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

Does God respond to nagging?

This Sunday’s lectionary reading from Luke’s gospel (Trinity 18, Year C) is the Parable of the Unjust Judge and the Persistent Widow from Luke 18.1–8. A surface reading, confirmed by most online comments on it, is that basically we need to be nagging God before he will answer our prayer! But a more careful reading, … Continue Reading

Does Jesus treat us as good-for-nothing slaves?

This Sunday’s lectionary reading from Luke offers some serious challenges to our understanding and practice. The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. “Suppose … Continue Reading

Can we read of the Unjust Steward in Luke 16 with irony?

Andrew Talbert writes: Perhaps the oddest of parables of Jesus (at least in its interpretation), is that of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1–13). Commentators and pastors alike squirm through this parable with virtually the same conclusion: Jesus teaches that there are select occasions in which one can be dishonest with money. Not only does this … Continue Reading

The costly grace of Jesus in Luke 14

In the gospel reading for Trinity 12 in Year C, we complete our navigation through this section of Jesus’ intermingled teaching and action until we hit the landfall of the ‘parables of the lost’ next week in Luke 15. The double focus on the crowds and discipleship, the drawing together of teaching found in different … Continue Reading

The Politics of the Table in Luke 14

The lectionary gospel reading for Trinity  11 in Year C, Luke 14.1, 7–14, continues to engage with material that is unique to Luke, arranged in Luke’s distinctive order, and bridging the worlds of the original context of Jesus and Judaism and Luke’s context in wider Roman culture. The passage comes in a sequence of episodes … Continue Reading

Has wealth become our rival god?

The lectionary reading for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity in Year C is the Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12.13-21. It is one of several parables that is unique to Luke, and includes features that connect it with other Lukan parables. Since last week’s reading of Jesus’ teaching about prayer, things have moved … Continue Reading