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So Precious to Him!

February 8, 2015

AGN35544

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Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany         Trinity Lutheran Church

8 February 2015                                                            Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +
St. Mark 1:29-39

 

Well, synagogue service is over. Look who the boys have drug home! The Preacher! Son-of-God-Kingdom-of-God-is-at-hand-repent-and-believe-the-good-news-Jesus that preaches with divine authority and casts out demons. You are taken aback. Not a good time boys! Mother-in-law has something like a tuberculosis or an Ebola. She’s coughing so badly. The fever is very high. Good grief! Slide her bed in the back bedroom closet. Keep her away from the astonishing Son of God Preacher. Surely He has no time for such an old woman ready for the nursing home … or the grave!

 

But that’s precisely why the boys brought Him there. They’ve witnessed His mercy. He doesn’t discriminate. I know that shocks you but you need to get over it. Son of God Preacher goes right to mother-in-law in her bed. She’s very precious to Him. His divine service continues. Even for her – yes, even for a mother-in-law. Takes her by the hand. Lifts her up. The fever is no more. Healed! And then she puts the kettle on. Bakes some cookies. Dishes up the left over garlic lamb roast and onions. She “serves them.” According to her vocation. She does what any mother or any mother-in-law does best.

 

Then it’s evening. My how time flies in Mark’s Gospel. Perhaps it’s time for a fun game of Pitch or Dominoes, enjoy a cigar and then retire for the evening.

 

Not hardly. Word’s leaked out. Savior Son of God Jesus is at the house of Peter and Andrew. Now the entire city is camped out around the front door with all their sick and demon possessed.

 

More Kingdom of God on the earth divine service. Jesus heals the sick and casts out the demons.

 

Then all of a sudden it’s early morning. Again, time flies. Jesus gets out of Dodge. A desolate place. To pray. The Son of God is also the Servant. Dependent on His Father’s will and Word to do the salvation of the world job. Simon and the boys have to hunt Him down. “Lord, all your precious hangers on are looking for you!”

 

But Jesus declares: “Look here boys! I’m in full-blown Kingdom of God on the earth revelation mode. I’ve come not just for the folks at Capernaum but other Galilean towns as well. They too need to know that the long-awaited reign of God for the sake of His sinners has finally arrived! I need to preach the Word of the kingdom in other places. To gather more and more precious hangers on sinners around me. More of my divine service is needed elsewhere. I want their worship too! It goes like this: repentance and faith. Just like my first sermon that I preached in this region. So pack your bags boys. We’re off! Lickety split!”

 

That’s precisely what He does. “He went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.”

 

All are very precious to Him. He exists for them. He brings the reign of the Messianic-salvific kingdom to mother-in-law, the sick and those oppressed by demons in His day. He reveals Himself as God FOR THEM.  Again, He reveals or epiphanies Himself as God FOR THEM and FOR ALL in those healings and exorcisms. He is Lord of all in order to be SERVANT OF ALL in order to save them!

 

Another revelation or epiphany is coming. The greatest Son of God Servant epiphany! When He’s hanging dead on the cross. Good Friday’s divine service. The one and only Son of God Servant sacrifice that atones for every sinner and all sin. Yes, you too! You’re included!

 

He doesn’t stay put. He’s buried – true enough. But three days later – my how time flies – He rises bodily from the grave. He’s all about being God FOR YOU as He insists on always being your servant. He’s quite intent to serve you with all the saving benefits of His Good Friday death. To have more hangers on, if you will! A church!

 

And so here you are! Incredibly, you are His hangers on! Eager to be gathered around Him. Where would that be? Well, that’s a no brainer! He congregates you where He promises to be GOD / SAVIOR FOR YOU – around His Good Friday and Easter Sunday Body and Blood in the Sacrament.

 

And there He preaches! He has His say. It’s quite a revelation! Quite an epiphany! The sermon goes like this: “Given and shed FOR YOU for the forgiveness of sins.” All sin forgiven! Yours! Satan has no claim on you. Jesus reigns! He lords His death and resurrection over you!

 

So much so that His forgiveness given in the Sacrament gives the ultimate healing and re-creation: the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. That’s how precious you are to Him!

 

In the Name of Jesus.

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