Preaching to the saints of the Lutheran Church at Christ-Elkhart and Faith-Hugoton in Kansas since February 8, 2015. All sermons prior to that date were preached either at Trinity Lutheran Church-Layton or First Lutheran Church-Tooele, Utah.
Dear saints of God,
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
To hear how Jesus draws near to you to give you peace just as certainly as He did to the people of Jerusalem in today's Gospel lesson, click on the MP3 audio link provided above.
Thanks be to God He does draw near to us, for of ourselves we never could or would draw near to Him. God grant that you too hang on His words for eternal life.
Your servant of the Word,
Here is the preaching manuscript.
TEXT: 41When [Jesus] drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, "Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation."
45And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46saying to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers."
47And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words. Luke 19:41-48
Dear saints of God,
When Jesus draws near to bring peace, the Holy Spirit points you to where you can find Him. In our Gospel today He is to be found in Jerusalem—the city founded by God to be a city of peace and safety.
• God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
• For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
• "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:14
• For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:7
Yes, Jesus comes for that very reason, to bring with Him righteousness and peace--and the safety that goes with it--on this day in history recorded for us by Luke, who wrote as an historian as well as an evangelist--it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, Luke 1:3.
But that peace and safety comes at great cost. For the price is His holy precious blood and His innocent suffering and death—suffering and death that every one of His followers including His disciples then and every baptized child of God until He comes again must indeed share. So, When [Jesus] drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, "Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
He has come to bring peace to His people in the heavenly realm, that is, in the presence of God there is safety because He has come to forgive the sins that separate us from Him and earned His wrath. But the way He does it are just not easy to take—in fact, impossible for men apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. So to those who live the life of the flesh Jesus gives warning:
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
As awful as that sounds, it is just what we need. So God sends and keeps sending messengers to bring that sword, that Word of God to His people who have such a hard time receiving and believing it that they often fall prey to the wolves in sheep clothing who bring another Gospel, another Jesus than the One who goes to the cross for us and baptizes us into His death and resurrection.
4"You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD:
When men fall, do they not rise again? If one turns away, does he not return? 5Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding?They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. . . . Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle. 7Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but my people know not the just decrees of the LORD. . . . "How can you say, 'We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us'? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie. 9The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken; behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them? . . . from the least to the greatest everyone is greedy for unjust gain; from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 11They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace. [Jeremiah 8:4-11]
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Luke 13:34
So because of all of this
• Because of all of the rejection and unbelief His Word and messengers will meet in Jerusalem and wherever they go
• Because of all the suffering and death He knows His followers, He knows YOU will have to endure
• Because He knows the devil has you targeted as an individual since both Christ and His church are safe and at peace with God
Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 12:17
When [Jesus] drew near and saw the city of God and all her citizens past, present, and future, Jesus wept that day for Jerusalem, as He also wept for Lazarus before calling him out of the tomb back into the world of trial and tribulation, and as He wept for Jerusalem that day He wept also for you and the trials, tribulations, and death you must face like every one of His dearly beloved and baptized saints.
But there is something else for us to learn from our Gospel today and never forget, the lesson contained in the Smalcald article from the Lutheran Book of Concord printed in our bulletin today:
"And in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word, in order that we may [thus] be protected against the enthusiasts, i.e., spirits who boast that they have the Spirit without and before the Word, and accordingly judge Scripture or the spoken Word, and explain and stretch it at their pleasure, . . .
All this is the old devil and old serpent, who also converted Adam and Eve into enthusiasts, and led them from the outward Word of God to spiritualizing and self-conceit, and nevertheless he accomplished this through other outward words. 6] Just as also our enthusiasts [at the present day] condemn the outward Word, and nevertheless they themselves are not silent, but they fill the world with their pratings and writings, . . . "
So to protect us from the false prophets and the very devil himself, When Jesus Draws Near, the Holy Spirit always points you to where He is to be found.
• Always through the cross.
• Always to have us live in the one Baptism into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
• Always preaching repentance and the kingdom of heaven
• Always to have us confess and be absolved
• Always to draw us to the table of His very body and blood.
• Always by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in His body here on earth, The Holy Christian Church.
• Always forgiving your sins and giving you the name of the One Who Is Faithful to give you peace and safety for eternal life-- the name of the Father ,and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Insofar as this sermon is a true proclamation of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, it belongs to Him and His Church. Therefore its use is free to all who deem it worthy and beneficial.
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