Lectionary Series Year C

Sunday closest to November 16 (C)

Year C | Proper 28

As the Season After Pentecost and Year C come to a close we are reading this Sunday from Luke 21:5-19 which takes place on Holy Tuesday and is found in Sections 139a and 139b in phase 5d the Harmony of the GospelsThis is what scholars call the “Olivet Discourse”, in which Jesus aims to prepare his disciples for some of the most troubling questions which can torment the most courageous among us. Pragmatists and partial-preterists alike will appreciate today’s lesson which should help us focus on the things that matter most.


Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Parsing the Collect – by The Rev. Rob Eaton, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Hemet, CA (used by permission)

Section 139a | Setting of the Discourse

[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Matthew 24:1-3 
Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way. His disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them,“You see all of these things, don’t you? Most certainly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down.” As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” [/one_third]
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Mark 13:1-4 
1 As he went out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, see what kind of stones and what kind of buildings!” 2 Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone on another, which will not be thrown down.” 3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are all about to be fulfilled?” [/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Luke 21:5-7 
5 As some were talking about the temple1and how it was decorated with beautiful stones and gifts, he said, “As for these things which you see, the days will come, in which there will not be left here one stone on another2 that will not be thrown3 down.”4    

7 They asked him, “Teacher, so when will these things be?5 What is the sign that these things are about to happen?” [/one_third]

Section 139b | Beginning of Birth Pains

[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Matthew 24:4-14 
Jesus answered them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will lead many astray. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you aren’t troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.

9 Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name’s sake. 10 Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another.







11 Many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray. 12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end will be saved. 14 This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. [/one_third]
[one_third last=”no” class=”” id=””]Mark 13:5-13 
Jesus, answering, began to tell them, “Be careful that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and will lead many astray. 7 “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be troubled. For those must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. There will be famines and troubles. These things are the beginning of birth pains.

But watch yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils. You will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them.

10 The Good News must first be preached to all the nations. 11 When they lead you away and deliver you up, don’t be anxious beforehand, or premeditate what you will say, but say whatever will be given you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 “Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child. Children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. 13 You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake,


but he who endures to the end will be saved.[/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes” class=”” id=””]Luke 21:8-19 
He said, “Watch out that you don’t get led astray,6  for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is at hand.’ Therefore don’t follow them. When you hear of wars7 and disturbances, don’t be terrified, for these things must happen first, but the end won’t come immediately.” 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines, and plagues in various places. There will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute8  you, delivering you up to synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 It will turn out as a testimony for you. 

14 Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to withstand or to contradict. 16 You will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will cause some of you to be put to death. 17 You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake. 18 And not a hair of your head will perish. 19 “By your endurance you will win your lives.[/one_third]

Group Dialog:

  1. Contrast the marvel of the temple’s splendor with the preceding section 138.
  2. What are the three questions which are asked of Jesus, and how does he respond?
  3. Jesus taught that Christians will face Tribulation and persecution.  In living the life of a Christian, how have you been tempted to lose heart, faith, and ignore your calling to share the Good News?
  4. What leads people (and you) away these days? What undermines your faith and readiness to share the Good News?
  5. Given the state of the world, what tenants of your faith has prepared you best for this life and the next?
  6. How do trials (won or lost) turn out to be a testimony for us? What does this tell you about grace and the nature of eternal life?


5b Five

When Kingdom Comes

Week 75 | Section 84

Our study this week could be considered to be the explanation of the paradox provided in our last study which we closed before the end of the year. Groups may like to combine these two weeks but others will find the subject matter ever-pressing on the minds of young believers and people who have differing eschatological views, disbelief of Pentecost, and bold denial of the very nature and mission of Jesus Christ. These three verses have generated much controversy through the generations but a few truths will remain evident and essential as we conclude our study today.


Section 84 | Coming of the Son of Man and Judgement

[one_third last=”no”]Matthew 16:27-28


27 For the Son of Man1 will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his deeds.2 28 Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”3[/one_third]
[one_third last=”no”]Mark 8:38-9:1
38 For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation,4 the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him,5 when he comes in his Father’s glory,6 with the holy angels.” 9:1 He said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death until they see God’s Kingdom come with power.”7[/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes”]Luke 9:26-27
26 For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in his glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels.

27 But I tell you the truth: There are some of those who stand here8 who will in no way taste of death9 until they see10 God’s Kingdom.”11[/one_third]

Group Dialog:

  1. As Jesus closes his discourse with his disciples (see Section 83) he utters yet another prophetic message about His second coming. What did He say He would do? What did he say he would be like? With whom did he say he would be when he returns?
  2. Compare this passage with Romans 2:6, 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Peter 1:17; Revelation 2:23 and discuss your understanding of Jesus’ second coming.
  3. In the coming reckoning, and in this very moment, are you more inclined to aim to justify yourself and your action or accept the reconciliatory work which Jesus accomplished for you and the world on the cross?
  4. To which spiritual authority do you bow? Are you inclined to take God at his Word or embrace the philosophies of this present age?

Learning Objectives: Divinity of Jesus, Authority of Jesus, enduring love of God for his people, power given us in Christ, end times, security of salvation by the eternal work of Christ.


Study Notes:


The Kingdom of Heaven – part three

Week 57 | Sections 64 f,g

The Kingdom of Heaven - part 3In Jewish tradition, leaven was associated with sin and also the unleavened bread they ate in the dessert in their exodus from Egypt. Jesus flips the traditional imagery in this parable. While instilling in the apostles an understanding  of how God’s eternal purpose will be carried out through the apostles, and the church today.


Section 64f
[one_half last=”no”]Matthew 13:33-35
33 He spoke another parable1¯2 to them. “The Kingdom of Heaven3 is like yeast,4 which a woman5 took, and hid, in three measures6 of meal,7 until it was all leavened.834 Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the multitudes; and without a parable, he didn’t speak to them, 35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation9 of the world.”[/one_half]
[one_half last=”yes”]Mark 4:33-34


33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it.10  34 Without a parable he didn’t speak to them; but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.11[/one_half]

Section 64g
Matthew 13:36-43

36 Then Jesus sent the multitudes away, and went into the house.12 His disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the darnel weeds of the field.” 37 He answered them,“He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38  the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one. 39  The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40  As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age. 41  The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling,13 and those who do iniquity, 42  and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth. 43  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.14¯15

Group Dialog:

  1. What godly transformation is happening within your soul?
  2. What is our responsibility in regards to the purposes of God?
  3. Do you know your vocation? Do you feel equipped? How are you preparing yourself to better serve God?
  4. Looking back at the expansive growth of the church in the first century, what questions and convictions do you have for this day and age?
  5. How are you making yourself ready to receive, understand and nurture the good seed in the soil of your life?
  6. What do you anticipate will happen to you in the last days?

Learning Objectives:

The multiplying power of the Gospel, the activity of the Holy Spirit within the Church today, receive the Word and let it work throughout your life as well as throughout your circle of friends; follow Jesus teaching 2Tim 3:10; and be fruitful and feed his sheep (John 21:15-17). See also “The Keys to Building Organizational Capacity” (NCD, Natural Church Development, measuring outcomes, 8 Essential Qualities of Healthy Churches)

Photo: Sourdough tastes delicious. This recipe not only helps us understand this parable, but it turns out some amazing homemade sourdough in about a week.

The preacher’s quote to which Greg referred in the audio was actually lyrics from the 1985 song “Angry Young Men” by Randy Stonehill, (video) (lyrics) (website)

Study Notes:


The Kingdom of Heaven – part two

Week 56 | Sections 64c,d,e

The Kingdom of HeavenLast week we introduced this series of parables about the Kingdom of Heaven which Jesus told his disciples over the course of a very long day (section 61-65). In part two we learn with the disciples a bit more about the end of times, the perseverance, pains, and perils along the journey.


Section 64c | Mark 4:26-29
26 He said, “God’s Kingdom1 is as if a man should cast seed on the earth, 27  and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, though he doesn’t know how.2¯3¯4 28 For the earth bears fruit: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29  But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”5 

Section 64d | Matthew 13:24-30
24 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while people slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds also among the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the blade sprang up and produced fruit, then the darnel weeds appeared also. 27 The servants6  of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where did these darnel weeds come from?’ 28 “He said to them, ‘An enemy7 has done this.’ “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them up?’ 29 “But he said, ‘No, lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel weeds, you root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the darnel weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”

[one_half last=”no”]Section 64e | Matthew 13:31-32
31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”8[/one_half]
[one_half last=”yes”]Mark 4:30-32
30 He said, “How will we liken God’s Kingdom? Or with what parable will we illustrate it? 31 It’s like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth, 32 yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow.”9[/one_half]

Group Dialog:

  1. Why is the idea of the Kingdom Heaven so important?
  2. If not for the Kingdom of Heaven, why do you live, labor, and love?
  3. What would you like to change now to ensure your spiritual vitality and viable service for the Kingdom and purposes of God?

Learning Objectives:

The importance of our heavenly priority, spiritual disciplines to further our spiritual vitality and service in ministry, the hope of heaven.

Photo: An organic field in the Salinas Valley, CA. There they rotate crops to enrich the soil, they till the soil, prepare the field for each crop, sow the seeds, send out the laborers week after week to maintain the crop for a bountiful harvest.

Study Notes: