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February 11, 2018 Bible Class

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Jesus God and Man FOR YOU!

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Transfiguration of Our Lord                     Trinity Lutheran Church

11 February 2018                                         Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Mark 9:2-9

 

What an epiphany! What a revelation! Peter, James and John see the divine glory of Jesus! They are eyewitnesses of His divine majesty! His divinity is leaking out all over the place in His transfigured Body! Jesus is God of God, Light of light, very God of very God!

 

If there was any doubt about it, doubt no more. Jesus is God in the flesh! On the mountain His appearance is transfigured or metamorphasized. His face shone like the sun. His clothing was blinding. Brilliantly white. Whiter than any bleacher or bleach on earth could bleach them.

 

The divinity of Jesus is shining through His humanity. Did you hear that? I said, on the Mount of Transfiguration the divinity of Jesus gleams and glows through His humanity. This is really important. And we have to get it right. Jesus is at once true God and true man all bound up together as one person. God is His Father. Mary is His mother. That makes Him 100% God and 100% man. Not like two pieces of wood glued together. Not like the yolk and the white of the egg mixed together to form a third thing. Jesus is not a hybrid of God and man. Jesus is neither a super man nor is He a lesser god. JESUS IS THE GOD-MAN – the unique person in whom the fullness of the Deity dwells in human flesh and blood. There is no one (did you hear me?) – there is no One quite like Jesus. That is what Peter, James and John saw on the mountain. They beheld with their eyes Jesus’ divine glory gleaming through His humanity.

 

Moses and Elijah are there too. They are the representatives of the Old Testament – Moses, the author of the first five books of the Old Testament called the Torah, and Elijah pinnacle of all the prophets. They were “types,” foreshadow-ers, foreshadow-ings or prophetic pictures of the promised Jesus in the Old Testament. Their lives prophetically pointed to Christ’s coming in the New Testament. When Moses and Elijah show up here on the mountain it means that all of the Old Testament bears witness to Jesus. And not just Jesus in general but Good Friday and Easter Sunday Jesus! That’s the entire point of the Bible! It all boils down to Jesus pulling off a Good Friday and an Easter Sunday for the salvation of the world!

 

Let’s put it another way. With the Mount of Transfiguration we see that Jesus, the true Light now shines into the darkness of this world. He shines in the darkness of our sin and death. He gleams gloriously like the sun. Or here’s another way to talk about it. Heaven has come down to earth in Transfigured Jesus. Really! Heaven has arrived! Which means God has come in Jesus to do a salvation saving job for sinners. So soon, very soon, the Light come down from heaven must descend the high mountain to die in the darkness of sin and death as He hangs suffering and dead on the cross. Bearing all sin for every sinner and atoning for it with His Good Friday blood that cleanses or purifies from all sin.

 

Well, that’s precisely why God the Father speaks. Do you remember? It’s really important too. He speaks from the cloud. The Father’s voice is meant to keep our ears and our eyes and our hearts where they need to be – ON JESUS! “This is my Son! I love Him. Hear Him! Listen to Him!”

 

As great as the vision of Moses, Elijah and Jesus in His divine glory is, the center – the epicenter – and faith’s focus is always to be on Jesus ALONE! The Father’s voice declares Jesus to be His beloved Son just as He did at Jesus’ Baptism. The Father directs our ears to Jesus’ voice. “Hear Him!”

 

“Listen to Him” because Jesus alone has the words of eternal life. Listen to Him because His words are Holy Spirit-filled and they are life. Hear Him because He is God’s Word, God’s sermon of undeserved kindness to you. In former times God spoke by the prophets, by Moses and Elijah. But now in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son Jesus the Christ!

 

Where Jesus is Moses and Elijah slip into the background. Where Jesus speaks Moses and Elijah must be silent. Once the Father spoke from the cloud the disciples “no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.”

 

Only Jesus! That is what the Mount of Transfiguration is all about. That is what the Sunday divine service is all about. Only Jesus. Only Jesus. Only Jesus is God’s beloved Son. Only Jesus shines with the glory of God through human flesh and blood. Only Jesus bore your sin and all its damnation in His own Good Friday-ed Body nailed to the cross. Only Jesus rose bodily from the grave never to die again. Only Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand to pray for you, to forgive you and to give you eternal life in His name. Only Jesus reveals the glory of the Father to save you and to deliver you.

 

Now, let me wrap this sermon up. In the Epistle for today St. Paul wrote, “We who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory.” As Jesus’ gave you His Name in holy baptism, as He gives you His Word of absolution and His most holy Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper every Sunday, His divine gifts have their way with you. You too are being … to use today’s language … TRANSFIGURED – changed from the inside out – changed to be like Jesus.

 

At the moment this fact is hidden under the weakness of your daily battle against your sinful nature, the world, the devil and your getting-older-and-beset-by-many-aches-and-pains-body. However, on the Last Day when Jesus reveals Himself in glory – not just for Peter, James and John on the mountain – but for all to see – Jesus will change your body to be like His glorious Body! What a day of transfiguration that will be! I can’t wait!

 

In the Name of Jesus.

Transfiguration Part Two

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Transfiguration Part One

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February 4, 2018 Bible Class

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It’s All About What God Gives!

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Epiphany 5                                                 Trinity Lutheran Church

4 February 2018                                        Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Mark 1:29-39

Baptism of Everett Paul Perrigo

 

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention or didn’t get the memo — learn what Christianity is all about on this Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany! It’s going to epiphany-ally blow your mind. It’s going to bring the greatest epiphany-al joy ever to your heart and perhaps an epiphany tear or two to your eyes. It’s better than you could have imagined. Seriously! After all, you’re tempted to believe that Christianity is all about you. Who you are and what you do or do not do. What you have to give God — like your heart or your life. And you’ve been trying really hard to do that. But that’s not Christianity. Not even close! Good grief. Get over that and get over it PDQ! God doesn’t need your life let alone your heart.

 

What you need is God giving His life. God giving His heart. You need God giving Himself TO YOU. With all that He is and all that He has! You need an out-side-yourself-salvation. You need the Savior. And that’s Jesus! Christianity is all about Jesus. Who He is, what He has done as well as what He continues to do FOR YOU! He does a Good Friday and an Easter Sunday FOR YOU AND FOR YOUR SALVATION.

 

Start there and then you’ll begin to understand that all the preaching, teaching and miracles He does during His earthly ministry are the previews of the coming big attraction: Passion Week, a horrific cruciform death and then a glorious resurrection very early in the morning. And all that He does FOR YOU in the Sunday divine service in Word and sacraments flow from that Friday afternoon we all call “good.”

 

In Mark 1 Son of God Messiah Jesus is there with all that He is and all that He has. He serves the least and most unlikely. Outcast and loser sinners. Oppressed by demons people. Afflicted with the collateral damage of sin. Check it out.   He drops into the house of Simon and Andrew. They’ve brought some friends, James and John, with them. “Jesus, we know you’re a rock star all throughout Capernaum and Galilee. Everyone is begging for your time and attention. But do you have time to look in on mother-in-law? She’s got it bad. Really bad. A deadly fiery fever. Deathbed fever. Please, will you help her?”

 

“He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up and the fever left her.” He saves her from the deadly fire of the fever. His Good Friday dying and His Easter Sunday Resurrection save her from the hellacious fire of damnation. Mother-in-law put the kettle on and “began to serve” only because she had first been salvationally served by Jesus. She didn’t serve to be saved but because Jesus saved her! Got it? Good!

 

Let’s go on. Then He heals the sick, exorcises demons and preaches the gospel because He’s all about doing a Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Therefore, Son of God Messiah Jesus is undoing all sin and all of sin’s negative consequences in His ministry. He is the Savior! Did you hear that? Jesus is the Savior! You and I are not. So He’s “come out,” busy dishing out heaping portions of His Good Friday salvific deeds ahead of time – to those that need it and believe it.

 

To repeat then: Christianity is all about SERVICE! Not yours. But Christ’s! Jesus came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. That’s Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The healings, the exorcisms and the preaching are bestowing and giving ahead of time the divine and salvific benefits of His upcoming cross and empty tomb. Or to put it another way, Good Friday’s and Easter Sunday’s benefits are leaking out all over the place in advance at mother-in-law’s house, the surrounding towns and synagogues.

 

Savior Son of God Jesus is still among us as one who serves. With His holy, divine, saving Name hooked with the water of baptism Jesus came to Everett Paul with all of His Good Friday and Easter Sunday might and mercy. At the font Jesus preached. He proclaimed: “Everett Paul Perrigo, I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The same was preached to all of you at your baptism.

 

Let’s not forget: to be baptized in God’s Name is to be baptized by God Himself! (Large Catechism) And with His giving of His divine and saving Name to Everett Paul the unclean spirits had to make room for the Holy Spirit! Baptism is an exorcism. It really is! Because God gives His Name in, with and under the water He is there promising to be God FOR YOU – FOR YOUR SALVATION! No wonder that Jesus promises: “Whoever believes and is baptized with be saved,” (Mark 16:16). No wonder that St. Paul writes about the gift of baptism: God “saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)

 

Christianity is all about Jesus. Giving Himself into death to win your salvation by bearing all your sin on the cross. Giving His Name and all it’s Good Friday benefits in baptism. When He’s doing the giving your salvation is certain and sure. Not even Satan can undo what Jesus does and gives. He must depart. He must be silent. Because Jesus reigns. Jesus preaches. Jesus gives. What joy!

 

Happy Baptism Day Everett Paul! Happy living in and from your baptism! Dittos to the rest of you baptized in Jesus’ divine and salvific Name!

 

In the name of Jesus.

James and Hebrews Part Three

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