Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thoughts for the Third

When looking at the texts for October 3, I was intrigued by the amount of outcry there is in each of the lessons. Habakkuk cries for justice, the disciples beg for more faith, and Timothy is encouraged in his tears and sufferings. Even the Psalm, which offers words of comfort, seems to be speaking to someone who has had—at the very least—a really bad day.

I’m sure any of these could be more deeply explored and easily lend themselves to such a subject. In the interest of being a bit less scattered, I will be focusing on the gospel—Luke 17:5-10.

The two commentaries I have found to be most helpful thus far are those of David L. Tiede and Fred Craddock. Regarding Jesus’ reply to the disciples’ plea, Craddock says,
“The conditional clause in verse 6…could translate [as] ‘If you had faith [and
you do].’ Jesus’ response, then, is not a reprimand for an absence of faith but
an affirmation of the faith they have and an invitation to live out the full
possibilities of that faith.” (200)*
David L. Tiede comments on this passage as a whole. Though most commentaries I’ve seen tend to completely separate the section on the mustard seed from the one on slaves doing what is required, Tiede draws them together. He looks at their themes and proximity to one another and says
“If desperate please for ‘more faith’ are excluded on the one side, boasting at
obedience is forbidden on the other. These words of Jesus are used by Luke to
fill out the discourse, and they assume particular force in this context. This
is not a denigration of the servant or a pronouncement of human worthlessness.
The Jesus who is among his disciples as ‘one who serves’ is not ‘putting them in
their place.’” (294)**
It will be interesting to see where the rest of this exegesis goes. For now, I’m not ruling out referencing the other readings, but I think I will be focusing on this for most of the sermon. As aslways, thoughts/feedback welcome!

*Fred Craddock, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching: Luke, John Knox Press, Louisville.
**David L. Tiede, Luke: Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament, Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great! I look forward to seeing where you go with the text!