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email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
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Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity


The Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #  281     The Savior Calls               1:29
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual       
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 531            Come ye Disconsolate            1:15

 Two Examples of Faith

The Communion Hymn # 308            Invited Lord                1:63
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #  511     Jesus Shall Reign                1:80
           

KJV Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

KJV Matthew 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. 20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. 23 And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.


Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Trinity

O almighty and everlasting God, who by Thy Son hast promised us forgiveness of our sins and deliverance from eternal death: We pray that by Thy Holy Spirit Thou wilt daily increase our faith in Thy grace through Christ, and establish us in the certain hope that we shall not die, but peacefully sleep, and be raised again on the last day to eternal life and salvation; through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Two Examples of Faith


KJV Matthew 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.

We have a beautiful twin-miracle lesson, where one begins and then completes after the miracle in the middle. This has been called a literary device and it is also seen in paintings, with one main painting and two subordinate paintings on each side to frame and explain the central artwork.

This miracle set is found in all three Gospels, so we can see the importance of knowing and understanding both healings.

The first is the ruler’s daughter. We should not overlook the fact that this was the daughter of an important official, one known by many. In some cases the entire crowd witnessed the miracle. In this case, the immediate witnesses of the miracle were few, but the entire circle of friends and associates, plus many more, knew of the ruler’s plight and participated to some degree in the actual mourning ceremonies.

Those who laughed at Jesus were just as important as the trusting family, since they were rudely shaken in their assumptions. They were not laughing at a pretentious bumpkin but at the Son of God, who raised the girl from the dead.

The faith of this ruler is infinite, since he assumed in his trust, that Jesus could take his beloved daughter from death to life again. What weakens us more than death itself? What can be done but mourn? Most people would have hoped for healing but given up at this point.

But the ruler trusted Jesus so much that he said, “My daughter is already dead, but lay Your hand on her and she will live.” In some instances, Jesus did not travel to the sick or dying person. But He did this time, and that meant the rumor (sermon) of His power went with Him.

On the way woman came up behind Him and vowed she would touch the hem of His robe. Her condition was equally devastating. Because of the issue of blood, she was ritually unclean and could not be touched – for 12 years. The more she sought help from doctors, the worse she became.

She should have been leveled by the malady and by her inability to find any healing or solace. She is a good example of those who have less and less and yet their faith grows. She trusted in Jesus so much that she did not even think to ask him face-to-face. How could she? She was ritually unclean. She did not think to ask Him to touch her with His healing hands.

But she was certain that touching His garment would alone be enough to heal her. And she experienced immediate healing when she did. Likewise, Jesus knew what happened and said so.

Here is a great quotation (from memory) that picked up on this healing – “If touching the hem of the garment of Jesus healed the woman with the flow, how much more will receiving the Body and Blood of Christ heal us?”


22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

It is difficult to imagine faith being so bad, when Jesus said, “Your faith has healed you.” That came from Jesus, not Arminius.

Luther explains it well. He often preached on this theme. The Gospel is not for the rich, powerful, and self-satisfied. They are like hogs looking at the sacrament. They devour it and do not know what they are consuming. But they have no use for its comfort, since their comfort comes from worldly peace – having power, honors, and an excess of wealth (mammon). They worship these worldly signs of peace and not God.

However, the Gospel is a great comfort to those who are suffering. They feel the weight of their sins – as prisoners do when they rejoice at hearing the simple Gospel being for them, also. They have bodily pain and disorders, so they value spiritual comfort that much more. And the great torment of all is emotional, which no one can see. Luther suffered terribly because of his great intelligence and his emotional acuity. Others like my friend at a Christian school in Midland, suffer from no temptation because they do whatever they want. (That was before the teacher’s conversion.) But Luther was chosen by God to separate the Gospel from the papal captivity of it, so Satan violently attacked Luther through his emotions. In seeking Gospel peace he wrote an enormous amount of material that still gives peace to people today.

Jesus did not scorn woman as unclean but praised her faith. His grace and love were so great that He drew large crowds toward Him wherever He went. His enemies saw that. They were jealous and plotted revenge – all for the glory of God, of course.

23 And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.


Jesus continued on His journey to Jairus’ daughter. The professional mourners were making a racket, so Jesus kicked them out, giving them a morsel of the miracle to come. “The maid is not dead but sleeping.” They mocked Him with their laughter.

That is always worth considering. The same type of person who would laugh at the Savior (who was about to save a life) will do far more than that to us who are frail, sinful humans.

When they laugh at us, they are laughing at Jesus and the Gospels.

Why did Jairus accomplish so much for his daughter? He trusted God could accomplish this great miracle, a miracle beyond consideration for most people. Certain the Gospel had already reached Jairus and had its effect on him.

Lenski:
Matthew at once takes us to the house where the Jewish mourning is in full blast. Judging from the indications of time in this chapter, it must have been toward dusk, and the child would be buried the next morning. Matthew alone mentions the hired “flute players”; beside them would be found the hired wailing women with hair streaming, beating their breasts and filling the air with loud moans and bursts of sobs. The prominence of the family would call for a goodly number of these hired mourners. Besides there would be present many friends of this important family. The whole house was thus full of noise. Paid mourners were professionals at the business, and the custom of having them in houses of mourning and at funerals dates far back, even beyond the times of Jeremiah (9:17), and is found among Jews and pagans alike. Naturally, Jesus would order these people out and hush them; a deed such as he was about to do called for the decency and the dignity of silence.
24) The word with which Jesus put out the noisy crowd has sometimes been misunderstood as though it implied that the girl had merely lapsed into a coma and appeared to be dead while still holding to life. “Did not die” is taken to deny the death, and “sleepeth” is understood to refer to sleep. But the people who were ordered out of the room knew better; from their loud wailing they turned to scornful laughter at this word of Jesus, sie lachten ihn aus. According to Mark 5:35 Jairus is informed: ἀπέθανεν, “she did die”; Luke 8:49 has τέθνηκεν, “she has died” and thus is dead, and adds the statement that the people “knew that she died.” The explanation that Jesus spoke as he did because he wanted to veil his miracle, is unacceptable; he does not equivocate or deceive. “Did not die but is sleeping” is spoken in view of the omnipotent power and will of him who can bring life back with a word. The word is true because of him who makes it true.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Matthew's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN. : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 375.

Jairus was the ruler of a synagogue, so he was extremely well known, highly respected, and well versed in the Scriptures predicting the coming of the Messiah.

This should be remembered as a source of the opposition against Jesus but also a reason for the apostolic church growing so fast and encountering persecution. The congregations were already started when the apostles went out. They had flocks to feed and pastors to teach.

The growth of the Gospel was explosive because of Jesus’ public ministry.

Luther:

27. This is the beautiful example of the woman. Now we turn to the daughter of the ruler of the Synagogue. But here, too, faith must contend and be strengthened; for although, as we have already heard, he had an excellent faith, yet it could scarcely have been maintained, had it not been strengthened. For, while Christ was still speaking with the woman, Mark 5:35-36 and Luke 8:49, say a message was brought, stating the man’s daughter had died, and requesting him not to trouble the Master.

This meant all would amount to nothing, since they had delayed too long; hence he should leave the matter and think only of how to bury his child.

28. This must have been a severe blow to the ruler’s faith. But the fact that the woman had just been healed, must have prevented his faith from failing, and indeed strengthened it to resist the doubts concerning his daughter.

And Christ himself is present to comfort and strengthen him against this stumbling-block, in order to show that he is unwilling that even such weak faith should be injured in any way, but be established and strengthened; and in view of this he admonishes and encourages all persons by saying: “Doubt not, only believe, etc.” This he said in order to see how highly he was pleased with the faith that clings to him, and that he was ready to guard against its being overcome; as he spoke to the Apostles, and especially to Peter, who fell so easily, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.”

29. Now when Christ came to the house, this man’s faith had to receive another blow; for there they saw and heard nothing but the tumult, weeping and wailing, and the blowing of trumpets (which they used at the death of their friends, as we do bells). All this cries in his heart that nothing was left but death, and his faith had nothing on which to lay hold against despair, except the word which Christ spoke against the tumult and lamentations: “The child is not dead, but sleepeth,” on account of which he was mocked and laughed at as a fool; for they all saw and knew that the maid was dead, and that there was no breath nor spark of life in her. They could not but think: See, our master or ruler must be mad or silly to bring this fool here, who tries to convince us that the maid is not dead, when every one can clearly see she lies stiff in death, a dead corpse, ready to be placed under ground.

30. They had come together at the synagogue, as at a common gathering place, as we do at our churches, where on the Sabbath the Word of God was taught, because throughout the whole country there was neither church nor temple, except at Jerusalem. And this ruler of the synagogue occupied the same position among them that our pastors occupy, and others occupied the place of assistants or readers, who read Moses or preached, circumcised the children and instructed the young, and visited the sick and sorrowing to comfort them. These had to be together in the synagogue and testified concerning this work of Christ, even with their mocking and scornful laughter, namely, that the maiden had certainly died and been raised from the dead. The ruler therefore, before he could experience the work of Christ, was compelled, in the face of this offense and mockery, to cling to the one word of Christ and with him be regarded as a fool and in his folly learn this spiritual wisdom that death is not death to Christ, but only a sleep.




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