St. Timothy Lutheran Church


                                                                  September 24, 2020


                                                        Matthew 21:23-32


Scripture readings

for Sunday, Sept 27

Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32

Psalm 25:1-9

Philippians 2:1-13

Matthew 21:23-32


Pastor Ivy


“When [Jesus] entered the temple…” This was after he had cleaned house by driving out the moneychangers (21:12) making it a fit place fit for Jesus to teach.


What were “these things” that the Jewish leaders were referring to? Was it simply Jesus’ teaching or perhaps it had to do with the earlier raucous commotion of turning over of tables and driving out the moneychangers, or maybe it was everything combined: Jesus’ healing ministry, teaching, his procession into Jerusalem, and his upending presence.


The chief priests and elders were concerned about authority. “What right have you to do all these things? Who said you could?” Perhaps this reflected their insecurity since the crowds loved Jesus’ teaching because he spoke with authority, unlike the scribes and Pharisees.


Do you love the way Jesus turns the tables on the chief priests and elders; not answering their question as to the source of his authority; at least not in the way they expected. Instead, Jesus set a trap for them in the way they had tried to set one for him. They were afraid to honestly answer the question about John the Baptist. If they voiced their opinion, they would lose favor with the crowds. If they admitted John’s baptism was from heaven, Jesus would nail them about not believing him. They were stuck and couldn’t answer—at least not in the way they wanted.


So, instead of answering the authorities, Jesus tells a parable. Those of us who have children or have worked with them will easily recognize the behaviors exhibited in the parable. Yeah—been there.


At least here was a question the chief priests and elders could answer. It was so obvious, how could they miss it? However, it put them in their place. We too are the two sons; at times the first one and at other times the second one. We too are a mixed bag—sometimes doing God’s will, even though we may do so kicking and screaming and at other times quick to respond to God’s call, but we don’t do what we said we would. Martin Luther taught that we are all simultaneously saints and sinners. Both elements exist within us at the same time. Aren’t you grateful that God’s love, mercy, and grace extend to us; to all? Even “…the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you” (v. 31). Even Jesus’ detractors are included.



23When [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” And they argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

28“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”


Names will remain of the Prayer List for a month - at which

time it will be taken off unless, or course, there is still a continued need

for our prayers and we’re asked to keep the name on.


***Adopt-a-Highway will be Saturday, Oct. 3rd (rain date Oct. 17) 9:30 a.m. to clean up the side of the highway for the winter.  If you can join us, contact Kristie Bloomquist at 485-3931


***Our pets and working animals are like family to us. Saturday, Oct. 3, at 10 am, we will be celebrating a Blessing of Animals. This will take place outdoors (weather permitting) in front of the church. Otherwise, we will be in the fellowship hall. Bring any and all animal friends, as long as they're on leashes or in cages.


***Sunday, November 1 is All Saints' Day, when we remember our loved ones who have joined the church triumphant since last year's All Saints' Day. Please contact Pastor Ivy or Kathy Korcyl in the church office with the names of those you want remembered. 


***Pastor Ivy is resuming visitation with shut-ins incorporating the safety precautions of physical distancing and wearing of masks.

We continuously collect food items for the 5 & 2 Ministry.  Bring your donations and place in the black bin in church narthex.  Lists detailing items needed are also available in the narthex.  Monetary donations welcome! Contact Gale-Svenson-Campbell for details


***5 & 2 Ministry Food Bins Donated to Date:  85



***ONLINE GIVING now available at St. Timothy for Debit/Credit cards.   3 ways to give:

   - Go directly to our website at

   - Use our QR code with the QR reader on your smartphone

   - Download the app ‘GivePlus Church’. Create an account.   

For further information, see Kathy Carlson on Sundays or call her at 485-1316.

·         For our community of faith as we seek to do God’s work in the world.

·         For those in our congregation and community who suffer silently with illness, financial burdens, and family obligation.

·         For people affected by coronavirus, essential workers, doctors, nurses, aides, those working in nursing homes, etc.

·         For victims of wildfires, flooding and earthquakes.

•    For Ron Simpson, Karen Johnson, Roy Pihl, George and Janet Balcom, Maj-Britt Traynor, Beverly Klang, Trudy Fetzner, Thom Shagla, Matt Isaacson, Mabel Tranum, Gloria Fitzpatrick, Sarah Van Staalduinen, John Gingrass, Dick Starks. For people serving in the military, including Ben Wickerham and Jeffrey Clauson, and their families, those caught up in persecution, violence and war.

·        For all children, that the love of Christ may reach them through all of us who have resources to love, protect, pray and provide for them.

·         For The ELCZ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe and ELCZa Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia.

We are continuing to worship EITHER inside the church or outside in our cars until futher notice.

We are asking Drive In people to park on the sanctuary side of the parking lot and the inside people to park on the classroom side of the parking lot  

Time:  10:00 am

Length: 30 minutes