There are many riches in our scripture from which to preach this week. I have decided to forgo the reading from Job this Sunday and instead use the passage from Isaiah 53 which ties into both the Gospel and the lesson from Hebrews. I will probably use this weeks reading from Job, as well as next week’s reading when I preach on the subject of Job and weave portions from all of our recent lessons from that book into my sermon.
Further, I have chosen to use Psalm 91 as it serves as a counterpoint to our other scripture lessons. Perhaps I will weave some of its verses into my sermon on the suffering servant (as you can tell I love that word “weaving” when it comes to sermon preparation). In this way the message may become more poetic and moving as we hear the voice of psalmist declare his trust in God even as see the Son of Man entrust his life (in death) to the Eternal One.
Finally, I encourage anyone reading the gospel on Sunday to include verses 32-34. The lectionary committee did us a great disservice by not including these verses in this Sunday’s readings. Perhaps they wanted to limit the amount of scripture to be read, but I am of the opinion that rarely do we read too much scripture as communities of faith. The more, the better. The same could be said for reading all of Psalm 91 as well.
Having said that, here are my paraphrases of Isaiah 53, Psalm 91 and Mark 10:32-45. I hope to post the reading from Hebrews tomorrow, along with some of my further reflections. In preparing my paraphrases I compare the following translations: The Jewish Publication Society, Today’s New International Version, the New Revised Standard Version, the English Standard Version, and various Hebrew and Greek dictionaries. I hope these paraphrases are of some use to you.
Isaiah 53:1-12 – My Paraphrase
1 Who has believed the rumor?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For he grew up like a tender plant,
and as a root out of parched ground;
he had no form or beauty that we should look upon him,
and no appearance that we should delight in him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom we averted our faces he was held in contempt,
and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our diseases and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
punished by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded because of our transgressions;
he was bruised for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and by his stripes we are made whole.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way;
and the Eternal has placed upon him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is brought to be butchered,
and as a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 He was taken away in oppression and judgment.
And as for his generation,
who has considered that he was cut off from the land of the living,
and, for the transgression of my people, beaten?
9 And they made his grave with the ungodly and with the rich in his death,
although he had done no wrong,
and neither was there any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Eternal to break him;
he has put him to grief;
but when his soul makes an offering for sin,
he shall see his children;
he shall lengthen his days;
and the delight of the Eternal shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall perceive the weariness of his soul and be satisfied.
By his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, justify many,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the mighty,
because he poured out his soul to death and was counted among the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Psalm 91 – My Paraphrase
1 You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
2 you will say to the Lord, “My refuge, my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence;
4 he will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness . . . a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that walks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not draw near you.
8 Only with your eyes will you behold and see the retribution of the ungodly.
9 Because you have made the Eternal your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place,
10 no evil shall befall you, no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will give his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways.
12 They will bear you up in the hollow of their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the venomous serpent, the young lion and the dragon you will trample under foot.
14 Because you have set your love upon me, I will deliver; I will set you on the high places because you have known the Name.
15 When they cry out to me, I will answer; I will be with them in their distress, I will rescue them and honor them.
16 With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.
Mark 10:32-45 – My Paraphrase
32 Now they were on the way going up to Jerusalem. As Jesus led them onward, they were astounded; and as they followed, they became afraid. And once more Jesus took the Twelve aside and began to tell them what would happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we go up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes. And they will damn Him to death and will surrender him up to the nations. 34 And they will mock Him, flog Him, spit upon Him, and kill Him. And the third day He shall rise again.
35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we would that you do for us whatever we ask .”
36 And he said to them, “What would you have me do for you?”
37 And they said to him, “Grant to us that we may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”
38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you desire. Are you able to drink the cup from which I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
39 And they said to him, “We are able.”
And Jesus said to them, “Truly, the cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to be seated at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
41 And when the ten heard it, they became indignant at James and John.
42 And Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the nations exercise dominion over them, and their great ones wield authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. No, whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be foremost among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”