Tag: gospel of matthew

Summary: When Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and tries to do the same himself, it is fear that makes him begin to sink. Yes, Jesus saves him, but before rushing to the story’s happy conclusion it is worthwhile to dwell on fear. Fear can be paralyzing; insecurity makes people shun risks. The life of faith is never a worry-free existence. Getting out of the boat means getting to the places where Jesus is. And, unlike Peter, we rarely find ourselves doing that alone.

I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Matthew 14:22-33. It was originally a guest contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Summary: When Jesus feeds 5000-plus hungry people in the wilderness, he feeds them until they are full. He gives them more than a taste and more than just promises. The scene offers a reminder that the good news cannot be reduced to meager foretastes of a feast to come. The abundance of food and the efforts of Jesus’ disciples indicate that preachers and indeed all Christians are summoned to feed the hungry and reaffirm the dignity of all—not later but now.

I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Matthew 14:13-21. It was originally a guest contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Summary: Even the briefest parables tell tales of massive upheaval. Jesus’ parables of the hidden leaven and the mustard seeds describe small acts of infiltration that have tremendous consequences. His parables of the treasure in a field and the pearl of great price are about the overturning of value systems and entirely reordered lives. The kingdom of heaven, it appears, involves more than most of us might have expected. It will get into everything.

I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. It was originally a guest contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Summary: Jesus’ parable of the weeds and wheat resounds with a number of concerns that the Gospel according to Matthew voices. It expresses worry about the damage that imposters might cause, but there is more worry here about what harm will come to “the children of the kingdom” if one actively tries to weed out those imposters. The challenge is to remain engaged in ministry that serves the wider world and opposes injustice while also leaving judgment up to God.

I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23. It was originally a guest contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Summary: Jesus’ Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids is one of several parables in Matthew’s Gospel that describe the Christian life as actively anticipating God’s promise to bring God’s intentions to fullness. This anticipation involves a readiness that manifests itself in perseverance, obedience, and compassion. It leads Christians to action on behalf of those who suffer, especially those who suffer exclusion.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post and ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: Jesus tells a parable about two sons, neither one of whom lives up to what he says, to show that true, life-giving devotion shows itself in efforts to participate in God’s work on behalf of the world’s well-being. We might respond by thinking about ways to participate in God’s work to improve the lives of our neighbors.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post and ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: Jesus begins his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel with nine statements that declare categories of people “blessed,” or content. Yet the people he describes are the ones we usually view with pity. In announcing whom he has come to bless, Jesus upends our ordinary values about where and how success and contentment are found.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post and ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: When Jesus says, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and God the things that are God’s,” he exposes the ways in which our lives involve us in commitments that demand our allegiances. Without calling us to be ascetics or separatists, he calls us to renewed loyalty to God. This piece explores the difficulty of cleanly navigating the ambiguities of our social and political lives.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post and ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: Jesus’ Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard tells us something about the scandalous character of God’s generosity. It also identifies the kinds of people most likely to attract God’s gracious attention. Those people are always with us, and their numbers seem to be getting larger in the current American cultural context, with its persistent unemployment rates and its contempt toward undocumented immigrants.

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post and ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible

Summary: This piece reflects on faith and fear in the story of Peter asking Jesus to call him to walk on the stormy Sea of Galilee. How might faith like this exercise itself in the midst of America’s economic woes?

Read the full article, which is part of the ON Scripture–The Bible project, on The Huffington Post and ON Scripture.

Bible commentary: general audience ON Scripture--The Bible