Jesus is Revealed by Preaching Repentance
These are the readings for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany.
God’s Word for This Week
Is God calling you today to sell everything you have, give it away, and move to a foreign country to be a penniless missionary? His Word does not say that. God does call some people to public ministry. He sends some far from home. He gives some of his ministers hard assignments. Note: He calls all believers by our baptisms to be ready to leave anything for him. He left everything for us. He gave his holy life for us.
First Lesson – Jonah 3:1-5,10
What message did Jonah have for Nineveh?
Jonah preached a message of repentance.
What is repentance?
Normally when the Scriptures use the word “repentance,” it not only means that people are sorry for their sins, but that they believe that God forgives them in Jesus. Repentance, then, includes both sorrow over sin and faith that our sins are forgiven. St. Paul explains: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret” (2 Corinthians 7:10).
What fruit of repentance did the people of Nineveh show?
They declared a fast and put on sackcloth.
Supplemental First Lesson – 1 Kings 19:19-21
Elisha seems to have been from a wealthy family; he plowed with twelve yoke of oxen. Still, what did Elijah call Elisha to do?
Elijah called Elisha to leave behind his family and former duties and to become Elijah’s successor as God’s prophet.
What did Elisha do before leaving his family?
He slaughtered his yoke of oxen and burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat.
What example is God giving you here?
God is giving you an example of full dedication to his call.
Second Lesson – 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
What does Paul mean, “the time is short?” (See 7:29.)
Jesus will soon be returning on the Last Day.
What Christian attitude should we have as we look toward the Last Day?
We should live with a penitent attitude, expecting that Jesus will return at any moment. Paul warns that we should not become “engrossed” in the things and people of this world.
Supplemental Second Lesson – Acts 13:1-5
Which of the seven men in Antioch is now known as Paul?
Saul is now known as Paul.
How did other believers set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work to which God the Spirit had called them?
The other believers set apart Barnabas and Saul for public ministry elsewhere as missionaries by fasting, praying, and laying hands on them. (We do similar things today.)
Gospel – Mark 1:14-20
What message did Jesus proclaim?
Jesus preached: “Repent and believe the good news!” Here Jesus uses the “repent” in a more narrow way, referring only to sorrow over sin.
Did Jesus preach his message of repentance by himself?
No. He began to call his disciples to proclaim that message too. What faith they showed by dropping everything and following Jesus!