Jesus meets Nathanael in John 1

The gospel lectionary reading for the Second Sunday in Epiphany is the next stage in Jesus’ initial encounter with the first disciples in John 1.43–51, in which Philip introduces Nathanael to Jesus. Like other passages in this early part of the Fourth Gospel, it is quite a sparse narrative, but laden with significance, including anticipations … Continue Reading

The baptism of Jesus in Mark 1

The lectionary gospel reading for this Sunday, the First Sunday of Epiphany, is Mark’s rather compressed account of Jesus’ baptism by John in Mark 1.4–11. Just over a year ago, when such things were normal (remember that…?) I went with my family to see a film—the final episode of the nine main instalments of the … Continue Reading

The annunciation to Mary in Luke 1

The lectionary gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday in Advent is Luke 1.26–38; though this year’s gospel is Mark, there is (of course) no annunciation in Mark, so we plunder part of Luke’s narrative to fill the gap. I have previously posted on the annunciation in more general terms, noting that the account is rooted … Continue Reading

The ‘coming’ of Jesus in Mark 13

With the turn of the lectionary year, next Sunday we are in the first Sunday of Advent in Year B, and our gospel reading of Mark 13.24–37 plunges us straight into the questions around the anticipation of Jesus’ return at The End. (It is worth noting that there is no compelling (theo)logical reason why this … Continue Reading

The ‘parable’ of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25

The gospel reading in the lectionary for the last Sunday before Advent (now known as ‘Christ the King’) is Matthew 25.31–46, the so-called ‘parable of the sheep and the goats’. But it isn’t actually a parable (since there is no suggestion that ‘the kingdom of heaven is like this’), and isn’t really about sheep and goats … Continue Reading

Understanding the Beatitudes in Matthew 5

The gospel lectionary reading for All Saints’ Day in Year A (this coming Sunday as I write) is Matthew 5.1–12, which is mostly composed of the set sayings of Jesus known as the Beatitudes, a name derived from the Latin translation of the opening term of each, ‘blessed’ or ‘happy’. These sayings are very well … Continue Reading

Grace and judgment in Matt 22 video

I have picked up the idea once more of making short videos to accompany my comments on the Sunday lectionary reading. This is for Matt 22.1–14, the reading for Trinity 18 in Year A. For more detail and background, see the written commentary on the passage here from earlier in the week.