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Twelve Months of Sundays – Year A
Ordinary Time
Proper 21

Exodus 17.1–7
Philippians 2.1–13
Matthew 21.23–32

It sounded like a trick, but for those with ears to hear it answered the authorities’ challenge head on. Jesus’ Temple action was an affront to the power of the chief priests, a thinly veiled claim to kingship. A reference to John the Baptist, the more powerful for being oblique, underlined the point.

Many readers of the Gospels forget John after the opening scenes, but neither Jesus nor the evangelists made that mistake. Jesus’ right to challenge the whole Temple system, and for that matter the current royal and priestly claims, stemmed directly from John’s baptism, a counter-Temple movement with a counter-Herodian edge. John had dug the field, Jesus had sown the seed, and now it was harvest time. It
was at John’s baptism of Jesus that the voice from heaven had named Jesus as Messiah, God’s beloved son...

Taken from Twelve Months of Sundays Year A by N T Wright

Published by SPCK

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