A Prayer during the Noise

Dear God,Speak gently in my silence.When the loud outer noises of my surroundingsand the loud inner noises of my fearskeep pulling me away from you,help me to trust that you are still thereeven when I am unable to hear you.Give me ears to listen to your small, soft voice saying:“Come to me, you who areContinue reading “A Prayer during the Noise”

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Isaiah’s Testimony about Jesus

I’m preparing for an Advent message series on the O Antiphons, songs sung about the coming of King Jesus at Advent and Christmas. And (of course) I’m digging into commentaries on Isaiah. Of particular fascination for me has been John F.A. Sawyer’s The Fifth Gospel: Isaiah in the History of Christianity. While reading this workContinue reading “Isaiah’s Testimony about Jesus”

Forgiveness in Matthew: Conclusion and Bibliography

This post concludes our series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. The imperative of forgiveness stands at the heart of the Parable of Unforgiving Servant. For Jesus and Matthew, releasing others from sins and debts constitutes an integral part of what it means to be a member of the Christian community and proclaim God’sContinue reading “Forgiveness in Matthew: Conclusion and Bibliography”

Implications for Matthew’s Theology of Forgiveness

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. But what are the implications and applications of this theology of forgiveness? Ulrich Luz rightly reminds us that, “Biblical texts are meaningful only when they become a part of our life.”[1] While Matthew’s Gospel has been read and interpreted inContinue reading “Implications for Matthew’s Theology of Forgiveness”

The Parable and the Theology

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant reminds us that the final word on sin and debt in the church must be forgiveness. For if God has forgiven his servants in such magnificence, who are they to not extend that mercifulContinue reading “The Parable and the Theology”

The Narrative of Matthew and Forgiveness (Part 2)

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. The second narrative insight into Matthew’s theology of forgiveness centers around the interactions between Pilate, Jesus, Barabbas, and the crowd in Matthew 27:15-26. Although the events surrounding Jesus’ death took place around Passover, the scene before Pilate would have remindedContinue reading “The Narrative of Matthew and Forgiveness (Part 2)”

The Narrative of Matthew and Forgiveness (Part 1)

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. It has often been suggested that the canonical gospels are passion stories with long introductions,[1] that the narrative of the crucifixion, death, and resurrections form the crux of the gospel message and is supplemented by what comes earlier in theContinue reading “The Narrative of Matthew and Forgiveness (Part 1)”

The Parables of Matthew and Forgiveness

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. These general literary-theological insights concerning Matthew’s theology of forgiveness find additional explication in two additional parables of Jesus: the Parable of the Lost Sheep (18:10-14) and Parable of the Two Sons (21:28-32). In the Parable of the Lost Sheep—which occursContinue reading “The Parables of Matthew and Forgiveness”

Matthew’s General Theology of Forgiveness

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. While increased attention has been paid to Matthew’s overarching theology of forgiveness in recent years, no study has comprehensively treated this theme.[1] Here, we begin the process of tracing Matthew’s theology of forgiveness, considering literary-theological passages, parables, and narrative insightsContinue reading “Matthew’s General Theology of Forgiveness”

The Meaning of Matthew 18:35 and the Message of the Parable

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. The closing remark[1] offers an allegorical reading of the parable and presents its meaning not only to Peter, but to the whole community of disciples.[2] Susan Hylen notes the difficulty of translating this passage into English due to the combinationContinue reading “The Meaning of Matthew 18:35 and the Message of the Parable”