LEXEGETE | Year C | St. Luke
Second Sunday after Pentecost
June 6, 2010 (Lectionary 10)
1 Kings 17:17-24
Psalm 30 (2)
1 Kings 17:8-16 [17-24]
Psalm 146 (8)
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.
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  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  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.
 7:11 Some manuscripts - The next day
 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:
a) RECOGNIZING OUR LORD:
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.
b) THE POWER OF TOUCH:
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.
c) REACHING OUT:
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:
O LOVE, HOW DEEP, HOW BROAD, HOW HIGH (ELW 322, HB 448/9);
I CALL ON THEE, LORD JESUS CHRIST (HB 634);
COME, LET US WITH OUR LORD ARISE ( HB 49);
O BLESS THE LORD, MY SOUL! (HB 411);
THINE ARM, O LORD, IN DAYS OF OLD (HB 567);
0 FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES TO SING (ELW 886, HB 493);
FROM THEE ALL SKILL AND SCIENCE FLOW (HB 566).
b) The power of touch:
CHRIST, WHOSE GLORY FILLS THE SKIES (ELW 553, HB 6/7);
THERE'S A WIDENESS IN GOD'S MERCY (ELW 587, HB 469/70);
JESU,JESU (ELW 708, HB 602, Ghanaian folk song);
WHERE CROSS THE CROWDED WAYS OF LIFE (ELW 719, HB 609);
HOW SWEET THE NAME OF JESUS SOUNDS (ELW 620,HB 644).
c) Reaching out:
LORD OF ALL HOPEFULNESS (ELW 765, HB 482);
IN CHRIST THERE IS NOT EAST OR WEST (ELW 650, HB 529);
LEAD US, HEAVENLY FATHER (HB 559);
LORD,MAKE US SERVANTS OF YOUR PEACE (HB 593);
LORD, WHOSE LOVE IN HUMBLE SERVICE (ELW 712, HB 610);
HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION (ELW 796, HB 636).
5. A NOTE FOR SAINT BARNABAS DAY ( JUNE 11 ) :
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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