Lectionary for August 27, 2017
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Series A, ESV
This section of scripture is titled, “The Lord’s Comfort for Zion.” We may think that God has spoken enough words of comfort
through His prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 40:1, 49:13). However, God knows how “slow of heart to believe” (Luke 24:25) those are who seek the Lord (verse 1), even those whom He calls my people (verse 4) and who “know righteousness” (Isaiah 51:7). Therefore in this chapter, He again pleads for faith in His power to redeem. He calls them to listen to Him (verses 1, 4). He makes the invitation attractive by variations on the theme.
rock … quarry, verse 1. Israel did not create itself. It came into being like stones hewn and dug from a rock vein in a quarry.
Regarding verse 4-5, the Lord will send His Servant to bestow these gifts. The Lord comes to His waiting people, not the other way around. Isaiah 42:1-4
light to the peoples, verse 4. God’s Word and restoration are not restricted to Israel but will touch a wide range of nations. Isaiah 2:2-3
the gods, verse 1, in the Hebrew ‘elohim; could refer to angelic hosts or the deities of the surrounding nations. Psalm 95:3; 96:5
Verse 4 is a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles. At the last judgement, everyone will acknowledge the Lord. Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 21:22-24
the lowly, verse 6. God attends those who approach Him in a spirit of repentance and humility. This is true even of the kings of the earth. knows from afar, the arrogant can only know God at a distance. They have separated themselves far from God’s mercy. Psalm 131:1-2; Proverbs 3:33-35; Luke 1:46-48; James 4:4-6
Verses 33-36 are an ascription of praise in doxological form as Paul ponders in awe, God’s unfathomable ways. Ephesians 3:20-21; Colossians 2:1-3; Psalm 139:1-6; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16
In verse 36, from Him and through Him and to Him, with three prepositions, Paul declares God, Creator and Savior, to be the source, means, and goal of everything. He is Alpha and Omega.
present your bodies, verse 1, see Romans 6:12-19, Ps 50:14-15, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 and 1 Peter 2:4-5.
the renewal of your mind, verse 2, see Titus 3:4-5, Psalm 51:10, 2 Corinthian 4:16-18 and Colossians 3:9-10.
Regarding verses 6-8, Paul lists grace gifts elsewhere as well. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, 28-30; Ephesians 4:11-12 Each list is
different and provides specific examples. No list is exhaustive; there may be other gifts. The key is to receive all gifts humbly in faith and to use them to serve others.
prophecy, verse 6, mentioned first and highly valued by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14. Instead of merely predicting the future, prophecy more often takes God’s Word and will and applies it to people in their situation. in proportion to our faith, the measure is not the gift, but faith, which justifies before God and receives all else as gifts from Him. Romans 3:27-28; 2 Timothy 2:15
People in Jesus’ day expected the reappearance of some notable prophet, verse 14. Deuteronomy 18:15-22; Malachi 3:1, 4:5-6
Comments Hilary of Poitiers regarding verse 16, “The Father revealed to Peter that he should say, ‘You are … the Son of the living God’. Therefore, the building of the Church is upon this rock of confession. This faith is the foundation of the Church.”
Simon Bar-Jonah!, verse 17, Peter’s birth name, “Simon, son of Jonah.”
bind … shall be bound … loose … shall be loosed, verse 19, see John 20:19-23 and Matthew 18:15-18.