FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
1 Corinthians 2:1–12 (13–16)
The Righteousness of Christ
Jesus warns that “unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20), but He also calls His imperfect people “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:13, 14). That’s because the Lord Jesus came not to abolish the Law or the prophets, “but to fulfill them” (Matt. 5:17) in perfect faith and love. Since He does and teaches all of God’s commandments, He is “called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:19). God manifests His “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” in “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2–4), and through the preaching of the Gospel He gives His “secret and hidden wisdom” (1 Cor. 2:7). Christ gives this perfect righteousness to His people, and it leads them to true fasting, which is “to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free” (Is. 58:6) and “to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house” (Is. 58:7).
Posted on January 30, 2023 8:00 AM
FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
1 Corinthians 1:18–31
God Manifests His Glory in the Humility and Weakness of Christ Crucified
The Lord tells His people, “I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery” (Micah 6:4). By the sacrifice of His beloved Son, He has redeemed us from our slavery of sin and death; He has forgiven our transgressions by the shedding of His blood. His great mercy and salvation lead us “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly” with our God (Micah 6:8). We boast only in the incarnate and crucified Lord Jesus. He is “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24). He is our life and salvation, our “wisdom” and “righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). Now He opens His mouth and teaches us His wisdom. By His cross and Passion, the kingdom of heaven is ours. We receive mercy and are satisfied; we see God and are called sons of God in Christ. “Blessed are you,” therefore, “when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely” on account of Christ (Matt. 5:11).
Posted on January 23, 2023 8:00 AM
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
1 Corinthians 1:10–18
The Lord Manifests His Glory through His Office of the Holy Ministry
By His coming in the flesh and by His preaching and miracles, the Lord Jesus shines the light of His Gospel upon “the people who walked in darkness” and “who dwelt in a land of deep darkness” (Is. 9:2). He also has “multiplied the nation” and “increased its joy” (Is. 9:3) by calling disciples to Himself from the ends of the earth. For this purpose, He calls Peter and Andrew, with James and John, to follow Him and be “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). As Jesus did, they also go forth “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people” (Matt. 4:23). They preach the foolishness of the cross of Christ as the very power and wisdom of God. This word and preaching of the cross divides “those who are perishing” from “us who are being saved” (1 Cor. 1:18), but it unites the Church, the one Body of Christ, “in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10).
Posted on January 16, 2023 8:00 AM
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
1 Corinthians 1:1–9
God Reveals His Glory in Christ and His Cross
“The Lord, the Redeemer of Israel,” calls forth “his Holy One” (Is. 49:7), Jesus, the Christ, “from the womb” of His mother (Is. 49:1). The incarnate Son of God is revealed as the Savior, not only for Israel but also “as a light for the nations,” whose salvation reaches “to the end of the earth” (Is. 49:6). John came “baptizing with water” (John 1:31) to reveal Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and who glorifies His God and Father by His atoning sacrifice upon the cross. When Jesus was baptized in the waters of the Jordan, the Holy Spirit descended “from heaven like a dove” and “remained on him” (John 1:32). By our Baptism, we are anointed by the same Spirit, adopted by God the Father, and “called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:9). Therefore, we “are not lacking in any gift,” but we can trust Him who promises to sustain us to the end, “guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:7–8).
Posted on January 09, 2023 8:00 AM
THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD (First Sunday after the Epiphany)
The Triune God Is Manifested and Reveals Himself to Us in Holy Baptism
The Baptism of our Lord is an “epiphany” of the one true God in the flesh and blood of Jesus. He is the chosen servant of the Lord, anointed with the Spirit for the rescue of God’s people to “bring forth justice to the nations” (Is. 42:1). Thus, He makes all things new, and He is given “as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations” (Is. 42:6). In the waters of the Jordan, He takes His place with sinners and takes all the sins of the world upon Himself. He undergoes the Baptism of repentance in order to “fulfill all righteousness” for us (Matt. 3:15). He submits Himself to the curse of sin and death in order to redeem us. We are baptized with a Baptism like His, thereby dying and rising with Him, so that “we will also live with him” (Rom. 6:8). Indeed, all of us who are baptized into Christ Jesus are anointed with His Spirit and named by His Father as beloved and well-pleasing sons and daughters.
Posted on January 02, 2023 8:00 AM
THE NAME OF JESUS (New Year’s Day)
The Lord Jesus Comes in the Flesh to Fulfill the Law for Us and Save Us from Our Sins
Circumcision is the covenant God made with Abraham and his seed. It sealed God’s promises and blessings in the flesh, but it also signified the burden of the Law. When the Lord Jesus came in the flesh to redeem His people, He subjected Himself to the Law in order to fulfill the Law and release all men from its captivity. “He was called Jesus” (Luke 2:21), because He came to save His people from their sins. He would shed His blood on their behalf, as He did already when “he was circumcised” (Luke 2:21). As He also sacrificed Himself upon the cross, you are “justified by faith” in His blood (Gal. 3:24). Therefore, “you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29), not by the circumcision of your flesh, but in the flesh and blood of Christ Jesus, the true seed of Abraham. “Baptized into Christ,” you belong to Him and are clothed and covered by His righteousness (Gal. 3:27). Holy Baptism is the true circumcision made without hands, by which the Lord Jesus puts His name on you and blesses you (Num. 6:22, 27).
Posted on December 26, 2022 8:00 AM
Hebrews 1:1–6 (7–12)
John 1:1–14 (15–18)
The Living and Life-Giving Word of God Dwells Among Us in the Flesh
The Lord sends out His ministers of the Gospel to make disciples “of all the nations,” so that “all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” The Lord has “bared his holy arm” in the incarnate Christ (Is. 52:7, 10). The child in the manger, born of the Virgin Mary, is the very Word of God, the only begotten Son of the Father, “whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Heb. 1:2). As “all things were made through him” (John 1:3), so are all things redeemed and made new in Him. In His body of flesh and blood, we behold “the radiance of the glory of God” (Heb. 1:3), “glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He dwells among us in peace, that we might have life and light and salvation in Him. For by His Word of the Gospel, we are born again as the children of God, bearing His name and sharing His eternal life.
Posted on December 21, 2022 8:00 PM