Lectionary for September 16, 2018
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Series B, ESV
Isaiah 50:4-10, The Servant
In Chapter 50, the Lord exhorts His doubting and despairing people to believe His promises of deliverance. Though the Servant is not expressly named, He again appears in His role as Redeemer of Israel and of the nations, speaking of His mission in the timeless expressions of prophecy.
Who is me, verse 4? Isaiah 42:1, 49:6 tongue of those who are taught, the Servant is the most excellent disciple because He listens before He speaks. awakens my ear, while rebellious Israel turned a deaf ear to God, the Servant would not. John 8:21-30
In verse 5, because the Servant is listening, it follows that He cannot be rebellious. Psalm 40:6-8
beard , verse 6, see 2 Samuel 10:1-5 and Nehemiah 13:23-27.
face like a flint , verse 7. Jesus "set his face" when he resolutely set out for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-53). See Jesus' determination to fulfill everything written by the prophets (Luke 18:31-34).
Romans 8:31-34 are cross references for verse 8 and 9.
His servant? , verse 10, note how the Servant and the Lord are set parallel to each other. Fear and obedience are due to both.
Psalm 116:1-9, I Love the Lord
Although originally generating from one person's experience, this psalm was appropriate for Israel's celebration of the Passover, as the whole nation nearly succumbed to extinction in Egypt (Exodus 1:22).
snares of death … pangs of Sheol , verse 3, psalmist was helpless in the grip of death. Psalm 18:4-5
the simple , verse 6, are those open to instruction. Psalm 19:7-9 I was brought low, see Psalm 79:8-9, 142:5-7.
Return, O my soul, to your rest , verse 7, see Jeremiah 6:16.
in the land of the living , verse 9, see Isaiah 38:11-12.
James 3:1-12, Taming the Tongue
teachers , verse 1, office in the Early Church. Its work, along with that of apostles and prophets, was eventually carried out by pastors. Acts 13:1-3; 1 Corinthians 12:27-31; Ephesians 4:11-12 Nevertheless, these warnings apply to all who claim to teach. Because teachers speak often and authoritatively, they have greater opportunity and temptation to speak wrongly for their own benefit. Luke 11:45-46, 52 judged with greater strictness, because false teaching can destroy the faith of those being taught. Galatians 1:6-9
Cross references for verse 6 include: Psalm 120:1-4 and Proverbs 16:27. Words can reflect the fallen nature (Mark 7:14-23), which struggles against God. set on fire by hell, we are tempted by our sinful nature, by the devil and by this sinful world.
In verses 7-8, though all creation can be controlled (Genesis 1:26-28), no one is able to control the tongue. James 3:9
full of deadly poison , verse 8, profoundly capable of harming others. Psalm 140:1-3; Ecclesiastes 10:11; Romans 3:9-13
In verse 10, James calls for consistency. The righteous have received the implanted Word (James 1:19-21) and should live lives that reflect what God has made them to be.
In verses 11-12, creation itself cannot be two different things at once; neither can a person who is re-created by God serve Him and curse others at the same time.
Mark 9:14-29 , Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit
And when they came , verse 14, who is they? Mark 9:2
faithless generation , verse 19, the father, disciples, and gathering crowd. The father and crowd had likely despaired while Jesus was absent on the mount. Note the amazement in verse 15. how long, Jesus would not be with them much longer. The disciples' lack of faith prompted Jesus to ask these rhetorical questions, which expressed His disappointment. John 14:8-11, 20:26-29
In verse 21, Jesus shows interest in the boy, who was more to Jesus than a subject for a demonstration of His power.
Regarding verse 23, the power and love of God are constant (Psalm 62:11-12). Faith receives the gifts God had prepared (Mark 11:22-24; James 1:5-8).
In verse 24, the father cried out with faith but struggled with his son's burden and the failure of the disciples (Romans 7).
The disciples cast out demons (Mark 6:13), but they could not overcome this one. Jesus, who had just heard the voice of His Father, readily conquered this mute demon in verse 25. "[The devil] often breaks men's necks or drives them to insanity, drowns some, and moves many to commit suicide and to many other terrible disasters [e.g., Mark 9:17-22]. So there is nothing for us to do upon earth but to pray against this archenemy without stopping. For unless God preserved us, we would not be safe from this enemy even for an hour" (Large Catechism of Martin Luther III I 15-16).
Regarding verse 29, there are different types of demons with different powers. The disciples' earlier success in exorcism (Mark 6:13) had either not prepared them for this case or made them overconfident in their own work.