Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

 Sermon Text: Deuteronomy 18:15-20

 Other Readings: Hebrews 3:1-6 and Mark 1:21-28


  1. “Horeb,” referred to in verse 16, is another name for Mount Sinai. Why were the Israelites so scared at Mount Sinai? Read Exodus 19:10-25.
  2. This is a clear prophecy of Jesus, but it is not only a prophecy about Jesus. After Moses died, what other prophets did God raise up from the Israelites? List at least three. Bonus points if you can repeat some of the passages they wrote!
  3. We often talk about praying in Jesus’ name. Here, God talks about prophets speaking in his name. What does it mean to speak in God’s name?
  4. Moses’ words in our First Reading are a reminder that proclaimers of God’s word come and go, for various reasons. While we may have different relationships with different pastors and may even have some sort of “preferences,” use our three readings listed above to articulate what you need in a pastor and how you should evaluate his preaching.


  1. The people were scared because God came down to Sinai is such an intense display that overloaded their sense of sight and hearing. It clearly communicated that they sinners could not last one second in his presence unless God let them. What a stark contrast from how Jesus appeared, veiled in humble human flesh!
  2. Answers are varied. You could list prophets that we see in the books of Samuel or Kings, such as Samuel, Elijah, and Elisha. You could list the so-called major prophets–Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel. You could list some of the so-called minor prophets–Micah, Joel, Amos, etc.
  3. It means to speak within the sphere of what is true and what God has revealed. It also means to speak in his stead, that is, with his authority, like an ambassador (as we heard last week in 2 Corinthians).
  4. A pastor must be faithful to God and his word. A pastor must then proclaim that word of God, relying on the authority God has given those words, not relying on his human authority. A pastor should spread the news about who Jesus is and what he does. If a pastor does that, then those who listen to a pastor will have confidence and hope, not matter who that pastor is.