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Lutheranism 101 Ten Commandments Part Thirty-Seven

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The Authority of Christ and His Word! What Good News!

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Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany                  Trinity Lutheran Church

3 February 2019                                                Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Luke 4:31-44

 

Are you ready for another whiz-bang of an epiphany today? Good. Check it out. It’s all over the place in the text. Did you catch it?

 

The Word! The Word! The Word! And most especially the One who speaks and preaches God’s Word! The rejected Nazarene! The Preacher that was just summarily run out of Nazareth! The Preacher almost thrown off the cliff to His untimely death! Because He preached with such authority! Yes, Jesus speaks and preaches as if He’s … GOD!

 

He is! That’s one epiphany! The other revelation is that God Jesus preaches or speaks His Word to do battle against sin, Satan, death in order to restore His fallen, broken and oppressed creatures. WHO Jesus is and WHAT He’s for is salvationally important. God Jesus is God FOR YOU as He deals with you through His Word.

 

Watch. Listen. At the synagogue in Capernaum “he was teaching them on the Sabbath and they were astonished at his teaching for his word possessed authority.” He preaches like no other rabbi before. He doesn’t quote Rabbis Cohen, Berkowitz, Rosenberg or Alperstein. Doesn’t quote any Bible commentaries, bloggers, twitter account-ers or instagramm-ers. Doesn’t need to. Jesus is the Author of the Word! In fact, He’s the Word made flesh! When Jesus speaks — His Word is the Word of God! He is THE AUTHORITY! So He speaks with the AUTHORITY OF WHO HE IS! God in the flesh!

 

Even His mighty deeds are the manifestation / the epiphany of the Person of Jesus and His authoritative Word! The Word of Jesus is emphasized over and over again in today’s text. Notice. He rebuked the demon possessing the synagogue member: “Be muzzled! Be silent and come out of him!”   His Word does what it commands. And the response of the congregation? “They were all amazed and said to one another, ‘What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits and they come out!’”

 

Then Jesus steps out of the synagogue. To Peter’s house. Mother-in-law “was ill with a high fever.” Death bed fever and flu! She’s in deep trouble. Can you help Jesus? Please? He stood over her and “rebuked / commanded the fever and it left her.”

 

Then at the end of the day, when the sun begins to set Jesus rebukes more demons. Exorcises demons with His Word and He “would not allow them to speak, because they knew He was the Christ.”    And then the next day Jesus declares the clincher. It why He’s God in the flesh. What’s that? Get a load of what it is. It is that He must preach! “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

 

“I must preach the good new of the kingdom of God to other towns.” The good news is that Jesus reigns! He is the King. The Divine King! King of kings and Lord of lords! On the earth! Not for Himself. But FOR YOU!

 

Remember what the angel preached on Christmas night to the shepherds? “I bring you good news of great joy for all the people.” And what is the good news? The angel proclaimed: “For unto you [or FOR YOU AND TO YOU] IS BORN THIS DAY IN THE CITY OF DAVID A SAVIOR, WHO IS CHRIST THE LORD.”

 

Are you picking up what the angel and Jesus are throwing down? Are you? It’s this. God salvifically reigns on the earth among His creatures. And it happens in the Second Person of the Trinity that was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. In fact, He is as the demons cried out: “You are the Son of God!” Jesus is God in the flesh TO SAVE YOU! He is Savior FOR YOU! He comes as the salvational Christmas Gift!

 

I warn you. Don’t ever doubt this! Don’t ever disbelieve this! God does not lie. Now, so that you believe this truth all the more the season of Epiphany unwraps salvational Christmas gift Jesus who comes to redeem you. To reconcile you to God! This really is good news. You can’t save yourself. No matter how hard you try. Jesus reigns to saves sinners. Jesus is God in the flesh to save you! To take all your sin in His Body on the cross and atone for it and its damnation through the shedding of His divine Blood. And as He does His Good Friday reign He has come to crush Satan’s head.” Remember what the demon in the synagogue feared? “What have you to do with us Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God.” BINGO! Destroy you? Indeed! Now in my words and deeds and also Good Friday-ly! For the sake of helping, rescuing, and buying back my poor oppressed people.

 

The preaching of the good news of the kingdom goes to other towns. Jesus says He was sent for this purpose. So, the preaching of the kingdom of God has come to you too! It’s why Jesus continually sends preachers to Trinity, Murdock. Every Sunday Jesus sees to it that His authoritative Word is proclaimed. It goes like this. “I forgive you all your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” And you are forgiven! Jesus says so. The absolution is His authoritative Word and that does and gives what it says. Or, “I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Or, “take eat; this is my body; drink of it all of you; this cup is the new testament in my blood.”

 

Jesus’ Word bears His divine authority FOR YOUR SAKE!   He points out your uncleanness because of your sin. However, in the good news of the gospel He promises and gives deliverance from sin and from hellish attacks from Satan himself.

 

Happy hearing and believing Christ’s authoritative and salvifically powerful Word Sunday after Sunday. It’s joyfully astonishing!

 

In the Name of Jesus.

 

 

Ten Commandments God’s Three Uses Part One

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Lutheranism 101 Ten Commandments Part Thirty-Six

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Lutheranism 101 Ten Commandments Part Thirty-Five

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A Whopper of an Epiphany!

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Third Sunday after the Epiphany                    Trinity Lutheran Church

27 January 2019                                               Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Luke 4:16-30

 

Everything goes quite swimmingly. Normal. As expected. The way the Service of the Word is supposed to go in the Nazareth synagogue or any synagogue. A portion from the Old Testament lectionary is read. This Sabbath Day — from the prophet Isaiah, chapter 61. A Messiah text! God’s-promise-of-the-Savior-Messiah-and-the-salvation-He-will-bestow-on-Israel-TEXT!

 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

Because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives

and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

 

This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

 

So far so good!

 

Then everything changes! Significantly! Remarkably! Jesus, who just read the Isaiah text from the lectern throws the congregation a huge curve ball! Joseph’s son has the audacity – the unmitigated gall – to preach something that had never ever been proclaimed at a Sabbath Day synagogue Service of the Word! A sermon like this had never been preached before! No one ever dared to! Until now! IT’S A WHOPPER OF AN EPIPHANY! Everyone who hears it is amazed. Dumbfounded. Marveled. Why?

 

Is it because of the sermon’s brevity? No, it is because of the sermon’s resounding and authoritative assertion. The sermon is: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

Are you picking up what Preacher Jesus is throwing down? Yes, that’s right! He’s categorically asserting that He is the promised Messiah! Standing right before the eyes of Synagogue Nazareth is the long awaited Savior! The sermon is the epiphany, the revelation, the unwrapping of “the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints,” (Col 1:26). The Savior is here! He has arrived! Jesus fulfills the Old Testament and its promise of salvation! Incredible! Joyfully wonderful! For those that believe the preached sermon!

 

There are those that do not. Jesus and the sermon He preaches are flat out rejected. Scorned. Mocked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” In other words, “Who does Jesus think he is? He has no authority to talk to us like that! We know who he is and He certainly cannot be Messiah! The son of a lowly carpenter doesn’t meet the Messianic qualifications! Hometown Boy Jesus can’t be Messiah! Isaiah wasn’t – DID YOU HEAR US? – talking about Jesus! Therefore, for him to make such a claim is heresy! Blasphemy!”

 

Nothing new here! Israel had the very bad spiritual habit of rejecting preachers God sent and their message of repentance and their call for them to be God’s hangers on or trust-ers.   Jesus points out that sad history. And more.

 

Especially that God’s grace will go to the Gentiles if Israel continues to refuse it. Just like when Israel wouldn’t listen to Elijah, God sent him to the Sidonian widow woman for her turning from and dying to her sin and being raised to new life spelled F-A-I-T-H. When Israel wouldn’t heed the call to repentance and faith, God sent Elisha to the Syrian commander Naaman to save him from his leprosy so that he too would repent and believe. Here today in Nazareth Jesus will give nary a sign like He did at Capernaum to epiphany His Messiah-ship! For example, at Capernaum He healed the lame man and forgave him his sin (Mk 2:1-12). At Nazareth they only get a sermon! The preaching is the epiphany! “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”    That’s what the Nazareth-ers are given to believe.

 

Well, they don’t! The Nazareth synagogue will not repent nor believe! They’re offended. They are at the unbelief point! “Filled with wrath.”   It’s just as Jesus said: “No prophet is acceptable in his hometown.” So, the Nazareth-ers take matters into their own hands. They will Wild West-ly execute false preacher and blasphemer Jesus. “They rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill … so that they could throw him down the cliff.” They’d throw him off the precipice backwards. If He survived, they would have hurled heavy stones the size of basketballs to finish the job.

 

Yes, it’s just as the old man Zechariah told Mary and Joseph at the temple as recorded earlier in Luke. “Behold, this child [Jesus] is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed,” (Lk 2:34). At Nazareth we see this quite clearly.

 

However, the Today-this-Scripture-has-been-fulfilled-in-your-hearing-sermon is also for the rising of many! For many’s repentance and faith! Yours! Yes, even your repentance. Your turning from sin and dying to it so that you turn to God in Jesus for His Good Friday forgiveness and live a new life spelled F-A-I-T-H. I warn you don’t pull a Nazareth. Unbelief Nazareth. If you do, it will end hellishly for you.

 

Jesus isn’t murdered at Nazareth. His Good Friday hour hasn’t come yet. “Passing through their midst, he went away.” More places to preach. More people to hear. For their repentance and faith. Until it all climaxes on the hill in which He is nailed on the cross and then rises from the empty tomb.

 

Jesus has seen to it that the gospel has come to you Gentiles of Murdock, Nebraska and its surrounding communities! Over 126 years He has sent preachers named Baumgaertner, Peters, Zoch, Krey, Ulmer, Boerger, Bereuter and Kuhlman. In their mouths He proclaims and gives you His Good Friday forgiveness, life and salvation in sermon, baptism, absolution and Lord’s Supper. There you authoritatively hear from the pastor Jesus sends: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” “In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”  

Every time you’re at the divine service where the Service of the Word and Service of the Sacrament are going on, the Messianic salvation promised through the prophet Isaiah and all the rest of the Old Testament prophets IS FULFILLED IN YOUR HEARING! Every Sunday is a SALVATIONAL EPIPHANY WHOPPER!

 

In the Name of Jesus.

 

God’s Good Use of You — Protect Life!

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