them. Each of these three main themes offers a special message of value and importance to the whole people of God. The hymns suggested in the following section were selected to amplify and underscore these themes.

4. MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: Luke 7:11-17

a) Recognizing our Lord:








b) The power of touch:



JESU,JESU (ELW 708, HB 602, Ghanaian folk song);



c) Reaching out:








Propers for this observance are much the same in most lectionaries, and for all three years of the sequence. In both the Book of Common Prayer and Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006) include:

Psalm - 112 Lesson - Isaiah 42:5-12 Epistle - Acts 11:19-30;
13:1-3 Gospel - Matthew 10:7-16

In the Gospel chosen for this occasion, Jesus sends out his disciples to do as he has done (Matthew 10:7-16). Barnabas and Paul are commissioned and sent our for ministry in Acts 13:3. Paul and Barnabas develop relationships with those they preached to and taught. They have a desire to visit those churches which they founded (Acts 15:36). In there visiting Paul and Barnabas manifest the concern and responsibility for reaching out, which was mentioned above as theme (c) in the Proper 5 Gospel. Hence one approach for this day would be to address the occasion not merely by rehearsing the story of Barnabas, but expanding it to include the missionary outreach and church-building which Barnabas, Paul, you and I can engage in down to the present. Thus this day could be a great celebration of the church's mission in the contemporary scene, addressing a wide range range of important global, spiritual, human concerns.

Exegete – Rev. Dr. Lance B. Almeida †

The late Reverend Doctor Lance B. Almeida, of Millinocket, Maine, beloved husband of Alison Almeida, was ordained October 12, 1985, and received his doctor of ministry from Bangor Theological Seminary in 1997. He was elected to the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine and later served as its president. Father Lance was rector of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Millinocket, for 15 years. He was a chaplain at Millinocket Regional Hospital, a member of the hospital's Public Information Committee, a member of the Drug and Alcohol Team at Stearns High School and a member of the Katahdin Area Coalition. He was a hospice volunteer, enjoyed being an AARP tax preparer and played golf, bridge and tennis. We were privileged to serve with Fr. Lance while he was at St. John’s in Fall River, MA. Lance is much missed and oft remembered by his family, friends, colleagues and parishioners.



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