Lent 1 B: Wilderness Faith

Dear Partner in Preaching, Somewhere along the line – whether in a college English course or seminary preaching class I can’t quite remember – I was taught to craft a tight, clear theme sentence to guide the whole of the essay or sermon. I’ll confess that I don’t do that every week, but I will this time around. And keeping with the brevity of Mark’s Gospel – and, indeed, his somewhat truncated version of the temptation – I’m going to keep it short: the same Spirit that descends upon Jesus at his baptism now drives him into the wilderness. Did you ever notice that, by the way? That immediately after his Baptism Jesus is...

Matthew 16:21-23

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it,...

Matthew 13:24-30

He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as...

Matthew 10:24-25

“A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!” This line seems to me to...

Matthew 10:16-23

“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them...