Pentecost 20: Image, Likeness, and Identity

Matthew 22:15-22 Genesis 1:26 Dear Partner in Preaching, Allow a suggestion for this week’s preaching: substitute Genesis 1:26 for the first reading, normally from Isaiah (45:1-7) or Exodus (33:12-23). Yes, a single verse. Why? Because I have a feeling it is a verse that might have come to mind to some of those listening to Jesus’ exchange with the Pharisees and Herodians. Allow me to explain. We are at the point in Matthew’s story about Jesus where things are getting pretty tense. Earlier in the week, Jesus had entered Jerusalem and been greeted by adoring crowds (Mt. 21:1-11). Riding this wave of popular acclaim, he immediately...

John 2:17-22

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been...

Matthew 23:1-36

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the...

Matthew 16:1-4

The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Jesus they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You...

Matthew 15:1-9

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said,...