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More than a Prophet
Luke 7:18-35 Commentary
by Michal Beth Dinkler
This week’s story begins with a reminder of Jesus’ miraculous acts up until this point: “John [the Baptist]’s disciples informed him about all these things” (Luke 7:18).
This functions as a reminder to the reader, as well -- a nudge on the part of the narrator to say, “Remember what you’ve just heard. Jesus raised a man from the dead.” In light of what has gone on so far in the Gospel of Luke, John the Baptist’s question in the very next verse (“Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”) is more than a little strange.
After all, Luke’s Gospel begins by establishing that John was Jesus’ faithful forerunner -- one who apparently recognized Jesus’ identity from inside his mother’s womb (Luke 1:44). John had been the voice calling in the wilderness, the one proclaiming in no uncertain terms that the Messiah was coming (Luke 3:15-16). But by Luke 7, John seems to have lost his patience. Are you really the one who is to come? he asks.
What has happened to give rise to this question for John? I would suggest that we look to a detail from Luke 3:19-20: John has been imprisoned ...
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The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL256: More than a Prophet
February 12, 2017
This podcast on Luke 7:18-35, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Feb. 12, 2017, features Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Karoline Lewis. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.