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Where Are You Going?

John 16:5-15

Rev. Kurt Hering

Cantate: Easter 5
Trinity Lutheran Church  
Layton, Utah

Play MP3 of this sermon

Sun, Apr 28, 2013 

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.

And herein lies the suffering of the disciples and every generation of believer to come. The world doesn't like the forgiveness of sins. Because that means first confessing one is a sinner. Have you ever tried to forgive someone only to have them become angry that you would dare be so high and mighty? That you would dare tell them they had done something wrong, something that needed to be forgiven? How dare you call them a sinner? Yes, this is exactly what got Jesus crucified and what would cause the disciples much suffering, and grief, and even martyrdom themselves.

Then beyond anger and hatred and violence, there is rejection.

Remember the rich young man? Jesus invited him to "follow me" as well.

To hear the entire sermon preached for Cantate Sunday, click on the MP3 audio link provided above. The audio begins with the Old Testament Reading. The sermon begins at the 5:12 point of the mp3 file.

A servant of the Word and His folk,

Pastor Hering

For those of you who prefer to read or read along while listening, the preaching manuscript follows below.

Nota bene: Sermons are meant to be heard. Some points from the manuscript are explained and filled out during the preaching, so you will need to listen to the audio file to get the complete message.

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Grace, mercy and peace to you from God the Father and Christ Jesus, our Lord.

5[Jesus said:] "Now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' John 16:5

Where are you going?

I mean you, dear Baptized Christian. Where are you going?

The answer is, to the Father with Jesus. That's what the Holy Baptism, the Holy Word, the Holy Absolution, and the Holy Communion of our Lord do for you葉hey take you to the Father with Jesus, through faith.

But I am getting ahead of things.

Do you know why none of the disciples asked Him, "Where are you going?"

Because they knew. Oh, maybe not completely. But they had a pretty good idea by now. And it wasn't going to be pretty.

It wouldn't be long now. Jesus has washed their feet. He has broken bread with them and instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Communion of His body and blood in bread and wine. He has told them one of them would betray Him.

He has been telling them over and over and over again, throughout the three years He had spent with them. And now in these last days and hours leading to His crucifixion, over and over and over and over again.

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:1-6

And they know they have been chosen to follow Him to the Father and bring others with them. At first they just followed.

While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-20

And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." 20 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." 22 And Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead." Matthew 8:19-22

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him. Matthew 9:9

Then they started to find out just what this following Jesus entailed.

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25

And now you know why the disciples didn't ask Jesus, "Where are you going?" They may not have know perfectly, but they knew well enough. Well enough, that all but John would desert Him at Calvary. Peter would even outright deny Him.

After forgiving him three times and telling Him, "Feed my sheep." Jesus will tell Peter how closely he will follow Jesus.

[Jesus to Peter] but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go." 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, "Follow me." John 21:18-19

Yes, they knew Jesus was going to the Father and that way was a way of suffering and death.

6But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged." John 16:6-11

1) He sends the Holy Spirit to them to convict the world concerning sin. IOW, to preach repentance, because no one believes in Him. That is the root and essence of sin.

2) He sends the Holy Spirit to them to convict the world concerning righteousness. IOW, to preach Christ and Him crucified because there is no one righteous, no not one, except for this Jesus the very Son of God, who came from the Father and now has returned to Him. That is our salvation and the only way to the Father in heaven.

3) He sends the Holy Spirit to them to convict the world concerning judgment. IOW, to declare "It is finished!" The evil one has been defeated along with sin and death. So now the disciples will be given the office of the keys, as we learned from John 20 and Matthew 18, to forgive and retain sins. That is, to judge the living and the dead now by faith in Christ alone. 

Thus the disciples, and the generations of the church to come, are given to pronounce judgment now even as it will be on the last day.

"Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld." John 20:21-23

Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[f] in heaven. Matthew 18:18

And herein lies the suffering of the disciples and every generation of believer to come. The world doesn't like the forgiveness of sins. Because that means first confessing one is a sinner. Have you ever tried to forgive someone only to have them become angry that you would dare be so high and mighty? That you would dare tell them they had done something wrong, something that needed to be forgiven? How dare you call them a sinner? Yes, this is exactly what got Jesus crucified and what would cause the disciples much suffering, and grief, and even martyrdom themselves.

Then beyond anger and hatred and violence, there is rejection.

Remember the rich young man? Jesus invited him to "follow me" as well.

And he said, "All these I have kept from my youth." 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Luke 18:21-23

Why? Because it is not the way of the world to follow容specially into suffering and certain death. It is not the way of the world to admit sin and beg forgiveness. Begging is for losers. Oh, a man might beg for spare change for food, or drink if things get tough or overwhelming enough. But beg forgiveness? That would be giving up too much容very bit of pride in self. That would be an admission of guilt and the fact that

By inviting the rich young man to follow Him, Jesus was offering *everything* forever! But he didn't like what stood in the way of forever様osing, giving up everything he had now, becoming a beggar himself.

He was stuck in the conviction of sin. He couldn't see his way to rejoice in the righteousness of Christ.

But, thanks be to God, you baptized believers do rejoice in the righteousness of Christ. And you are here receiving it today.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28

You know you have been chosen to follow Him. Everywhere He goes He goes for you and takes you with Him.

And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 43 And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:42-43

Where are you going? Why to the Father of course.

He has suffered for the sin of your unbelief. He has died for the sin of your unbelief. He has risen from the punishment for the sin of your unbelief. And He now is ascended to the right hand of the Father to deliver you from the sin of your unbelief by sending His Holy Spirit here today, and wherever His Word is spoken and poured over heads, and given to eat and drink, to keep you in the one true faith葉hat is, following Jesus.

In these things the Holy Spirit delivers to you He did to and through the disciples, you like them are following Jesus in His suffering, in His death, in His resurrection, and in His ascension. You are following Him all the way to the Father, where He has prepared a place for you, and where He has already raised you up with Him, and where He is drawing other people to follow with you as you live in the judgment that forgives all your sins, declares you righteous in Christ Jesus, and gives you eternal life擁n the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



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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