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

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Reformation Sunday 

October 25, 2020

Once again Jesus challenges the Jews by exposing their idolatry. Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus has confronted the Jews, especially the Pharisees, with their idolatry of the Torah. The Torah consisted of the five books of Moses—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, & Deuteronomy. These were also known as the Pentateuch or the books of the Law. The Torah, given by God to be a life-giving Word, was being used idolatrously by Pharisees and other Jews. Their obedience to the Law would manipulate God: “If all Jews obeyed all the Torah for just one day, then Messiah would come.” Jesus exposes the lie of that idolatry.

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The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, A

October 18, 2020

The Pharisees (the keepers of the Law) and the Herodians (the sycophants of Herod, the king of the Jews) come to trap Jesus (vs. 15). They obsequiously flatter him (vs. 16). And then they put him to the test, “Is it lawful…?” This is the snare they have set for him. The issue of taxes is simply the bait. The question, “Is it lawful…?” arises out of the Passover celebration. In the ritual developed over the years, there are four questions drawn from the Exodus tradition. This question concerning the Law is the question spoken by the oldest son… the wise son. It is the question asked by the wise of all generations of Jews. It is the question by which the wise seek to justify themselves.

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The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, A

October 11, 2020

Jesus tells a parable in which many details are not included because they would have been understood by the hearers. One of those details is that invitations to events like this would have included a prospective guest list. Each invitee could peruse the list, evaluate the honor and reputation of each prospective guest, and then decide as to whether they would attend or not. A second detail is that garments suitable to the occasion would be provided by the king. The son, the bridegroom, and the new daughter-in-law, the bride, were not to be upstaged in their wedding finery by some guest determined to make the occasion into a fashion show staring himself or herself. That would be disrespectful.

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The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, A

October 04, 2020

Jesus delivers a parable of judgment into the ears of the chief priests and elders of the people. They recognize the illegitimacy of those wicked tenants. They answer correctly when they say, “[The master] will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their season” (vs. 41). Jesus then uses their own words against them, visiting the condemnation they anticipated for the wicked tenants upon the priests and elders themselves: “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.”

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