Moses by John August Swanson. Image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn. Original source © 1983 by John August Swanson.
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Preaching Series on Hebrews
Hebrews 11:1-16 [12:1-2] Commentary
by Craig R. Koester
[This is Week 5 of a 5-week preaching series on Hebrews.]
Preaching text: Hebrews 11:1-16 [12:1-2]; accompanying text Matthew 8:5-10
This section is about the power of the Word of God to evoke faith. The Word is unseen, but its power is visible through its peculiar effects on human beings. The writer assumes that unbelief is the baseline, and his question is why can there be faith at all? (He was writing to a faltering congregation.) The idea is that if there is to be faith, something beyond our senses must pull it into being.
Examples from the past include Noah, who ordinarily would have seen no good reason to build an ark. Why expend the effort if it is not raining? The Word warned of danger and pointed to deliverance, but neither could be seen. And the Word evoked Noah’s willingness to trust and act faithfully for the sake of an unseen future. Abraham and Sarah were called from their home toward a land they could not see. It was the promise of God that moved them to do this.
The readers themselves are being called ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL185: Preaching Series on Hebrews
August 11, 2019
Rebroadcast of a 2015 Narrative Lectionary podcast that covers a 5-week preaching series on Hebrews. Note that the dates mentioned on the podcast do not correspond with the 2019 series dates.