To begin with, here is a link to the blessing we read at the start of last week's bible study meeting, entitled, "Blessing When the World Is Ending" by Jan Richardson. As we get deeper into the weeds of the sermon on the mount, I think Richardson's blessing is a great place to return to for orientation. In Matthew's Gospel, the unthinkable has already happened (the loss of the temple, the murder of the infants, etc.), so that this blessing aligns well, I think, with what Matthew is aiming at articulating in the Gospel.

This week we'll move on to Matthew 5:17-37. It might be helpful to read the entire Sermon on the Mount if you haven't done so already. That would mean starting at chapter 5:1 and ending at 7:29. As any literary unit, a sermon is difficult to take piece by piece, so that returning to a broader reading can be helpful as we look at individual pieces of the sermon.

If you're interested in other reading, check out Luke's Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:17-49). As we've seen before, Luke and Matthew share a lot of material, and the sermon is one place where they head in different directions.

1 Comment

Jenny 6 months ago

While helpful, for me the "Diagnosis:Prognosis" method of biblical text analysis leaves out the "action item(s)" portion for us listeners and readers to ponder, and ideally, to act on. Jesus Clearly gives us action items in these sermons. This is not a comment directed at any preacher or pastor as I have heard several dozen in my lifetime: Personally, it can get frustrating for me to listen to sermons when preachers use this framework and then don't underscore or mention what we are to do with them besides revel in God's grace and mercy. Not that God's grace and mercy are insignificant or insufficient or anything less than the ultimate Good News. Truly it must be the goal of every Lutheran preacher to proclaim it from the pulpit. But we look to Jesus and to our preachers to give us direction for what we are to DO with the empowerment of this Good News, beyond holding it in our minds and hearts. I think it would be helpful in bible study for us to ask "What are the implications of this text?" "What action items are included/ did Jesus give us?" "How do these words translate into the ways we are to interact with our neighbors and our local and even communities?"

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