Welcome


Take a Survey


Help support this site:


Sermon List
Search
About

Login or Register

Luther Sayings

Terms of Use

YAAG
(lectionary)

Newsletter Articles or other writings

BOC readings - 3 year

BOC readings - 1 year

Bible in One Year

Bible in Two Years

5 mins with Luther














Pericope

Sermon List       Other sermons by Rev Hering       Notify me when Rev Hering posts sermons
      RSS feed for Rev Hering       RSS feed for all sermons

Disciples & the Cross

Luke 14:25-35

Rev. Kurt Hering

Pentecost 16, Proper 18, series C
Christ Lutheran-Elkhart, and Faith Lutheran-Hugoton  
Kansas


right-click to download MP3 of this sermon

Sun, Sep 4, 2016 

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.

We may not be such obvious and foolish idolaters that we fashion golden calves and asherah polls like the Israelites and their neighbors in the OT. But we certainly do construct and entertain plenty of our own excuses and diversions to displace God and His Word—often in the name of fun with family and friends.

Hopefully, now you can see how both of these things are true, at the same time as we are to love all people, we are to hate them in the sense of loving them less than we love God so we do not allow them to take the place of God in our lives.

To hear the entire sermon as it was preached to the saints at Christ Lutheran-Elkhart, KS for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, "Disciples & the Cross," click on the audio link provided above. The sermon begins at 12:00.

Graphic: Ba'al images from Babylon and Sumeria, and a Canaanite El.

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

Nota Bene: Sermons are meant to be heard. Bullet points in the manuscript are explained and filled out during the preaching, so you will need to listen to the audio file to get the full message.

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

The text for our message today is from the Holy Gospel for today:

Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

“...whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:

I know what you’re thinking, especially you kids, “At last, something I can do! Jesus is telling me to do something I’m already good at—especially when they make me get up to go to church or school, or to do chores or homework; honey dos or bills for you adults; when you’d rather be sleeping in, playing video games or golf, hunting or fishing.

But hold on just a minute.

• Before you start singing, “You’re Not the Boss of Me Now,” with Malcolm or acting like the football headed brat on Family Guy, let’s remember who is saying this saying–this hard thing about hate. This is Jesus, the very Son of God. The One and Only Son of the same God who gave us the Ten Commandments, the Fourth of which tells us to, “Honor your father and mother.”

• Before anyone gets the idea that they should be jettisoning their unbelieving spouse, If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 1 Cor 7:12 14

• This is also the same Jesus who taught his disciples and the crowds from the mountain side, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. . . . Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;....(Matt 5:17 19, 27 NKJ)

How confusing! Here we can hardly help but ask the good old Lutheran catechism question, can you say it with me – “What does this mean?” Which is it? Am I to hate my father and mother, my wife and children, my brother and sister, hate even my own life – or love and cherish them?

The answer is one of those good old Lutheran answers, “yes – we are in fact to do both.” As commanded by God in the second table of the commandments and in His precious Word, we are to love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even our own life also. Our fathers and mothers; our husbands, wives and children; yes, even our brothers and sisters are gifts from God. And, of course, so is our own life a gift from God. These are blessings for our benefit -- fathers and mothers to raise and equip us for life in this world and to teach us about the God who loves us and sent His Son to die for us; husbands and wives for lifetime companions to provide intimacy for each other and to form a stable home and family life in which we can grow together in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; children as a heritage and reward from the Lord in whom we are to take pride and find joy, who can provide for us in our old age and to whom we are to pass on the one, true faith; brothers and sisters to share the chores and responsibilities of the home as well as to be playmates and confidants we can share our joys and sorrows with, as well as our faith in Christ.

As for our own lives, if God wants all men, that is all people, to be saved and loves us so much that He gave His one and only Son to die for us that we can live forever, certainly we should love that life He has given us.

So if all this is true, if we really are to love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even our own life also, why does Jesus tell us in today’s Gospel lesson, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple?”

The answer is found in the words that follow, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple....whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

The very people we are given as blessings in this world to love and cherish we must and in fact will leave behind if we are to enter into the kingdom of God. Yes, we must and will give up even our own lives to death.

When Jesus tells us in this Gospel to hate our own fathers and mothers, our own wives and children, our own brothers and sisters, even our own lives, He is telling us that as much as we are to love these, we are to love Him and the Father who sent Him even more. For if we are to love and honor that which He has created and given to us, certainly the One who created them and us deserves even greater love and honor. This is what God is commanding in the First Commandment. Would you please say it with me? You shall have no other Gods. What does this mean? We should fear, love and trust in God above all things.”

We may not be such obvious and foolish idolaters that we fashion golden calves and asherah polls like the Israelites and their neighbors in the OT. But we certainly do construct and entertain plenty of our own excuses and diversions to displace God and His Word—often in the name of fun with family and friends.

Hopefully, now you can see how both of these things are true, at the same time as we are to love all people, we are to hate them in the sense of loving them less than we love God so we do not allow them to take the place of God in our lives.

But that still leaves us with a great big problem, doesn’t it? We are way too good at hating when we are supposed to love and loving when we are to hate. At least the way our Lord uses those terms. You see when God talks about love and hate, he is not talking about how we feel about parents, siblings, spouses and children, whether we like them or not, but about our attitude toward and treatment of those people. Quite simply, hate is placing oneself before others and love is placing others before self. Please remember that well. When God speaks of hate, that means to place yourself before others; and when He speaks of love, that means you place others before yourself.

The very time when we are tempted to, and all too often really do hate, is precisely when we are supposed to love. Times like when our parents tell us it is time to do homework or chores that will cause us to miss a ball game or school dance. Times like when you come home from work, your head is pounding and all you want to do is relax and your husband asks you why supper isn’t ready or the laundry isn’t done. Times like when you had a tough time getting that C- in math and your brother and sister come home with straight A report cards again after hardly doing a lick of homework. Times when we shout with our actions, “you’re not the boss of me now!” Times when we act like football headed brats, disrespectful and even destructive of anyone that comes between us and a good time.

And then the very time we are supposed to hate is when we so often offer misguided love. When God calls us to listen and receive His gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation in the preached word and the sacrament at the appointed time, that is so often the time we choose to spend with the loved ones we spend so much of the rest of the time hating. When our loved ones choose to ignore their God and embrace what God has clearly called sin or false teaching, we often fail to correct them and even spare them the very consequences that would help them see their error. We call it love. But is it?

If we saw one of our children running out into the middle of Hwy. 56 out there, would it be loving to just watch and let him go so we wouldn’t spoil his freedom and the fun of running? If someone we know is separated from God and His Church because of their sin, and a lack of repentance and faith, is it really love to not speak God’s Law to them out of a mistaken desire to be nice and not offend them?

Even more importantly, we must look at ourselves and see that each of us has, at least at times, people and things that we place before God that we deem to be more important or more urgent than hearing His Word and communing with Him. Each of us stands condemned by our sin, our hating when we should love and loving when we should hate. So we must each of us be separated from our sin and its punishment. That is what death is–separation.

Thanks be to God He has accomplished that separation, that death for us. That is why He sent His only Son--to suffer the worst possible death and separation for us, the separation from the Father. That is the cross He bore to Calvary. That is what he suffered for us, real death and separation from the Father so that we do not have to carry that cross and never will be separated from His Father and ours.

Finally, this is the same Jesus who on the way to the torture, death and condemnation of the cross prayed to His Father, “saying, ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.’" (Luke 22:42 NKJ)

He bore that cross for us and gives us a cross we can bear, death to this world, even when it may cause us great personal pain and difficulty – a separation from sin’s curse even though it surrounds us and daily we fall to its temptation. For in our Baptism, God has buried us into His death and therefore also into His resurrection.  He has accomplished a great exchange on our behalf, taking our separation from God, drowning it in the waters of Baptism and instead giving us a death to this world that leads to a resurrection unto eternal life. A life we have even now as Christ has raised us with Him into the heavenly realms. [Ephesians 2:6]

Yes, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we carry a cross, a cross by which we truly die to the world and live for Christ. The cross we carry is that of Him crucified and by that very cross, He that was crucified, Jesus Christ our Lord, has lifted the curse of eternal separation from God and given us eternal life. The cross we carry is the eternal sign and seal He has placed upon us, both upon the + forehead and upon the + breast that marks you as His redeemed and guarantees you that you will live forever with Him.

Lord, grant that we may always look to that blessed cross you have placed upon us in Baptism and live...

In 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.



Send Rev. Kurt Hering an email.




Unique Visitors: