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Proper 9

July 6, 2008

Proper 9                                      Trinity Lutheran Church
6 July 2008                                 Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +

Matthew 11:25-30

Some people just don’t get it.  Jesus that is.  He’s an enigma.  People just don’t know what to do with Him.  Have a hard time with Him.   Can He be the Christ?  Can He be the Savior?  So few believe in Him?  So few receive His gifts?  He appears to be a total failure.  A flop.  A washout.  

No wonder.  The Lord Jesus has a one-track mind.  He insists on being betrayed, brutally beaten, and then hung graveyard dead on a cross.  To all the world a failure!  And yet He comes in “failure” gift.  To do the salvation job for sinners in what appears to be a failed mission. 

Well, you know what that means don’t you?  It means that when Jesus does the salvation job all by Himself, that leaves you, me and every one else out of the equation.  And this is as exclusive as you can get.

Then Jesus bursts forth with a strange prayer of thanksgiving.  Should Jesus be praying this way?  Some might says no.  But He does anyway.  Listen again.  “Thanks Father.  Thanks be to you!  You’ve hidden what you’re up to in the world with me for the salvation of sinners.  You’ve hidden salvation in Me.  My suffering.  My Cross.  My death.  Underneath all this is the world’s redemption, the world’s recreation.  Thanks to you, O Father, that you’ve hidden these things from the salvation know it alls who insist on a do it yourself salvation.  Thanks to you, O Father, that you have revealed what you’re up to to little children.  Yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” 

Insist on a Jesus who is not totally Savior and you’re in the dark.  Reject Jesus as Savior and you’re about as religiously stuck on stupid as they come.  No matter how much you boast about your theological sincerity, wisdom, and understanding.

But you’re the little children.  God reveals Himself for you in the suffering, beaten, and dead Body of Jesus.  There, in that broken and dead body, is the fullness of the deity.  In Jesus God reveals Himself to you as God FOR YOU for your salvation.

And that is precisely what Jesus claims for Himself.  “Absolutely everything has been handed over to me by my Father; and no one really knows the Son except the Father, and no really knows the Father except the Son and the one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” 

Want to know who God is?  What He’s like?  Whether or not He cares for you at all?  Then you don’t climb the escalator to the heavens and peek through the clouds.  You won’t find Him there!  Instead, hold on to the man Jesus who’s all the way down here.  He’s God in the flesh.  To whom absolutely everything has been given.  He is the All Authority In Heaven and Earth Given To Me Jesus. 

Don’t know Jesus – then you don’t know God.  It’s really that simple.  And really that scandalous.  Most people know and believe that God exists.  But they make up for themselves who God is.  Most believe the satanic lie:  “you shall be as god.” 

But Jesus says:  “No one really knows the Son except the Father.  And no one really knows the Father except the Son and the one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”   

And you, little children, you little Christians, have been given the revelation.  Only Christians know who the one true God is through the revelation of Jesus Himself.  The Father, at immense cost, gives Himself to the sinful and rebellious world in the birth, suffering, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus!  God exists not for Himself but FOR YOU in the Man conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary!

The suffering, dead and risen Jesus is the revelation of God on the earth.  Only in that Jesus do we know the Father.  And only in that Man Jesus and His Cross is there salvation.  Mormons, JWs, Christian Scientists, Hindus, Buddhists secularists, agnostics or atheists, no matter how sincere, no matter how “religious” they appear to be are idolaters.  They are not Christians. This is not arrogance.  It is simply what Jesus Himself says.  And still it remains the scandal.  The stumbling block. “No one really knows the Son except the Father.  And no one really knows the Father except the Son and the one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”         
   
Jesus alone is the revelation of God in the flesh and in the world.  Know Jesus and you know God.  And He’s God for you.  That’s why He says:  “Come to me.”  When Jesus says “come to me,” you are invited into God’s presence.  To the true God Himself.

And want a strange invitation indeed!  He invites sinners to Himself!  His kingdom is for sin sick and sin weary sinners!  “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy with burden.”  In other words, “If you’re bogged down with sin, if you’re burned out on religion, sick to death of the principles for living, health, wealth and success spirituality of American preachers, devastated by trying to save yourself by always being good,” then Jesus says, “I’m the man, the God-Man, FOR YOU!” 

And Jesus gives a promise.  Yes, that’s right, a promise.  A promise that you can count on.  A promise that you can hang your hat – no – your life on.  “I will give you rest.”

His yoke of forgiveness finally gives you rest.  He’s answered for your sin.  All of it.  He’s made everything right with the Father once again.  You can’t.  No matter how hard you try.  So stop.  Knock it off.   

To you, “gentle and humble in heart,” God Jesus says:  “I forgive you.  See my wounds!  Settle there.  I died for you.  See the bread and cup of wine.  It’s my Body and Blood that I offered on the Cross for your salvation.  Eat and drink it.  It’s for you.  For your forgiveness.  Enjoy the ‘rest’ that I give.  Enjoy my gifts.  Live from them.  And from my giving out of my Good Friday benefits, little children, you know who God is:  ME!”

In the Name of Jesus.       

From → "A" Sermons

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