In today’s gospel the chief priest and elders confront Jesus with a question concerning the authority by which Jesus is teaching in the Temple precincts, the content of his teaching, and more. This is a different moment than during the Galilean ministry when people, already amazing and curious, wondered about the source of Jesus’ teaching, miracles, and the authority by which he did all these things. It is different from the moments when Jesus encounters the queries from the scribes and pharisees. Now, in the midst of what we refer to as “Holy Week,” Jesus faces the leaders who already have plans to end Jesus’ life – they are just looking for immediate cause and opportunity. Continue reading

A Scriptural Context

This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Advent and includes the traditional gospel passage from Matthew in which we encounter the “annunciation” of Jesus’ birth to Joseph. In yesterday’s post we considered the seasonal/liturgical context for the gospel. Today, we look into scriptural context, especially Matthew’s extensive references to Old Testament passages and imagery. Continue reading