Old Testament: Jeremiah (31:27-34)
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. In those days they shall no longer say: “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge. The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
- Looking to the restoration of Judah and Jerusalem.
- The day is surely coming, says the Lord — repeats eleven times in Jeremiah.
- There is a sense of hopelessness, but you must remain responsible for yourself.
- A new life will come about.
- The “House of Israel” was now a group of scattered people – no longer a nation.
- The covenant is not described. (Deut. (6:6): keep in your heart).
The Response: Psalm (119:97-104)
97 Oh, how I love your law! *
all the day long it is in my mind.
98 Your commandment has made me
wiser than my enemies, *
and it is always with me.
99 I have more understanding
than all my teachers, *
for your decrees are my study.
100 I am wiser than the elders, *
because I observe your commandments.
101 I restrain my feet from every evil way, *
that I may keep your word.
102 I do not shrink from your judgments, *
because you yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste! *
they are sweeter than honey to my mouth.
104 Through your commandments
I gain understanding; *
therefore I hate every lying way.
- Psalm 119 is the longest one… reflections on the Torah.
- There are 22 sections, each eight lines long – each represents a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
- The letter “M” is this section.
- It concerns the teaching of God in light of the new covenant.
The Epistle: 2 Timothy (3:14-4:5)
As for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.
- Continue doing what you have learned.
- Proclaim God’s message.
The Gospel: Luke (18:1-8)
Jesus told [the disciples] a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
- This is a confusing parable.
- Luke suggests to pray always and do not lose heart.
- These verses are unique to Luke.
- We do not know much about the judge or the widow.
- Luke turns it into an allegory.
- If unjust judge does this, then how much more will God do.
- Stay alert for God’s vengeance is coming.