Verse by verse, we explore Jeremiah 26:1-15 and both promise and perils of serving God’s people as His prophet.

Hear the full audio of Bible Study from March 24, 2019.

Bible Study Notes from the Third Sunday in Lent, alternate OT reading.

From Jeremiah 26:1-15 (ESV)

  1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the Lord: 2 “Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the Lord ‘s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word. 3 It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them because of their evil deeds. 4 You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, 5 and to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently, though you have not listened, 6 then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.’”

7 The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord. 8 And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, “You shall die! 9 Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant’?” And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord .

10 When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the Lord and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the Lord. 11 Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”

12 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. 13 Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you. 14 But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. 15 Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.”

INTRODUCTION: On The Life and Times of Jeremiah

The Lord’s Prophets often walk a lonely road. Jeremiah’s ministry proved no exception to the rule. He was called to office a few years before the reformation in Judah. He likely played a leading role under King Josiah in the rediscovery, repentance and return to faith and godly life. (Jer. 1:1-3; 2 Kings 22:3-20) The prophets Ezekiel, Daniel, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Nahum and Obadiah were contemporaries, all calling the people to acknowledge their sin in the light of God’s Law. They preached repentance and faith in the promises of their Lord, their Redeemer–even through exile into Babylon.

Jeremiah served through the reigns of Josiah’s sons, Jehoahaz (3 mos.) and Jehoiakim (608-597BC) until the fall of Jerusalem. In those years he watched as the kings, most of the prophets, the majority of priests and the people again abandoned life commanded by the Lord. They turned back to other gods, reinstated idolatry in the temple and their homes.

Jeremiah is sometimes nicknamed “The Weeping Prophet.” We can perhaps understand his sorrow, in light of watching the promising days of Josiah’s reforms deteriorate into careless return to ungodly rebellion against the Word of the Lord. Jeremiah would also witness with his eyes the terrible loss of life in warfare, captivity and slavery to Babylon, and the destruction of the temple. God’s judgment against sin, even among his chosen people, was not easy to behold. Jeremiah is the author of Lamentations.

PART ONE: God’s Word is Sent, Calling Unwilling Hearers to Repent

A.) Read Jeremiah 26:1-5. When was this word sent? (26:1)


B.) Where, and to whom was Jeremiah to preach it? (26:2)


C.) Could this preaching prove worthwhile or was it pointless? (26:3) Why?



D.) “Shiloh” is the place where the Lord dwelt in His Tabernacle during the time of the judges from the time of Joshua to the days of Samuel, before the temple was built. The Lord no longer dwelt there. (Joshua 18:1; 1 Samuel 1:3)

PART TWO: The Religious People Respond

E. Read Jeremiah 26:7-9. Who listened first to Jeremiah’s temple sermon? (v.7)


F.) Now we see their response. According to verse 8, what did they DO to God’s prophet?


What did they SAY to God’s prophet?


Why did they take such offense, do you suppose, too Jeremiah preaching this sermon in the name of the Lord, there in the house of the Lord?





PART THREE : The Politicians and Authorities Get Involved

G.) Read verses 10-11. How did the royal officials find out about Jeremiah’s preaching? (v.10)



H.) Who brings the charge against Jeremiah? (v.11)


I.) What sentence do they petition the officials to carry out? (v.11)



J.) Read Matthew 23:29-39 and 24:1-2. How is Jeremiah a ‘type’ or living picture of Jesus the Christ, the Son of David, who was to come?


PART FOUR : Jeremiah Stands Firm. Is this His Last Stand?

K.) Read Jeremiah 26:12-15.

L.) Verse 13 shows us even in such a desperate moment, Law and Gospel must be proclaimed in the name of the Lord.

What Law is preached?_________________________________________________________________

What Gospel promised?_________________________________________________________________

M. How does verse 14 show Jeremiah’s willingness to keep the 4th Commandment, even as injustice is done against him?




N.) As Jeremiah began this response to the people, the majority of the prophets and priests–even before the royal officials–so he ends it by confessing His faith. Who does Jeremiah trust to punish injustice and establish justice?



CONCLUSION: Majority, Minority, and the Ministry of the Word

O.) Which would seem more alarming to you, to be found in the minority clinging by faith alone to the Word of the Lord, or to be secure in the majority of people, prophets, priests and politicians who align themselves against the Word of the Lord?

Scripture testifies plainly in such passages that even very religious people can go far astray. Beware of measuring your opinions and actions by their popularity. The Word of God must be the sole source and norm of our teaching. God grant us such faith. Jesus says in our Gospel lesson today, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” (Luke 11:28)

P. Consider this passage from the Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration:

The Comprehensive Summary, Foundation, Rule and Norm

Whereby All Dogmas should be Judged according to God’s Word, and the Controversies that have Occurred should be Explained and Decided in a Christian Manner.

1] Since for thorough, permanent unity in the Church it is, above all things, necessary that we have a comprehensive, unanimously approved summary and form wherein is brought together from God’s Word the common doctrine, reduced to a brief compass, which the churches that are of the true Christian religion confess, just as the ancient Church always had for this use its fixed symbols; 2] moreover, since this [comprehensive form of doctrine] should not be based on private writings, but on such books as have been composed, approved, and received in the name of the churches which pledge themselves to one doctrine and religion, we have declared to one another with heart and mouth that we will not make or receive a separate or new confession of our faith, but confess the public common writings which always and everywhere were held and used as such symbols or common confessions in all the churches of the Augsburg Confession before the dissensions arose among those who accept the Augsburg Confession, and as long as in all articles there was on all sides a unanimous adherence to [and maintenance and use of] the pure doctrine of the divine Word, as the sainted Dr. Luther explained it.

3] 1. First [, then, we receive and embrace with our whole heart] the Prophetic and Apostolic Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the pure, clear fountain of Israel, which is the only true standard by which all teachers and doctrines are to be judged.

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