Sunday, June 17, 2018

Proper 7 Series B notes

Proper 7 - Series B
Mark 4:35-41
Related Scripture Readings
Job 38:1-11
Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 (29)
2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Prayer of the Day

God of creation, eternal majesty, you preside over land and sea, sunshine and storm. By your strength pilot us, by your power preserve us, by your wisdom instruct us, and by your hand protect us, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

See also Matthew 8:23–9:8 & Luke 8:22-25

Greek Text (NA27)
Jesus Calms a Storm

35Καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ὀψίας γενομένης• διέλθωμεν εἰς τὸ πέραν.
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”  

36καὶ ἀφέντες τὸν ὄχλον παραλαμβάνουσιν αὐτὸν ὡς ἦν ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ, καὶ ἄλλα πλοῖα ἦν μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ.
 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.

"As He was" a reference to Jesus' human nature

37καὶ γίνεται λαῖλαψ μεγάλη ἀνέμου καὶ τὰ κύματα ἐπέβαλλεν εἰς τὸ πλοῖον, ὥστε ἤδη γεμίζεσθαι τὸ πλοῖον. 
And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.

γίνεται λαῖλαψ μεγάλη ἀνέμου (ginetai lailaps megale anemou|comes up furious/tempest large/great squall/storm/wind) – 

Situated in a basin surrounded by mountains, the Sea of Galilee is particularly susceptible to sudden, violent storms. Cool air from the Mediterranean is drawn down through the narrow mountain passes and clashes with the hot, humid air lying over the lake.

A furious squall...a bad storm...the boat suffers simply because it's there.

38καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἐν τῇ πρύμνῃ ἐπὶ τὸ προσκεφάλαιον καθεύδων. καὶ ἐγείρουσιν αὐτὸν καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ• διδάσκαλε, οὐ μέλει σοι ὅτι ἀπολλύμεθα;
But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
We are being destroyed NOW

He's asleep at the wheel...we're perishing...Jesus matters to you don't you...expecting a positive answer... psalm 107:23-30; Psalm 89:8-9;

39καὶ διεγερθεὶς ἐπετίμησεν τῷ ἀνέμῳ καὶ εἶπεν τῇ θαλάσσῃ• σιώπα, πεφίμωσο. καὶ ἐκόπασεν ὁ ἄνεμος καὶ ἐγένετο γαλήνη μεγάλη.
And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 

The disciples are made conscious of their frail humanity in the presence of this Lord of the waves. Jesus deepens His communion with the disciples by using His power in the service of compassion for them and by using the event to build up their faith.

διεγερθεὶς (diegertheis|having awakened/woke up)

ἐπετίμησεν (epetimesen|he commanded/gave reproach/rebuked) - In Psalm 106:9 (104:7) Isaiah 50:2; Nahum 1:4 the Hebrew root g'r is used of God rebuking the sea. So Jesus is said to rebuke the wind.

θαλάσσῃ (thalasse|sea) - Not that the lake had any perception, but to show that the power of his voice reached the elements, which were devoid of feeling.

Σιωπα (siopa|be silent/calm/quiet)

πεφίμωσο (pephimoso|be halted/stopped/silenced) - The perfect imperative passive (which is more rare) is more emphatic than the aorist used in 1:25: so 'be silent and remain so.'
ἐκόπασεν (ekopasen|abated/ceased/stopped)

γαλήνη (galene|calm) - The aorist tenses indicate an immediate result, and γαληνη μεγαλη (replacing the λαιλαψ μεγαλη of verse 37) emphasizes the total transformation achieved by Jesus' intervention.

40καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς• τί δειλοί ἐστε; οὔπω ἔχετε πίστιν;
He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

οὔπω (oupo|so/still like this) - The force of οὐπω here is that they should by this time have learned something of the secret of the kingdom of God (4:11), which is the secret that the kingdom is come in the person and work of Jesus. There are a number of textual variants here arising either from "a desire to soften somewhat Jesus' reproach spoken to his disciples" or from a misreading of οὐπω, replacing it with the more common οὐτω(ς) with various changes of word order to accommodate to the structure of the question.

πίστιν (pistin|trust/faith/belief) - Lack of faith makes disciples δειλοι, unable to respond to a crisis with the confidence in God (or, more pertinently, in Jesus) which is the mark of the true disciple.
Jesus does not explain each wave...yet He weeps with those who weep

Why are you cowards?

They feared a great fear...who is this? See Job...fear as in the First Commandment 

There is no better place to be then next to Him asleep in His sleep over death...

41καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν καὶ ἔλεγον πρὸς ἀλλήλους• τίς ἄρα οὗτός ἐστιν ὅτι καὶ ὁ ἄνεμος καὶ ἡ θάλασσα ὑπακούει αὐτῷ;
And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

φόβον (phobon|fear) – One greater than their previous fear of the storm (as Jonah 1:10).

ἀλλήλους (allelous|one another)

Τίς ἄρα οὗτός ἐστιν (tis ara houtos estin|who then this is) - In view of what Jesus had just done, the only answer to this rhetorical question was: He is the very Son of God! God’s presence, as well as his power, was demonstrated (Psalm 65:7; 107:25–30; Proverbs 30:4). Mark indicates his answer to this question in the opening line of his Gospel (Mark 1:1). By such miracles Jesus sought to establish and increase the disciples’ faith in his deity.

ὑπακούει (hupakouei|obey/are subject to) - In addition to the miracle's significance as a pointer to the secret of Jesus' person Mark probably saw in it, and meant his readers to see, a symbolic significance (1:31). The parallel between the situation of the disciples on the lake and that of the Church in the midst of persecution would naturally suggest itself. (Very early a ship was a symbol of the Church in Christian art.) In the midst of persecution and all manner of perils, if Jesus be truly with his Church, then, even though his help may not at once be felt, his own must never doubt him, and need have no fear.

Shut up! Be muzzeled!  Rude language true, but it's the enemy...even the grave and the jaws of death are shut up for you...He speaks with authority...He Doesn't grab a bucket he goes to the source of the problem...

Faith prays...because it known nothing the infant to her mother

Although miracles are hard for modern man to accept, the NT makes it clear that Jesus is Lord not only over his church but also over all creation. The story is told in simple language, and all the details of the account (other boats, boat was already filling, cushion, said to one another) leave the impression that the details come from one who experienced the event. The account indicates strongly that Mark became Peter’s interpreter. The vivid narrative suggests recollection of an eyewitness. There is a total of ten individual miracles recorded between 4:35 and 8:26, which are frequently seen as constituting two balancing groups, each of which begins with a lake miracle (4:35-41; 6:45-51) and contains a feeding miracle (6:34-44; 8:1-10). 

While Mark may have found these two 'catenae' already grouped in the tradition, some believe that the groupings are Mark's own construction. All five stories in the second 'catena' (6:45-51; 7:24-30; 7:32-37; 8:1-10; 8:22-26) take place outside of Galilee, and it has been suggested that Mark thus deliberately shows the mission of Jesus to the Jewish community of Galilee (though 5:1-20 is already set on the Gentile side of the lake) being repeated for the benefit of the surrounding Gentile population. 4:35-41 together with 6:45-52 (the other lake miracle), places Jesus in a more starkly 'supernatural' light even than the healing miracles. 

Control of the elements is even more extraordinary and inexplicable than the restoration of suffering human beings, and is in the OT a frequently noted attribute of God in distinction from human beings who find themselves helpless before the forces of nature (Job 38:8-11; Psalms 65:5-8; 89:8-9; 107:23-32, etc.; the last of these must surely have been on Mark's mind as he narrated this story). Here is divine power writ large, and it is appropriate that these two pericopes therefore conclude not only with the astonishment and fear of the disciple, but also with a note of their human inability to cope with the new dimension of understanding and faith which these events demanded (4:40-41; 6:52). 

The christological question, 'Who is this?' which has already been raised by previous miracles (1:27; 2:7-12; 3:11-12) becomes more insistent and more sharply defined in verse 41. The variation in tenses throughout this pericope makes an interesting study in Mark's narrative style. Historical presents form the main framework of the first part of the story (λεγει ... παραλαμβανουσιν ... γινεται ...ἐγειρουσιν ... λεγουσιν), but they are interspersed with imperfects to indicate the continuing features of the situation (ἠν ... ἐπεβαλλεν ... ἠν). 

But when the climax is reached, the narrative goes consistently into the aorist, to indicate Jesus' decisive action (ἐπετιμησεν ... εἰπεν ... ἐκοπασεν ... ἐγενετο ... εἰπεν), after which the disciples' immediate reaction of fear is described in the aorist (ἐθοβηθησαν), followed by an imperfect to denote their continuing discussion of what it all meant (ἐλεγον). The tenses are far from haphazard; rather, they demonstrate the natural ability of the storyteller to focus his audience's attention appropriately on the different aspects of the story as it develops.
image Schnorr von Carolsfeld Woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use

Time in the Word - Pentecost 5 - Proper 7

The Word of Christ Bestows Peace on His Creation through His Forgiveness of Sins
  Pentecost 5 – Proper 7

Collect for Peace: O God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; 

Prayer for Peace: Almighty and everlasting God, King of Glory, and Lord of heaven and earth, by whose Spirit all things are governed, by whose providence all things are ordered, the God of peace and the author of all concord, grant us, we implore You, Your heavenly peace and concord that we may serve You in true fear, to the praise and glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, 

Prayer for one suffering from anxiety, apprehension, or fear: O most loving Father, You want us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing except losing You, and to lay all our cares on You, knowing that You care for us. Strengthen [name] in [his/her] faith in You. Grant that the fears and anxieties of this mortal life may not separate [him/her] from Your love shown to us in Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, 

Prayer at the close of the day: Abide with us, Lord, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent. Abide with us and with Your whole Church. Abide with us at the end of the day, at the end of our life, at the end of the world. Abide with us with Your grace and goodness, with Your holy Word ad Sacrament, with Your strength and blessing. Abide with us when the night of affliction and temptation comes upon us, the night of fear and despair, the night when death draws near. Abide with us and with all the faithful, now and forever.

Collect for Pentecost 4: Almighty God, in Your mercy guide the course of this world so that Your Church may joyfully serve You in godly peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
In his anguish and affliction, Job must be reminded that, as a finite creature, he is in no position to question the Maker of the heavens and the earth. Job’s “words without knowledge” are unable to penetrate the wisdom of the Lord (Job 38:1–2). For the Lord has “prescribed limits” and “set bars and doors,” so that “here shall your proud waves be stayed” (Job 38:9–11).That’s how He humbles us unto repentance. But also by His powerful Word He calms the “great windstorm” and the waves “breaking into the boat.” He does not permit the chaos of this fallen world to overwhelm us or bring us to despair. By the Word of His Gospel, He speaks “Peace” to us, which bestows the “great calm” of His New Creation (Mark 4:37–39). Therefore, do not be afraid, and do not receive this grace of God in vain. “Now is the favorable time,” and “now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:1–2).

Monday, 18 June 2018—Psalm 107:29–32; Antiphon, Psalm 107:28—This psalm recounts many of the things that the LORD has done for His people, and exhorts them to praise Him for them. In the section appointed for Sunday’s Introit, the LORD is given praise for manifesting His might by delivering His people from the storms of nature. This sets the theme for the day, where all the readings point to the authority of the Creator over His creation, and His continuing governance.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018—Psalm 124—This Song of Ascents, that pilgrims sang on their way up to Jerusalem, praises the Lord for His deliverance of His people from catastrophes of nature. Twice, it is sung, If the Lord had not been on our side…Those who sing the psalm recognize that their only hope of salvation is in the Lord. We echo this in the daily offices, such as Matins and Vespers, and when we confess our sins in the Divine Service, when we repeat verse eight: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018—Job 38:1–11—At the end of the book of Job, God answers Job, who has demanded the opportunity to interrogate Him for the calamities which have befallen Job. God answers with an interrogation of His own: Who is Job to question the Creator of all things? The Lord, who laid the foundation of the earth and determined its measurements, who prescribed limits for the sea, knows what He is doing. How can the creature second-guess the Creator?

Thursday, 21 June 2018—2 Corinthians 6:1–13—In Sunday’s epistle reading, St Paul speaks of his experiences as Christ’s Ambassador of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20). He tells of these things not to boast, but because what people see in the messenger affects the credibility of the message.

In verse 6, he speaks of the reason he was able to withstand these hardships and still bring forth the fruits of righteousness: it is solely the work of God, especially the Holy Spirit. God, the Creator of all things, is also able to create the New Man, who lives before God in righteousness and purity,

Friday, 22 June 2018—Mark 4:35–41—Terrified by a storm which came upon them quickly on the Sea of Galilee, the disciples were powerless to escape it or overcome it. Jesus, however, through whom all things were created (John 1:3), is able to calm the seas by the command of His voice. After all, He is God, who brought all things into existence by speaking, ‘Let there be…’ (Genesis 1)

Saturday, 23 June 2018Sunday’s hymn of the day, Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me (LSB 715), uses the imagery of a stormy sea to represent the trials and tribulations which are part of our lives as long as we live in this fallen, sinful world. But Jesus is able to still those seas, as He did the Sea of Galilee, and bring comfort to us. True comfort can come only through Jesus, for He is our Salvation.

Pr.  Jeffrey M. Keuning, wrote this week’s “Time in the Word”. He serves St John's Evangelical Lutheran Church Casey, and Zion Lutheran Church, Dexter, Iowa

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Riojas © WELS for personal and congregational use 
Lectionary summary on front page from the LCMS Commission on Worship

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Pentecost 4 - Proper 6

Pentecost 4 – Proper 6
June 17, 2018
Mark 4:26-34
To Live is to Grow

When we stop growing. We stop living. When we stop developing physically, mentally and spiritually. A decline begins. Until death is reached.

Life means growth. Both in this world. And the next. Today Jesus teaches that the kingdom of God is growing. We do not know how it grows. When we are tempted to think the kingdom has lost its influence and power. Jesus offers this profound assurance. From Christ’s perspective. The kingdom is slowly and surely growing. You can’t see it? That’s the point! The Kingdom grows secretly.  

Christian people need to be encouraged to ever have a growing edge. To be reassured. That the kingdom is in the process of coming upon the earth. The Parable of the Growing Seed is a parable of Jesus. Which appears only in Mark.  The Parable of the seed growing secretly.  Is a parable about growth in the Kingdom of God. Today we consider Jesus’ words. As He teaches us concerning the Kingdom.

I.        The miracle of growth – v.27 - Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.  (Mark 4:27)

A.     Even when the farmer sleeps. The Kingdom of God is still growing. Its growth is due to God. Not man. And follows its own timetable. The seed of the kingdom grows. While the farmer sleeps. The farmer only sows and reaps. Nothing in between. The sower does not cultivate nor irrigate. The seed does its own growing.

Illustration: Anyone who has read to their children or grandchildren, “Frog and Toad together[1] knows this. You can sing to your corn. Talk gently to your soy beans. I can play Brahms' Lullaby to my eggplant all day long. It won’t make them grow.  

B.     The point Jesus is making. - You can do nothing to bring the kingdom of God on earth. You cannot force God’s Kingdom coming by good works. Social programs. Or legislation. This is solely, completely, and totally The Father’s work. – This is exclusively God’s effort.

II.     The manner of growth – V. 28 – “All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.” (Mark 4:28)

Illustration: Just a few weeks ago. As I set out to plant the garden. I happened to find a package of seeds which read, “Tomatoes” and “Experimental.” How long had I had them? At least fifteen years. Maybe longer. No harm in planting them. Why not? Sure enough! They sprouted. And they continue to grow. Notice what the Savior says. “All by itself the soil produces grain…” 

A.      The kingdom of God has a growth from the smallest seed to the greatest shrub. There is a contrast between the beginning and the ending of the kingdom. The minimum becomes the maximum. The kingdom will continue to grow until it covers the entire earth.

B.     The kingdom had a tiny start. Jesus and twelve men. When it ends some day. When the whole number of persons in this world will be added to the kingdom. Then. And only then. Will the end come. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:13-14) Here is hope and optimism for Christians living in these challenging times. And these difficult days. It is the Father’s world. He alone brings about growth. He alone sustains His kingdom. He alone guards and keeps it.

III.   The maturation of growth – v. 29 –“As soon as the grain is ripe; he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:29)

A.     One of the great miracles of nature is the power of life in a seed. Put a seed in the ground. Water it. And in a short time. The seed sprouts with new life. God’s Word. Jesus said. Is like seed sown into the hearts of Christian believers just like you. When this seed is received in faith. It has power to produce new life. As you hear to this Word today. The power of the Word of God is working its work in your life.

1.      The Word planted into your heart is power to bring you to faith. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – (Hebrews 4:12)

2.      The Word planted into your heart is power to grow a harvest of good works in your life. And we continually thank God that in receiving the word of God from us, you did not accept it as the word of men, but as the true word of God. And this is the word which is now at work in you who believe.  (1 Thessalonians 2:13) For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.  (1 Peter 1:23)

B.     The farmer plants in order to reap a harvest. The Father sows His seed in His people to get a harvest. Christianity is not a religion for religion’s sake. It is not an academic adventure. Into theological discussions. Or far-out mysticism. Christianity is a very practical religion. Though we are not saved by our works. Our faith. If it is genuine. Produces fruit. A harvest is gathered. The good and bad are separated and people receive either good or evil. Says the Lord Jesus, Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and caught fish of every kind. When it was full, the men pulled it ashore. Then they sat down and sorted the good fish into containers, but threw the bad away. So will it be at the end of the age: The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous. (Matthew 13:47-49)

Jesus in these parables is speaking about the Kingdom of God – Not any worldly kingdom. It is not a kingdom that can be seen. It is not one that has a geographical local domain. The Kingdom of God is the people of God who live under the reign of the Father. We call this kingdom the Church. Which is the Communion of the saints.  It is invisible to us. And it subjects are known only to God.

Growth comes as the Father permits it. Growth comes as the Spirit gives life. Growth comes as the Lord continues to support and sustain His Kingdom.  Thanks be to God. Who has promised both to will and to do His good pleasure to those who seek Him.  
Words- 1,160
Passive Sentences-5%
Reading Level-3.5

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Proper 6 Series B notes

Proper 6 - Series B
Study Notes
Mark 4:26-34
Ezekiel 17:22-24
Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15 (12)
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 [11-13] 14-17
17 June. 2018 - Pentecost 4

Prayer of the Day
God, you are the tree of life, offering shelter to all the world. Graft us into yourself and nurture our growth, that we may bear your truth and love to those in need, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Greek Text (NA27)
The Parable of the Seed Growing in Secret- Vv. 26-29

Note Only Mark records this parable.
Whereas the parable of the sower stresses the importance of proper soil for the growth of seed and the success of the harvest, here the mysterious power of the seed itself is emphasized. The gospel message contains its own power. 

Some see this parable chiefly as a parable of contrast. As seedtime is followed in due time by harvest, so will the present hiddenness and ambiguousness of the kingdom of God be succeeded by its glorious manifestation. This parable conveys both a warning and a word of encouragement to Jesus’ disciples. However important their role may be (21–25), they are not to imagine that the Kingdom is their kingdom or its triumph their triumph;the Kingdom remains God’s mysteriously creative work. He is “Lord of the harvest” (Mark 9:38). This serves for encouragement also; however slow and unspectacular the “progress” of the Kingdom may be, the outcome is in the sure hands of the Creator. Men may pray, “Thy kingdom come,” with patience and confidence.

26Καὶ ἔλεγεν, Οὕτωςἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦθεοῦὡςἄνθρωπος βάλῃτὸν σπόρον ἐπὶ τῆςγῆς
And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 

27καὶ καθεύδῃ καὶ ἐγείρηται νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν, καὶ ὁ σπόρος βλαστᾷ καὶ μηκύνηται ὡςοὐκοἶδεν αὐτός.
He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.

οἶδεν (oiden|knows/understands) – 

At first there may be little to show for the sowing of the seed, and a skeptical observer might think that nothing is happening. But there is an inner dynamic in the message which will in due time produce its effect, even if human insight cannot fathom how the process works (ὡςοὐκοἶδεν αὐτός). In the meantime the wise disciple will wait in confidence for God's work to be accomplished in God's way. The kingdom of God, then, does not depend on human effort to achieve it, and human insight will not be able to explain it.

28αὐτομάτη ἡ γῆ καρποφορεῖ, πρῶτονχόρτον, εἶτα στάχυν, εἶτα πλήρη[ς] σῖτονἐντῷστάχυϊ.
The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 

29ὅταν δὲ παραδοῖ ὁ καρπός, εὐθὺς ἀποστέλλειτὸδρέπανον, ὅτι παρέστηκεν ὁ θερισμός.
But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” 

The Parable of the Mustard Seed 30-34
The main point of this parable is that the kingdom of God seemingly had insignificant beginnings. It was introduced by the despised and rejected Jesus and his 12 unimpressive disciples. But a day will come when its true greatness and power will be seen by the entire world. See also Matthew 13:31–33; Luke 13:18-f. This is another parable of contrasts, but the contrast may not be, as is sometimes thought, between the Church's insignificant beginnings and the wide spread, powerful organization it was to become: it is rather between the present veiled-ness of the Kingdom of God and its future glorious manifestation at the Parousia.

30Καὶ ἔλεγεν, Πῶςὁμοιωσωμεντὴν βασιλείαν τοῦθεοῦ, ἢ ἐντίνι αὐτὴνπαραβολῇθῶμεν; 
And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?  

31ὡς κόκκῳσινάπεως, ὃςὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆςγῆς, μικρότερονὂν πάντωντῶν σπερμάτωντῶν ἐπὶ τῆςγῆς, 
It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 

32καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντωντῶν λαχάνων καὶ ποιεῖκλάδουςμεγάλους, ὥστεδύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴνσκιὰν αὐτοῦτὰ πετεινὰτοῦοὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῦν.
yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” 

κατασκηνοῦν (kataskenoun|to nest/live/dwell) – See also Ezekiel 17:23; 31:6; Daniel 4:12,14,21. When at last he comes in his glory, who is himself the Kingdom (1:15), he will be not only the Judge of all men, but also the one under whose shadow all who have truly trusted in him will find shelter. Drawing attention to these same OT texts and particularly to 'all great nations' in Ezekiel 31:6, the allusion here may be intended to indicate the future wide scope of the kingdom of God, within which many nations (not only Israel) will find their place. Of this and the parable of the growth of the kingdom in verses 26-29, the two parables of verses 26-32 thus both warn against underestimating the significance of the proclamation of the kingdom of God, however unimpressive its initial impact may seem. What has begun in the Galilean ministry of Jesus will, by the power of God, one day prove to be of ultimate significance. If for the time being its power is hidden, it is not for that reason any less certain, and its growth will be spectacular.

33Καὶ τοιαύταις παραβολαῖς πολλαῖς ἐλάλει αὐτοῖςτὸνλόγον, καθωςἠδύναντο ἀκούειν·
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 

34χωρὶς δὲ παραβολῆςοὐκἐλάλει αὐτοῖς, κατ• ἰδίαν δὲτοῖςἰδίοις μαθηταῖς ἐπέλυεν πάντα.
He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

χωρὶςδὲ παραβολῆςοὐκἐλάλει αὐτοῖς - (choris de parabolesoukelaleiautois|apart but from parables not he was speaking) 

- Jesus used parables to illustrate truths, stimulate thinking and awaken spiritual perception. The people in general were not ready for the full truth of the gospel. When alone with his disciples Jesus taught more specifically, but even they usually needed to have things explained.

Time in the Word - Pentecost 4 - Proper 6

Preparation for New Week Pentecost 3 – Proper 6

June 8-13, 2018

Collect for Pentecost 3Blessed Lord, since You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer for the Church: Almighty God, grant to Your Church Your Holy Spirit and the wisdom that comes down from above, that Your Word may not be bound but have free course and be preached to the joy and edifying of Christ’s holy people, that in steadfast faith we may serve You and, in the confession of Your name, abide unto the end; 

Prayer for the mission of the Church and her missionariesAlmighty and gracious God, You want all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Magnify the power of the Gospel in the hearts of Your faithful people that Your Church may spread the good news of salvation. Protect, encourage, and bless all missionaries who proclaim the saving cross that Christ, being lifted up, may draw all people to Himself, 

Prayer for those outside the ChurchAlmighty and everlasting God, You desire not the death of a sinner but that all would repent and live. Hear our prayers for those outside the Church. Take away their iniquity, and turn them from their false gods to You, the living and true God. Gather them into Your holy Church to the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, 

The Parables of our Lord convey the mysteries of the Kingdom of God to those who are “able to hear it,” that is, “to His own disciples,” who are catechized to fear, love and trust in Him by faith (Mark 4:33–34). He “scatters seed on the ground,” which “sprouts and grows” unto life, even as “He sleeps and rises” (Mark 4:26–27). “On the mountain heights of Israel,” He plants a young and tender twig, and it becomes “a noble cedar.” Indeed, His own Cross becomes the Tree of Life, under which “every kind of bird” will dwell, and in which “birds of every sort will nest” (Ezekiel 17:22–25). His Cross is our resting place, even while now in mortal bodies, we “groan, being burdened” (2 Corinthians 5:1–4). Yet by faith we live for God in Christ, who for our sake “died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15). We know that, in His resurrected body, “we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Monday, 8 June 2015Psalm 92:12–15; Antiphon, Psalm 92:1—This ‘Psalm for the Sabbath’ is a hymn of praise, in which the psalmist gives thanks to the LORD for His steadfast love and faithfulness. He declares us righteous and makes us flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. From ancient times, even until to-day, Lebanon has been known for its tall strong cedars: Cedars from Lebanon were used in constructing the temple, and the cedar appears on Lebanon’s national flag. We who are planted in the house of the LORD are strong in the LORD like these trees of renown.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015Psalm 1—Luther wrote that the psalter is the Bible in miniature. If so, then the opening six verses are the portal leading into a treasure-house of communion with God. Who is the one who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners . . . but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on His Law he meditates day in night? First, it is Christ. Secondly, it is all of us who have been incorporated into Christ—the holy Christian Church. The new man, created by Baptism, that comes forth daily and arises to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015Ezekiel 17:22–24—Things looked bleak when Jerusalem fell and King Zedekiah died in exile (Ezekiel 17:11-21). Through the prophet Ezekiel, the LORD proclaims that He will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and…I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. This tender sprig will never be uprooted, for it is the promised Messiah, Jesus, who will be given the throne of His father David, and whose Messianic kingdom will be established forever.

Thursday, 11 June 20152 Corinthians 5:1–10—In Sunday’s epistle reading, St Paul looks forward to eternal life in heaven, when we shall live forever in our glorified bodies, no longer made frail by the ravages of sin. Paul has supreme confidence in what is to come, for his confidence rests, not in the whims of man, but in the surety of God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. The Christian, who lives by faith in the promises of the Lord, rejoices at the thought of being at home with the Lord.

Friday, 12 June 2015Mark 4:26–34—These parables serve as both warning and encouragement to us. We have a role to play in the furtherance of God’s kingdom on earth by sharing the Good News of the Gospel with those around us, but we must never think that the triumph of the Kingdom is our triumph, for it is the Lord and His Word alone which are effective. But neither should we despair if the growth of the Lord’s Kingdom seems somehow unspectacular in our eyes. He alone is the Lord of the harvest (Mark 9:38); thus, we never cease praying “Thy Kingdom come” with patience and confidence.

Saturday, 13 June 2015—Sunday’s hymn of the day, Creator Spirit, By Whose Aid (LSB 500), is an eighth-century hymn written in praise of the Holy Spirit and the gifts He bestows on the Church. It first proclaims the Spirit as participating in the creation of all things, then testifies that He creates Christians by His gifts to us. The final stanza is a doxology: a hymn of praise to our Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Prayer for persecuted Christians: Lord Jesus Christ, before whom all in heaven and earth shall bow, grant courage that Your children may confess Your saving name in the face of any opposition from a world hostile to the Gospel. Help them to remember Your faithful people who sacrificed much and even faced death rather than dishonor You when called upon to deny the faith. By Your Spirit, strengthen them to be faithful and to confess You boldly, knowing that You will confess Your own before the Father in heaven, with whom You and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, now and forever.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Riojas © Higher Things
Lectionary summary on front page from the LCMS Commission on Worship

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Pentecost 3 - Proper 5

Pentecost 3 – Proper 5
June 10, 2018
Mark 3:20-35
The Work of Christ

Jesus has defeated the devil and released us from the bondage of sin and death.

Almighty and eternal God, Your Son Jesus triumphed over the prince of demons and freed us from bondage to sin. Help us to stand firm against every assault of Satan and enable us always to do Your will; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen

Why pray such prayers? They appear so formal. Yet they continue to teach us the reality of our faith. Consider this morning’s Prayer of the day. It teaches us about the work of Christ.
1.       Jesus has triumphed over the prince of demons.
This we affirm every time we witness a Baptism. From our baptismal rite we hear, “The Word of God teaches that we are all conceived and born sinful and are under the power of the devil until Christ claims us as His own. We would be lost forever unless delivered from sin, death, and everlasting condemnation. But the Father of all mercy and grace has sent His Son Jesus Christ, who atoned for the sin of the whole world, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”[1]

Back in the garden the Lord promised our first parents that He would send the Savior. From our Old Testament lesson the Lord asks two simple questions. “Where are you?” and then, “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?

But the Lord did not allow Adam and Eve to wallow in their misery and filth. He gave His promise of the Savior. To the serpent He said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.  In the suffering death and resurrection of Jesus Christ Satan’s kingdom came to a crashing end.

2.       Jesus has freed us from the bondage to sin.
Jesus’ battle with Satan would be decided in a way no one could have predicted. Bearing all sin on the cross. The Father condemned His only Son so you would never be condemned. He did this for you. Jesus suffered eternal judgment. For you. When Jesus cried from the cross, “It is finished,” your sin was gone. Satan's only power is to distort God's word. The strong man controls the house. But another kingdom is breaking in. To destroy and plunder. By Jesus’ death - death is defeated. And by a curse. The curse is gone.

Christ now declares, “I forgive all sin.” Christ’s promise defeats Satan. His victory was not a physical contest of biceps and triceps or a contest of wits. He defeated Satan in His weakness..
3.       Jesus helps us to stand firm against every assault of Satan.
Jesus has overcome Satan. Those baptized into Christ have received Him and also His promised Holy Spirit. “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter,” v28 All sins and blasphemies and whatever they blaspheme can be forgiven.

You are free. Christ’s victory over Satan means you belong.

If Satan cannot shake your trust in Christ’s forgiveness, he’ll try to make you feel like an outsider. He will say, “You don’t fit with these people. What you did. Was so much worse. If they knew who you really are. They would march you to the church door. And tell you to leave and not come back.” 

We are susceptible to these accusations. It is our nature to compare ourselves with others. What we fail to see that in comparing we are trying to justify ourselves.

Christ silences Satan with this promise: “You belong to My family.” “And His mother and His brothers came, and standing outside they sent to Him and called Him. And a crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Your mother and Your brothers’ are outside, seeking You.”  And He answered them, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around Him, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God He is My brother and sister and mother.  (Vv. 31–35).

4.       Jesus enables us always to do the will of the Father.
 And what is the will of the Father? “God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will.”[2]  His good and gracious will is that you believe in Christ.
This past week two prominent persons in the public view lost their lives due to suicide.3 They ended their life in disparate despair.   So what could you say to someone. Whose sin was so dark. That that they question God’s ability to forgive? More important. What does Jesus Christ say to you? When you face similar darkness. He says, “I forgive all sin. Your shame your brokenness is gone. I welcome you. You are loved...regardless."
You are free. Forgiven.  And you belong. Christ’s victory over Satan had set you free from sin’s prison. Jesus does the same for you. And all who seek His favor. In Christ, you are free.

Passive Sentences –1%
Reading Level -4.3

[1] Holy Baptism pg.268 Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[2] Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer  Luther’s Small Catechism ©2006 Concordia Publishing, St. Louis
[3] Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, who died this past week. Escalating suicide rates have affected nearly every demographic group and place, according to new federal data.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Proper 5 notes

Pentecost 3 - Proper 5
Mark 3:20-35
Study notes
Genesis 3:8–15
2 Corinthians 4:13—5:1

Jesus Has Defeated the Devil and Released Us from the Bondage of Sin and Death

The devil deceived us, enticing us to disregard and disobey the Word of God and driving us to hide “from the presence of the Lord God.” But the Lord, in His mercy, promised a Savior, who would set Himself against the devil on our behalf (Genesis 3:8–15). The Son of Man came, the incarnate Son of God, conceived and born of the woman. He “first binds the strong man,” Satan, by atoning for the sins of the world, thereby removing the condemnation of the Law and the fear of death (Mark 3:27). Now He plunders the devil’s house by calling all men to repent.

Though He appears to be “out of his mind” (Mark 3:21), He fulfills the will of God and makes of us His own brothers and sisters. Therefore, “we do not lose heart,” despite the suffering, sin and death that we experience in this fallen world. “He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus.” By His grace, we are “being renewed day by day.” For the Gospel is daily bringing us into His presence, not for punishment, but for “an eternal weight of glory.” (2 Corinthians 4:14–17).

Almighty and eternal God, Your Son Jesus triumphed over the prince of demons and freed us from bondage to sin. Help us to stand firm against every assault of Satan and enable us always to do Your will; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

The work of Christ
1. Jesus had triumphed over the Prince of demons
2. In doing so, Jesus has freed us from the bondage of sin.
3. Jesus helps us to stand firm against every assault of Satan.
4.   Jesus enables us always to do the will of the Father.

20 Καὶ ἔρχεται εἰς οἶκον · καὶ συνέρχεται πάλιν ὁ ὄχλος, ὥστε μὴ δύνασθαι αὐτοὺς μηδὲ ἄρτον φαγεῖν.
Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat.

 Jesus  entered a house, because of the crowd they were not even able to eat.

21 καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ παρ’ αὐτοῦ ἐξῆλθον κρατῆσαι αὐτόν, ἔλεγον γὰρ ὅτι ἐξέστη.
And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

 After they had heard this his family (or those who were with him) went to seize him, they began to say "he's crazy!" "Standing outside of himself."

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit
 22 καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς οἱ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων καταβάντες ἔλεγον ὅτι Βεελζεβοὺλ ἔχει καὶ ὅτι ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια.
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.

23 καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς · Πῶς δύναται Σατανᾶς Σατανᾶν ἐκβάλλειν;
And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?

24 καὶ ἐὰν βασιλεία ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ, οὐ δύναται σταθῆναι ἡ βασιλεία ἐκείνη ·
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

Indeed if a kingdom is divided that kingdom cannot stand...Satan is divided against himself...he knows no other way other than destruction and division even destroying himself.

 25 καὶ ἐὰν οἰκία ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν μερισθῇ, οὐ δυνήσεται ἡ οἰκία ἐκείνη σταθῆναι ·
And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

:25-26 the strong man controls the house...another kingdom is breaking in to destroy and plunder.

By death - death is defeated, by a curse the curse is gone.

Satan's only power is to distort God's word.

26 καὶ εἰ ὁ Σατανᾶς ἀνέστη ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἐμερίσθη, οὐ δύναται στῆναι ἀλλὰ τέλος ἔχει.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.

27 ἀλλ’ οὐδεὶς δύναται εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τοῦ ἰσχυροῦ εἰσελθὼν τὰ σκεύη αὐτοῦ διαρπάσαι ἐὰν μὴ πρῶτον τὸν ἰσχυρὸν δήσῃ, καὶ τότε τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ διαρπάσει.
But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

28 Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πάντα ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων, τὰ ἁμαρτήματα καὶ αἱ βλασφημίαι ὅσα ἐὰν βλασφημήσωσιν ·
“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter,

 All sins and blasphemies and whatever they blaspheme can be forgiven...

29 ὃς δ’ ἂν βλασφημήσῃ εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ἀλλὰ ἔνοχός ἐστιν αἰωνίου ἁμαρτήματος.
but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—

 Whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit never has guilty of an eternal sin.

:29-30 equates blasphemy of the Holy Spirit with the unpardonable sin = unyielding refusal to believe the Gospel and a rejection of the Holy Spirit's work to create faith in Jesus.  It is "an eternal sin..." Guilt of this sin brings on into everlasting condemnation and punishment established for Satan and his evil angels. See Matthew 25:41; 1 John 5:16

:22-30 Those who refuse to recognize Jesus as God's Son and acknowledge his work as manifestations of the Holy Spirit remain under the dominion of Satan. BUT Jesus has overcome Satan. Those baptized into Christ have received not only Him but also His promised Holy Spirit.

30 ὅτι ἔλεγον · Πνεῦμα ἀκάθαρτον ἔχει.
for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Jesus' Mother and Brothers
31 Καὶ ἔρχονται ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔξω στήκοντες ἀπέστειλαν πρὸς αὐτὸν καλοῦντες αὐτόν.
And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him.

32 καὶ ἐκάθητο περὶ αὐτὸν ὄχλος, καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ · Ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ σου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου ἔξω ζητοῦσίν σε.
And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers[a] are outside, seeking you.”

Note: Mark 3:32 Other manuscripts add” and your sisters”
 People who barely know Jesus are seated next to Him, eagerly listening, while His family is outside, trying to get close enough to make Him stop!

:31-35 Earthly relations are crucial, yet one's relationship to God and His family of faith are even more important, since they form an eternal communion.

Loyalty to God takes precedence over loyalty to blood relations. This is still hard to hear today, as the temptation to put relationships with family and friends above God can be overwhelming.  The Lord wants us to have both relationships, and have them as healthy as they can be. He stands first in our lives because he placed Himself last, to humbly bear our sin and make us children of God.
33 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτοῖς λέγει · Τίς ἐστιν ἡ μήτηρ μου ἢ οἱ ἀδελφοί μου;
And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”

34 καὶ περιβλεψάμενος τοὺς περὶ αὐτὸν κύκλῳ καθημένους λέγει · Ἴδε ἡ μήτηρ μου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί μου ·
And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!

35 ὃς γὰρ ἂν ποιήσῃ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, οὗτος ἀδελφός μου καὶ ἀδελφὴ καὶ μήτηρ ἐστίν.
For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”