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Third Sunday After Epiphany Text Study Year C

Third Sunday After Epiphany Text Study Year C

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Published by Joseph Winston

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Published by: Joseph Winston on Jan 22, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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02/26/2010

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Commentary
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
The Jews have been allowed to leave Persia and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.During the construction, Ezra reads the law from the Bible. The people agree tofollow the law and a feast is then declared.Nehemiah 8:1
bring the book of the law of Moses
– While referring to the doc-ument as the “book of the law of Moses” might be the work of an editor, itshows the common assumption of the “author” of this work.
given to Israel
– Likewise this might be the work of a redactor, but it iden-tifies the recipient of the law.Nehemiah 8:2
both men and women and all who could hear with understanding
– The reading of the law was not limited to the men.Nehemiah 8:3
He read from it facing the square
– The declaration of the Wordwas in public....Nehemiah 8:5
all the people stood up
– Perhaps this is out of respect for theWord.Nehemiah 8:6
Then Ezra blessed the
L
ORD
– A prayer is offered in public forall to hear....Nehemiah 8:8
with interpretation
– During the reading, someone provided asense of the text.Nehemiah 8:9
do not mourn or weep
– The authorities set aside some time tocelebrate hearing the Word.
For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law
– This is oneof the functions of the law.Nehemiah 8:10
Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portionsof them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our 
L
ORD
– The day was set aside to be a feast day. Additionally, the peoplewere to remember the poor.1
 
Psalm 19
The writer of this psalm speaks of God’s glory. The first verse of the psalm isfamiliar to many thanks to Handels Messiah and the last verse is also since it is atraditional prayer before sermons.Psalm 19:1
The heavens are telling the glory of God 
– The work of the L
ORD
’shand, which is nearest to Him, joins with all of creation in praising God.Psalm 19:2
Day to day pours forth speech
– The passing of the hours bringswitnesses to the L
ORD
.Psalm 19:3
their voice is not heard 
– These parts of creation are not gods thatspeak to their believers. Instead, they are just metaphors used by the authorto remind everyone that the L
ORD
is good.Psalm 19:4
yet their voice goes out through all the earth
– The world speaks toall who would listen that there is more to existence than many people wouldbelieve.Psalm 19:5
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun
– Even the “largest” lightin the sky is not a god but a created object that the L
ORD
helps.Psalm 19:6
its circuit to the end of them
– The sun cannot be a god in the mindof the psalmist since its limits are strictly fixed.Psalm 19:7
reviving the soul
– Unlike what is taught by some Protestant groupsthat the law only serves to condemn, to drive people to Jesus, and to providea way to live, the author asserts a different reality that the law gives life.Psalm 19:8
the precepts of the
L
ORD
are right 
– The psalmist makes a sweepingstatement that all the law is correct.Psalm 19:9
the fear of the
L
ORD
is pure
– Humanity should respect the L
ORD
since this one can cause all of existence to stop.Psalm19:10
 Moretobedesiredaretheythangold 
Thereisarichnesstothelawthat has been discounted by the Protestants. The psalmist reminds believersof this fact.Psalm 19:11
Moreover by them is your servant warned 
– This is one of thetraditional uses of the law that Protestants acknowledge.2
 
Psalm 19:12
Clear me from hidden faults
– Despite the desire to follow theL
ORD
’s law to the letter, mistakes happen that others cannot see. The prayerhere is for the L
ORD
to erase even these items. This does not mean that theprice for mistakes will not have to be paid.Psalm 19:13
Keep back your servant also from the insolent 
– People will attack the followers of the L
ORD
. The psalmist asks for protection.Psalm 19:14
O
L
ORD
 , my rock and my redeemer 
– Two different images arepresented here. A rock often is a large immovable object and the redeemeris one who pays the price. These different ideas are combined in the L
ORD
.
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Pauls tells the church that the believers are the body of Christ.1 Corinthians 12:12
so it is with Christ.
– This is not an analogy but instead it isto be taken literally since the
κκλησία
is the
σα
of Christ.
1
This occursbecause Christ is who He says that He is.
2
This apparent contradiction mustbe true because it is God who can decide what can and cannot be.
3
The summary of Paul is found in Romans 7:4.
4
Romans 7:4 In the same way, my friends, you have died to thelaw through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to an-other, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that wemay bear fruit for God. (NRSV)1 Corinthians 12:13
we were all baptized into one body
– The sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist are acts of participation in the body of Christ(Romans 6:3; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Gala-tians 3:27; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 1 Corinthians 11:28-29).
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