Saturday, April 11, 2015

Talking to Ourselves/Talking to Others

It's kind of ironic that the theme for the second and third Sundays after Easter seems to be doubt, when the word 'doubt' actually isn't in the original language in either the John 20 text or this week's Luke 24:36b-48.  Last week the word was better translated "faithless" and this week in verse 38 the word could better be translated "inner wrestlings." Something to ponder.

As far as the questions for this week:

1.  How does the Word function in the text? Jesus clearly dominates this text, and everything he does and says is the Word functioning.  Take your pick as to what you would like to focus on:  the peace he gives, his willingness to show us his wounds or that he is truly flesh, his desire to open up the scriptures to us, or his promise of the Holy Spirit.  All these are ways the Word functions.  And all these functions are words of Gospel. (i.e. they present Christ to us).

2. How is the Word not functioning in the text?  Evidence of the Law is hard to come up with in this text.  Maybe a hint of it could be their fears and disbelieving, but even their disbelieving we are told is because of joy.  Remember the law always functions to say, "You need Christ."  It's hard to see that in this text. We will have to go elsewhere for that word.  Also the call to obedience is hard to see here.  Again, the call to be witnesses in verse 48 is a hint of this, but it's not explicit. 

3. With whom are you identifying in the text?  Clearly we identify with the disciples.  Jesus is not doing and saying things that we are likely to find ourselves doing or saying.

4. What, if any, call to obedience is there in this text?  We have touched on this above.  It is not explicitly here, but it gets us started.  We might look to other calls to be a witness to find this word in a more complete form.

5.  What Law/Gospel couplet is suggested by this text?  Fear/Joy.  Doubts/Faith.  Or perhaps try this one:  Talking to ourselves (vs. 36)/Talking to others (vs. 48).

Blessings on your proclamation this week!

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