Matthew 5:21-37 (6th Sunday after Epiphany) – February 12, 2023

Sometimes referred to as the "Divorce Passage" of the Sermon on the Mount, this week we hear about Jesus' concern for how that community lives together in a way that will uplift everyone.

Matthew 5:13-20 (5th Sunday after Epiphany) – February 5, 2023

To describe why it’s difficult to know the true meaning, each of these metaphors on their own are awkward for different reasons. Salt doesn’t really lose its saltiness. A city on a mountain as a light is not very practical other than to be seen from far away. You don’t usually keep a lamp/light burning forever and it will need to be extinguished at some point. These few verses don’t fully function as parables. They are more proverbial. Ultimately, holding onto Matthean themes and Matthew’s narrative may be the best help for our understanding.

Matthew 5:1-12 (4th Sunday after Epiphany) – January 29th, 2023

Both Matthew and Luke use the Beatitudes with a purpose and in aligning our preaching with their purpose, we can open a world of preaching opportunity. But if we preach on our preference and overly compare these two different Gospels, then we give permission to accept one and throw the other out, when in reality they are used for two entirely different purposes.

Matthew 4:12-23 (3rd Sunday after Epiphany) – January 22, 2023

This is a transitional section in Matthew to get us to the Sermon on the Mount. And because of that, it can feel like there are a thousand things going on and none at all. But, I think if we pick one lane, there are some possibilities for really meaningful topics.

Confusion can be a Gift from God

What the 12-step program tells us, what our readings today tell us, what the season of Advent reminds us, is that the world is always going to try and speed us up and move us toward rapid action. But when that happens, when things are getting chaotic and confusing, we are reminded time and time again to take it one day at a time.

John 1:29-42 (2nd Sunday after Epiphany) – January 15th, 2023

Here in John’s account, there is beautiful room to tell a story of “being known.” After we get the long prologue of John, we the reader should have little doubt as to who Jesus is: the Word, the light, the Messiah. But even though we have this beautiful poetic prologue, this opening scene with John the Baptist immediately has a profound intimacy.

Matthew 3:13-17 (Baptism of Our Lord) – January 8th, 2023

For centuries the question of “Why was Jesus baptized?” has been asked by theologians. John’s was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. So why was Jesus baptized since he did not need repentance? How does it connect with our baptism?

Matthew 2:13-23 (1st Sunday of Christmas) – January 1st, 2023

Everything in you may be begging you to preach on the “name of Jesus” (Luke 2:15-21) this Sunday rather than the “slaughter of the Holy Innocents” in Matthew’s text. But I implore you to consider preaching this Matthean text.

John 1:1-14 (Christmas Day) – December 25th, 2022

Matthew and John are essential Gospels for our Triune Christology. Obviously, John 1 helps us with the Word in the beginning. But Matthew helps as well with the introduction of the prophecy of Isaiah (7:14), “‘and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means, ‘God is with us.’”

Matthew 1:18-25 (4th Sunday of Advent) – December 18th, 2022

I’m not sure that people often think of Matthew as a provocative gospel. I think that designation usually goes to Luke’s gospel as people will cite Jesus’ interactions with women, his stance on money, and the mission to the Gentiles in Acts. However, if you’re willing to sit in the tension, Matthew is a wonderfully provocative gospel.

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