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Matthew 25:31-46

Proper 29A

These last few weeks of passages have reminded us that asking, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16.30) is not the only question that matters. Growing in our understanding of how belief and faith is translated into daily living is just as important. And the question, “What happens when Jesus returns?” is just…

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Matthew 25:14-30

Proper 28A

We pick up right where we left off last week, listening to Jesus teach his followers some important truths about how they are to live in light of what he will do in the future. This parable deals with the same question of how people ought to actively wait for the coming of the Lord,…

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Matthew 25:1-13

Proper 27A

This parable is part of a series that looks at what’s to come when the King of Kings returns. Even though they are about the future, the point that each of the parables is focused squarely upon is the present lives of disciples—no matter when they find themselves living. As we close out Ordinary time,…

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Matthew 23:1-12

Proper 26A

We might be tempted to view this text primarily as a stinging indictment of religious leadership. Though it is as much, it is also contrasting pictures of discipling communities. One builds up brothers and sisters (or students), whereas the other leaves them weighed down and stuck. One surrounds its members with a community of support,…

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Matthew 22:34-46

Proper 25A

Comments, Questions, and Observations We are still in the temple, still dealing with the temple leaders engaging Jesus in the hopes of trapping or discrediting him. Last week we read about the Pharisees sending their disciples to question Jesus, and in-between those verses and this week’s text, the Sadducees took a round in the inquisition….

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Matthew 22:15-22

Proper 24A

Over the last three Sundays we’ve watched as the Pharisees (as part of the temple leadership) were brought to task by Jesus. They’ve retreated and regrouped now and are trying a new tactic for solving their Jesus problem. Their new plan is to try to seduce Jesus with compliments and praise, suggesting that his influence…

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Matthew 22:1-14

Proper 23A

This is the third parable that Jesus tells to the temple leaders after they tried to trap him in a conversation about his authority. (Remember that Jesus had cleared the temple the previous day, and the temple leaders bandied together and confronted Jesus when he came back to the temple to teach the crowd.) The…

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Matthew 21:33-46

Proper 22A

If we thought the last parable was a pointed commentary, this one is sure to make us a little squirmy. Continuing to publicly address the leaders of the temple, Jesus builds his case about the disobedience and rejection he sees from those who ought to know better. Then, he makes a biting prophecy about his…

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Matthew 21:23-32

Proper 21A

Comments, Questions, and Observations This is the day after Jesus has cleansed the temple. Now he has returned and the leaders have come out in force to challenge this man upsetting the system. They demand that Jesus tell them who he thinks he is: by what authority is he changing and teaching things, and who…

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Matthew 20:1-16

Proper 20A

Jesus’s questions, on the lips of the vineyard owner, hit like bricks: “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” That second question’s literal translation is, “Is your eye evil because I am good?” Though the “evil eye” image is unfamiliar…

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