In “preaching study” posts, I’m really interested in fostering a “community” approach to study and prep for the sermon, so please interact as much as you like. All Scripture quotes are from the TNIV unless otherwise noted. Thanks!
The text for this week’s Palm/Passion Sunday is John 18:1-11; the title is, “Shall I not drink the cup?”
Usually I like to dig into a passage of scripture from literary, historical, cultural, and canonical perspectives in order to listen carefully to what is being said. There are opportunities for that here, of course. Plenty of historical and geographical background information to be found to enhance my hearing of the passage, the curious part about the soldiers falling down at Jesus’ speech, Jesus’ invoking the divine name (“I AM”) in his response to their questioning, and the equally curious repetition of that sequence. So, there’s plenty to dig into here.
But I find myself simply pausing for contemplation more than analyzation at two verses:
v11: “Jesus commanded Peter, ‘Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?'” I think the whole sermon is in this sentence really. Obviously the title is connected to it, but I just keep ruminating on these words.
v14: “Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.” Always strikes me as the depth of irony.
I’ll try for more later.