Jesus is rejected at Nazareth in Mark 6

The gospel lectionary reading for Trinity 5 in Year B is Mark 6.1–13, and is yet another example of Mark’s highly concise storytelling that is packed with theological narrative significance. Once more the lectionary does us a slight disservice; the reading combines the story of those taking offence at Jesus in his home town with … Continue Reading

The feeding of the 5,000 in Matt 14

The Sunday lectionary reading for the Eighth Sunday after Trinity in Year A is Matt 14.13–21. We have now moved beyond the third section of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew, on the kingdom of heaven in chapter 13, and are immersed once more in Jesus’ ministry and engagement with those around him, which extends to the … Continue Reading

The ‘transfiguration’ of Jesus in Matthew 17

The lectionary gospel reading on Sunday, the last Sunday before Lent in Year A, is Matt 17.1–9, Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration. There some important things to note in relation to this passage as we think about preaching on it or hearing it preached. All three Synoptic accounts place this immediately after Peter’s confession of … Continue Reading

Recapturing the wonder at Easter

One of the most striking elements in the accounts of Jesus’ early ministry in the first half of all four gospels is the reaction of onlookers, both the crowds and the disciples—they were ‘amazed’. The gospel writers use three different terms for this reaction, as if building into a crescendo of wonder and bewilderment. The … Continue Reading