Tuesday after Septuagesima
Scripture: St. Mark 6:1-29 (NKJV)
6:1 Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. 2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying,
“Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! 3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” And they were offended at Him.
4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” 5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief.
Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. 7 And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.
8 He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts—9 but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics. 10 Also He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. 11 And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”
12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.
14 Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”
15 Others said, “It is Elijah.”
And others said, “It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.”
16 But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!”
17 For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. 18 For John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
21 Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 22 And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl,
“Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” 23 He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.”
24 So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?”
And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!”
25 Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb.
Meditation on a text of Holy Scripture according to Luther’s four-fold aspect, namely as a:
School Text (What am I being taught about God?):
Jesus experienced rejection from those who not only knew Him but were close to Him as well. Many believers throughout time experience this same rejection—John, the Baptist stayed true to God’s Word and look where it got him. God knows that many will have unbelief, but their unbelief must be pointed out to them, to bring them to repentance.
Song Book (For what should I give God thanks?):
For God overcoming my unbelief by daily bringing me to drown my unbelieving old Adam as I remember His Holy Baptism of me. For putting the Lord’s Prayer upon my lips—which brings me to pray against my old nature (which does not want to hallow God’s name nor let His kingdom come) in the 3rd petition. For continuing to draw me by His Holy Gospel and feed me with His Word and Sacraments—keeping me in the one true faith.
Penitential Book (What sins are uncovered that I should confess?):
Having my own doubts. Not confessing God’s Word as boldly as I should (including calling others out on their sin) when with family or friends.
Prayer Book(For what does this text teach me to pray?):
For strength amidst unbelief and unbelievers.
Collect for the Week:
O LORD, we beseech You favorably to hear the prayers of Your
people that we, who are justly punished for our offenses, may
be mercifully delivered by Your goodness, for the glory Your
name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and
reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.