A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Upcoming Sunday Scripture Commentary

May 18 Sermon – “A Peculiar People”

I Peter 2:2-10
The Letter of I Peter was written to the various churches that were scattered across five Roman provinces. This letter is meant to encourage these new Christians to stay faithful as they live in a non-Christian environment.

Verses 2-3 use relational imagry with regard to our faith. Verses 4-10 uses architectural imagry.

This text focuses on salvation we have in Jesus Christ. Salvation provides a new identity for us. This is why I Peter talks about being reborn. Through Christ, we become like infants who need to grow into our new identity.

John 14:1-14
In our Gospel reading, Jesus prepares his disciples for his departure. He has given them a new commandment: to love one another as he has loved them. Mutual love will be a sign to everyone that they are his followers.

This passage is the first part of Jesus’ farewell discourse with his disciples. Jesus wants the disciples to be prepared for when he will leave them.

There was a belief in ancient Israel that whenever you called on the name of the Lord, the presence of the Lord would be with you.

The big question of debate from this text is what does Jesus mean by referring to preparing a “place” for them? Does this mean an other worldly place or is he referring to a more earthly place? Maybe both meanings are correct. Thinking about “place” in the here and now is very comforting since we can be at home with Christ while we live out our faith here on earth.

Jesus is pointing out that he has an interrelationship with the Father (Verses 12-14.) When we call on the name of Jesus, he promises to be present with us. Thus, when we conclude our prayer with “in the name,” Jesus wants us to know that he will be present with us. There is power in calling on the Lord’s name.

[Note: The resources used for these scripture reading commentaries are based on the Everyone series by NT Wright, The Wesley Study Bible, and the “Montreal-Anglican”lectionary commentaries.]  

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