Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
Matters of the Heart
March 21, 2021

Matters of the Heart

March 21, 2021

Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to[a] them,[b]”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

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Background

In one of the most famous passages of Jeremiah, we hear about a “new covenant.” This is the only reference to a new covenant in the OT, but the language and images of such newness are important in the restoration promises of other prophets, including a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek 11:19–20; 18:31; 36:26) and new things (Isa 42:9; 43:19; 48:6). The similarities of this text to Ezekiel’s prophecy are especially important because they indicate that one of the key features of this new covenant—that it is written on the heart (v. 33) and does not have to be taught (v. 34)—was a part of the exilic and post-exilic vision for the future. [1]

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Point 3

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Summary

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[1] Patrick D. Miller, “The Book of Jeremiah,” in New Interpreter’s Bible, ed. Leander E. Keck, vol. 6 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994–2004), 812.

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