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Mercy and mission

Luke 7:11-17

Pastor David Ernst

16th Sunday after Trinity
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Sep 19, 2021 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This story is peculiar to Lucas. The village of Nain was in Galilee, about the same distance from Nazareth and Mount Tabor to the south. Its name, Valley of Beauty, gives an idea of ​​the surroundings, as they were also described by the historians of the early church. It is mentioned only here in the Bible.

For the first time in his Gospel, Luke calls Jesus "The Lord" because Jesus is Lord of life and death.

There are two other recorded cases of Jesus reviving the dead, the daughter of Jairus, Luke 8:54 and in John 11:43, Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary of Bethany. In all three cases, Jesus called them by their names and they heard his voice. The prophets Elijah (I Kings 17:23) and Elisha (II Kings 4:36) in the Old Testament revived the dead, but not by their own word or power. Peter (Acts 9:41) and Paul (Acts 20: 10-12) also revived the dead, but not by their own word or power. It is worth noting that almost all of the recorded cases of raising the dead were done for women.

The mother of this dead man was a widow and he was her only child. The Greek word, monogenes, is the same term translated "only begotten son" in John 1:14.

People also said, "A great prophet has arisen among us." They were probably thinking of Elijah and Elisha. But they didn't call Jesus the Messiah. Because miracles do not produce faith in Christ.

As Creator of heaven and earth, God made natural laws, yet his power surpasses the order of creation. In both the Old and New Testaments, the pattern we see is supernatural manifestations of divine power signifying God's intervention in human history and a new revelation of divine will. The miracles that Jesus Christ performed in his public ministry served as signs to confirm that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament and also to validate his authority to forgive sins. And when Jesus gave the apostles the office of keys, that is, the office of retaining and forgiving sins in his name, he allowed them the same power to heal the sick, cast out demons, and more.

All the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. So, they are over. Joel's prophecy was fulfilled in the time of the apostles. That is why we must be careful of those sects today that claim that they possess the extraordinary spiritual gifts that the early church possessed. The Holy Spirit has the same power today as in the first century. Today the Spirit can answer prayer with a miracle of healing. If the church needs a special manifestation of its power, the Spirit can do that.

But, the same Spirit assures us that there is no need for new revelation and signs to validate a supposed revelation. The Holy Scriptures contain everything we need to know for salvation, everything we need to know about the last days and the life to come.

Furthermore, the extraordinary manifestations of the Holy Spirit are not part of the work of sanctification. As Saint Paul says, everyone receives the same Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit in our lives are faith, hope and love. Baptism with water in the name of the triune God is the baptism in the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ as well. There is no second or third baptism to receive special gifts.

What do recorded miracles do for us today? They strengthen our faith when it becomes weak. They remind us that God has visited man. They remind us that our Lord is a compassionate man. They tell us that Jesus cares and seeks out the helpless and helpless.

Christ defeated not only temporal death, but also eternal death. He called the widow's son from death to life by his Word. He still calls sinners from spiritual death to eternal life. He does this by his Word in baptism. And just by his Word, Jesus will raise all the dead on the day of judgment. On the last day, he will gather all those whom death has separated. Then there will be no more death, no more pain, no more crying, no more pain, Revelation 21: 4. That is the hope of the believers.

The miracles that we have experienced in our hearts and in our lives since our conversion are a guarantee to us that God will be able to carry out all of his plans and intentions regarding our salvation and sanctification.

Let us pray with Saint Paul in our epistle (Ephesians 3: 13-21):

And to Him who is able to do all things much more abundantly than we ask, or understand, according to the power that operates in us, to Him be glory in the church in Christ Jesus, for all ages, for ever and ever . Amen."

Our prayer of thanksgiving rises to the throne of God in Christ Jesus, our Redeemer and Mediator, forever and ever. The peace that passes all understanding be with you. Amen.

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