Sermon Commentary for Sunday

This Week's Commentary

Proper 26B

For week 26B of the Revised Common Lectionary, find ideas and illustrations in sermon commentary for Mark 12:28-34, Ruth 1:1-18, Psalm 119:1-8, and Hebrews 9:11-14.

Related Reformed confession: OT Lectionary: Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 94 (Lord’s Day 34)

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Mark 12:28-34 Sermon Commentary

The text’s message this week is simple. It’s the all-encompassing nature of the application that gets overwhelming. Did you know, for instance, that there are 613 commandments in the Pentateuch? Summarizing and prioritizing, as Jesus does here, was a normal practice among the rabbis and scribes of Judaism, not to mention that it’s a helpful…

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Ruth 1:1-18 Sermon Commentary

To my mind stopping the reading of Ruth 1 at verse 18 is the narrative equivalent of ending the movie Field of Dreams just before the moment when Ray encounters his long-dead and estranged father on his magical Iowa baseball diamond.  Why stop short of the scene that brings the whole thing together!? So trust…

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Psalm 119:1-8 Sermon Commentary

In the world of secular music, I would guess you would be hard pressed to find many songs with titles like “I Just Love Rules!”  In fact the website Ranker provided their top list of songs with the word “law” in the title but songs of the variety “I’m Lovin’ the Law” don’t seem to…

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Hebrews 9:11-14 Sermon Commentary

As I noted in a 2018 commentary on this week’s Epistolary Lesson, this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson is “bloody.” In fact, it’s so bloody that citizens of the already figuratively blood-soaked 21st century may be uncomfortable with it. But perhaps humanity needed such a radical solution because its problem was so deeply-ingrained. Few pieces of baggage…

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Sermon Commentary From Other Lectionary Cycles

Mark 12:28-34 Sermon Commentary

Proper 26B

Digging into the Text: The first thing I noticed about this text is that this is that while all the other encounters Jesus has with the Scribes and Pharisees, the Jewish leaders, are adversarial, this one is positive. This particular Scribe had been listening to Jesus discuss theology with the Jewish leaders, and he was…

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Mark 12:28-34 Sermon Commentary

Proper 26B

Comments and Observations: Today Jesus would be seen surrounded by reporters and cameras, with a half-dozen microphones being shoved toward his face.  Today Jesus would be hounded by paparazzi as the center of a small media blitz.  Passersby would be leaning in, camera phones held out in front, to take a selfie with the rebellious…

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Psalm 146 Sermon Commentary

Proper 26B

Digging Into the Text: Psalm 146 marks the beginning of the last “Book” in the Psalms, four psalms that close the Psalter with a rising chorus of praise. Each one begins and ends with the word Hallellu Jah, “Praise the Lord [Jahweh].” Since the Psalms constantly admonish us to praise the Lord, it may seem…

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