Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - Gen 17; 18
"The work of the Elohim in the life of Abram draws him nearer
to the great moment of his life: the expression of the covenant, and to see the
goodness of Yahweh in the provision of a son as the medium of the divine
promises. Gen 17 provides the background to the covenant, and Gen 18 to the
preparation for a son.
"In view of the threatened and impending destruction of Sodom,
Abraham pleaded for the righteous as his seed proclaims the Gospel today. Even
as he laboured in pleading, the Destroying Angels were approaching the doomed
city. The Sodomites were oblivious to the impending destruction; so also was
Lot. Abraham alone knew the fate of the city, as we do the state of the world
today. Thus Abraham's eloquent and urgent appeal (cp Luk 17:28-30). But when it
came to ten only in Sodom (Gen 18:32), Abraham concluded his appeal, as he knew
that there were at least ten in Lot's immediate family. What a sad state
concludes the chapter" (GE Mansfield).
Reading 2 - Psa 21:13
"Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength; we will sing and praise
your might" (Psa 21:13).
"It is the mission of Christ, through the Gospel, to teach men
to rejoice in God. And an unfailing source of joy is God, when once the mind
opens to the great fact of His existence, excellence and power, for is not He
beyond all minor causes of joy? Those minor causes fail; He, never. He is from
everlasting. With Him is strength; not the strength that belongs to man: man
owes his strength to the bread he eats; and the bread he eats with man himself
is a perishable thing. Man dieth and wasteth away. But when we turn our eyes to
God, we see the full meaning of the words: 'Be thou exalted in Thine own
strength: so we will sing and praise Thy power' " (Robert Roberts, "Seasons of
Reading 3 - Mat 11:11,12
"I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not
risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom
of heaven is greater than he" (Mat 11:11).
In this verse, Jesus points out the great demarcation between
the time of "the prophets and the law", on one hand, and the time of "the
Messiah" on the other. So, to paraphrase: "The least of the disciples -- who
preach the kingdom of God NOW -- are greater (more able) than was John the
Baptist -- the greatest of the prophets -- because, while he brought Israel up
to the brink of the new 'age', they have actually entered it: they NOW know
Jesus as the Messiah!" (This distinction is borne out by v 13 here as well: "For
all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.")
"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of
heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it" (v
In this verse, Jesus has in mind the same line of demarcation:
before John came, all men (even "prophets") were looking forward -- tentatively
-- to the coming of the Messiah. But now -- after he HAS come -- all men who
preach him (even the least of the disciples: v 11) can be bold, because they
have seen and heard of him!