Matthew 18:21-35: 70 x 7

“Up to seven times,” Peter blurts out, stipulating how many times somebody should absolve another.  The Jewish rabbis of his day said someone met this obligation after forgiving three times (Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 86b-87a).  With more than double what these religious men expect, Peter considers himself most charitable.  Why Jesus didn’t mention the offender repented […]

Romans 13:1-7: For Whom Does the Sword Swing?

Some days or years before our first parents bit into the forbidden tree’s fruit, God founded both Church and family.  In a love unknown to us and a closeness beyond our imagining, Adam and Eve worshiped God.  Though not like we do, to receive His forgiveness and salvation.  No, they required none, yet.  “Be fruitful […]

Matthew 16:21-28: Your Cross and His Cross

At last, somebody understands Jesus!  Earlier, He tossed this query toward His disciples, “Who do people suppose the Son of Man is?”  Above the others, Peter rose, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Happy with the reply, Jesus responds, “You are Peter [petros].  On this rock, [petra, your confession] I will […]

Romans 12:1-2: A Living Sacrifice

After explaining how God saves, Paul now waxes lyrical.  With the depths of God as his topic, he embarks on an exclamation of praise.  First, he seizes a word connected to the sea’s immeasurable depths so we can fathom, in some way, God’s vast riches.  From earlier in Romans, we realize these riches are all […]

Jesus in the Storm

The day began as Jesus withdrew to a deserted place to be alone.  Later, in the afternoon sun, He ascends atop a mountain to pray.  Again, Jesus seeks solitude, far from both crowds and followers.  Earlier, our Lord told His disciples to take to the water in a boat—but this time, He lets them go […]

Isaiah 55:1-5: Delight in the Richest of Fare

A water vendor, a part of ordinary commerce in ages past.  Most did not live next to a stream, and sometimes access to a well became problematic.  So, in typical entrepreneurial fashion, someone recognized a need and found a way to profit.  Thus, the merchant and customer both benefited. Still, is this not an unusual […]

Romans 8:28-39: Bad into Good

The verses before today’s Epistle reading speak of a collaboration between God and His Spirit.  The Spirit intercedes for us, something we should find comforting.  Now, since God understands the Spirit’s mind, what does this tell us?  In all matters, God strives for what is best for those who love Him, as He purposes.  In […]

Isaiah 55:10-13: Like Rain and Snow

To live in the ancient Promised Land required faith.  Oh, its description as a place of milk and sweet honey rang true, for its country fed livestock, sheltered bees, and produced bountiful crops.  Nevertheless, without rain, soon, the soil hardened and cracked into a shriveled and depleted landscape.  Other places didn’t demand as much faith.  […]

God May Not Be Like We Think

Frustrated, Jeremiah cries to heaven, “You enticed and deceived me, prevailing over me.”  Earlier, God told him this, “I am making you into an iron pillar.”  To be God’s prophet will require him to stand “against Judah’s kings, its princes, priests, and commoners” (1:18).  No, God didn’t mislead Jeremiah but spoke the truth, instead.  A […]

The Red Sea miracle through the “water like a wall on their right and on their left” (Exodus 14:29) brought a frightened and fleeing people through the drowning waters.  A hymn of thanks soon rises from their lips (Exodus 15:1-21), celebrating the God who came to free them.  In short order, they will find themselves […]

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