Monthly Archives: June 2012

July 22nd: “We Can’t”

Consider how the disciples felt when Jesus told them to feed 5,000 men plus women and children. How might we respond to Jesus’ startling command to do the impossible?

This Week’s Passage: Mark 6:30-44

I. Establish the text

C. Other texts for Year B for Sunday, July 22nd

D. Brainstorm: What questions/thoughts come to mind?

What had the apostles been doing and teaching prior to v.30?

31, 32 The religious leaders need time to decompress, rest, and eat so that they may serve.

Jesus and the Apostles attempt to sneak off for a vacation, but are found.

34 Even though Jesus needed rest, he took time to teach this flock. A large crowd gathers needing guidance. Jesus teaches them. What did Jesus teach them? Did he teach them about loving one’s neighbor so that they multiplied the loaves the disciples provided?

The Lectionary omits Jesus feeding the 5000.

As night approaches, Jesus directs the Apostles to feed the people. With five loaves and 2 fish, 5000 are well fed and satisfied.

Where is Bethsaida? Which mountain does he pray from that overlooks this lake?

The Lectionary omits Jesus walking on the water. Ends by explanation of the fear of the apostles was due to them not being able to grasp the feeding of the 5000. Can our minds grasp it even now?

Mark does not want us to think that the feeding of the 5000 was simply the sharing of what the people had, as perhaps the apostles originally did. The juxtaposition of the story of walking on water wants us to hear that this was a real miracle.

52 Why were the apostles’ hearts hardened? Was it to prevent terrorizing the crowd? What would have happened if the apostles’ had understood the loaves in the presence of the crowd?

53 What is the deeper spiritual meaning to this verse? Had they really arrived spiritually, or had they merely come ashore for awhile?

54 Were they still attempting to avoid recognition or had their retreat ended?

55-56 News of Jesus’ ability to heal preceded his arrival.

E. Reconsider where the text begins and ends: What got chopped out?

  • In the preceding narrative, Jesus had sent out the apostles proclaiming repentance, casting out demons, and curing the sick. Mark notes that this had created a significant stir. Herod had ordered John the Baptizer imprisoned to quell the crowd.
  • The passage is preceded and followed by several passages of healings and teachings telling about the ministry of Jesus. This passage occurs as the disciples regroup after being sent out in pairs to minister to the people. The ministry of the apostles and Jesus was so effective, the people thought it was John the Baptist brought back to life or Elijah.
  • The walking on water passage is the center of the Markan sandwich, with reports of healings and teachings on both sides.
  • Lectionary clipped out the feeding of the 5000 and Jesus walking on water, and continues with additional healings at Gennesaret and in the wherever Jesus went. The healings lose emotional impact adjacent to the feed or walking stories.
  • The feeding of the 5000 provides opportunities to examine our participation in ministry.
  • In the following passage Jesus condemns the Pharisees for being closed minded and creating barriers between the people and the grace of God.

II. Literary Study.

A. What is the history of the text? Who wrote it? When? In what social context? What Historical/Religious/Sociological factors influenced its writing?

  • Written by Mark as a teaching guide for disciples and new converts in about 65 AD. Mark was a disciple of Peter and probably had access to other Apostles.

B. What parallel passages exist? How do they differ? How does this author’s intent differ from other authors? Is the text used elsewhere?

  • Matthew 14:13-21,22-33 – Jesus arrives by himself. The disciples come later. Text is very similar. Cuts out complaint of the cost of feeding so many. Adds Peter’s request to join Jesus walking on the water. The walking on water opens their eyes to see that Jesus is the Son of God.
  • Mark 8:1-10 – Jesus feeds 4000. Seven loaves and a few small fish. The crowd has not eaten for three days. Both are done out of compassion for the crowd. Again they depart by boat. This time they end up at Bethsaida. Both stories are bracketed by healings.
  • Mark 8:14-17 – recaps both of these stories. The numerology may be significant. However, the bottom line seems to be: ‘Ask and you shall receive bountifully.’
  • Luke 9:10-17 – Context is the same regathering after sending out the twelve. Story is much more compact. No complaints from the disciples. No direct connections between miracles and Christology. Occurs in Bethsaida. Luke’s emphasis is Jesus’ compassion on the crowd.
  • John 6:1-13, 15-21 – Jesus on retreat with disciples. A boy provides the 5 BARLEY loaves and 2 fish. The feeding itself directly reveals to all the people that Jesus is the “prophet who is to come into the world.” Destination by boat was Capernum. Jesus’ headquarters between Bethsaida and Gennesarette. Jesus identifies himself with “I AM.” Similarly Jesus mysterious departure is received as a sign by the people. The feeding is used as an illustration for “I am the bread of live.”

C. Review syntax/meanings of critical words, phrases, idioms

  • Hearts: 1st century biology associated reason with the heart. Thus hardening of heart is analogous to not being able to grasp meaning.
  • Twelve: Indicative of the twelve tribes of Israel.
  • v.52 alla: this Greek word may be used as the conjunction ‘but’, or as an intensive, ‘indeed’. This allows the verse to hang together better.

D. What is the literary style of the text? And how does it affect the reading? What does a poetic form do to the meaning? Lament/Praise/Petition? Any subtle variations in the repetitions? What is emphasized/minimized by the repetition?

  • The style is Gospel narrative.
  • The author probably intended us to read this as theological fact. Although exaggeration was normative of this style.

III. Question the text.

A. Observe the passage from the perspective of its characters.

Jesus: I am thankful that the Father has chosen to give me such powers to reveal to these people such great signs that they may eventually come to recognize God’s grace.

The Disciples: Who is this man? He must surely be a great prophet for he does signs beyond our wildest dreams/nightmares.

The Crowd: We don’t care who he is, as long as he continues to feed us and teach us and heal our sick.

B. Are there any unusual details? Un-named characters? ‘Pointless’ description? Meanings of names of characters? What does a literal meaning of natural metaphors imply?

Apostles’ left for Bethsaida and came to land at Gennesaret. Both are on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Gennesaret is in Galilee. Bethsaida is to the East in Philip. The sea is about 15 miles long and 7 miles wide.

The body of water and location of the feeding are un-named. But the apostles’ intended and actual destinations are named, although they are unconnected from the preceeding and following accounts. Bethsaida is the traditional home of Peter, Andrew, and Philip. Gennesaret may refer to the body of water rather than a specific village.

The number of fish and loaves served is emphasized, yet their symbolism is not explained. If the fish is a symbol of Christianity, then why two fish?

What is significant about the grass being green? Is it an allusion to the 23rd Psalm?

What is the significance about the size of the groups of people on the grass, 100’s and 50’s?

C. What is the center of gravity of the text? Where was the author heading? What question did the author intend to answer? What is the emotional center of the text? What music would it call for?

  • Center of Gravity: The walking on water is sandwiched between two more typical prophetic actions feeding the multitude and healing the sick. Both of these signs were performed by Elisha but on a smaller scale. The walking on water is a new sign. No previous evidence of this in Scripture. The implication is that Christ Jesus is radically different from the previous prophets.

D. Look for conflict: stated or implied.

  • Jesus demands more of the disciples than they are prepared to recognize that they can give to the people; i.e. feeding the 5000.
  • The disciples don’t really understand what Jesus represents.

F. How will this text be heard by individuals in the congregation, including the preacher?

  • Amazing stories. Too good to be true.

IV. What do the commentaries have to say about the text?

Although Jesus regularly confronts the law as a needless barrier to God’s grace, he wears a fringe on his cloak in observance of the law.

Job 9:8 and 38:16 alludes that only God walks on water.

Ralph Martin (Knox Preaching Guides: Mark. JKP, 1981.) compared Mark’s account of the disciples’ return with Luke’s account and discerns Jesus displeasure by the lack of comment by Jesus and an immediate withdrawal for instruction and reflection. Recalling the temptations Jesus faced in the wilderness (from Luke) he discerns Jesus fretting an uprising against the Romans as the people latch on to the healing and feeding miracles apart from the lessons which the disciples had not grasped. He interprets the green grass as indicative of early spring, thus the feeding of the 5,000 occurred near the Passover, adding to Messianic expectations. He interprets Jesus immediate departure, apart from the disciples, as avoiding the crowd making him king (see John 6:15).

Lamar Williamson, Jr. (Interpretation: Mark. JKP, 1983.) considers three different dimensions of the feeding of the 5000 for interpretation: (1) The Good Shepherd – Jesus confronts the disciples with an impossible command, “You give them something to eat,” and “supports us with the abundant promise of more than enough;” (2) Blind Disciples – In the presence of miracles, the disciples did not have eyes to see, yet Jesus continues to invite us “to trust his mighty power and abundant blessing;” (3) Bread in the Wilderness – Jesus connects himself backward to Moses by providing bread in a lonely place, and forward to the Eucharist with “words that become living bread that satisfies our deepest hunger and gives us strength to make it home.”

Pheme Perkins (“The Gospel of Mark,” The New Interpreter’s Bible. Abingdon, 1995.) favorably compares Jesus having compassion Numbers 27:17, 1 Kings 22:17, and Ezekiel 34:5-6. She notes that early Christians understood the feeding of the 5000 as anticipating the Eucharist. She reflects that Jesus demonstrate the need for both teaching and healing, both teaching and feeding; that neither the social gospel nor preaching are sufficient by themselves. Regarding Jesus walking on water, she reflects: “If miracles alone create faith, the disciples have witnessed more than enough for their faith to be strong. … Our disbelief has less to do with the an anticipation that God will do miracles than with the suspicion that perhaps life would be just the same even if we did not put out the effort to be active members of the Christian community.”

V. With respect to the hearers (including the preacher), What does this text want to say and do?

Those times when my sermons were best received,
when parishioners came up and said: “I felt you were preaching directly to me,”
were those times when I was preaching to myself. — Rabbi Chet Diamond

A. What is the theological meaning of the verses?

Christ Jesus has revealed himself through miracles so that his Gospel might be received by the people. The miracle stories provide a teaching opportunity to receive the breath of God’s compassion for each person and give authority to the story.

C. Function Statement: What change in the hearer?

Accept God acting in new ways, and act with compassion through the controversies of these new revelations.

June 24th: “Jesus, Wake Up”

At sea, a storm involves everyone, yet Jesus was not involved in the ordinary way, bailing or rowing. What are our expectations on how Jesus should and will become involved in our lives?

This Week’s Passage: Mark 4:35-41

I. Establish the text

D. Brainstorm: What questions/thoughts come to mind?

36b There were other boats alongside the boat with Jesus, thus merely bailing or rowing would not be sufficient, as the others would presumably drown while Jesus and the disciples continued.

38a How is it that Jesus could sleep in a boat that was nearly swamped? Would not the water in the boat make him wet and awaken him?

38b Is this question not the same as our questions? At a hospital bedside of a friend: “God, don’t you care if we suffer?” At a funeral: “God, don’t you care if we grieve?” Watching a news report of violence: “God, don’t you care if there is no justice?”

39 A demonstration that God is Lord of all.

40 Is Jesus asking about their terror in response to their fear of the storm, or in anticipation of their fear of God who acts? Or both?

41 The disciples go from fear of the storm to the fear of God who answers their prayers. When God chooses to act miraculously in the world it shatters our understanding of how things happen, making the whole of life unpredictable and scary.

E. Reconsider where the text begins and ends: What got chopped out?

  • Preceded by four parables about the kingdom of God: The sower, the lamp on its stand, the mystery of seed growth, and the mustard seed.
  • Followed by the healing of Legion of Geresenes and two other stories of casting out demons.

II. Literary Study.

B. What parallel passages exist? How do they differ? How does this author’s intent differ from other authors? Is the text used elsewhere?

  • Matthew 8:18,23-27 – Omits specificity of location in the boat. Omits presence of other boats with them. Omits Jesus being asleep on the boat. Changed accusation of Jesus’ indifference to a plea for help. Omits Jesus’ direct speech to the waves.
  • Luke 8:22-25 – Consistent with Matthew’s version.
  • Psalm 4:8, Prov 3:23-26, and Job 11:18-19 — Provide precedence for those with faith sleeping in the presence of evil.
  • Psalm 107:23-30 Is similar in that the LORD quiets the storm once the merchant’s courage melts away and they call upon the LORD. But it differs in that they leave not in fear, but glad as the LORD guides them to a safe haven.

C. Review syntax/meanings of critical words, phrases, idioms

35 “[just] as he was” What does this mean? NIV, NRSV, NIV, NAB & NJB add “just” to the Greek. Why not translate this as: “as he was [already] in the boat” (see REB & 4:1)?

39 /siwpa, pefimwso./ Literally: “Silence. Muzzle it.” Many translations sanitize this to “Peace, be still.” But would the original language have a connotation like: “Put a cork in it!”

III. Question the text.

A. Observe the passage from the perspective of its characters.

The disciples would have immediately busied themselves with responding to the storm, striking sails, rowing to keep the boat parallel with the wind, and bailing. They would have been shocked to see Jesus sleeping as waves broke over the gunwales. They would have been even more terrified when the wind ceased after Jesus spoke.

Jesus would have been exhausted after a full day of teaching. He’s miffed that they need to wake him to calm the storm.

B. Are there any unusual details? Un-named characters? ‘Pointless’ description? Meanings of names of characters? What does a literal meaning of natural metaphors imply?

Sea and storms are often metaphors for chaos, evil, or separation from God.

C. What is the center of gravity of the text? Where was the author heading? What question did the author intend to answer? What is the emotional center of the text? What music would it call for?

  • Center of Gravity: Even when we do not notice Jesus with us in life’s storms, he is Lord of all.
  • Emotional Center: In the midst of a storm, seeing God is difficult.
  • Music: “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”

D. Look for conflict: stated or implied.

  • At sea, a storm involves everyone, yet Jesus was not involved in the ordinary way, bailing or rowing. What are our expectations on how Jesus should and will become involved in our lives?

F. How will this text be heard by individuals in the congregation, including the preacher?

  • “Jesus, we don’t need you to stop the storm, just wave and show us you’re part of the solution.”

IV. What do the commentaries have to say about the text?

Pheme Perkins (The New Interpreter’s Bible, “The Gospel of Mark,” Abingdon, 1995) notes that like Jonah, Jesus is accused of not caring if the crew perishes. She also notes that Matthew’s version more closely follows pattern of the ancient sea rescue myth.

Ralph Martin (Knox Preaching Guides: Mark, JKP, 1981.) interprets Jesus sleeping as indicating “perfect trust in the sustaining and protecting care of God.” He notes the parallel with the exorcism of the demoniac in chapter 5. He cites Tertullian’s use of this episode as a parable: “The ‘little ship’ of the church is often rocked in the storm and nearly swamped until the Lord of history comes to his persecuted people, as in Mark’s church, and rebukes the oppressor.”

Lamar Williamson, Jr. (Interpretation: Mark. JKP, 1983.) laments that the familiar translation of verse 40 (“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”) lacks contemporary force equivalent to the Greek. [He might like Peterson: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”]

James H. Price (“Jesus’ Authority,” The Presbyterian Outlook. Feb. 17, 2003.) notes “the mighty deeds or miracles of Jesus are signs of God’s mastery over the demonic powers that degrade and control life. … in the first century no rigid distinction was made between ‘natural’ and ‘supernatural.’ ” For discussion he asks: “What are some of the powers that control and subjugate men and women today?”

V. With respect to the hearers (including the preacher), What does this text want to say and do?

Those times when my sermons were best received,
when parishioners came up and said: “I felt you were preaching directly to me,”
were those times when I was preaching to myself. — Rabbi Chet Diamond

A. What is the theological meaning of the verses?

Even when we do not notice Jesus with us in life’s storms, he is Lord of all.

B. Focus Statement: Central, controlling, unifying theme.

We innocently go out onto the sea with Jesus and he awes us, calming the storms that would drown us.

C. Function Statement: What change in the hearer?

To appreciate the terror of inviting Jesus to response within our lives.

June 17th: “New Love”

The Christ event has permanently changed how believers see the world and with grace, we show our love to thank God. —

This Week’s Passage: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (11-13) 14-17

I. Establish the text

D. Brainstorm: What questions/thoughts come to mind?

6 “So we are always confident,” begs an introduction. Like much of Paul’s writings, a reading short enough to consider on a Sunday morning necessitates jumping into the middle of a longer argument. This picks up after an exhortation of confidence in an eternal building, despite groaning over an earthly tent.

8 Was Paul struggling with suicide over a chronic physical ailment?

9-10 This could easily lead to works righteousness.

11-13 An aside for those in Corinth.

14-15 Substitutionary atonement, becomes grace when combined with striving to please God (v 10).

16 What does Paul mean by regarding someone “according to the flesh”?

17 Forgiveness of sins = new creation!

E. Reconsider where the text begins and ends: What got chopped out?

  • The chapter has a chiastic structure with v. 17 as its kernel. Using the verses after 17 as a guide, there is a shift in topic in verse 9 from bodily to spiritual renewal. Thus starting at verse 10 and including 11-13 allows for a succinct argument that culminates at verse 17.

III. Question the text.

C. What is the center of gravity of the text? Where was the author heading? What question did the author intend to answer? What is the emotional center of the text? What music would it call for?

  • Center of Gravity: Christ urges us to act justly, as we can ignore our former selves and sins.
  • Emotional Center: Everything old has passed away, everything has become new!
  • Music: “Hear the Good New of Salvation!”

D. Look for conflict: stated or implied.

  • We receive our punishment for sins, death, in Christ.

F. How will this text be heard by individuals in the congregation, including the preacher?

  • A sermon on this passage could help clarify verse 17 as used for assurance of pardon.

IV. What do the commentaries have to say about the text?

Ralph Martin (Word Biblical Commentary: 2 Corinthians. Word, 1986.) divides the chapter into three sections: 1-10 – The Heavenly Dwelling, 11-15 – Motives for Paul’s Preaching and Living, and 16-21 – Living in the New Age. Martin perceives that Paul was motivated by “fear of the Lord” and is compelled to live dedicated wholly to God. [/fobon/ can also be translated as terror, fear, awe or amazement or deference.]

J. Paul Sampley (The New Interpreter’s Bible, “Second Letter to the Corinthians”. Abingdon, 2000.) considers the text in two large blocks: 4:7-5:10 – Paul’s Ministry Sustained Through Affliction and Mortality, and 5:11-6:10 – Paul’s Ministry of Reconciliation. He interprets “fear of the Lord,” citing OT passages, as “faithfulness.” He concurs with Martin that “out of our mind” as an ecstatic experience, possibly glossolalia. He explains “according to the flesh,” as assuming the resurrection had not occurred and that the standards of judgment had not been radically altered. Thus believers can no longer consider anyone according to the flesh for they themselves have been radically altered as well. He reflects: “From the moment of Christ’s death, everyone, everyone, has value [to God]. The problem rests with us.” To illustrate our response to the transformative event he writes: “Consider the first time you thought you were in love with someone. Odds are you could not contain yourself – or better yet, you could not contain the love you felt. Christ’s love for us is not different in its effect. Christ’s love not only claims us for God, but also pushes us out toward others.”

V. With respect to the hearers (including the preacher), What does this text want to say and do?

Those times when my sermons were best received,
when parishioners came up and said: “I felt you were preaching directly to me,”
were those times when I was preaching to myself. — Rabbi Chet Diamond

A. What is the theological meaning of the verses?

The Christ event has permanently changed how believers see the world and with grace, we show our love to thank God.

B. Focus Statement: Central, controlling, unifying theme.

God loves you! How do you show love to others?

June 10th: “Seeing Tomorrow from Today”

Although our outward appearances are flimsy, we rejoice in our assurance of restoration through Christ, to perfect communion with God.

This Week’s Passage: 2 Corinthians 4:13 – 5:1

I. Establish the text

D. Brainstorm: What questions/thoughts come to mind?

4:13 What is Paul quoting? [Psalm 115:1 LXX] How does the context of this quote affect its meaning?

14 Is Paul merely speaking eschatologically, or does resurrection to newness of life have implications in this life as well?

15 If we are raised to new life and gathered into God’s presence in this life, we will demonstrate it in how we live each day, drawing others to also experience God’s mercy and grace.

16-18 Consider the testimonies of those who are most feeble. Strengthening of their spirits and souls out shines their illnesses and infirmities.

5:1 What if we lived each day, acknowledging our flimsy physical existence and confident of an eternal abode in heaven? How do we exhibit the reverse: placing confidence in physical health and deriding as ephemeral life in heaven?

E. Reconsider where the text begins and ends: What got chopped out?

  • Paul’s body-tent illustration echoes a clay jar illustration that began at 4:7 and continues through 5:10.
  • Exhibiting newness of life is a major theme that ties the whole letter together.

F. Are there any significant variants in the manuscripts? Why?

14 A few newer manuscripts replace /sun Iasou/ [with Jesus] with /dia Iasou/ [through Jesus] potentially spiritualizing Jesus risen presence.

II. Literary Study.

A. What is the history of the text? Who wrote it? When? In what social context? What Historical/Religious/Sociological factors influenced its writing?

  • The epistle was written by Paul to the congregation at Corinth. At least chapters 1-7 were written in response to a report from Titus of their response to an earlier severe letter, possibly 2 Corinthians 10-13. Chapters 8-9 might be part of another letter (or letters) on stewardship. Verse 6:14 – 7:1 appear to be an inclusion from an earlier letter.
  • This passage occurs in the middle of a larger section in which Paul asserted his authority and credibility to minister.

B. What parallel passages exist? How do they differ? How does this author’s intent differ from other authors? Is the text used elsewhere?

  • Psalm 116:10 “I was faithful to you when I was suffering,”

C. Review syntax/meanings of critical words, phrases, idioms

/Egeirw/ – to excite, to arouse, to awaken, to restore to health, and to raise (from the dead). Resurrection would further diminish other meanings, and hence implications for being aroused in this life for the sake of the gospel. In verse 14, Paul used the aorist, rather than simple past or past perfect, emphasizing the continuing implications of Jesus’ resurrection.

17 – REB, TEV, CEV and NIV interpret God’s glory as outweighing present troubles. NAB and NJB interpret our present troubles as earning an eternal weight of glory. RSV and NRSV translate present afflictions as preparing for the eternal weight of glory.

D. What is the literary style of the text? And how does it affect the reading? What does a poetic form do to the meaning? Lament/Praise/Petition? Any subtle variations in the repetitions? What is emphasized/minimized by the repetition?

Lawyerly Rhetoric! Several commentaries consider this passage the center or kernel of chapters 1 – 7 which exhibit a chiastic structure.

III. Question the text.

C. What is the center of gravity of the text? Where was the author heading? What question did the author intend to answer? What is the emotional center of the text? What music would it call for?

  • Center of Gravity: Do not be consumed with the afflictions of this life, but look for permanence in what cannot be seen yet is permanent.
  • Emotional Center: Everything is for your sakes.
  • Music: “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”

D. Look for conflict: stated or implied.

  • We are to rely on that which cannot be seen and touched, for the physical is transitory. But heaven, which cannot be verified by physical means, is eternal.

F. How will this text be heard by individuals in the congregation, including the preacher?

  • Death can easily be perceived as the cure for the afflictions of this life, thus newness would happen in the life to come. But the verbs Paul selected have present implications.

IV. What do the commentaries have to say about the text?

Floyd V. Filson (The Interpreter’s Bible, Exegesis of 2 Corinthians 4:13-16. Abingdon, Nashville, 1953.) discerns four factors that upheld and sustained Paul in his ministry: belief in one Spirit (v. 13); that God will raise him up (v. 14); concern for the people (v. 15); and that grace may increase (v. 15). He also interprets Paul’s understanding of the inward and outward person dualistically (body and spirit) (v. 16).

Ernest Best (Interpretation: Second Corinthians. John Knox Press, Louisville, 1987.) argues that Paul is not speaking dualistically, but that the outer nature is the way people live among others and the inner nature is new life in Christ. Thus Paul is not looking forward to being with Christ after his death, but looking forward to Christ coming in his own lifetime.

William Baird (Knox Preaching Guides: 1 Corinthians / 2 Corinthians. John Knox Press, Atlanta, 1980.) dispenses with attempting to discern if Paul was speaking of rising eschatologically or in this life and recommends focusing on assurance that God will take care of us both now and in the eschaton, for people of faith do not need secure and visible rules for guides, but can hope for the unseen.

V. With respect to the hearers (including the preacher), What does this text want to say and do?

Those times when my sermons were best received,
when parishioners came up and said: “I felt you were preaching directly to me,”
were those times when I was preaching to myself. — Rabbi Chet Diamond

A. What is the theological meaning of the verses?

Paul directed the reader’s attention away from the trials and tribulations of earthly existence to the building of the spirit through these trials.

B. Focus Statement: Central, controlling, unifying theme.

Although our outward appearances are flimsy, we rejoice in our assurance of restoration through Christ, to perfect communion with God.

C. Function Statement: What change in the hearer?

Shift in focus from flimsy physical structures to firm heavenly structures.