Sunday, Jan 23, 2011: “Today’s Scripture Readings”

St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
Today’s Scripture Lessons 
An In-Depth Discussion Led by the Rev. Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, January 23, 2011


FIRST READING: Isaiah (9:1-4)
But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.

> Refer to the end of Chapter 8 to get the full story

> Discusses the destruction of the areas of Israel north of the Sea of Galilee

> They are still preaching about “other gods” at  this time

> However, God promises new life will be coming there

> There will be no gloom for a new dawn is coming

> These verses are also quoted in Matthew’s gospel reading


Psalm 27:1, 5-13
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom then shall I fear? *
the LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom then shall I be afraid?
5 One thing have I asked of the LORD;
one thing I seek; *
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days 
of my life;
6 To behold the fair beauty of the LORD *
and to seek him in his temple.
7 For in the day of trouble he shall keep me safe 
in his shelter; *
he shall hide me in the secrecy of his dwelling
and set me high upon a rock.
8 Even now he lifts up my head *
above my enemies round about me.
9 Therefore I will offer in his dwelling an oblation
with sounds of great gladness; *
I will sing and make music to the LORD.
10 Hearken to my voice, O LORD, when I call; *
have mercy on me and answer me.
11 You speak in my heart and say, “Seek my face.” *
Your face, LORD, will I seek.
12 Hide not your face from me, *
nor turn away your servant in displeasure.
13 You have been my helper;
cast me not away; *
do not forsake me, O God of my salvation.

> Hebrew poetry: parallelism between 1st and 2nd half of each verse

> God is the light, salvation, and strength

> The Psalmist is under stress in verse 5, but then receives God’s response

> There are increasing threats, but there is still trust in God

> The “single” request is really 3-fold: a) dwell in temple; b) behold God’s presence, and c) seek God

> God’s protection has already begun


SECOND READING: I Corinthians (1:10-18)
Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

> Paul gives updates to the messages he has received

> There have been other prophets the people have followed, such as Apollos

> These various teachers and preachers who came have caused confusion and conflict within the church

> Paul is trying to get everyone back to the unity in Christ and the cross — this and only this can tie everyone together

> These verses were probably written in the mid 50’s and were among the earliest books in the New Testament.  I Thessalonians is probably the first one written.


The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (4:12-23)
Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.         “rock”

> These verses describe the immediate following of Jesus

> Jesus started his ministry after John the Baptist was arrested

> Matthew is seeing the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy with the coming of Jesus

> Kingdom of Heaven = Kingdom of God: In this context it means the reign of God here on earth

> Jesus saw Simon Peter and Andrew at the Sea of Galilee and asked them to follow.  In John’s gospel, Jesus sees them at a location further south.

> James and John, sons of Zebedee left their father next

> Jonah (Peter and Andrew’s father) and Zebedee were both middle class fishermen and boat owners

> Jesus will be teaching, proclaiming the Good News, and healing the sick