Texts for the Day
- Semi-continuous: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28 and Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
- Thematic 1 Kings 19:9-18 and Psalm 85:8-13
- Romans 10:5-15
- Matthew 14:22-33
Bible reading plan: Ezekiel 25-48, Daniel, all minor prophets.
Commentary and Reflection
Joseph – The lectionary spends only two weeks on the story of Joseph. This is a big story and the two selections, while good, do not really do it justice. If you have time, read it in its entirety, Genesis 37 and 39-47. Here are some things to think about.
- Which characters do you like? Which ones do you dislike? Who do you identify with the most?
- What do you think of Joseph’s statement, “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” (Genesis 45:5) What does this say about the nature of God? Do you agree with it?
- Why do you think this story is in the Bible? What purpose does it serve in Genesis and the Old Testament as a whole?
Progress Through Matthew – With the story of the feeding of the five thousand last week, we began reading the fourth of the five major sections of Matthew. It is worth taking stock of where we are at.
- The Gospel of Matthew begins with the Infancy Narrative and ends with the Passion and Resurrection. In between, the account of the ministry of Jesus is divided into five parts. Each of the five sections begins with a series of stories and saying and ends with a long speech or discourse by Jesus. Marking off each of the sections is the formula, “After he said these things…”
- We have just begun the fourth of these sections, comprising chapters 14-18. The discourse in this section is known as the discourse on the Church.
- Scholars generally agree that this division was intended by Matthew, but there is disagreement on what purpose it was intended to serve. One suggestion is that Matthew wanted to have five sections corresponding to the five books of Torah, highlighting Jesus’ identity as the new Moses.