17th Sunday After Pentecost

Proper 21 (September 25–October 1)

Ezekiel 18:1–4, 25–32; Ps. 25:1-10; Philippians 2:1–4, 5–13, 14–18; Matthew 21:23–27, 28–32

Entrance: LSB 812 Come, Let Us Join Our Cheerful Songs

Of the Day: LSB 539 Christ Is the World’s Redeemer

Offertory: LSB 554 O Jesus, King Most Wonderful

Distribution: LSB 543 What Wondrous Love Is This;

LSB 900 Jesus! Name of Wondrous Love

Closing: LSB 807 When Morning Gilds the Skies

The Cross of Christ Opens to Us the Way of Repentance to Life with God

The way of the Lord is righteous and just: “the soul who sins shall die” (Ezek. 18:4). However, because the Lord has “no pleasure in the death of anyone” (Ezek. 18:32), He calls sinners to repentance and faith in His gracious forgiveness of sins. The man who is thus turned away from his wickedness, who henceforth lives by the grace of God, “shall surely live; he shall not die” (Ezek. 18:28). This way of repentance has been opened for us by the Cross of Christ. In the righteousness of faith and love, “He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death” (Phil. 2:8), and He was vindicated in His Resurrection from the dead. Indeed, “God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9). He has given us this name in our Baptism into Christ, in whom we now “shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15). He uses the authority that He has received from His Father (Matt. 21:23–27) to preach a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, by which even “the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God” (Matt. 21:31–32).

Dr Martin Luther:

“With this question the Lord cornered them and made it impossible for them to escape either to the right or to the left. In fact, He always held His own and coped with them masterfully. Christ’s rather pointed answer befits their haughty question. They should have told themselves: ‘John, who is now imprisoned, definitely proclaimed that a man would follow him directly, that this man would baptize with fire and with the Holy Spirit, and that the people would flock to him. This surely must be He.’” LW 22:240


Courtesy: LCMS (CPH for certain hymn videos)


Worldview Everlasting – My Two Sons (Matthew 21:23-32)

Worldview Everlasting Greek Tuesday takes on Matthew 21:23-32.


Worldview Everlasting – The Grammar Police Use Dodgeballs (Philippians 2:1-18)

Sometimes something as simple as an alternate translation can make the difference between salvation by faith and salvation by works. Philippians has many famous passages concerning what we are supposed to do as Christians - how we are to live out our Christian life. But as is so often the case, what if Philippians 2 isn’t about so much as what we do, but what Christ has done for us? Pastor Fisk takes on Philippians 2:1-18 in today’s Greek Tuesday and points us back to salvation by grace alone through faith alone.


Looking Forward to Sunday Morning (3 Year Lectionary): Seventeenth Sunday of Pentecost — Dr. Carl Fickenscher — Issues Etc.

Dr. Carl Fickenscher

Dr. Carl Fickenscher, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses the readings and propers with Pr. Todd Wilken on Issues Etc. (mp3, 57:09, 52.3 MB, 2017-Sep-25)


Lectionary Podcast - Proper 21 - Series A - Matthew 21:23-32 with Dr. David Scaer

Dr. David Scaer, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Ind., discusses the Gospel lesson from the Greek text.


Matthew 21:23–32 (SBLGNT)

23 Καὶ ⸂ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ⸃ εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν προσῆλθον αὐτῷ διδάσκοντι οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ λαοῦ λέγοντες· Ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιεῖς; καὶ τίς σοι ἔδωκεν τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην;

24 ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Ἐρωτήσω ὑμᾶς κἀγὼ λόγον ἕνα, ὃν ἐὰν εἴπητέ μοι κἀγὼ ὑμῖν ἐρῶ ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ·

25 τὸ βάπτισμα ⸀τὸ Ἰωάννου πόθεν ἦν; ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἢ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων; οἱ δὲ διελογίζοντο ⸀ἐν ἑαυτοῖς λέγοντες· Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν· Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, ἐρεῖ ἡμῖν· Διὰ τί οὖν οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ;

26 ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν· Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων, φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον, πάντες γὰρ ⸂ὡς προφήτην ἔχουσιν τὸν Ἰωάννην⸃.

27 καὶ ἀποκριθέντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἶπαν· Οὐκ οἴδαμεν. ἔφη αὐτοῖς καὶ αὐτός· Οὐδὲ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ.

28 Τί δὲ ὑμῖν δοκεῖ; ἄνθρωπος εἶχεν τέκνα δύο. ⸀προσελθὼν τῷ πρώτῳ εἶπεν· Τέκνον, ὕπαγε σήμερον ἐργάζου ἐν τῷ ⸀ἀμπελῶνι.

29 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· ⸂Οὐ θέλω· ὕστερον δὲ μεταμεληθεὶς⸃ ἀπῆλθεν.

30 ⸂προσελθὼν δὲ⸃ τῷ ⸀δευτέρῳ εἶπεν ὡσαύτως· ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· ⸂Ἐγώ, κύριε· καὶ οὐκ⸃ ἀπῆλθεν.

31 τίς ἐκ τῶν δύο ἐποίησεν τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πατρός; ⸀λέγουσιν· Ὁ ⸀πρῶτος. λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οἱ τελῶναι καὶ αἱ πόρναι προάγουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ.

32 ἦλθεν γὰρ ⸂Ἰωάννης πρὸς ὑμᾶς⸃ ἐν ὁδῷ δικαιοσύνης, καὶ οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ· οἱ δὲ τελῶναι καὶ αἱ πόρναι ἐπίστευσαν αὐτῷ· ὑμεῖς δὲ ἰδόντες ⸀οὐδὲ μετεμελήθητε ὕστερον τοῦ πιστεῦσαι αὐτῷ.


Literal Translation

(23)  And He having come into the temple, the chief priests and elders of the people came near to Him as He was teaching, saying, By what authority do You do these things? And who gave this authority to You?

(24) And answering, Jesus said to them, I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I also will tell you by what authority I do these things.

(25) The baptism of John, from where was it? From Heaven, or from men? And they reasoned among themselves, saying, If we shall say, From Heaven, He will say to us, Why then did you not believe him?

(26) But if we should say, From men, we fear the people. For all hold John to be a prophet.

(27) And answering Jesus, they said, We do not know. And He said to them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

(28) But what do you think? A man had two children, and coming to the first he said, Child, go today; work in my vineyard.

(29) And answering, he said, I will not. But afterward, having regretted, he went.

(30) And having come to the second, he said the same. And answering, he said, I go, sir; but he did not leave.

(31) Which of the two did the will of the father? They said to Him, The first. Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, The tax collectors and the harlots go before you into the kingdom of God.

(32) For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him. But the tax-collectors and the harlots believed him. And having seen, you did not repent afterwards to believe him.


Scripture quotations marked SBLGNT are from the SBL Greek New Testament. Copyright © 2010 Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software. Holmes, M. W. (2011–2013). The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Lexham Press; Society of Biblical Literature.