All in Peter Nafzger

Gospel: Luke 20:9-20 (Lent 5: Series C)

Your hearers are not first-century religious leaders in Israel. Neither are present-day pastors and church leaders. This is an important point for a sermon on this text, because Jesus is speaking to the people of Israel about their religious leaders. What he says in this parable has significance for us today, and needs to be preached. But the application is not direct and therefore should be done carefully.

Gospel: Luke 13:1-9 (Lent 3: Series C)

We’re tempted to try and connect the dots. Something bad happens to someone and we can’t help but wonder about the cause. Even if we don’t say it out loud, we are tempted to think they must have done something to deserve it. They must be guilty of something. God must be punishing them for something we don’t know about. But Jesus stops this thinking in its tracks.

Gospel: Luke 4:1-13 (Lent 1: Series C)

There are two ways to think about what’s happening when someone is tempted. The first is to imagine temptation as enticement toward something bad and wrong. This is probably the more common of the two. But there’s another way of thinking about it. Temptation could also be seen as encouragement away from something good and right. Lent begins with an opportunity to contemplate Jesus’ temptation, and the second seems more helpful.

Gospel: John 2:1-11 (Epiphany 2: Series C)

In this story, God delivers. The hosts of the wedding were in a tight spot. They were in danger of a major embarrassment. They needed help. And there is Jesus to save the day. With a little prodding from His mother, and some help from obedient servants, He swoops in and solves the problem before anyone even knew it existed. That is what we are looking for from God, right? To swoop in. To save the day. These are good reasons to like this text, but they all miss the point.