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.
Dearly Beloved of God,
If you would like to hear the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, "Who Is the One Who Shows Mercy?" click on the MP3 audio link provided above. The audio includes the Hymn of the Day, LSB #852, "O God of Mercy, God of Might." The sermon begins at the 1:50 mark.
Have a great week in Christ knowing He has shown you mercy and given you eternal life.
A servant of the Word and His folk,
Here is the preaching manuscript if you prefer to read along or read instead.
Who is the One Who Shows Mercy?
TEXT: Luke 10:23-37 23Turning to the disciples [Jesus] said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."
The One who shows mercy is the One whom the disciples saw and heard—Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God.
He is also the One whom many others don't see even though they behold Him with their eyes every day,
For what can be(AL) known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature,(AM) have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:19-20
and don't hear even though they have the very Word of God.
And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. John 5:37-40
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:24-27
Who are the ones who do not see, or hear, or follow the One Who shows mercy? We tend to think, we would like to think they are only those who are blatantly evil, plainly hurtful to others and harmful to society. But Jesus tells us differently.
25And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How do you read it?" 27And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." 28And he said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live."
The ones who do not see, or hear, or follow Jesus are the ones who want to inherit eternal life by what they do rather than by what they receive. No one ever inherits anything by what they do, but by what their benefactor does.
So the ones who go through life asking the wrong question, what must I do, get an answer that is impossible. Sensing this,
29But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 30Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' 36Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" 37He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise."
Clearly this is not something the lawyer was likely to do. It would be inconvenient. It would be dangerous. It would even make him unclean.
Yet this is the requirement of the Second table of the Law--not only that we do "not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need [in every need and danger of life and body]."--Small Catechism Explanation to the Fifth Commandment
Yet, lest you and I think we would never be so smug and uncaring as the lawyer and the priest and the Levite,
And furthermore, "that we not despise or anger our parents and masters, but give them honor, serve them, obey them, and hold them in love and esteem."-- Small Catechism Explanation to the Fourth Commandment
And if that is not enough, "help him to improve and protect his property and business."-- Small Catechism Explanation to the Seventh Commandment
"defend him, ‹think and› speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything." -- Small Catechism Explanation to the Eighth Commandment
And if all this is not enough, because according to Ephesians 5:21 baptized believers in faith live their lives "submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.". Scripture sets before us what the Small Catechism lists as a TABLE OF DUTIES--for Various Holy Orders and Positions, by Which These People Are to Be Admonished, as a Special Lesson, about Their Office and Service
FOR BISHOPS, PASTORS, AND PREACHERS
Therefore, an overseer [pastor] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive. He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (1 Timothy 3:2-4, 6; Titus 1:9)
‹WHAT THE HEARERS OWE TO THEIR PASTORS
In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:14)
One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. (Galatians 6:6)
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages." (1 Timothy 5:17-18)
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17)›
CONCERNING CIVIL GOVERNMENT
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:1-4)
‹WHAT SUBJECTS OWE TO THE RULERS
Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. (Matthew 22:21)
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.… Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:1, 5-7)
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work. (Titus 3:1)
Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. (1 Peter 2:13-14)›
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. (Colossians 3:19)
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. (Ephesians 5:22; 1 Peter 3:5-6)
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." (Ephesians 6:1-3)
FOR MALE AND FEMALE SERVANTS, HIRED MEN, AND LABORERS
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. (Ephesians 6:5-8; see also Colossians 3:22)
FOR MASTERS AND MISTRESSES
Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with Him. (Ephesians 6:9; see also Colossians 4:1)
FOR YOUNG PERSONS IN GENERAL
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. (1 Peter 5:5-6)
She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. (1 Timothy 5:5-6)
FOR ALL IN COMMON
The commandments … are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Romans 13:9) "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people." (1 Timothy 2:1)
So what does this all say to the lawyer, or more importantly to you or me as to our ability to, "go, and do likewise"?
Who is it Who is the One Who has submitted not only to His Father and mother, but to earthly authorities, and even to you and to me in going to Calvary? Who is the One Who Shows Mercy?
The One who shows mercy is the One you are hearing today; the One whose very body and blood you have come to eat and drink; the One in whom you live and move and have your being; the One who lived, died, rose, and ascended for His neighbor; the One who has sent the Holy Spirit to forgive you all your sins and keep you with Him in His holy Christian Church and life everlasting --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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