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.
Advent greetings dear people of God!
To hear how our Lord comes to you today, humble, even as He came to Jerusalem some 2000 years ago, click on the mp3 audio link provided above.
Have a blessed Advent as you prepare for Christmas and our Lord prepares you for His second coming and the resurrection of all flesh.
Here is the preaching manuscript.
Grace, mercy and peace to you from God the Father and Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Our Text today is the Gospel Lesson appointed for the FIRST Sunday in ADVENT, Matthew 21:1-11 1When they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he will send them at once." 4This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5 "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'"
6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
Dear people of God,
Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.
This is how the Son of God came then. It is how He comes now—humble, to save you. And it is a good thing for you that He does. For when He comes in His glory and victory, the saving is over. But that is for a day yet to come, this is now.
To a sinful world, His coming is anything but good looking—then on a donkey or in a stable, or now in water, Word, bread and wine. For, you see, Christ is the Son of God and He exists to make the Father known to us. Everything He does is about the love of His father for YOU, dear sinner.
He did not come to see what He could get from the world or from you. He did not come to show His superiority to everybody else. He did not come to prove Himself to you.
Jesus came to give His life to the world. Jesus came to serve out of His superiority to provide for what people lack. Jesus came to sacrifice Himself for you.
That is Advent. Jesus, the Son of God, coming humble—to do His Father's will and be here for you.
So where are You in this grand parade? You, are the donkey - or the foal (infant baptism) of the donkey which Christ's disciples have loosed from sin for Him to ride as He reveals Himself to the rest of this sinful world.
Lest you take offense, remember this make me and all of Christ's pastors donkeys ourselves - and indeed we are. Why should we, how could we be any different?
Objective justification: Comes to die for all sinners on a donkey, not a steed.
And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matt 9:11 13 ESV)
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:6 8 ESV)
And so He demonstrates who He is and what He has come to do for all as He rides a lowly donkey.
Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; he was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. (Isa 53:1 5 NKJ)
Are you ready for such a Savior, coming to you humble? Sinner that you are, the fact of the matter is you are not humble. You are anything but. You are self centered and self occupied. Life is all about you. What you can get. Whom you can beat. What you can prove about yourself to others and even to God.
So our Lord must come to each sinner in the world in which he lives to call you to repent. Into this kind of world, amongst less than humble sinners rides our Lord--coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'" You must be humbled by the Word of God to recognize, receive, and believe this Jesus is here for you.
A. God sent disciples, pastors, believing saints out after you to loose you from the bonds of sin, death and the devil.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:14 17 NKJ)
B. Clothed in the words of the apostles, (note Jesus wrote nothing) Jesus sits upon us
His called and sent servants cover the filthy rags of our self righteousness with Christ's robe righteousness in Holy Baptism. He sits upon us and rides us into the true Jerusalem, His city of peace, the Church.
C. While in that city of peace, His Church, we are yet in the world and the world is drawn to see him and ask, "Who is this?"
For when Christ is riding upon us, it is impossible for us not to love our neighbor and do good works that serve and benefit him. And thus, as Jesus rides along with you during your daily walk the multitudes [may know], "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee."
This how God's kingdom comes to those who are not yet in it, just as it came to you dear Christian.
Yes, even right this very moment He is coming to the world as He rides with you in His city of peace on earth—His holy Christian Church, where alone is to be found His good will toward men. Because only in His church does He come to you and loose you from the bonds of sin as He is doing again today here.
Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden—to forgive you all your sins--in 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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