Sunday, July 15, 2018

Proper 11 Series B Notes

Proper 11 Series B

Jeremiah 23:1–6
Ephesians 2:11–22
Mark 6:30–44

The Lord Jesus Shepherds His Church on Earth by the Ministry of the Gospel

The Lord rebukes and removes “the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep” (Jeremiah 23:1). He gathers the flock, brings them back to the fold and sets “shepherds over them who will care for them” (Jeremiah 23:3–4). He raises up the Son of David, the great Good Shepherd, to “reign as king and deal wisely” (Jeremiah 23:5). He is “our righteousness,” in whom we “dwell securely” (Jeremiah 23:6).

He has compassion on all of us, who were “like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34). Not only does He teach us many things, but taking the bread, He blesses and breaks and gives it to the disciples “to set before the people” (Mark 6:41).

He abundantly provides for His Church on earth, so that everyone is fed and fully satisfied in body and soul. He preaches peace “to you who were far off,” and “by the blood of Christ.

He brings you near (Ephesians 2:13, 17). Though you were “separated from Christ” by your sin, “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12), now “you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).

"Too many times programs fail because the emphasis is on ending the disease of addiction, as if addiction were not connected to an actual person. The other problem we have is that when we label a person-addict, drunk, homeless, gay-it has a direct impact on how we view, or in what sense we see a person, so one’s humanity is lost to a label." - 7.12.2018 homily for Trinity 7  homily - Pr. Ken Kelly Johnstown, PA

In today’s Gospel, Jesus “saw” the crowd and instead of revulsion at their poverty, and hunger his response was compassion...

Mark 6:30-44
Young's Literal Translation

30 Καὶ  συνάγονται  οἱ  ἀπόστολοι  πρὸς  τὸν  Ἰησοῦν,  καὶ  ἀπήγγειλαν  αὐτῷ  πάντα  ὅσα  ἐποίησαν  καὶ  ὅσα  ἐδίδαξαν.
And the apostles are gathered together unto Jesus, and they told him all, and how many things they did, and how many things they taught,

31 καὶ  λέγει  αὐτοῖς  Δεῦτε  ὑμεῖς  αὐτοὶ  κατ’  ἰδίαν  εἰς  ἔρημον  τόπον  καὶ  ἀναπαύσασθε  ὀλίγον.  ἦσαν  γὰρ  οἱ  ἐρχόμενοι  καὶ  οἱ  ὑπάγοντες  πολλοί,  καὶ  οὐδὲ  φαγεῖν  εὐκαίρουν.
and he said to them, 'Come yourselves apart to a desert place, and rest a little,' for those coming and those going were many, and not even to eat had they opportunity,

"Desalt place" see OT lesson. Christ will gather and feed them.

32 καὶ  ἀπῆλθον  ἐν  τῷ  πλοίῳ  εἰς  ἔρημον  τόπον  κατ’  ἰδίαν. and they went away to a desert place, in the boat, by themselves.
33 καὶ  εἶδον  αὐτοὺς  ὑπάγοντας  καὶ  ἐπέγνωσαν  πολλοί,  καὶ  πεζῇ  ἀπὸ  πασῶν  τῶν  πόλεων  συνέδραμον  ἐκεῖ  καὶ  προῆλθον  αὐτούς.
 And the multitudes saw them going away, and many recognized him, and by land from all the cities they ran, and went before them, and came together to him,

34 Καὶ  ἐξελθὼν  εἶδεν  πολὺν  ὄχλον,  καὶ  ἐσπλαγχνίσθη  ἐπ’  αὐτοὺς  ὅτι  ἦσαν  ὡς  πρόβατα  μὴ  ἔχοντα  ποιμένα,  καὶ  ἤρξατο  διδάσκειν  αὐτοὺς  πολλά.
and having come forth, Jesus saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion on them, that they were as sheep not having a shepherd, and he began to teach many things.

ἐσπλαγχνίσθη - His guts were moved for them. He has compassion for them and cares for them. There were as sheep without a shepherd. He shepherds and teach them.

35 Καὶ  ἤδη  ὥρας  πολλῆς  γενομένης  προσελθόντες  αὐτῷ  οἱ  μαθηταὶ  αὐτοῦ  ἔλεγον  ὅτι  Ἔρημός  ἐστιν    τόπος,  καὶ  ἤδη  ὥρα  πολλή· And now the hour being advanced, his disciples having come near to him, say, -- 'The place is desolate, and the hour is now advanced,
36 ἀπόλυσον  αὐτούς,  ἵνα  ἀπελθόντες  εἰς  τοὺς  κύκλῳ  ἀγροὺς  καὶ  κώμας  ἀγοράσωσιν  ἑαυτοῖς  τί  φάγωσιν.
Send them away, that, having gone away to the surrounding fields and villages, they may buy to themselves loaves, for what they may eat they have not.'
37  δὲ  ἀποκριθεὶς  εἶπεν  αὐτοῖς  Δότε  αὐτοῖς  ὑμεῖς  φαγεῖν.  καὶ  λέγουσιν  αὐτῷ  Ἀπελθόντες  ἀγοράσωμεν  δηναρίων  διακοσίων  ἄρτους,  καὶ  δώσομεν  αὐτοῖς  φαγεῖν; And he answering said to them, 'Give ye them to eat,' and they say to him, 'Having gone away, may we buy two hundred denaries' worth of loaves, and give to them to eat?'
38  δὲ  λέγει  αὐτοῖς  Πόσους  ἔχετε   ἄρτους;  ὑπάγετε  ἴδετε.  καὶ  γνόντες  λέγουσιν  Πέντε,  καὶ  δύο  ἰχθύας.
And he saith to them, 'How many loaves have ye? go and see;' and having known, they say, 'Five, and two fishes.'

39 καὶ  ἐπέταξεν  αὐτοῖς  ἀνακλῖναι*  πάντας  συμπόσια  συμπόσια  ἐπὶ  τῷ  χλωρῷ  χόρτῳ.
And he commanded them to make all recline in companies upon the green grass,  see Psalm 23
40 καὶ  ἀνέπεσαν  πρασιαὶ  πρασιαὶ  κατὰ  ἑκατὸν  καὶ  κατὰ  πεντήκοντα.
and they sat down in squares, by hundreds, and by fifties.
41 καὶ  λαβὼν  τοὺς  πέντε  ἄρτους  καὶ  τοὺς  δύο  ἰχθύας  ἀναβλέψας  εἰς  τὸν  οὐρανὸν  εὐλόγησεν  καὶ  κατέκλασεν  τοὺς  ἄρτους  καὶ  ἐδίδου  τοῖς  μαθηταῖς  ‹αὐτοῦ›  ἵνα  παρατιθῶσιν  αὐτοῖς,  καὶ  τοὺς  δύο  ἰχθύας  ἐμέρισεν  πᾶσιν.
And having taken the five loaves and the two fishes, having looked up to the heaven, he blessed, and brake the loaves, and was giving to his disciples, that they may set before them, and the two fishes divided he to all,
42 καὶ  ἔφαγον  πάντες  καὶ  ἐχορτάσθησαν· 
And they did all eat and were filled 
43 καὶ  ἦραν  κλάσματα  δώδεκα  κοφίνων  πληρώματα  καὶ  ἀπὸ  τῶν  ἰχθύων.
and they took up of broken pieces twelve hand-baskets full, and of the fishes,

 #12 - twelve tribes wilderness wandering.

44 καὶ  ἦσαν  οἱ  φαγόντες  τοὺς  ἄρτους  πεντακισχίλιοιk  ἄνδρες.
and those eating of the loaves were about five thousand men.

Time in the Word - Pentecost 9 - Proper 11

Collect for the time of  Pentecost Grant, Lord, that the course of this world may be so governed by Your direction that Your church may rejoice in serving You in godly peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen  

Prayer in time of affliction and distressAlmighty and most merciful God, in this earthly life we endure sufferings and death before we enter into eternal glory. Grant us grace at all times to subject ourselves to Your holy will and to continue steadfast in the true faith to the end of our lives that we may know the peace and joy of the blessed hope of the resurrection of the dead and of the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

Prayer for Home and FamilyVisit, we implore You, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, and keep far from them all harm and danger. Grant us to dwell together in peace under the protection of Your holy angels, and may Your blessing be with us forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. Prayer the Unemployed: Heavenly Father, we remember before You, those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. Lead us so to use the wealth and resources of this rich land that all persons may find suitable and fulfilling employment and receive just payment for their labor; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

Pray for PeaceO God, whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world simply cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being def3ended from the fear of our enemies, may live in 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. 

Collect for this coming Sunday Proper 11 – Heavenly Father, though we do not deserve Your goodness, still You provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may acknowledge Your gifts, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen 

Time in the Word 16-21 July 2018
Preparation for next week – The togetherness of God’s People

In the lessons for this coming Sunday several themes can be seen: that nature of a good shepherd, the functions of a good shepherd, and the togetherness of God’s people through a Davidic king, Christ, and the church. The last is suggested as the theme – togetherness. Jesus in the Gospel takes His disciples, who just returned from their preaching-healing mission, on a retreat. Jeremiah in the Old Testament lesson explains that the exile was due to false shepherds and the scattered sheep will be brought back to Israel under a Davidic king. Jew and Gentile (in the Epistle lesson) are made one through the blood of Christ and their oneness in the church. The Psalm’s refrain, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…” reminds us of the Gospel – “He had compassion on them.” The Hymn of the Day sings of Jesus who is the center of the church’s life and the foundation on which we build.

Monday, 16 July 2018Psalm 147:7-11, Antiphon, Psalm 145:16— You open Your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing. Jesus sets the table. Jesus supplies all that we may ever need. The Lord is faithful. We will never be in need. He has promised to supply our daily wants and desires. Daily tells how much God should give us, enough for the day. We do not ask God that He give us now what we need in years to come, but it is sufficient if we get what we need each day. 

Tuesday, 17 July 2018Psalm 23; key verse v.6— Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever... Goodness and mercy both refer to the benefits of being a child of God, namely that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. The Hebrew for this word suggests, “throughout the years”. Because of the relationship with have with Jesus Christ we will live and reign with Him throughout all eternity. What a comfort it is to have a relationship with our Lord and Savior. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018Jeremiah 23:1-6Restoration. Exiles together under a Davidic king. Under new shepherds, God will return His people from captivity, and so a Davidic king will reign. In this passage Jeremiah predicts that because of false shepherds (rulers) the people will go into captivity. This happened in Jeremiah’s lifetime (586 BC) when the Jews were deported to Babylon. Jeremiah goes on to promises that God will raise up true shepherds who will bring back the exiles. In fact, there is to come a Davidic king who will rule with justice and righteousness. Under this Davidic ruler Israel will be restored as a nation. 

Thursday, 19 July 2018Ephesians 2:11-22Reunion. Jews and Gentile together in Christ. Christ has made us one in God and in the church. The heart of Ephesians is in this passage. In Vv. 13-18 we learn of the peace Christ grained between Jew and Gentile. Vv. 19-22 spell out the consequences of that peace. In the person of Christ and His cross, Jew and Gentile are made one. Christ died for both, and they are one in Christ by faith. Thus, they have a oneness in Christ, oneness with God and with each other. Christ’s death has removed the hostility and cancelled the law which separated Jew from Gentile. The two are now one in the church. The practical result is that Gentiles are no longer aliens but members of God’s family. 

Friday, 20 July 2018Mark 6:30-44 — Retreat. Christ and the disciples together. Jesus takes His disciples to a lonely place for rest and teaches the crowd that gathers. This lesson combines the conclusion dealing with the sending out of the disciples and the introduction to the feeding of the five thousand. The disciples return from their preaching journey and are exhausted. People with needs throng around them so that they do not get any rest. Jesus takes them in a boat to a secluded spot that they may rest and be apart from the crowd. But the people will not let them alone. When the boat comes to shore, the people are waiting for them. Seeing the crowd, Jesus expresses compassion for them because they are as sheep without a shepherd. Before Jesus gives them physical bread, he gives them spiritual food by teaching them. This is the only time Mark refers to the Twelve as “apostles.” It is an appropriate name; for they had just returned from a preaching-healing mission. An apostle is one who is sent forth by Christ. Seeing the multitudes might have angered Jesus. He was taking the disciples apart for a retreat so sorely needed. He could have become impatient and told the people to scram. His reaction reveals His heart – compassion. He felt sorry for them because they were in desperate need. He has the heart of God, the God of love. Because of His compassion, Jesus cares about people. 

Saturday, 21 July 2018— Ephesians 2:20 - Sunday’s hymn of the day, The Church’s One Foundation (LSB 644). Paul pictures a house when he speaks of the structure of the church. The foundation is solid as the church is based on the Old and New Testaments the prophets and the apostles. The tested stone on which the church rests is Christ on which everything centers around. With such a structure the church moves forward victoriously. 

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut used with permission ©WELS
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Pentecost 8 - Proper 10

Pentecost 8 – Proper 10
15 July 2018
Mark 6:14-29
The Beheading of John the Baptist

O Lord, You granted Your prophets strength to resist the temptations of the devil and courage to proclaim repentance. Give us pure hearts and minds to follow  Your Son faithfully even into suffering and death; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives, and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Weak and wicked Herod. Like his father before him. Was more afraid of looking bad in front of his dinner guests. Than he was of God and His wrath. Driven by lust and pride. And in the false name of honor. As though he were a man of his word. He unjustly. And illegally. Executed John. To please the daughter of a harlot. Who was not his wife.”1

We prefer our Bible stories to be pristine. We enjoy readings that are good for food… pleasant to the eyes… desired to make us wise. (Genesis 3:6) We favor music and song that lifts us up. We wish to feel good about ourselves. After spending time in church.

That doesn’t always happen. Nor, should it. A diet consisting only of sweets is not good for you. Nor is it good for you spiritually. If we hear nothing of the consequences of transgression.

Conventional wisdom tells us: “you must first hit rock bottom before you climb up.” Not so! Some hit rock bottom and go splat!

The story of the beheading of John the Baptist reminds us that the way of sin always leads to destruction. Offense casts a web. For which we cannot easily escape. John’s death speaks about the reality in which we live. - A broken and fallen world. – Outside of Eden.

Herod the Great. Who murdered the boys from Bethlehem. Had ten wives and many children. He was a particularly nasty tyrant. Herod's paranoia. About keeping power. And his ruthless suppression of dissent. Earns him a well deserved place alongside the great dictators of history. He trusted no one. Not even his wives. (Remember, he had ten!) Or his many sons. One spouse. And three of his boys. Were all executed. Because he feared they were plotting against him.

Any threat of an uprising. Was put down. With brutal and bloody rage. Encouraged by his Roman masters. Herod believed in singling out individuals for public execution. As well as the mass slaughter of His opponents. Two thousand years later. Not much has changed. As far as brutal dictators are concerned. Herod is the prototype. He set the standard.    

Herod Antipas.3 Governed Galilee for more than forty years. Remember him. He is one the main characters of our Gospel lesson this morning. He is the one who not only executed John the Baptist. (Matthew 14:1; Luke 3:19) He played a crucial role in Jesus' death. (Luke 13 & 23).

Why is the story so important? And why do we spend an entire Sunday to focus on this ugly and brutal death? We do so. Because John is the forerunner of Jesus. His ministry will parallel Jesus.

John has an unlikely birth. So does Jesus. John is found in the desert. Jesus is driven by the Spirit to be tempted – in the desert. John preached repentance. So did Jesus. John confronted the religious authorities of his day as did Jesus. John is innocent yet finds himself arrested. The same happened to Jesus. John is executed as is Jesus.

Jesus rises from the dead. Did John? Scripture does not mention him by name specifically. However. Matthew will give us a hint in his gospel account of Good Friday when he writes: “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” Matthew 27:50-53

Could John have been one of those saints who had fallen asleep only to be raised? Was John someone to come out of the tome after Jesus’ resurrection only to appear to many in the holy city? Again. Scripture does no mention John specifically by name. But the pattern fits. So don’t bet the farm insisting that John was one of the first to be resurrected. But I won’t hold it against you. If you wager a few acres.   

(If loving you is wrong) I don’t want to be right! Antipas married the daughter of the King of Arabia. But later he lived with Herodias. The wife of his brother Philip.1 The New Testament gives the reason why Herodias sought John's head.  She had married Prince Philip. But later shacked up with Herod. 2  

Herodias was married to Philip. Antipas took her to be his wife. Yes! Herod married his sister-in-law! “The wife of his brother Philip.” “For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her.” (v.17)

She acted against the law of man and of God in leaving Philip to marry Antipas. John rebuked Antipas. For this adulterous union. And Herodias took vengeance. John called Antipas out. Saying, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

Herodias held a grudge against John. And wanted to kill him. But she could not.  Herod feared John. Knowing that he was a righteous and holy man.  Antipas protected John. When Antipas heard him. He was greatly perplexed. And yet he liked to listen to him.

John was a just man. And a holy man. A complete good man.  Herod knew this. What was lacking in his own character. He saw in John. And this frightened him. John was a man sent from God. A man of God. A man for God.

Antipas wanted to please his guests. He wanted to please his wife. And he was afraid of this desert preacher. So he locked him up. He shut him down. He attempted to silence him. But John’s words still haunted him.

Choose. But choose wisely. An opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his crew. The officers and the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter came in and danced. She pleased Herod and his guests.

He solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” Her reply was expected. “(I desire ᾐτήσατο λέγουσα) the head of John the baptizer.” Deeply grieved. Yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests. He did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head.

So. Do we give a “false witness” when we, for example, compromise clear Biblical principles in order to fit in at work, or at school?  What price will we pay? To acquire acceptance and approval?

So, what about you? Do your sins rise up against you? Of what are you afraid?  Do you crave the praise of men? Do you fear the voice of God? Repent! And claim that forgiveness. Which was won for you by Jesus Christ. This forgiveness has a name. It’s called Absolution.

[Absolution] “Is neither a response to a suitably worthy confession. Nor the acceptance of a reasonable apology. To absolve means not only to loosen. To free. To acquit. it also means to dispose of. To complete. And to finish.

When God pardons. He does not say He understands your weakness. Or makes allowances for your errors. Rather He disposes of. He finishes with. The whole of your dead life. And raises you up. With a new one. He does not so much deal with your failures. As does He drop them down the black hole of Jesus’ death. He forgets your sins in the darkness of the tomb. He remembers your iniquities no more. In the forgetfulness of Jesus’ death. He finds you in the desert of death. Not in the garden of improvement. And in the power of Jesus’ resurrection. He puts you on His shoulders. Rejoicing. And brings you home.3

Words –1,550
Passive Sentences – 4%
Readability – 79.5%
Reading Level –3.8

Artwork The Beheading of John the Baptist Schnorr von Carolsfeld © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

1.       Quote taken from an 8.29.2002 sermon by Rev. Dr. David Peterson, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Ft. Wayne, IN, which also gave structure to this manuscript.

2.       Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews Book 18, chapter 5, paragraph 4 comment that Herodias "divorced herself from her husband while he was alive" to argue that it took place before Herod II's death, in about the year 27, thus making it possible for Jesus to have been born in the reign of Herod the Great (as indicated by the Gospel of Matthew) and to have died in his early 30's (as indicated by the Gospel of Luke). See also Stewart Perowne, The Later Herods p. 49, (Bruce 10 n. 16; Schürer 344 and n. 19)

3.       His second son.

4.    Robert Farrar Capon, Parables of Grace, p. 39

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Time in the Word - Pentecost 8 - Proper 10

Preparation for next week – Sent to Serve

The theme for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 10) is sent to serve. Christians are people who are sent by God to serve Him and His people. Jesus sent His disciples to preach and heal. John the Baptist is beaded for his refusal to stand down to wicked King Herod. Faithfulness to God was far more important than obeying the dictates of a mad king. As John dies innocently, so must the Christ. Amos claimed that the Lord chose him as a shepherd to go to Israel to preach in the Old Testament lesson. In the Epistle lesson, we gain the impression that we are destined to be God’s people through Christ and appointed to glorify Him. We are a people with a mission and on a mission given to us by God. Occasionally we might be opposed. This need not be our chief concern. One thing is needed and that is faithfulness.

Monday, 08 July 2018Psalm 143:1-2, 8a; Antiphon, Psalm 143:1— O Lord hear my prayer listen to my cry for mercy in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. In each of our readings for this coming week the righteous find themselves confronted by evil forces. There are those who would want the Christian to cease and desist. Thus, we must pray to the Lord for deliverance from all our enemies. Psalm 143 is such a prayer. As we make our appeals known to God, not only will He hear us but also He will act, in His own time to rescue and defend us.

Tuesday, 09 July 2018Psalm 85(1-7) 8-13; key verse v.7— Show us Your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation. This is how God chooses to act on behalf of His people. He has every right to punish, condemn and destroy. In love, He will offer forgiveness, life, and salvation. How could He? The cross of Calvary shows us how deep and profound the Father’s love is for His people.

Wednesday, 10 July 2018Amos 7:7-15—Amaziah orders Amos to stop preaching and go home to Judah. Amos, a herdsman from Tekoa, is sent by the lord to Israel to preach. It is at the time of King Jeroboam that Amos preached at Bethel, the site of the royal sanctuary. Amaziah is the high priests who warms the king of Amos’ treason and who commands Amos to go back to Judah to preach there.  Amos replies that he is not a professional prophet, just a layman, who was called by God to preach to Israel. He is not preaching for a living, but in obedience to God’s call.

Amos was preaching in the holy place of Bethel, the royal seat and place of worship. Amaziah tells Amos to go home to the South to preach, for the temple is the “king’s sanctuary.”  Since Amos’ message was against the king and nation, Amos had no right to speak there; it was the king’s chapel and not God’s house. If it is the king’s then speak in support of the king’s policies and practices. If it is God’s house, God speaks in His house through His called spokesperson. It was a matter of civil religion v. true religion.

It was a religious service head in a “White House” where you would expect sermons supporting the nation. The high priest of Israel accuses Amos of treason. His preaching does not support the nation.
The king is to be killed and the people are to go into captivity. This spells the end of the nation. This is a hard message. Amaziah reports this to the king. The truth often hurts. It does not always approve what we do.

Thursday, 11 July 2018Ephesians 1:3-14— God’s chose and destined us to be His children through Christ. For the next few weeks, the Epistle lesson will come from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. This lesson is difficult to relate to the other two lessons. The central theme of the letter to the Ephesians is the church. This lesson is on praise to God who in Christ has poured out His love for us, who calls us to be His children, redeemed us through the blood of Christ, and revealed His will to us. He has given us His Spirit who is a guarantee of our salvation and eternal life.

Friday, 12 July 2018Mark 6:14-29 —Mad king Herod had John the Baptist killed to honor an oath, to save face in front of his dinner guests, to quiet a man who firmly told him that his illicit affair with his sister-in-law was sinful and shameful and to honor Herodias’ request.  Verse 20 is the key verse. Although Herod knew he was doing wrong, his conscious bothered him, and John’s words condemned him Herod was still drawn to listen to John. When we are overcome by the fear of confronting someone, we can be comforted in the fact that the Law does convict. God through the preaching of the Law prepares us to hear, understand and savor the Gospel. John the forerunner of Christ will preach, baptize and die all like Christ. First he must die. With the death of John now, the cross becomes the focus of Christ’s destiny. 

Saturday, 11 July 2015— Luke 10:2 – is the inspiration for the hymn, Spread the Reign of God the Lord (LSB 830). Who will work for the Lord and His cause? There is plenty of work to be done. May we pray the Lord would use each of us to be doing His will in our daily vocations. The opportunity to serve Him is rewarding enough. As we can find work to be done may we do it joyfully and willingly.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House and from Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut used with permission from WELS
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

Proper 10 series B notes

Proper 10 Series B

For July 15, 2018

Related Scripture Readings

Amos 7:7-15
Psalm 85:8-13
Ephesians 1:3-14
Prayer of the Day
Proper 10 - Series B

Collect for Proper 10 - Lord, You granted Your prophets strength to resist the temptations of the devil and courage to proclaim repentance. Give us pure hearts and minds to follow Your Son faithfully even into suffering and death; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives, and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Mark 6:14-29 -Mad king Herod had John the Baptist killed to honor an oath, to save face in front of his dinner guests, to quiet a man who firmly told him that his illicit affair with his sister-in-law was sinful and shameful and to honor Herodias' request. 

Verse 20 is the key verse. Although Herod knew he was doing wrong, his conscious bothered him, and John's words condemned him Herod was still drawn to listen to John. When we are overcome by the fear of confronting someone, we can be comforted in the fact that the Law does convict. God through the preaching of the Law prepares us to hear, understand and savor the Gospel. John the forerunner of Christ will preach, baptize and die all like Christ. First he must die. With the death of John now, the cross becomes the focus of Christ's destiny.

O God, from you 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, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Greek Text (NA27) ESV Translation

Mark 6:14-29
This section of the Gospel sees Jesus seeking to withdraw from the crowds and direct his attention rather to his disciples.

Mark 6: 14-16 - See also Matthew 14:1-2 & Luke 9:7-9

Mark 6:14–29 -See also Matthew 14:1–12. Herod senses that in Jesus the powers which he thought he had banished when he executed John are at work; the disquieting voice of God calling him to account has not been silenced. The death of John the Baptist, told here and not in its natural place in the sequence of events (1:14), is prophetic of Jesus’ fate (Mark 9:12–13; Matthew 17:12–13). Both in the village (1–6) and in the royal court men are turning against Him; the cleavage deepens because of His teaching.

Mark 6: 17-29 -See also Matthew 14:3-12 & Luke 3:19-f. The previous verse provides an excuse for this 'digression,' relating the story of John's death. However, the 'sandwiching' of this story within the account of the disciples' mission, and following the discussion of Jesus' identity, is intended to tie the fate of John in with the Jesus story as a foretaste of what 'another John' must expect (note how the four references in Mark to Ἡρῳδης and to Ἡρῳδαινοι, 3:6; 6:14-29; 8:15 and 12:12 all imply hostility and threat to the work of God). Jesus' mission has been seen as in continuity with that of John since 1:7-11, 14-15; and the link will be made clearer in 9:11-13 and especially in 11:27-33. So while the story has its own interest as providing the conclusion to the earlier account of John (left unfinished in 1:14), it also serves to set the scene within which Jesus will approach his own confrontation with authority.

The Death of John the Baptist

14Καὶ ἤκουσεν ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης, φανερὸν γὰρ ἐγένετο τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτίζων ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐνεργοῦσιν αἱ δυνάμεις ἐν αὐτῷ.
King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some said, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.”

ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης (ho basileus herodes|the king Herod) - See also Matthew 14:1. Mark may here have used the title “king” sarcastically (since Herod, the son of Herod the Great, was actually a tetrarch), or perhaps he simply used Herod’s popular title or may rather reflect the self-view or aspiration of Herod. He was tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea from his father's death in 4 BC till AD 39.

τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ (to onoma autou|the name/title of him) - Here bears the sense of fame. We are not told explicitly what it was that Herod heard, but this clause implies that it was of Jesus' reputation.
ἔλεγον (elegon|they were saying) - The third person plural is almost certainly right, though the singular, ἐλεγεν is very much better attested. The plural makes this phrase the beginning of reports on public perception regarding Jesus rather than that of Herod. It would have been natural for copyists to alter the verb into the singular to agree with ἠκουσεν.

ἐγήγερται (egegertai|has been raised)

ἐκ νεκρῶν (ek nekron|from [among the] dead)

ἐνεργοῦσιν (energousin|are at/in work) - Probably in a sense similar to the transfer of the spirit of Elijah to his companion Elisha (2 Kings 2:15).

15ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἠλίας ἐστίν· ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον ὅτι προφήτης ὡς εἷς τῶν προφητῶν.
But others said, “He is Elijah.” And others said, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.”

προφήτης ὡς εἷς τῶν προφητῶν (prophetes hos eis ton propheton|prophet like one of the [old] prophets) - The consensus is clearly that Jesus is a prophet, but just how he fits into that ancient category is a matter of rather wild speculation.

16ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ Ἡρῴδης ἔλεγεν· ὃν ἐγὼ ἀπεκεφάλισα Ἰωάννην, οὗτος ἠγέρθη.
But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”

ἠγέρθη (egerthe|was raised) - Herod, disturbed by an uneasy conscience and disposed to superstition, feared that John had come back to haunt him.

17Αὐτὸς γὰρ ὁ Ἡρῴδης ἀποστείλας ἐκράτησεν τὸν Ἰωάννην καὶ ἔδησεν αὐτὸν ἐν φυλακῇ διὰ Ἡρῳδιάδα τὴν γυναῖκα Φιλίππου τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ, ὅτι αὐτὴν ἐγάμησεν·
For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because he had married her.

φυλακῇ (phulake|prison) - According to Josephus, Ant 18:119, John was imprisoned and executed in the fortress of Machaerus, to the east of the Dead Sea in the southeasternmost part of Peraea.

Ἡρῳδιάδα (herodiada|Herodias) - See also Matthew 14:3.

Φιλίππου (philippou|Philip) - See also Matthew 14:3. If by 'Philip' Philip the Tetrarch is meant, this contradicts Josephus who says (Ant 18:136) that Herodias was married to Herod the son of Herod the Great and Marianne II. Philip the Tetrarch actually married Salome. It would seem that either Mark is mistaken, or that Herod to whom Herodias was married had also the name Philip. There is considerable obscurity surrounding both the relationships and the names of the Herod family (particularly since the name 'Herod' seems to have been used both as a personal name for certain members of the family and as a family name for all), and it is possible that the Herod who was Herodias's first husband also bore the personal name Philip, as did her son-in-law."

18ἔλεγεν γὰρ ὁ Ἰωάννης τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ ὅτι οὐκ ἔξεστίν σοι ἔχειν τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου.
For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.”

Οὐκ ἔξεστίν (ouk exestin|not is permissible/lawful/proper) - We see in John the example of moral courage, not hesitating incur the wrath of the great and powerful, as often as it may be found necessary: for he, with whom there is acceptance of persons, does not honestly serve God.

Verses 19-20 set up the contrast, strongly reminiscent of the story of Ahab and Jezebel (whose 'target' was, of course, John's model Elijah), which the rest of the story will work out between a resolutely hostile Herodias and a wavering Antipas, who will eventually be tricked into pronouncing sentence against his better judgment. The parallel with Pilate's ineffectual resistance to the determined hostility of the priests in 15:1-15 is remarkable, yet another indication of Mark's desire to link together the fates of John and of Jesus. (Note how Pilate will in 15:14 by implication echo with regard to Jesus Antipas's view of John as δικαιος και ἁγιος).

19ἡ δὲ Ἡρῳδιὰς ἐνεῖχεν αὐτῷ καὶ ἤθελεν αὐτὸν ἀποκτεῖναι, καὶ οὐκ ἠδύνατο·
And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not,

20ὁ γὰρ Ἡρῴδης ἐφοβεῖτο τὸν Ἰωάννην, εἰδὼς αὐτὸν ἄνδρα δίκαιον καὶ ἅγιον, καὶ συνετήρει αὐτόν, καὶ ἀκούσας αὐτοῦ πολλὰ ἠπόρει, καὶ ἡδέως αὐτοῦ ἤκουεν.
for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.

ἠπόρει (eporei|he was disturbed/at a loss) - The support for ἠπορει, though numerically weak, is strong in quality, and intrinsically this reading is more likely than ἐποιει which is read by the majority of Greek MSS. ἠπορει vividly describes Herod's moral weakness. Elsewhere in the NT ἀπορεω is used in the middle (hence W ἡπορειτο), and the unfamiliarity of the form may have led to the correction to ἐποιει in the majority of MSS.

ἡδέως (|gladly) - The implication is that, like Felix with another prisoner later (Acts 24:24-26), he was at least open to persuasion; but he remained confused and undecided.

21Καὶ γενομένης ἡμέρας εὐκαίρου ὅτε Ἡρῴδης τοῖς γενεσίοις αὐτοῦ δεῖπνον ἐποίησεν τοῖς μεγιστᾶσιν αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῖς χιλιάρχοις καὶ τοῖς πρώτοις τῆς Γαλιλαίας,
But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee.

χιλιάρχοις (chiliarchois|military commanders) - High ranking military officers generally in charge of 600-1000 men.

πρῶτοις (protois|most leading/prominent persons) - There was a palace as well as a prison in the fortress of Machaerus, and presumably, though it was certainly a long way from Galilee, if Herod was resident there, he would be surrounded by his courtiers. It certainly seems to be implied (27-f) that John was imprisoned close at hand.

22καὶ εἰσελθούσης τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτοῦ Ἡρῳδιάδος καὶ ὀρχησαμένης ἤρεσεν τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ καὶ τοῖς συνανακειμένοις. εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ κορασίῳ· αἴτησόν με ὃ ἐὰν θέλῃς, καὶ δώσω σοι·
For when Herodias's daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.”

τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτοῦ Ἡρῳδιάδος (tes thugatros autou heridiados|the daughter of him Herodias) - See also note on Matthew 14:6. There are textual difficulties here. The chief variants are: i) θυγατρος αὐτης της Ἡρῳδιαδος A C W Θ and the majority of Greek MSS and vg syrh; ii) θυγατρος αὐτου Ἡρῳδιαδος א B D L Δ 565; iii) θυγατρος της Ἡρῳδιαδος f1 22 131 it (some mss) syrs,p etc.

According to (ii) the girl is herself named Herodias and is described as Herod's daughter. But in verse 24 she is Herodias' daughter. Herodias had a daughter called Salome, but she was not Herod's daughter; and the narrative does not seem to allow for the union between Herod and Herodias to have been long-standing enough for there to be a daughter sufficiently old by it. So most commentators accept reading (i). However, a majority of the UBS Committee decided somewhat reluctantly that the reading with αὐτου must be adopted on the strength of its external attestation; αὐτου "represents an early error. This might derive from a careless scribe who was puzzled by the intrusive αὐτης and mechanically altered it to αὐτου, thus producing a smoother text without realising what violence it did to the narrative in context. In that case, the majority reading, αὐτης (της) Ἡρῳδαιδος, would be preferred.

23καὶ ὤμοσεν αὐτῇ [πολλὰ] ὅ τι ἐάν με αἰτήσῃς δώσω σοι ἕως ἡμίσους τῆς βασιλείας μου.
And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.”

ὤμοσεν (omosen|he made a promise/swore an oath) - The adverbial addition of πολλα here is not very elegant, but typical of Mark (20; 3:12; 5:10, 23, 38, 43...); its absence from the majority of MSS is an obvious stylistic improvement.

ἕως ἡμίσους τῆς βασιλείας μου (eos hemisous tes basileias mou|up to half of the kingdom of me) - A proverbial reference to generosity, not to be taken literally (Esther 5:3, 6). Generosity suited the occasion and would win the approval of the guests. See also 1 Kings 13:8.

24καὶ ἐξελθοῦσα εἶπεν τῇ μητρὶ αὐτῆς· τί αἰτήσωμαι; ἡ δὲ εἶπεν· τὴν κεφαλὴν Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτίζοντος.
And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.”

αἰτήσωμαι (aitesomai|should I ask [for]/claim) - It is possible, though not certain, that a distinction is intended between the middle used here and the active in verses 22-23. If so, the meaning here would be 'claim', there being now a sort of business relationship since the king's promise.

25καὶ εἰσελθοῦσα εὐθὺς μετὰ σπουδῆς πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα ᾐτήσατο λέγουσα· θέλω ἵνα ἐξαυτῆς δῷς μοι ἐπὶ πίνακι τὴν κεφαλὴν Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ.
And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
 26καὶ περίλυπος γενόμενος ὁ βασιλεὺς διὰ τοὺς ὅρκους καὶ τοὺς ἀνακειμένους οὐκ ἠθέλησεν ἀθετῆσαι αὐτήν·
And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.

27καὶ εὐθὺς ἀποστείλας ὁ βασιλεὺς σπεκουλάτορα ἐπέταξεν ἐνέγκαι τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ. καὶ ἀπελθὼν ἀπεκεφάλισεν αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ φυλακῇ
And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison

28καὶ ἤνεγκεν τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ πίνακι καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτὴν τῷ κορασίῳ, καὶ τὸ κοράσιον ἔδωκεν αὐτὴν τῇ μητρὶ αὐτῆς.
and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.

29καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἦλθον καὶ ἦραν τὸ πτῶμα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔθηκαν αὐτὸ ἐν μνημείῳ.
When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb

See also Luke 9:8 for Herod's later fears; also Matthew 14:12 for John's disciples informing Jesus of what had happened.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use.