Table Talk

Table Talk is a free weekly devotional that provides writings for use as a bulletin insert for congregations and for use in family devotions. It follows the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) used by SOLA Publishing. ILT makes it available every week, free of charge, on our Resources page and by email subscription. Table Talk's message delivers God's devotion to you, his wayward people, through his Son Jesus Christ.

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Monday Morsels

Twenty-third Sunday After Pentecost

October 31, 2021

The same Greek word “menno,” which means “remain” or “abide,” is used both here in vs. 35 and earlier in vs. 31. A sense of permanence attaches to the word. Like Isaiah and Peter tell us “All flesh is grass;” it doesn’t endure at all. The Word of the Lord endures forever. In that quotation from 1 Peter 1:25, the Greek word translated as “endures” is the same word used here, “menno.” It is taken from the prophet Isaiah when he hears the voice establishing the inconstancy of the people versus the constancy of the Lord (Is. 40:6, 8): The people and their promises dry up and blow away. The constancy of the Lord… the faithfulness of the Lord… the promises of the Lord are forever reliable.

Twenty-second Sunday After Pentecost

October 24, 2021

This blind beggar may not have physical vision, but he does see something that many missed as Jesus and the disciples journeyed through the countryside. Bartimaeus, as he sat alongside the road, heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. He interjected his voice into the hubbub of the crowd that surrounded Jesus and the disciples. He gave voice to what he with his blind eyes saw: this Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Son of David. Bartimaeus trusted the tradition (as noted by Josephus) that the Son of David had great powers of . . .

Twenty-first Sunday After Pentecost

October 17, 2021

Jesus’ disciples reacted to this pronouncement of his: “…the disciples were amazed at his words” (vs. 24). Jesus is not through with shocking those who follow him. He now states just how difficult it is for the wealthy to enter the kingdom: more difficult than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (vs. 25). And here, the disciples are more than amazed. They are astonished. They experience the first century equivalent of “having your socks knocked off.” They are truly struck out of their self-possession. That blow leads them to exclaim: “Then who can be saved?” (vs. 26).

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

October 10, 2021

This rich man makes many missteps as he approaches Jesus and asks for special instruction as to how he might inherit eternal life. Many people reach the end of the reading and conclude that he had a wealth problem. The remedy, they think, is as Jesus’ commands, “Give it all away!” In such thinking, the many decry the benefits of wealth and miss out on the comforts of faith, relying instead on obedience to the Law.

Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost

October 3, 2021

Did you notice that these Pharisees did not ask Jesus whether it was right or good for a man to divorce his wife (vs. 2)?  This was an intentional ploy on the part of the Pharisees. They were not concerned about whether the preservation of a marriage was right or whether it was good. Their only concern was whether it was legal for a man to destroy the marriage, impoverish the woman, and reject her for someone more attractive. If it is legal, it’s permissible whether it’s right and good, or not. Jesus, however, will not permit them to play around in their legalism. He confronts them immediately with an accusation concerning the quality of their hearts: their hearts are hard. Moses “legalized” divorce  . . .

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