Tag Archives: Pharisees

  1. Good fences make good neighbors? (Luke 16.19-31) [sermon 3-26-2017]

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    March 24, 2017 by jmar198013

    The rich man—who was used to getting his way—wouldn’t let up. “No, Father Abraham!” he argued. “But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will change their hearts and lives.” Abraham said, “If they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, then neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.” And that gives the story a new twist. Because we know Jesus, the one telling the story, would himself rise from the dead later. But even that wouldn’t convince a lot of people. When you invest yourself in getting more stuff, gaining more status, and winning at any cost—like the Pharisees—you become blind to many things.

  2. A place at the table (Luke 15) [sermon 03-19-2017]


    March 17, 2017 by jmar198013

    The story ends with the father saying: “But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive. He was lost and is found.” The father insists to the older son that not only is his place in the family secure; he is his brother’s brother, whether he wants to be or not! That’s where Jesus leaves the story—with the father’s invitation to come join the feast. And that’s where the story is left with us now, too. There’s room at God’s table for us all. Those who stayed and served. And those who were lost, but now are found.

  3. Once upon a dinner table (Luke 15.1-3, 11b-32; 2 Cor. 5.16-21) [Sermon 03/06/2016, Lent 4c]


    March 1, 2016 by jmar198013

    When the Pharisees unloaded on Jesus for eating with sinners, Jesus told them a story about a father with two sons who needed to be reconciled. The story was set around a dinner table, where a feast was in full swing.

    Hidden in the story Jesus told was an invitation to the Pharisees: “Come join us for this meal. There’s room for you at the table, too.”

    And there’s still room at the table. For prodigal children and judgy older siblings. For Pharisees and sinners. Even for you and me and the people we’d rather write off.

  4. Reading the Bible with Clean Hands (Mark 7.1-8, 14-15, 21-23): Sermon 8-30-2015

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    August 31, 2015 by jmar198013

    In Mark 7.1-23, Jesus did something stunning: He boldly declared that people had misunderstood an entire chapter of the Bible (Leviticus 11). Now if there’s anywhere you can make the “Bible clearly says” arguments, it would have been the dietary laws of the Hebrew Bible. Jesus offers a radically revisionist interpretation of them. Why can’t we read the Bible like Jesus?

  5. The Prodigal Father (Luke 15.11-32)


    May 10, 2015 by jmar198013

    The truth of the parable of Luke 15 (which is more about a father’s reckless love than it is about a son’s rebellious wandering) is embodied whenever we gather for the Lord’s Supper: at the table where we all—Prodigal Sons and elder brothers alike—find ourselves welcomed and accepted.

  6. “Eating bread with unclean hands: a food fight in Mark 7”: a Lord’s Supper homily


    September 6, 2012 by jmar198013

    The identity and integrity of the church is maintained when we, like Jesus, are willing to touch and let ourselves be touched by others, and to share our table with them, without first calculating who is clean and who is not. Sure, our neighbors might think us unclean. But what we celebrate around this table is that Jesus’ cleanness is always able to overcome our uncleanness.



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