Based on Luke 9:21-36
If you haven’t noticed so far in the Gospel of Luke, it becomes clear in these verses that the ongoing question is, “Who is this Jesus?” In the last verse of our reading yesterday, Peter confesses for the first time, “You are the Christ of God.” We know that Peter wavers, however, as time goes on, denying Jesus three times. Immediately after Peter’s confession, the Lord Himself explains the kind of Messiah He would be, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Jesus then went on to explain that as He would go to the cross, so also His followers were being called to take up their cross daily and come after Him. This is the kind of Messiah Jesus was — the kind who would give up His life willingly and expect His disciples to do the same!
The Lord then takes Peter, James and John to the mountain to pray, and there, again, His identity is confirmed, as His appearance is altered, His clothes become dazzling white, and He is seen with Moses and Elijah, proclaiming Him the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets, but even more, the voice from heaven, out of the cloud, anoints Jesus, again, as Son of God, His Chosen One, to whom they should listen. Again and again, the disciples and the world are seeing who Jesus is, and why He came. As we draw near to Holy Week, let us ponder and listen to this Son of God.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, open our ears that we may hear you as you speak to us. Amen.
Lenten response: Sit silently, briefly, today…what words of Jesus from Scripture come to you?
This year’s devotional was prepared by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, NALC assistant to the bishop for ministry and ecumenism. To learn more about A Lenten Walk Through the Word, visit thenalc.org/lent.
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
2 Chron. 19:1–11
19:1 When King Jehoshaphat of Judah returned home safely to Jerusalem, 2the prophet Jehu son of Hanani confronted him; he said to King Jehoshaphat, “Is it right to help the wicked and be an ally of those who oppose the Lord? Because you have done this, the Lord is angry with you! 3Nevertheless you have done some good things; you removed the Asherah poles from the land, and you were determined to follow God.”
4Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem. He went out among the people from Beer Sheba to the hill country of Ephraim and encouraged them to follow the Lord God of their ancestors. 5He appointed judges throughout the land and in each of the fortified cities of Judah. 6He told the judges, “Be careful what you do, for you are not judging for men, but for the Lord, who will be with you when you make judicial decisions. 7Respect the Lord and make careful decisions, for the Lord our God disapproves of injustice, partiality, and bribery.”
8In Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed some Levites, priests, and Israelite family leaders to judge on behalf of the Lord and to settle disputes among the residents of Jerusalem. 9He commanded them: “Carry out your duties with respect for the Lord, with honesty, and with pure motives. 10Whenever your countrymen who live in the cities bring a case before you (whether it involves a violent crime or other matters related to the law, commandments, rules, and regulations), warn them that they must not sin against the Lord. If you fail to do so, God will be angry with you and your colleagues, but if you obey, you will be free of guilt. 11Take note, Amariah the chief priest will oversee you in every matter pertaining to the Lord and Zebadiah son of Ishmael, the leader of the family of Judah, in every matter pertaining to the king. The Levites will serve as officials before you. Act courageously, and may the Lord be with those who do well!”(NET Bible)
87:1 Written by the Korahites; a psalm, a song.
The Lord’s city is in the holy hills.
2The Lord loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
3People say wonderful things about you,
O city of God. (Selah)
4I mention Rahab and Babylon to my followers.
Here are Philistia and Tyre, along with Ethiopia.
It is said of them, “This one was born there.”
5But it is said of Zion’s residents,
“Each one of these was born in her,
and the Most High makes her secure.”
6The Lord writes in the census book of the nations,
“This one was born there.” (Selah)
7As for the singers, as well as the pipers—
all of them sing within your walls.(NET Bible)
9:21 But he forcefully commanded them not to tell this to anyone, 22saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
23Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it. 25For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself? 26For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27But I tell you most certainly, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God.”
28Now about eight days after these sayings, Jesus took with him Peter, John, and James, and went up the mountain to pray. 29As he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became very bright, a brilliant white. 30Then two men, Moses and Elijah, began talking with him. 31They appeared in glorious splendor and spoke about his departure that he was about to carry out at Jerusalem. 32Now Peter and those with him were quite sleepy, but as they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33Then as the men were starting to leave, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three shelters, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he was saying. 34As he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35Then a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him!” 36After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. So they kept silent and told no one at that time anything of what they had seen.(NET Bible)
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.
Scripture is the primum principium; it is [Luther writes] “in itself the most certain, the most accessible, the most readily understandable (book) which interprets itself and approves, judges, and illumines all (words) of all.” It must “reign as queen.” (18)
–Johann Michael Reu, Luther on the Scriptures
This daily Bible reading guide, Reading the Word of God, was conceived and prepared as a result of the ongoing discussions between representatives of three church bodies: Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The following individuals have represented their church bodies and approved this introduction and the reading guide: LCC: President Robert Bugbee; NALC: Bishop John Bradosky, Revs. Mark Chavez, James Nestingen, and David Wendel; LCMS: Revs. Albert Collver, Joel Lehenbauer, John Pless, and Larry Vogel.