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Showing posts from October, 2019

Festival of the Reformation + Matthew 11:12-15

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Jesus isn’t speaking of persecution or hostility toward the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven isn’t something that violent men can take by force as if it were an earthly kingdom or institution. The violence the kingdom suffered during the days of John and Jesus was the violence of faith. Faith hears the words of John and Jesus that sinners enter the kingdom of heaven by God’s grace through faith in Christ, and it rushes into the kingdom. The violent who took the kingdom of heaven by force are those who, hearing the gospel of the free forgiveness of sins, stormed the doors of the kingdom which they had previously thought were closed to all except those who fulfilled the Law. “For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah wh…

18th Sunday after Trinity + Matthew 22:34-46

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Christ has silenced the Sadducees. The Sadducees denied the resurrection of the body on the Last Day. They were Jews that liked the Greek way of thinking a bit too much, which thought that body caused too many problem and it was the soul that lived on. So they tried to show Jesus the foolishness of the resurrection by pitting it against Mosaic Law. They put forward this scenario: A man marries a woman but dies before they have a child. By Mosaic Law, the man’s brother was to step in and produce an heir who would carry on his deceased brother’s name in Israel. Except that brother died. What if there were seven brothers? What if none of them produced a child? In the resurrection, whose wife would this woman be? Jesus responds by saying they know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. First He corrects their thinking about the resurrection. “In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marri…

17th Sunday after Trinity + Luke 14:1-11

Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
On a certain Sabbath Jesus dines with the Pharisees. The meal isn’t a courtesy. It’s a trap. As they eat they watch Him closely, trying to entrap Him as they usually do. Suddenly a man with dropsy appears. Dropsy is an old term for edema, the retaining of water. Dropsy is usually a symptom of an underlying disease; congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, or kidney problems. This man won’t live many years in this painful condition, yet the Pharisees parade him before Jesus to test Him. They want to see whether or not Jesus would heal him on the Sabbath, the day in which no work was to be done. According to Mosaic Law the penalty for doing any work on the Sabbath was death. The Holy Spirit records the example in Numbers 15 of a man who picked up sticks on the Sabbath. The Lord condemned that man to death by stoning because He willfully violated the Sabbath law. The Pharisees wouldn’t be able to stone Jesu…

16th Sunday after Trinity + Luke 7:11-17

Grace and Peace be unto you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Christ, his disciples, and a large crowd following Him, approach the city of Nain. But as they enter they’re met with another large crowd, a funeral procession on its way out of the city. The dead man being carried out was the only son of his mother. To make matters worse, she was a widow. She had already buried her husband. Now she goes to bury her son. As the two crowds meet, Jesus sees the woman and has compassion on her. He tells her, “Do not weep.” He doesn’t say this in a “You’ll get through this” way, or a “You have my condolences” kind of way. He tells her not to weep in the “My heart goes out to you and I’m going to do something about this” kind of way. He goes to the open coffin and touches it. The pallbearers stand still. Generally, this sort of thing isn’t done. He says, “Young man, I say to you, arise,” as if the corpse could hear Him. And the young man hears. He sits up, alive! He sits …