Archive for the ‘giving’ tag
The text for this lesson is 2 Kings 12:1–16.
- Because the temple was the place of God’s faithful dealings with His people, Joash, his workers, and their donors dealt faithfully in repairing it.
- Law: We often allow God’s house and worship to be a low priority in our lives.
- Gospel: Being with His people by Word and Sacrament is always God’s highest priority.
- Law: Too often we fail to bring God the first and best of our treasure—sometimes because we disagree with how it is being used.
- Gospel: God did not withhold His own Son, but freely gave Him up for us.
Lesson 5 described the building of the Lord’s temple (1 Kings 5–6). There He dwelled in the midst of Israel to hear prayers, receive sacrifices, and bless His people. By the time of Joash, the temple had fallen into a state of disrepair on account of aging, neglect, and abuse.
Joash (also known as Jehoash) ascended the throne of Judah at the age of seven and reigned forty years (2 Kings 11:21–2:1). Prior to this, the wicked queen mother Athaliah sought to wipe out all of King David’s lineage (the Messianic line) so that she could control the throne, but the Lord rescued Joash from her hand (2 Kings 11:1–3). The godly high priest Jehoiada anointed Joash and secured the throne for him.
Joash reigned well as long as his counselor Jehoiada lived, but later the king backslid into idolatry (2 Chronicles 24:15–27). Joash’s life reminds us to live each day in repentant trust in the grace which God delivers in His Word and Sacrament, knowing that we can lose our salvation by leaving the church or living in persistent, intentional sin (Hebrews 10:23–27).
The text for this lesson is Mark 12:41–44.
- Just as the widow gave all she had to God, trusting Him to provide and care for her, so Jesus gave His all for us, who fail to trust in God for all things.
- Law: God demands that I love Him with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might and that I be willing to hand over to Him all that I am and have.
- Gospel: Christ loves me with all His heart, all His soul, and all His might, and willingly gave up His life and poured out His blood for me to ransom me and make me His own.
Preceding this story are several incidents that involve Jesus’ face-offs with the religious leaders of the day—the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes. The Pharisees challenge Him about taxes (Mark 12:13–17), the Sadducees about the resurrection (Mark 12:18–27), and the scribes about the priority of the commandments (Mark 12:28–34). Right before spotting the widow, Jesus dresses down the scribes for strutting peacockishly about in their “long robes” (Mark 12:38), their narcissistic addiction to public praise, and the heartless way they “devour widows’ houses” (Mark 12:40). Presumably, Jesus means the way these teachers swindle widows out of their savings, all supposedly in the service of God.