This passage marks a turning point in Jesus’ ministry. He completes His work in Judea and Perea and moves toward Jerusalem, where our Lord will make His triumphant entry and begin Passion Week, culminating in the cross.
Throughout the Old Testament—and especially in the Books of 1 and 2 Kings—God works through prophets to call Israel and her kings back to Him and rebuke their unbelief. The following excerpts from The Lutheran Bible Companion feature one of these instances: the encounters of Ahab and Elijah.
This blog post is adapted from Johann Gerhard’s Theological Commonplace On the End of the World and On Hell, specifically Gerhard’s notes on the reasons for the end of the world.
The following is an excerpt from Wade Johnson’s essay “We Must Obey God Rather Than Men: The Lutheran Legacy of Resistance” in One Lord, Two Hands? Essays on the Theology of the Two Kingdoms, a new anthology edited by LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison and Rev. Dr. John T Pless.
One painful experience that is repeated throughout the Scriptures is infertility. It’s surprising how many biblical stories involve infertility. Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 11-21), Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 25), Rachel (Genesis 29-30), Samson’s parents (Judges 13), Hannah (1 Samuel 1-2), Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1) all experience the pain of infertility. Each deals with this difficulty for years. In many of the cases above, God speaks a word directly to those who are experiencing infertility and promises the birth of a child. Some do not have to wait long for the promise to be fulfilled (Samson’s parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth). Some have to wait much longer (Abraham and Sarah).
In Mark 9:30-37, Jesus’ disciples demonstrate concern over who is the greatest. The issue of rank among the twelve takes on new meaning as we consider the context of the passage.
This blog post is an excerpt from the Lutheran Bible Companion, Volume 1: Introduction and Old Testament.
This blog post is adapted from Gerhard’s Theological Commonplace On the End of the World and On Hell, or Eternal Death, specifically Gerhard’s notes on the practical pastoral benefits of preaching on hell.
Mark’s Gospel is one of immediacy. Without the account of John the Baptist’s birth or that of Jesus Christ, Mark moves immediately to Jesus calling the disciples, healing, casting out demons, cleansing the leper, teaching parables, and raising the dead. In Mark, Jesus also feeds the five thousand and walks on water. His ministry created quite a stir. So much so that the Pharisees and teachers of the law came from Jerusalem to investigate—as seen in Mark 7:1–13. This investigation was likely motivated by jealousy, insecurity, and fascination or curiosity.
This blog post is adapted from Lutheran Bible Companion, Volume 1: Introduction and Old Testament.
One of the first matters to require attention is the real import of Ruth’s oft-quoted speech in 1:16–17, expressing her resolve to accompany Naomi. One should take care neither to read into Ruth’s words more than is actually said nor fail to hear them in total context.