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Leave It To Jesus To Say That!

June 12, 2016

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Pentecost 4 (Proper 6)                         Trinity Lutheran Church

12 June 2016                                          Murdock, NE

+Jesu Juva +

 

Luke 7:36-8:3

 

Well. Well. Well. Isn’t this something? Preacher Jesus unloads with one of the most incredible sermons in the New Testament. Good thing you’re here to hear it today. Jesus dared to categorically declare: “Your sins are forgiven … Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

 

He spoke that good news to a … sinner! A woman that had a nasty reputation as a … well, she made a living prostituting herself. Would you keep Jesus away from her? Would you divorce the Savior of sinners from a sinner? Better not. Because Jesus and sinners go together. Jesus and sinners are never to be kept apart. Jesus came for sinners. To save sinners. Savior of sinners – that’s Jesus! It’s His cup of tea. He never refuses a sinner. No matter who they are. No matter what the sin. No sinner and no sin is too big or too bad for Jesus. “You will give him the name Jesus because He will save His people from their sins,” (Mt 1:21)! “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” (Jn 1:29)!

 

So, it is to the sinner that Jesus audaciously asserts: “Your sins are forgiven … Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Faith saves only because faith trusts only in Savior Jesus. Faith is never referenced to itself. Faith doesn’t believe in faith. Faith, when it’s real faith, clings or hangs on only to Jesus as the Savior! When you say “faith” you’re saying “Jesus.” When you say “Jesus” you’re saying “faith” – faith in Him who has a one-track mind. And that is to save sinners — with His Good Friday on the cross divine dying – atoning for all sin. His word of forgiveness gives peace. Peace with God. All is forgiven. He says so! He promises! What great news!

 

She believes His Word of forgiveness! She receives it! She rejoices in it! She relishes it! She hangs on to it with all her heart! This is the highest worship of Jesus! The highest worship of Jesus is spelled:

F-A-I-T-H!

 

The woman has been forgiven quite a bit! No, EVERYTHING! When the Lord forgives He forgives the whole lot. He refuses to say, “Well, this sin I forgive but this one I don’t. My Good Friday blood counts for this but not for that.” His Word of forgiveness covers all her sin. He will not reckon any of it against her.

 

No wonder then that her love for Jesus is so profound. All the tears. All the hair. All the ointment. She’s not putting the moves on Jesus. She’s not plying her trade. She’s been totally forgiven. She’s before Good Friday Jesus who came to save His people from their sins. She’s been absolved by Him! So, she’s profoundly and deeply thankful to Him for His forgiveness and the salvation and peace that comes with it before God!

 

All her love for Jesus just naturally comes from the total and complete forgiveness that Jesus brings. That Jesus declares. That Jesus gives. He forgives her for everything! For all! No sin of hers gets left out of His absolution. She is very precious to Him. He will die on the cross FOR HER. His blood cleanses her from all sin.

 

His words do and give what they say: “Your sins are forgiven … Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” That explains all her love for Him! Faith in Jesus naturally does that. She loved much – BECAUSE SHE HAD BEEN FORGIVEN MUCH – in fact: EVERTHING! Same with the apostles and the other disciples many of whom were women: “Mary called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.” These were His hangers on. Believers. Trusting only in Jesus for salvation. Forgiven of everything. Then came the love. These women are further examples of those who “loved much” because they were forgiven much.

 

Jesus came for you too. You’re a sinner for whom He died. For whom He shed His divine blood. Really He did!

 

So it’s time for all of us to repent of pulling a Simon the Pharisee. Why is there so little love for Jesus or for others among us? Could it be because of our little faith in Jesus? Yes. Like we can live without Him? Yes. Acting as if we’re not as big as sinners as everyone else is? Yes. Judgmental? Better thans? As if we don’t really need Jesus talking like that to us because we’re so much better than …? Absolutely!

 

You know what I mean. We’re all experts at being like Simon. It’s part of our sinful nature, our corrupted, rebellious and idolatrous spiritual DNA that clings to us daily. It goes like this either in your mind or your mouth or both: “Well, I’m not perfect, but I’m certainly not like so and so over there. He’s the big time sinner. She’s horrible. Glad I’m not like that them! If Jesus only knew how bad those people are, He wouldn’t have anything to do with them and neither will I!”

 

What’s that? You say you don’t do the comparison job? Yes you do. So do I. Good grief. We’re obsessed with it. We do it 24-7-365! So it’s time for all of us to admit the truth. We’re sinners. Just like King David. Like the woman. And just like Simon.

 

Consequently, we need Jesus. Desperately! He’s our only hope. Our only Savior.

 

So He’s sent me, like He sent the twelve, to preach the “good news of the kingdom of God” to you folks here at Trinity, Murdock.

 

I have most audacious and yet most comforting good news for you. The best word you could ever hear today with your ears. The Lord Jesus sent me to preach it to you. Yes, especially to you. Just like God sent Nathan to preach it to King David.

 

It is this: Jesus died FOR YOU! “The Lord has put away your sin!” You too are forgiven! Of absolutely everything! He left no sin of yours outside of His Good Friday on the cross death. I couldn’t be more joyfully serious. It’s categorically true. Jesus has the Good Friday wounds to prove it. He gives you His Good Friday body and blood in the sacrament as a pledge and seal that He really did die and rise from the grave FOR YOU AND FOR YOUR SALVATION. So take it. Eat it. Drink it. Believe what He promises: “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” YOUR SIN!  

 

Your faith in Jesus saves you too! You too can go in peace.

 

In addition, He will have great use for you in this congregation, your families and your communities to serve and love one another. Your faith in Jesus will just naturally and spontaneously lead you to love Him all the more as you serve your neighbor. You too are His living examples to the world of those who “love much.”  Yes, you too “love much” because of the abundant and amazing forgiveness that you have received and experienced from Jesus from His death on the cross FOR YOU to His putting His saving name on you in holy baptism, to hearing these salvific words of promise today: “Your sins are forgiven … Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

 

In the Name of Jesus.

 

 

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