Category Archives: exegesis

  1. Reading the Bible like Jesus (Acts 15.1-18) [sermon 5-14-2017]

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    May 11, 2017 by jmar198013

    Acts 15 is a story of the leaders of the early church reading the Bible like Jesus. It’s a good example to follow. That’s why it’s there.

  2. Neighbors (Luke 10.25-37) [sermon 3-5-2017]

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    March 2, 2017 by jmar198013

    What must I do to gain eternal life? That was the scribe’s original question. Jesus’s final answer is to go and do what the Samaritan did that day. And in two thousand years, I don’t believe his answer has changed.

  3. Walking in the ways of Elijah and Elisha (Luke 7.1-17) [sermon 2-5-2017]

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    February 3, 2017 by jmar198013

    When the people saw Jesus at work, they said: “God has come to help his people.” And just maybe, if we follow Jesus—bringing the Good News of God’s salvation to the dark and desperate corners of our time, even across enemy lines—people will also see our work, and conclude that God has come to help them. Through his people.

  4. An agenda for ministry (Luke 4.14-30) [Sermon 01-15-2017]

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    January 13, 2017 by jmar198013

    Jesus told his neighbors, in no uncertain terms, that God didn’t intend for Jubilee to be proclaimed only to them. Jesus had come to preach the Good News of God’s salvation to all the poor folk. To heal all the blind folk. To proclaim forgiveness and release to all the captives. Yes, even the tax collectors and Samaritans and … even the Romans. God had sent him to proclaim Jubilee to everyone. Even their enemies. And that’s what got them mad enough to throw Jesus off a cliff. Because there’s this human tendency to think blessing is a zero-sum game. Good news for somebody has to mean bad news for somebody else. There can’t be a “year of the Lord’s favor” without a corresponding “day of vengeance for our God.” Jesus came to show us it doesn’t really have to be that way.

  5. The King is coming, bringing hope (Joel 2.12-13, 28-29) [Sermon 12-4-2016, Advent Year 3]

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    December 3, 2016 by jmar198013

    Joel’s prophecy begins with terror–fields and vineyards stripped bare by locusts, and the threat of the Day of the LORD, when God will come to shake things up. But it ends with hope–not only will God restore what the locusts took, but he promises a day of hope for all flesh, and all creation, when all will be restored. The season of Advent likewise points us back to a dark time, when a poor man and woman lay their vulnerable firstborn son in a feeding trough. But that child was God’s visitation, bringing hope to all peoples and all creation. Thus is hope born in us, and through us, the world.

  6. When God repented (Exodus 32.1-14; Luke 23.34) [Sermon 10-09-2016]

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    October 7, 2016 by jmar198013

    Ps 15.4 blesses the person “who keeps their promise even when it hurts.” In our story today, we saw God keep his promises, even though it hurt him. Moses reminded God of the promises he’d made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And because God is a faithful God, he kept his promises to them. So God didn’t give up on Israel—even when they broke his heart, and he really wanted to.

    And he still hasn’t given up. Not on humanity. Not on his creation. He’s still the God who is faithful, even when it hurts. He proved that once and for all when an angry mob freaked out and committed an even graver sin than worshiping before a golden calf. As they nailed God’s Son Jesus to a cross, Jesus pleaded: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”

    So God did just that; he forgave.

    And he hasn’t stopped forgiving.

  7. Passover: taste the faithfulness (Exodus 12.1-13; 13.1-8; Luke 22.14-20) [sermon 10-02-2016]

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    September 30, 2016 by jmar198013

    The Psalmist invites us to, “taste and see how good the LORD is!” (Ps 34.8). When the Israelites ate the Passover meal every year, they did just that. And when Christians share the Lord’s Supper each week, so do we.

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