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All Saints Sunday – November 6, 2022

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All Saints Sunday – November 6, 2022

Jesus speaks to his disciples; the ones he would send out as apostles.  He speaks to them regarding their expectations.  They will be blessed (that is, fruitful) and glad because they will be treated like prophets—persecuted, stoned, and even killed.  Jesus delivers a strange sort of beatitude upon these future apostles.

This text, the common lectionary choice for All Saints Sunday, is received from Matthew and is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  Throughout this liturgical year, the lectionary has used the gospel of Luke for most of its gospel texts.  The gospel of Luke provides us with a similar account to the Sermon on the Mount, only in Luke, it’s known as the Sermon on the Plain.   In that Sermon, these apostles-in-waiting receive a beatitude as spoken above (Lk. 6:22); and they receive a “woe” to caution them against receiving praise from the people for that’s what the people provided to the false prophets (Lk. 6:26).

In the Old Testament, there is a distinction between two kinds of prophets.  The distinction is easily encompassed by the designations “a tame prophet” or “a wild prophet.”  Tame prophets were those prophets recruited for service to the king.  In practice, they spoke what the king wanted to hear whether it was the word of the Lord or not.  Wild prophets, on the other hand, were chosen by the Lord for his service.  In practice, they spoke the Word of the Lord whether it was what the king wanted to hear or not.  1 Kings 22 recounts an instance of the King of Israel assembling his 400 prophets who agree with him but there is one prophet, Micaiah, who refuses to prophesy prosperity for the king.

Micaiah joins other wild prophets like Elijah, John the Baptist, and Jesus who came out of the wilderness.  They came out speaking a Word from the Lord, a Word that held both the palace and temple accountable.  Wild prophets were generally reviled, persecuted, and went to their death in Jerusalem (Lk. 13:33).   On the other hand, tame prophets generally received praise and admiration for they spoke supportively of both the palace and temple (Lk. 6:26).

Table Talk:  Discuss why both temple and palace must have tame prophets.
Pray:  Heavenly Father, give me a wild prophet of preacher that I may hear your truth whether l like it or not.  Amen

Matthew 5:1-12 English Standard Version

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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