Tuesday after Pentecost

Psalmody
8Understand, O dullest of the | people!*
         Fools, when will | you be wise?

9He who planted the ear, does | he not hear?*
         He who formed the eye, does | he not see?

10He who disciplines the nations, does he | not rebuke?*
         He who teaches man | knowledge—

11the LORD—knows the | thoughts of man,*
         that they are | but a breath.

12Blessèd is the man whom you discipline, | O LORD,*
         and whom you teach out | of your law,

13to give him rest from days of | trouble,*
         until a pit is dug for the | wicked.

14For the LORD will not forsake his | people;*
         he will not abandon his | heritage;
         —Psalm 94:8–14

Additional Psalm: Psalm 149

Old Testament Reading:
Numbers 22:21–23:3
21So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.

Balaam’s Donkey and the Angel

22But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25And when the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26Then the angel of the LORD went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”

31Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. 33The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.” 34Then Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” 35And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.

36When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, on the border formed by the Arnon, at the extremity of the border. 37And Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?” 38Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak.” 39Then Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 40And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent for Balaam and for the princes who were with him.

41And in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw a fraction of the people.

Balaam’s First Oracle

23:1And Balaam said to Balak, “Build for me here seven altars, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.” 2Balak did as Balaam had said. And Balak and Balaam offered on each altar a bull and a ram. 3And Balaam said to Balak, “Stand beside your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet me, and whatever he shows me I will tell you.” And he went to a bare height.

New Testament Reading: Luke 22:24–46
Who Is the Greatest?

24A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25And [Jesus] said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

28“You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, 29and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, 30that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

31“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demand-ed to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

Scripture Must Be Fulfilled in Jesus

35And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

39And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Writing
Let our whole body, then, be preserved in Christ Jesus, and let everyone be subject to his neighbor, according to the special gift bestowed on him. Let the strong not despise the weak, and let the weak show respect to the strong. Let the rich man provide for the wants of the poor, and let the poor man bless God, because He has given him someone by whom his needs may be supplied. Let the wise man display his wisdom not by words but through good deeds. Let the humble not bear testimony to himself but leave someone else to witness about him. Let him who is pure in the flesh not grow proud of it and boast, knowing that someone else bestowed on him the gift of self-control. Let us consider, then, brothers, from what matter we were made—who and what manner of beings we came into the world, as it were from a grave and from utter darkness. He who made us and fashioned us, having prepared His bountiful gifts for us before we were born, introduced us into His world.…

These things therefore being known to us, and since we look into the depths of the divine knowledge, it is necessary to do all things in [their proper] order, which the Lord has commanded us to perform at stated times. … Let every one of you, brothers, give thanks to God in his own order, living in all good conscience, with becoming gravity, and not going beyond the rule of the ministry prescribed to him. … The apostles have preached the Gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ has done so from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Spirit, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the firstfruits of their labors, having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterward believe.
         —Clement of Rome

Hymnody
Rise, my soul, to watch and pray;
         From your sleep awaken!
Be not by the evil day
         Unawares o’ertaken;         
         For the foe,
         Well we know,
         Is a harvest reaping
         While the saints are sleeping.
         —Rise, My Soul, to Watch and Pray (LSB 663:1)

Prayer of the Day
Lord Jesus, the two swords of the disciples were enough to show themselves as sinners, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah that You would be numbered with transgressors. Yet You promised that they would eat and drink with You at Your table in Your kingdom, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Help us to remember that You invite transgressors to Your Holy Supper, where we are welcomed to receive the forgiveness of all our sins; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (1026)

Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Solid Declaration of the Formula
of Concord XI 87–93

By Rev. Michael Mayer

Lutheran Pastor of two small Lutheran Churches in rural SW Ontario.