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The Day Son of God Jesus Preaches

January 25, 2015

Mark 1-14-15

Click here to listen to this sermon.

Third Sunday after the Epiphany                      Trinity Lutheran Church

25 January 2015                                                    Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +
St. Mark 1:14-20


Well, the first public act of Son of God Jesus’ ministry should make a statement, right?   A very clear and powerful statement! A definitive and authoritative feat that sets the tone for His Son of God ministry! His agenda. Setting the table if you will.


What would that be? Well, for starters He should instigate some big time community organizing! Engineer social unrest, anarchy, ruthlessly demonize His opponents and above all pull off a jailbreak of the highest order. After all, Camel Hair Clothes and Leather Belt Prophet/Preacher John – the one that baptized Him in the Jordan — has been illegally targeted, profiled, and arrested by Herod’s tyrannical “legal system.” A political prisoner. No defense attorney. No trial by his peers. Held indefinitely he endlessly and unfairly rots in jail. “Guantanamo-ed” is most likely how John’s disciples described it. Soon his head will be severed from his body and served on a platter. Not right! Not fair! Totally unjust! An evil perpetrated against an innocent man! Something has to be done! Somebody call the DOJ! Or Son of God Jesus.


Now is the perfect time for Jesus to flex His Son of God muscles. Pull out all His divine Son of God stops. Unload the whole enchilada of His almighty Son of God power to break the bonds of systemic oppression, bust Locusts and Wild Honey out of jail, overthrow the wicked Roman oppressors and establish a Son of God millennial utopian reign that would make all community organizers of the world jealous!


Son of God Jesus does nothing of the sort. He’s not Son of God that way you want Him to be. No jailbreaks, no transforming societal revolution fueled by silly dreams of creating a perfect society.


Instead, Son of God Jesus gets … into … a … Galilean pulpit … to … get a load of this … to preach … a sermon! Good grief! A sermon? Really? Words? Is that all you’ve got Son of God Jesus?


How pathetic, right? Weak. Feeble. Useless. Words. Words. Words. So what?


Depends. Depends on who speaks them. Whose words are they? From whose mouth does the sermon come? None other than the Son of God Jesus the Christ! True man, born of the Virgin Mary but also TRUE GOD begotten of the Father from all eternity! He is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. His words are divine words. His mouth is the mouth that preached at the beginning, “Let there be light” and there was light.  His in the beginning sermon did what it said.


Now Son of God Jesus preaches again. Sermons are His cup of tea. What a sermon! Son of God Jesus preaches what you never expected. You know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you? Of course you do.   Son of God Jesus rips off a kingdom of God sermon. However, it’s a kingdom of God sermon with words that have been banned from the prophetic preaching profession. Words that are no longer tolerated from a preacher’s lips. Preachers of old, like Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos … John the Baptist were mocked, persecuted, incarcerated and even murdered for using the forbidden words. You’re offended. Hurt. Angered. Getting ready to display your middle finger and call the authorities so that Son of God Jesus gets defrocked and never ever preaches again!


Son of God Jesus audaciously does it! “Repent!” And, “believe!”  Repent? That’s not even in your vocabulary is it? You’ve outlawed that word from ever being spoken to your ears and heart. You’ve made sure that the “R” word has been forevermore banned. Outlawed. Illegal. And “Believe?” Believe in what? You don’t dare to entrust yourself to anything or anyone. You can’t and won’t take that chance. You’re in charge of your own life. You’re in full control. The master of your universe.


That’s precisely why Son of God Jesus preaches. With Him the promised and long awaited kingdom of God has come! God reigns on the earth in Jesus. God is at hand! It’s Messiah Time!  And it’s perfectly obvious then that you need a preacher – AGAINST YOUR WISHES! AGAINST YOUR DESIRES! AGAINST YOUR IDOLATRY! Otherwise, … well, let’s just say it will all end hellaciously for you. You’d be held captive eternally – kept under lock and key — in Satan’s gloomy prison!


So, Son of God Preacher Jesus lets you have it. Full blast! The law without diminishment. The gospel in all its fullness and sweetness. Preacher Jesus flexes His Son of God muscles with His sermon that calls you to REPENT AND BELIEVE. Law you. Then gospel you. To uproot and then replant you. To crush and rebuild you. To kill and then raise you from the dead! Or, to use the language with which my sermon began – TO BUST YOU OUT!


“Repent!” With such a word you’re unmasked, revealed – AS AN IMPRISONED, LOCKED UP, HELD PRISONER SINNER. Yes, that’s right. It’s the truth. You didn’t want to hear it but it’s totally accurate. You thought Locusts and Wild Honey John was in trouble and needed rescuing. Yes, but he’s not the only one! You too are in deep capital-punishment-kimchi.     You too are behind bars and sit on death row. DAMNATION DEATH ROW! Awaiting eternal hellish execution!


Yet even more shocking is that you deserve it! It’s what you’ve earned. You waste away in the prison house of sin that is of your own making. You wither away in a homemade penitentiary because of your sin – because of your transgressions, your disobedience and the in your face defiance against God your Creator!


Satan has stepped in to serve as the tyrannical warden of your penitentiary. He has sworn to make sure that the damnation death sentence is carried out. He’ll see to it that there is no reprieve. No appeal. No getting off on a technicality. He’s put a stop to the objections that you’re being given cruel and unusual punishment. So, it’s YOU who are in deep trouble. You falsely believe you’re free when in fact you are in total lock down and near the end of your rope.


“REPENT.” Tell the truth. You’re an imprisoned, held captive on death row sinner. A sinner who can’t save himself. No matter how hard you try. The prison door is too secure. The locks can’t be picked. The bars on the prison windows do not bend. The concrete floor is unbreakable. The shackles on your hands and feet are indestructible.


So it’s time to “BELIEVE.” Believe the good news of the gospel! Believe that you’re nothing. Believe that Son of God Preacher Jesus is everything! He’s come to break you out! Pulls of a jailbreak just FOR YOU. Why? Because He loves you. He wants to save you. Saving and setting free the incarcerated is His modus operandi! He does it with His words. Words of promise. “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand … believe in the gospel!”


Did you catch that? He categorically declared: “The kingdom of God is at hand!” That’s Him! Son of God Jesus! God’s reigns on the earth has come in Jesus who shows up to set the prisoners free! To storm the atrocious Bastille of your own making. To break you out of your self-inflicted jail and its condemnatory sentence of hell! He does it THROUGH THE GOSPEL! His Son of God gospel sermon promises and gives good news. Good news that downright declares: “I forgive you. I pardon you. You’re free. I don’t count your sin against you. All your sin and all its death row damnation I took. I insisted on answering for every last bit of it in My Good Friday Hanging Dead On The Cross Body!”


That’s precisely why Son of God Jesus immediately puts His royal grace and pardon in action. He calls Simon, Andrew, James and John to follow Him. To be His freed from the prison house of sin and damnation disciples. The fishermen don’t choose Jesus! No one does. You didn’t either. Jesus does the calling. He calls you to faith through the gospel! Jesus does the saving of sinners. This too shows that the kingdom of God is at hand!


By calling the first four disciples, Son of God Savior Jesus gathers and creates for Himself the nucleus of a new Israel, the church! This is the beginning of the church in the New Testament. Disciples — nothing but a bunch of hangers on who are called by Jesus to repent of their sins and to believe the good news – the best news ever — that they are totally and completely forgiven. This is how the Lord has for Himself a church.


You too are His disciples. Part of His new Israel. Disciples are nothing but given to by their Savior. He repents you. He faiths you. The promise Jesus made to Simon and Andrew (I’ll make you fishers of men”) has produced much fruit over the centuries. You’ve been fished and caught in the net of the gospel. You are little fishies that swim with the BIG FISH JESUS in the water of Holy Baptism. You are given the divine good news that Jesus died for you and that you are forgiven. That salvation is yours.


Good news indeed! Son of God Jesus’ first sermon is exactly what you needed. You needed to be repented and faithed. Jail-breaked. Busted out. Set free for heaven and eternal life. He sees to it. “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.”


In the Name of Jesus.


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