Palm/Passion Sunday C

Not much here for those who preach on this Sunday, but some good reminders: the two natures of Jesus, the reckoned righteousness, the surety of Jesus' words, and our common mission.

Philippians 2:5-11

Verse 7 shows up as an editorial insert in Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article 8: The Person of Christ, Affirmative Thesis 11 (Ep 8.16) as part of the argument that Jesus is always divine, even in the time when he was incarnate. During the incarnation, Jesus chose to "not reveal his majesty... until he completely laid aside the form of a servant (but not his human nature) after his resurrection" (Ep 8.16).

Verse 7 also makes an expected appearance in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 8: Person of Christ, again as an editorial insert, and again noting that Jesus chose to keep the divine majesty of his person hidden while he was incarnate, thus "emptying himself."

Verse 8 is cited in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 3: Righteousness through an editorial insert in a paragraph emphasizing Jesus' two natures which were both necessary to make the righteousness reckoned to us salvific. Verse 8 is cited to show Jesus' obedience even to death on a cross.

Luke 22:14-23:56

Verses 19 and 20 of chapter 22 is cited in a footnote in The Small Catechism, The Sacrament of the Altar (SC Altar.4, n. 99) along with citations of the other texts of the words of institution to highlight that what Luther wrote here is a conflation and not even what was used in worship services. The same is also true of the footnote in The Large Catechism, The Sacrament of the Altar (LC 5.2, n. 226) where Luther again conflates the different texts.

Verses 19 and 20 are also cited in an editorial insert in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 7: Holy Supper (SD 600.44) along with the other synoptic passages of the words of institution.

Verse 19 by itself is cited in Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 24: The Mass (AP 24.69) in an editorial insert with the parallel verse from Matthew showing that in this sacrament, the promise of the forgiveness of sins is given.

Verse 19 also comes up twice in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 7: Holy Supper. The first citation (SD 7.35) is an editorial insert noting the words of institution in the synoptic gospels and 1 Corinthians arguing against transubstantiation. The second citation (SD 7.52) notes the same set of passages in non-editorial insert to make the argument against communion as merely a memorial meal.

Verses 24-27 of chapter 22 are cited in Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope (Tr 8) to argue against any pope or bishop being superior to any other bishop or pastors, and instead lifts up the common ministry of the gospel that equalizes us.


It is helpful to remind ourselves of two main points here: Jesus became a servant for the sake of others, and in Jesus, there is no superiority among members. There's something there that will preach...

  • How do we create hierarchies in the church that hinder our shared mission of the gospel?
  • How do we talk about communion in a way that both steers clear of transubstantiation and merely a memorial meal and emphasizes Jesus' words, on which Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul more or less agree?