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Sermon for Maundy Thursday 03.28.24

Sermon for Maundy (Holy) Thursday 2024
Text: Psalm 41:9
Theme: MY CLOSE FRIEND
Old Testament: Exodus 12:1–14
Psalm 41 (in its entirety)
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 11:23–32
Gospel: John 13:1–30

(A) In the Name of the Father…Amen.
(B) Psalm 41:9 serves as our sermon text for this evening.
(C) Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus
Christ! Amen.
(D) Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
Lord Jesus, who came to Your own and they received You not, grant us Your
Spirit to glorify You in our hearts.

Enlighten our souls with this living knowledge that You are the power of
God and the wisdom of God, that we may never be offended in You, but may
hold Your righteousness in an unwavering faith, and may not be ashamed to
confess you before men.
Amen.
Introduction

(A) David prayed in Psalm 41, “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who
ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.”
(B) During the midweek services for Lent, two things have been emphasized:
(1) that the Psalms speak about Jesus (John 5:39) and
(2) that because the Psalms speak about Jesus, they therefore speak also
about you.
(A) In Baptism, you were “joined to the Lord” (1 Corinthians 6:17) and
(B) are now “become one” as the Scriptures say (Ephesians 5:31–32).
(C) We can therefore think of Psalm 41, in part, as a biographical sketch
about you.
(1) Psalm 41 tells both your story and mine as surely as it tells the
history of our Lord.
(2) But Psalm 41 was written by King David, which means the psalm also
gives us a sketch of David.
(I) “Even my close friend,” said David, “in whom I trusted, who ate my
bread, has lifted his heel against me.”
(A) David might have been talking about Absalom (cf. Psalm 3:1), his most
handsome and charming son.
(1) Absalom grew up on King David’s knee.
(2) Absalom ate his father’s bread at his father’s table.
(3) He enjoyed his father’s generous and reconciling love and received
every comfort of his father’s house.
(4) Absalom also harbored a temper and held a grudge that led him to
conspire against his own father and murder his own brother.
(5) Absalom tried to overthrow his father and occupy the throne of Israel
for himself.
(6) In the figure of speech expressed by Psalm 41, Absalom “lifted his heel
against” David.
(7) David was knocked down hard by the blow.
(B) Think of the various muscles in the human body.
(1) Hardly any physical blow can exert more impact than a raised heel.
(2) A closed fist can certainly do damage, especially when thrown by a
strong man with an experienced arm and calloused knuckles.
(3) A swung elbow can drop an opponent larger than you, but only if it hits
the right target.
(4) By comparison, it is very difficult for anyone to receive the uncoiled
blow of a raised heel and still remain on his feet.
(5) Even a petite woman’s raised heel can “kick like a mule,” as the saying
goes.
(6) The heel explodes out like a cannonball, involving nearly every muscle
in the leg.
(C) Absalom “lifted his heel” against David.
(1) Absalom laid low the one who had lifted him up and had given him every
good thing.
(II) Judas Iscariot did the same thing to Christ Jesus, our Lord.
(A) As it is written in Matthew 26:
Matthew 26:14–16 (NASB95)
14 Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And
they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.
16 From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.
(B) Judas did that terrible thing because he held malice toward Jesus:
(1) inexplicable malice toward Jesus, who had given Judas every good thing.
(2) When traveling together with the disciples, Jesus entrusted to Judas
all the finances of the entire group (John 13:29).
(3) When Jesus sent out His disciples and gave them His own divine power to:
Matthew 10:8 (NASB95)
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely
you received, freely give.”
(a) the gracious, ordaining hand of our Lord was gently laid also upon
Judas’ head.
(4) On the night Jesus was betrayed, as you heard in tonight’s Gospel,
Jesus knelt even before Judas and humbly washed his feet along with the
rest of the disciples.
(5) Jesus likewise served Judas the Holy Communion of Christ’s body and
blood, given and shed even for the sins of Judas (Matthew 26:20–28).
(6) Our Lord knew beforehand:
(a) He knew from the Scriptures of the Old Testament (Zechariah 11:13;
Psalm 69:25; 109:8; cf. Acts 1:20)
(b) who would betray Him.
(7) Jesus faithfully loved His betrayer, nonetheless.
(C) Judas fulfilled in the life of Christ what King David had earlier
experienced and written in Psalm 41:
Psalm 41:9 (NASB95)
Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his
heel against me.
(1) David likewise wrote in another psalm concerning Jesus:
Psalm 35:14 (NASB95)
I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning
(literally dressed in black) as one who sorrows for a mother.
(2) Yet again, David said in another psalm—again speaking words concerning
our Christ—
Psalm 55:12–14, 20 (NASB95)
12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is
it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide
myself from him.
13 But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend;
14 We who had sweet fellowship together Walked in the house of God in the
throng…
20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He
has violated his covenant.
(III) “Even my close friend in whom I trusted”:

(A) Those words are indeed about David, who suffered the betrayal of his
beloved son Absalom:
“He who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me”.
(B) Those words are likewise about Jesus, the true and messianic Son of
David, whom God had promised.
(C) Because those words are about Jesus, they are also about you; you are
the baptized of Christ and “one body” (Romans 12:4–5) with Him.
(D) Among the many emotions that betrayal can evoke, perhaps the strangest
is that of loneliness.
(1) Betrayal can make you feel abandoned and alone.
(2) Betrayal can focus your thoughts upon only that one, lost friend,
rather than all of the other friends who have remained faithful to you.
(3) David wrote Psalm 41 about himself, and he wrote it about our Christ,
in part, so that we would be able to draw comfort from the ancient fact
that we are not alone.
(4) We are in good company when we are betrayed by those whom we have made
our equal, our companion, our familiar friend (Psalm 55:12–13).
(E) “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted
his heel against me.”
(1) Many people can read those lonely words as that biographical sketch I
mentioned earlier.
(2) Life in this dreary world assures us that we shall each eventually get
to a point where we can see ourselves in this story.
(3) I know how my betrayers have made me desolate.
(4) Who has betrayed you?
(F) Think of the muscles in the human body.
(1) Our betrayers have the power to kick like a mule, bowl us over, and lay
us low.
(2) Both our Lord Jesus and our forefather David can help us with that
threat
(a) Absalom dealt his father, David, a harsh blow that laid him low, but
David survived; he rose to his feet by the power of God, and he sat down
again on the throne that had been given and promised to him by his Maker
and Redeemer.
(b) Judas Iscariot likewise dealt our Lord Jesus a mighty blow, laying Him
low in the depths of the grave.
(c) Jesus rose again from the dead.
(d) God:
Hebrews 2:9 (NASB95)
But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels,
namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned [Him] with glory
and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
(e) Jesus loved NOT His life, even unto death (cf. Revelation 12:11), but
loved those He came to save.
(f) Thus, Jesus could say to His Father in heaven, in the words of His
father David and in the closing words of Psalm 41,
Psalm 41:11–13 (NASB95)
11 By this I know that You are pleased with me, Because my enemy does not
shout in triumph over me.
12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, And You set me in Your
presence forever.
13 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, From everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
(G) Those words are also your words.
(1) David said those words.
(2) Jesus said those words.
(3) You have been given God’s Spirit that you might likewise say those
words:
Psalm 41:11 (NASB95)
By this I know that You are pleased with me, Because my enemy does not
shout in triumph over me.
Conclusion

(A) There is no need to pretend here.
(1) Those who have betrayed us have indeed hurt us, having raised their
heel against us.
(2) The pain and the shame and the loneliness can be undeniably great, but
those things shall remain only for a little while.
(3) The Lord your God shall vindicate you and raise you up and set you
above your “enemies all around” (Psalm 27:6), even those who have betrayed
you and raised their heel against you.
(4) The resurrection of our Lord shall inevitably make it so.
(5) To this, we can say with David, in the final words of Psalm 41, “Amen
and Amen” (verse 13).
(B) By the power of the Holy Spirit and with confidence in the resurrection
of our God, we add our “Amen” with certainty and without fear.
(1) We say it once because we mean it.
(2) We say it twice to intensify and emphasize our hope.
(3) This is in keeping with what we learned to say from the Small
Catechism:
(A) “Amen, Amen means ‘yes, yes, it shall be so’” (Conclusion to the Lord’s
Prayer).
(4) Amen.
(C) Let us pray:
Dear Father, thank You for Your infinite love and goodness toward us, Your
dear children.
Even when we are disciplined, we know You love us.
Keep us in Your Word, in faith and in prayer. Amen.
(D) The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
(E) In the Name of the Father…Amen.

Categories
Reaching Out

The Most Important Thing

The most important thing we can do in our lives and to spread the Gospel is to spend time with the Lord. If we don’t spend time with the Lord in His Word and prayer, where our minds become transformed, we will have nothing special to share with others. We will be like a dry well that has no living water to share with others.

Five Keys:

1) Have a special place and time, preferably in the morning, where we spend time with the Lord in His Word each day – our secret place of the Most High (Psalm 91:1).

2) Start with prayer, casting all our burdens upon Him and asking Him to join us in this special time. He is already knocking on our door; we just need to invite Him in (Revelation 3:20).

He knows us better than we know ourselves, He loves us more than we can imagine, and He invites us to join Him.

3) Be expectant – this is a divine appointment with the sovereign, living God of the universe, and we are entering into HIS PRESENCE. Don’t you think the sovereign, living God of the universe might have something special to impart to us, to give us comfort, guidance, peace, strength, and courage?

4) Take notes in a journal, writing out the flow of thoughts that come to us. Just write, and you can reflect on your notes later.

5) Share with others. The Lord will reveal insights to us that apply in our lives and the lives of those around us. When we share these with others, we bless them and become rivers of living water (John 7:38).

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know.” Jeremiah 3:3

Board of Evangelism

First Lutheran Church of Little Rock

Categories
Sermon

Sermon for 03.24.24 “A glorious death”

PALM SUNDAY
MARCH 24, 2024
Text: John 12:20–43

Theme: A glorious death

Other Lessons:
Zechariah 9:9–12
Psalm 118:19–29
Psalm 31:9–16
Philippians 2:5–11
Mark 14:1–15:47
Mark 15:1–47

(A) In the Name of the Father…Amen.
(B) The Gospel lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.
(C) Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
(D) Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
LSB 560:1-2 Drawn to the Cross, Which Thou Hast Blessed
1
Drawn to the cross, which Thou hast blessed
With healing gifts for souls distressed,
To find in Thee my life, my rest,
Christ crucified, I come.

2
Thou knowest all my griefs and fears,
Thy grace abused, my misspent years;
Yet now to Thee with contrite tears,
Christ crucified, I come. Amen.

Introduction

(A) No sooner had Jesus dismounted his donkey, no sooner had the parade of
Passover pilgrims begun to wind down, than some Greeks showed up.
(1) That they were Greeks isn’t particularly important; after all,
God-fearing folks from all over the world were converging on Jerusalem for
the Passover.
(2) What is notable about this group of Greeks is that they were eager for
an audience with the man of the hour.
John 12:21 (NASB95)
These then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to
ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
(B) They probably weren’t the only ones with that wish.
(1) Just days earlier, Jesus had performed his greatest, grandest miracle
up to this point:
(A) the raising of Lazarus.
(2) Everyone was talking about it.
(A) The air was electric with anticipation.
(B) Even in an era before there was “social media”, it was safe to say that
Jesus was “trending.”
(C) He had just entered the city amidst a parade of palm branches and
shouts of “Hosanna.”
(D) Those Greeks were probably just the first ones in a long lineup of
people who really, really wanted to see Jesus.
(C) But as for Jesus, He was past the point of press conferences and
interviews.
(1) Jesus was thinking, instead, about His death.
John 12:23 (NASB95)
And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to
be glorified.
(2) And as Jesus goes on to make clear when He says:
John 12:32 (NASB95)
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”
(D) Jesus’ Ultimate Glory Is His Crucifixion, by Which He Draws Us to
Himself.
(E) As if there were still any questions about what lay ahead for Jesus, He
employs the use of a common metaphor to make it even clearer:
John 12:24 (NASB95)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth
and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
(1) Jesus is that grain of wheat.
(2) Try to keep it and preserve it, and you get nothing.
(3) But bury it in the earth, and it rises up to bear much fruit.
(4) So it would be for Jesus.
(5) He would go the way of death and the grave, just like a seed is cast
into the ground.
(6) Jesus will lose His life only to take it up again three days later.
(7) And in His dying and rising, He will bear much fruit; He will earn the
gift of your salvation.
(F) This is what we expect to hear at the beginning of Holy Week—Jesus
talking about dying and rising. It’s why Jesus came. It’s why we remember
this week as holy.
(1) We must follow Jesus by following in His dying and rising.
(A) But then:
1) the unexpected happens.
2) Jesus turns the Palm Sunday tables.
(B) If you thought you could glide through Holy Week safely in your comfy
spot like a spectator in the stands, soaking up the Passion, pomp, and
pageantry, think again.
1) It turns out that dying and rising has as much to do with you as with
Jesus.
John 12:25 (NASB95)
“He who loves his life [literally his soul] loses it, and he who hates his
life[that is, his soul], in this world will keep it to life eternal.
(C) And here comes the phrase that pays:
John 12:26 (NASB95)
“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant
will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
1) That’s you Jesus is referring to.
2) You must follow Him.
3) How it goes for Jesus, so it shall go for you.
4) Expect to get treated like Jesus got treated:
a) trials,
b) temptations,
c) Turmoil
d) Oh it gets worse!
e) Eventually, death and resurrection.
f) Follow Jesus, and that’s what you get.
(D) We don’t much care for this way of speaking.
1) But at least nobody can accuse Jesus of false advertising.
2) Jesus never claimed that following Him would be easy.
3) Yet that’s the popular myth to which lots of Christians subconsciously
subscribe.
4) Popular TV preachers and televangelists often perpetuate this myth.
5) Many of them have been known to say that following Jesus means you can
expect nothing but the best, here and now, today.
a) Follow Jesus, and watch life’s pressures and disappointments just melt
away.
b) Follow Jesus, and you won’t have depression or sickness or worry.
6) In reality, what Jesus says is this:
a) “Follow me, and give up all control.
b) Follow me to the cross and grave.
c) Follow me and fall into the earth like a grain of wheat and die.”
(E) Everybody dies, of course, so what is Jesus talking about?
1) What does he mean?
a) Well, the New Testament tells us that Baptism is a kind of death
i) that in Baptism we are buried with Jesus into death (Romans 6:4)
ii) that in Baptism we died and our life is now hidden with Christ in God
(Colossians 3:3).
iii) Amen to all that.
b) If you were thinking of Baptism before I mentioned it, give yourself a
pat on the back.
c) But remember, the dying and rising of Baptism isn’t a one-time event.
d) It’s a daily occurrence.
2) Baptism is a way of life:
a) dying to sin,
b) rising to new life with Jesus.
c) At one point, Paul wrote:
1 Corinthians 15:31 (NASB95)
I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our
Lord, I die daily.
d) What he meant was that, as Luther says in the catechism, every day, our
old Adam with all his filth and sin needs to be drowned and die.
(F) What needs to die in you?
1) What part of you needs to be put to death?
2) In what area of life does your old Adam reign supreme?
3) There is a very selfish way of thinking about Holy Week that goes
something like this:
a) Jesus died and rose for me so that I don’t have to change a thing.
b) I can live as complacently and comfortably as I want, without having to
do the hard work of changing my sinful life.
4) But in fact is not the opposite the truth?
a) Jesus died and rose for me so that everything is changed in me
i) so that I can do battle daily against the sin in me
ii) against everything that prevents me from following Jesus.
iii) That’s what Luther says baptizing with water indicates.
b) Therefore, Holy Week is not about living complacently:
i) about watching Jesus’ agonizing prayers,
ii) His arrest,
iii) His trials,
iv) and His crucifixion all unfold with a spectator’s detachment.
c) Holy Week is about the urgency of putting to death every part of you
that loves this life more than Jesus and the eternal life he gives.
(G) And so, again, I ask: What—in you—needs to die?

1) What needs to be buried?
2) Is it your need to be in control and in charge at all times?
3) Or is it your utter apathy, indifference, and laziness?
4) Maybe it’s that you draw your identity from what other people think
about you, that you get your self-worth from the good works you do instead
of regarding yourself above all else as a baptized child of God.
5) Maybe you have bought into the mindset of:
a) “I have been a member of this church for so many years.”
b) “I own this church; therefore it is mine.”
c) “Since it is my church, I can do with it as I see fit.”
d) “If I do not like what the pastor has to say, or what is sung, or how
people treat me, I can take it or leave it.
e) It makes no difference to me.”
6) Or maybe you’ve let yourself be defined by your defeats and you have
resigned yourself to play the victim.
(H) What part of you needs to be put to death?
1) What are your addictions, and do you love them or hate them, feed them
or starve them?
2) Do you lack generosity because you are holding your money and
possessions far too tightly?
3) Do you charge into every challenging situation behind a shield of anger
and rage?
4) It could be anything or everything—
a) something different for each of us.
5) But whatever it is, it is evidence.
a) It is evidence of how much we love our life in this world.
b) Whatever sin has enslaved you, dear baptized brothers and sisters in
Christ, recognize the threat.
c) Put it to death.
d) Bury it with Jesus.
(2) But in that glorious death of Jesus, He lifts us up from death to life.
(A) It’s not easy.
1) It’s painful and difficult.
2) But with Jesus, that is, with faith in Jesus, all things are possible,
including the hard work of repentance.
3) In the world of sports there’s an old adage:
a) “No guts, no glory.”
b) We are often the ones lacking in the guts department, but you have a
Savior who is all guts and all glory.
c) Jesus saw His impending death as His hour of greatest glory.
d) Being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to
the point of death, even death on a cross.
e) For all the sin in you that needs to die, Jesus died.
f) And it was his moment of glory.
(B) This is certainly a strange combination:
1) death and glory.
2) You and I would never even think of using those two words in the same
sentence.
3) What seems glorious to us in this world usually involves:
a) Applause
b) accolades
c) Attention
d) For us, glory is all about basking in the spotlight, the fame and the
fortune.
e) It means winning, not losing
f) and by no means dying.
g) But the glory of Jesus is centered on the cross.
h) The glory of Jesus doesn’t shine; it bleeds.
i) It bleeds for you and for your salvation.
(C) Jesus’ greatest glory is what?
1) To do the will of His Father:
a) To accomplish what He took on human flesh to do:
i) to lay down His life as a sin-sacrifice for the world
ii) to give up His back to those who turned their backs on Him.
iii) to raise His face to spit and shame, disgrace and mockery, being
struck and beaten.
iv) We sometimes talk about the glory of Christmas or the glory of Easter.
v) And there the glory is so easy to spot.

2) But Jesus’ glory shines brightest in the darkness of death:
a) the death of Jesus for you.
b) It was truly a glorious death.
(D) Jesus said:
John 12:32 (NASB95)
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”
1) By his death on the cross, Jesus lifts you up:
a) lifts you up out of your sin and shame and draws you to Himself.
2) Jesus is really undoing what Adam did.
a) When Adam sinned, he took you and me down with him.
b) Adam draws us down to the grave.
c) Adam took everybody from life to death.
d) Adam took everybody from heaven down to hell.
3) But in the glorious death of Jesus, Jesus lifts you up from death to
life.
a) In that glorious death, God and sinners are reconciled.
b) Your sin is forgiven.
c) Men and women are justified before God on account of Christ’s glorious
death on the cross.
Romans 6:5 (NASB95)
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death,
certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
4) Die with Jesus:
a) and rise with Jesus.
b) Jesus is drawing you to Himself, and He will not stop until you behold
Him face to face.

Conclusion

(A) You have been crucified with Christ.
(1) His glorious death is your glorious death.
(2) You no longer live, but Christ lives in you.
(3) In Jesus, you are that grain of wheat—a solitary seed—dead to yourself
but alive to God in Christ.
(4) You’ve been buried in the fertile soil of Jesus’ death so that you,
too, might rise and bear much fruit.
(5) May this Holy Week be for you absolutely glorious! Amen.
(B) Let us pray:
LSB 560:3-4 Drawn to the Cross, Which Thou Hast Blessed
[Lord] Wash me and take away each stain;
Let nothing of my sin remain.
For cleansing, though it be through pain,
Christ crucified, I come.

And then for work to do for Thee,
Which shall so sweet a service be
That angels well might envy me,
Christ crucified, I come. Amen.
Text: Public domain
(C) The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
(D) In the Name of the Father…Amen.

Categories
Sermon

Sermon for 03.17.24 “What a priest!”

LENT 5, MARCH 17, 2024
Text: Hebrews 5:1–10
Theme: What a priest!
Old Testament: Jeremiah 31:31–34
Psalm 119:9–16;
Gospel: Mark 10:(32–34) 35–45

(A) In the Name of the Father…Amen.
(B) The Epistle lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.
(C) Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
(D) Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
Gracious and Everlasting God, as we gather on this fifth Sunday of Lent,
our hearts are turned towards the promise of a new covenant, one that You
have written not on tablets of stone, but on the very fabric of our hearts.
In the words of the prophet Jeremiah, we hear Your pledge to be our God and
to welcome us as Your people, knowing You intimately and fully, from the
least to the greatest among us.
Lord, we marvel at Your mercy, at Your willingness to forgive our iniquity
and remember our sin no more.
In this time of reflection and anticipation, we confess that too often we
have strayed from Your ways, forgetting Your laws and ignoring Your voice
that whispers in the depths of our souls.
Yet, Your love remains steadfast, calling us back to You with cords of
kindness and bands of love.
As we move closer to the mystery of the cross and the victory of the
resurrection, renew in us the covenant You have promised.
Write Your law within us, engrave it on our hearts that we might truly be
Your people, reflecting Your justice, love, and mercy in a world so
desperate for signs of hope.
Help us, O God, to understand the depth of Your love and the breadth of
Your forgiveness.
Teach us to forgive as we have been forgiven, to love as we have been
loved, and to extend the grace we have so freely received.
May the knowledge of Your covenant inspire us to live lives marked by
faithfulness, to seek justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with You.
Introduction

(A) We all have our favorite ways of referring to Jesus.
(1) We often describe the Son of Man by using titles that are both
comfortable and comforting:
(A) Jesus is our:
1) Savior
2) Redeemer
3) Lord
4) God
5) Brother
6) Friend
7) Great Physician
8) Good Shepherd.
(B) Each of these titles highlights a different dimension of our Savior’s
service and sacrifice for sinners.
(B) But it’s far less frequent for us to describe Jesus as our “Priest,”
and that’s unfortunate.
(1) In today’s Epistle, the author of Hebrews sets us straight concerning
the priestly service of our Savior.
(2) He highlights how Jesus is our perfect High Priest.
(3) In fact, he mines the idea of priest for all it’s worth and, in the
process, delivers all the comfort and confidence that comes to us from the
Christ.
(4) Today we ponder the priesthood of Jesus beneath this theme:
(A) What a Priest We Have in Jesus!
(I) Our Priest, Jesus, was appointed to serve us.
(A) The author of Hebrews helpfully provides some history concerning the
high priesthood.
(1) Priestly service was part and parcel of the Lord’s design for the life
of his Old Testament people.
(2) He specifically selected the sons of Aaron to provide this priestly
service for His people.
A) They served on behalf of their fellow Israelites, regularly offering
gifts and sacrifices to God
1) both for the sins of the people and for their own sin.
B) God himself appointed them for priestly service.
(B) Because the priesthood was reserved for those who were chosen by God,
the author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus, too, was appointed to priestly
service.
(1) Jesus’ priestly appointment was made public in a big way at His
Baptism.
(2) There Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and set apart to serve as
our great High Priest.
(3) There God declared:
Matthew 3:17 (NASB95)
and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in
whom I am well-pleased.”
(II) Our Priest, Jesus, sympathizes with us.
(A) God appointed Jesus as our great High Priest so that He can serve us
and help us.
(1) Jesus is immensely qualified to do this because he is truly one of us:
A) bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh,
B) a human man among men.
(2) As one of us, Jesus knows.
A) He knows our weaknesses and frailties.
B) In the passage immediately preceding today’s text, the author of Hebrews
spells out the comfort we have in Jesus as our High Priest:
Hebrews 4:15 (NASB95)
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,
but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
C) Jesus willingly accepted our human weaknesses to suffer:
1) temptation,
2) hunger,
3) fatigue,
4) sadness,
5) loneliness,
6) rejection,
7) Persecution
8) and yes, even death, death on a cross!
(B) Because Jesus knows our every weakness, He deals gently with those
under His care who are ignorant, arrogant, and wayward.
(1) That’s all of us, by the way:
A) ignorant and wayward.
(2) Unlike Jesus, we are not without sin.
A) Temptations tangle us up.
B) Sin clings closely to us along every step of the way.
C) We have a terrible habit of straying from our Lord’s plans and purposes.
D) We deviate from His desires, always seeking to serve ourselves rather
than those around us.
(C) We can see both our sin and the amazing gentleness of Jesus in today’s
Holy Gospel.
(1) Imagine it:
A) Nearing Jerusalem, Jesus had just predicted His death and resurrection.
B) This makes three times that Jesus told the disciples He would suffer and
die.
C) But rather than pray and prepare for the Lord’s Passion as they should
have, James and John hatched their own plan.
D) They were looking for ways to get ahead, for that is the human thing to
do.
E) They came to Jesus:
1) seeking to sit in glory,
2) longing to get a leg up on the competition,
3) and climbing all over their fellow disciples in a mad dash to the top of
the heap, no matter who they had to step on in the process.
F) When the ten heard about this power play, they were indignant, indeed
very angry and very ready to retaliate against the brazen audacity of James
and John.
G) As Jesus made his way to Calvary, a civil war was about to erupt among
His disciples.
H) It was more than enough reason to ignite the anger and the wrath of the
Rabbi from Nazareth.
(D) But the Rabbi’s wrath was not kindled.
(1) As a priest, Jesus dealt gently with His wayward disciples.
(2) He neither condemned nor condoned their sin.
(3) He did not excuse their conduct, but He set them straight with
measured, priestly sympathy.
(4) He corrected them lovingly and patiently:
Mark 10:43 (NASB95)
“But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among
you shall be your servant;
(5) He also reminded them of his priestly purpose:
Mark 10:45 (NASB95)
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to
give His life a ransom for many.”
(E) Because Jesus is our great High Priest, we have this comfort for
ourselves.
(1) He deals gently with us.
(2) He knows:
A) our sins.
B) our ignorance.
C) our arrogance.
D) our weaknesses.
E) our struggles
F) our sufferings.
(3) And Jesus knows these things about us not merely as facts, knowledge,
or data;
A) He knows it all as if it was happening to Him.
B) He feels for us and suffers with us precisely because He is a human
being—like us in every way yet without sin.
C) Not only does our great High Priest know and feel our weakness, but He
alone can do something about it.
D) He alone will offer his life as a ransom for us all.
E) Jesus loves and takes us as we are.
F) He also loves us too much to let us stay that way!
G) What a priest we have in Jesus!
(III) Our Priest, Jesus, learned obedience through suffering.
(A) One of the biggest surprises concerning our Savior’s priestly service
is that it was a learning process for Him.
(1) In fact, we could say that Jesus learned to be a priest the hard way:
A) through the school of suffering.
(2) Verse 8 of our text says it this way:
Hebrews 5:8 (NASB95)
Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He
suffered.
(B) As our priest, Jesus was a learner like us.
(1) Our Savior was a student in the school of suffering:
A) a divine disciple who learned obedience alongside His human brothers and
sisters.
B) Although he’s God and could always know everything, Jesus never used His
omniscience when it would just serve himself.
C) He didn’t cut corners.
D) He didn’t cheat.
E) He didn’t jump to the front of the line.
F) Rather, Jesus reverently and prayerfully learned obedience through what
He suffered.
(C) When was the last time you tried to learn something new and difficult?
(1) Perhaps you downloaded an app to help you learn a new language.
(2) Perhaps you watched hours of YouTube videos to learn for yourself how
to do a major home improvement project.
(3) Perhaps you downloaded a complicated recipe that you might sauté your
way to success with a new culinary creation in the kitchen.
(4) Whatever you’ve attempted to learn, how did it go for you?
(5) Were you ultimately successful?
(6) Or did you bite off more than you could chew?
(7) Perhaps what you actually learned was that difficult work is sometimes
best left to the experts.
(D) Jesus learned to be your priest in the most difficult way imaginable.
(1) He learned through what He suffered.
A) Tears would be His teacher.
B) Pain would be His tutor.
C) Neither nails nor thorns would deter Him from learning to be our perfect
priest.
D) No pain, no gain.
E) Where others would falter and fail, Jesus pressed on.
F) Verse 7 of today’s text alludes to the Garden of Gethsemane.
G) There Jesus prayed as our perfect priest.
H) There he:
Hebrews 5:7 (NASB95)
In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with
loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was
heard because of His piety.
(2) Those perfect, priestly prayers continued even as Jesus suffered for
our salvation on the cross:
Luke 23:34 (NASB95)
But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they
are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
Matthew 27:46 (NASB95)
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI,
LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”
Luke 23:46 (NASB95)
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I
COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last.
(E) Those perfect prayers were an expression of our Lord’s perfect
obedience to his Father.
(1) Through the school of suffering, Jesus:
Hebrews 5:9 (NASB95)
And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the
source of eternal salvation,
(2) Only this reverent priest, Jesus, has secured our salvation.
A) What He suffered was on account of our sin.
B) The pain He endured was a penalty meant for us.
C) The death He died was the necessary ransom to redeem a world of sinful,
wayward rebels.
D) Because of His reverence:
1) His perfect, prayerful obedience
2) His Father raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in
glory, where Jesus continues to intercede for us as our great High Priest.
3) Our salvation is found in no one else.
4) What a priest we have in Jesus!
(IV) Our Priest, Jesus, equips us for priestly service.
(A) There’s one final surprise concerning the priestly work of Jesus.
(1) He invites us to share in His priestly work.
(2) We are also priests:
A) priests of the perfect priest, called to present our bodies:
Romans 12:1 (NASB95)
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your
bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your
spiritual service of worship.
(3) As God’s baptized and holy people, we have priestly prayers to offer:
A) priestly service to render to those around us.
(4) As priests of the perfect Priest, we are constant students in the
school of suffering, following in the footsteps of our great High Priest.
A) When we seek to be served rather than serve, we sin.
B) When our prayers for others falter because we are thinking about our own
needs rather than theirs, we sin.
(5) But our Lord’s perfect, priestly service counts for us.
A) His obedience counts for us.
B) He invites us to learn obedience as we follow Him.
C) He promises to perfect our lives through His perfect forgiveness and
love.
D) He is, indeed, the source of eternal salvation.

Conclusion

(A) I asked you earlier about something new and/or difficult you learned,
whether by choice or not.
(1) For me, it was learning how to swim during PE class while in 10th
grade.
(2) It took all semester for me to learn how to swim and after that I was
not comfortable with it.
(3) There were many times where I was tempted to give up, rather have a
failing grade on my record instead of learning how to swim.
(4) As we go through life, we have spent years learning physical skills or
in intellectual pursuits.
(5) Practice, discipline, and, yes, failure are all a part of the learning
process.
(6) Among the most difficult things for Christians to learn is the ability
to:
A) forgive those who sin against us,
B) to love our enemies,
C) and to obey those in authority over us.
(B) As verse 8 of our text for today says:
Hebrews 5:8 (NASB95)
Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He
suffered.
(1) There is no human being who doesn’t need to be schooled in the art of
obedience.
(2) None of us is born obedient.
(3) Little children don’t need to be taught disobedience; that,
unfortunately, comes naturally.
(4) Jesus didn’t have that problem, of course, but even He willingly
submitted to learning obedience.
(5) We spend our whole lifetime learning obedience, as Jesus did.
(6) So what Jesus learned He now teaches us from His own experience.
(7) As Jesus listened to His heavenly Father, so He helps us listen to and
trust our Father in heaven.
(8) As we listen to His Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus
carries us along in a lifetime of learning to become obedient sons and
daughters of God. Amen.
(C) Let us pray:
As we worship You, O Lord this morning:
open our ears to hear Your word,
open our eyes to see Your presence among us,
and open our hearts to receive the new thing You are doing.
Transform us by the renewing of our minds, that we may discern Your
will—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
We pray all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,
who has sealed the new covenant in His blood,
offering us the promise of life eternal.
What a priest we have in Jesus! Amen.
(D) The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
(E) In the Name of the Father…Amen.

Categories
Newsletter

Rummage Sale

The Annual LWML Rummage Sale is back May 10th and 11th! The sale will be held at First Lutheran Church in the Luther Fellowship Hall on:

Friday, May 10th 8am – 2pm

Saturday, May 11th 9am – 1pm

Mark you calendars for some serious bargain shopping!

Categories
Fellowship

Annual German Potluck

Join us Sunday, April 7th, to celebrate our German church heritage with a potluck immediately following the 10:30am worship service.

Peruse a selection of German cookbooks and recipes or make a personal favorite. Please sign-up if you would like to bring a German dish!

Our church celebrates our German heritage twice a year at this Annual German Potluck and on Reformation Sunday with an Oktoberfest meal in October.

Categories
Sermon

Sermon for 02.25.24 “A profound reality”

02.25.24 Lent 2
Text: Romans 5:1–11
Theme: A profound reality
Other Lessons: Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16; Psalm 22:23–31; Mark 8:27–38

(A) In the Name of the Father…Amen.
(B) The Epistle lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.
(C) Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
(D) Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
Heavenly Father, Lord of all creation, we come before You on this second
Sunday in Lent, our hearts joined in worship and adoration.
In the spirit of the Psalmist, we proclaim Your name to our brothers and
sisters; in the midst of the congregation, we praise You.
Lord, You have not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
You have not hidden Your face from us, but when we cried to You for help,
You heard.
Your faithfulness extends to every corner of the earth, calling all who
fear You to worship and stand in awe.
From the greatest to the least, from the ends of the earth to the heart of
our community, Your righteousness is proclaimed to a people yet unborn,
declaring that You have done it.
You, O Lord, who bring kings to their knees and feed the hungry, who
remember the poor and the suffering, who give us a reason to sing even in
our darkest hour, guide us to live in a way that Your justice and love are
known by all. Amen.
Introduction

(A) Romans 5:6 (NASB95)
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the
ungodly.
(B) That’s a magnificent statement, isn’t it!
(1) That is what the Lenten season is all about.
(2) In fact, it’s the essence of our Christian faith.
(C) But do we truly understand the Passion and death of Christ?
(1) Has the message of Christ dying for us been repeated so often that it’s
become a formula we hear and just nod absentmindedly—or even worse, nod
off?
(2) Do we no longer hear the wonder of Christ’s work that led him to suffer
and die an shameful death in our stead?
(3) Can we . . . or do we even comprehend the atonement?
(D) The devil, the world, and our sinful nature are all behind the sin of
indifference toward Christ’s Passion, suffering, dying, and rising.

(1) But God’s Word is more powerful than those enemies, and in His Word
today, God through Paul rouses us with a most rousing declaration of what
that familiar yet magnificent truth means for us.
(E) Paul shows us that Perhaps The More than We Grasp the idea, “Christ
Died for the Ungodly” The More We Realize What A Profound Reality of that
statement.
(1) It’s profound because we don’t even want to understand how ungodly we
were.
(A) That’s true, first of all, because we probably forget how much we
needed Jesus to do this for us.
(B) In today’s Gospel, Jesus clearly taught his disciples that he must
suffer, be rejected by the Jewish leaders, be killed, and after three days
rise again.
(1) Peter’s response?
(2) He wanted nothing to do with such a mission and took Jesus aside to
rebuke him.
(3) The very idea of Jesus dying for our sins!
(4) Why would this be necessary?
(C) Indeed, there’s a wholesale dismissing of sin in our culture. Already
in the late 1970s, famed American psychiatrist Karl Menninger wrote a book
called Whatever Became of Sin?
(1) A very good question.
(2) Maybe in the contemporary mind school shootings still make the list,
but abortion, homosexuality, divorce, sex change—certainly not.
(D) Yet the divinely-inspired apostle Paul writes in our text:
Romans 5:6 (NASB95)
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the
ungodly.
(1) Ungodly!
(2) Without God!
(3) Paul goes even further when he says in verse 10:
Romans 5:10 (NASB95)
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death
of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His
life.
(4) “Enemies” of God!
(5) Opposed to God!
(6) We would kill God, wipe Him off our slate, get Him off our backs, if we
could.
(E) And don’t overlook the word “we.”

(1) We were still weak, ungodly, sinners, enemies.
(2) Maybe we’re right on all those major social issues:
a) abortion,
b) homosexuality,
c) transgenderism.
(3) Still, surely more than we want to grasp, sin lurks in each of our
hearts.
(4) We were conceived as ungodly, and that wickedness continues in our
sinful nature.
(5) Look inside.
(6) You don’t even need to look too deep.
(7) This thought or that thought that you don’t tell your wife.
(8) Resentment toward your husband you only think about after the light’s
turned out.
(9) The laugh in your heart that Mom and Dad really don’t get it.
(10) The jealousy of friends.
(11) The secret pact with yourself that God doesn’t know you’re giving Him
less than your best when you write your check for the offering or leave
your Bible unopened.
(12) God does know all of it.
(13) By nature, that was you.
(14) And you have to face it, because the sinful nature lingers still.
(F) Yet Christ died for you, Ungodly.
(2) It’s profound because the death of the Christ for us is far beyond
anything we can comprehend.
(A) Paul writes:
Romans 5:7–8 (NASB95)
7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good
man someone would dare even to die.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us.
(1) You hear about:
a) a fireman or police officer dying in the line of duty,
b) a soldier sacrificing himself for his buddies,
c) a mom for her child.
(2) But we weren’t the adorable child, the loyal brother in arms.
(3) All we are able to bring to the table is weakness, ungodliness, and
sinfulness.
(4) Sin is a horribly messy business, and understanding that is crucial to
seeing how profound is God’s dealing with us.
(B) And consider this:
(1) It was the Christ who died for us, the ungodly.
(2) The sinless Son of God.
(3) The one who is all-glorious needs nothing from anyone.
(4) Didn’t need you!
(5) But nevertheless made us perfect because He wanted to be with us and us
with him.
(6) Who loved us from eternity.
(7) And then He’s the one we turn around from and ignore, insult, try to
hide from.
(8) What kind of reaction would you get from your boss, your friends, even
from those people who love you if you did that to them?
(C) When Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ was released in 2004,
there was much criticism of its depiction of Christ’s suffering.
(1) Some said it was too graphic.
(2) Others said that it was emotionally draining rather than spiritually
uplifting.
(3) Some discouraged parents from allowing young children to view it.
(4) Nonetheless, the film was impactful on many levels.
(5) For example, film critic Roger Ebert said it was “the most violent film
I have ever seen.”
(6) But as a former altar boy, he was also struck by the film, writing,
“What Gibson has provided for me, for the first time in my life, is a
visceral [you feel it in your guts] idea of what the Passion consisted of”
(Roger Ebert, “The Passion of the Christ,” RogertEbert.com, February 24,
2004, www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-passion-of-the-christ-2004 [accessed
August 29, 2023]).
(D) That “feel it in your guts” feeling expresses Christ’s substitutionary
death for sinners.
(1) He carried all of your sin and the sin of all humankind in His body at
the cross.
(2) He is your substitute:
a) the innocent for the guilty.
b) There He suffered in anguish and died in your place to satisfy God’s
wrath for your sins.
c) And that, together with His resurrection from the dead, not only insures
victory over sin, Satan, and death, but forgiveness, life, and salvation
also are now available through faith in him.
d) Ponder that!
(3) It’s profound because it creates a new relationship that we don’t fully
appreciate.
(A) Christ’s dying was all to reestablish that broken relationship with the
Lord God Almighty.
(1) Because God does not want to condemn us, He calls and enables us to
repent.
(2) The Holy Spirit leads us to have sorrow for our rebellion against the
Lord of heaven and earth and to believe “that sin has been forgiven and
grace has been obtained through Christ” (AC XII 3–6, Tappert, German).
(3) Now, then, Paul writes:
Romans 5:1-2,11 (NASB95)
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through
our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this
grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus
Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
(B) Paul describes God’s grace in Christ with two terms:
(1) justification and reconciliation.
(C) Paul’s words:
Romans 5:10 (NASB95)
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of
His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
(D) These words make Christ’s death on the cross very personal.
(1) It justifies us.
(2) Then justification results in peace with God, along with the peace of
God and hope.
(3) Peace signifies a new relationship, as does reconciliation.
(4) In much the same way that a citizen would be granted entrance into the
presence of a monarch, the grace of God is now accessible to us through
Christ and His work.
(E) Justification and reconciliation are the means by which God brings us
into fellowship with Himself, with Jesus, and with the Spirit.
(1) And so we experience the answer that negates Peter’s rebuke.
a) Christ gives us the reality of grace and peace.
b) We experience His forgiveness.
c) We desire to do better than to keep on sinning.
d) And when we repent, God forgives us of our sinful nature and all our
actual sins.
e) He forgives us for Jesus’ sake.
f) Christ is present in our lives by his Word and Sacrament. He is present
in His Word in all its forms.
g) He is present in His Word in the Holy Scriptures:
1) read,
2) spoken,
3) and expounded,
4) here among us.
h) He is present in His Word connected to the water of Holy Baptism:
1) which brings us into the kingdom of God,
2) creates faith,
3) and, as for Abraham and Sarah in the Old Testament Reading, gives us a
divine calling.
i) He is present in His Word of Holy Absolution:
1) which comforts us
2) and releases us from despair.
j) He is present in His Word:
1) which make the elements of bread and wine the Sacrament of the Holy
Supper,
2) which nourishes us with his true body and his true blood given and shed
for us.
k) The crucified and risen Jesus is with us in:
1) every joy and sorrow,
2) every gain and loss,
3) every healing and illness,
4) every triumph and temptation!
(F) Do we always fully appreciate this new relationship established when
Christ died for the ungodly?
(4) It’s profound because it enables us to rejoice in something we do
understand all too well: sufferings.
(A) We don’t even need to explore our interior thoughts to find our
sufferings.
(1) The world dumps those thoughts on us quite often.
a) Aging,
b) illness,
c) stress to make ends meet.
d) Our values assaulted every day in the media and in the workplace.
e) Dad that’s not here anymore.
f) Kids that left in a huff.
g) A lonely apartment.
h) A dead-end job.
i) No job.
(2) Yet Paul writes:
Romans 5:3 (NASB95)
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that
tribulation brings about perseverance;
(3) Really?
(4) Even believers who know Christ died for the ungodly struggle with such
a message, especially when the struggles of daily life become overwhelming.
(5) Is this all a bunch of hype or is it real hope?
(B) “Hope” is the key word.
Romans 5:3–5 (NASB95)
3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that
tribulation brings about perseverance;
4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out
within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
(C) Hope flows out of our dependence on God’s grace.
(1) And this hope sustains us in difficult times because its object is the
glory of God, regardless of our circumstances.
(2) And it is real hope, not hype.
(3) It is certain because Christ died for the ungodly.
(4) He loves us that much.
(5) And since His death has:
a) reconciled us to God,
b) reestablished that relationship of peace with God,
c) it is therefore certain that He will be with us even in these most
difficult circumstances.
d) This, then, is how and why we can rejoice in our sufferings!

Conclusion

(A) Today’s Epistle directs our attention to the sufferings and death of
Christ as the supreme cost for our salvation.
Romans 5:6–8 (NASB95)
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the
ungodly.
7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good
man someone would dare even to die.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us.
(B) Perhaps many who saw The Passion of the Christ were stunned by its
graphic content.
(1) Yet this is the staggering price Jesus paid to redeem us.
(C) Our Introit this morning reminded us that:
Psalm 115:11 (NASB95)
11 You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their
shield.
(D) And again in today’s Psalm:
Psalm 22:24 (NASB95)
For [God] has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He
heard.
(E) Why?
(1) Because Christ died for us, the ungodly, reconciling us to God.
(2) A profound reality indeed!
(F) Perhaps people are stunned by the staggering price Jesus paid to redeem
us.
(1) The justifying and reconciling Passion, death, and resurrection of
Jesus enable us to hope in the glory of God even in the time of suffering.
(2) In his same Epistle to the Romans, Paul powerfully and perfectly
exclaims:
Romans 8:18 (NASB95)
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy
to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
(3) To be ours for eternity because Christ died for you, for me, the
ungodly. Amen.
(G) Let us pray:
As we journey through this season of reflection and repentance, remind us
of Your enduring mercy and steadfast love.
Help us to trust in Your promises, to proclaim Your deliverance and
salvation, not keeping it to ourselves but sharing it with the world You
came to save.
We pray for those among us who feel forsaken, who cry out in distress.
May they feel Your presence near, may they see Your light in their
darkness.
Use us, Lord, to be bearers of Your comfort and peace, to share the hope
that comes from knowing You.
Strengthen us in this worship service to glorify You with all our hearts,
souls, and minds.
May our praises echo the faithfulness of those who have gone before us, and
may our lives reflect Your glory to a future generation.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and reigns
with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
(H) The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
(I) In the Name of the Father…Amen.

Categories
Sermon

Sermon for 02.21.24

Sermon for Midweek of Lent 1
Theme: Sustained in Sickness
Text: Psalm 41:3
(A) In the Name of the Father…Amen.

(B) Psalm 41:3 serves as our sermon text for this evening, which reads as
follows:
Psalm 41:3 (NASB95)
3 The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You restore
him to health.
This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

(C) Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus
Christ! Amen.

(D) Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:

Lord Jesus, who came to Your own and they received You not, grant us Your
Spirit to glorify You in our hearts.

Enlighten our souls with this living knowledge that You are the power of
God and the wisdom of God, that we may never be offended in You, but may
hold Your righteousness in an unwavering faith, and may not be ashamed to
confess you before men.

Amen.

Introduction

1. King David said in the opening words of Psalm 41,
Blessed is the one who considers the poor!
In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him;
the Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
he is called blessed in the land;
You do not give him up to the will of his enemies.
2. Those words were the stuff of last week’s Ash Wednesday preaching.
3. In that sermon, I emphasized two things for you:
a. First, all of God’s Psalms—including Psalm 41—speak about our Lord and
His work of our salvation (Luke 24:44).
i. That is why God included the Psalms in His Scriptures:
they “bear witness,” said Jesus, “about Me” (John 5:39).
b. Second, because the Psalms are about Jesus, they are also about you.
i. You are the baptized of Christ.
ii. When you were baptized:
1) you entered into Christ’s holy body (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 1:30)
just as surely as He entered yours (John 14:20; Galatians 2:20).
iii. You and your Christ are now joined together by God.
1) “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew
19:6).
4. Tonight, as we move forward in Psalm 41, bear this thought in mind:
a. that the Psalms speak about you because they speak first about Jesus.
b. Your baptismal connection to Jesus can help you with these words from
Psalm 41:
“The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness You restore him to
full health.”
(I) First and foremost, Jesus is the one whom God the Father sustained on a
sickbed.
(A) To be sure, the Gospel writers never recorded anything about Jesus
suffering cancer, feeling the effects of lung disease, catching a cold, or
even striking His “foot against a stone” (Matthew 4:6).
(1) As far as the Gospels are concerned, our Lord was a picture of health,
right up to the moment of His arrest, always healing and never needing to
be healed.
(2) The human body of Jesus:
(a) was unblemished (1 Peter 1:19)
(b) and uncorrupted by disease because Jesus had no sin of His own (Hebrews
4:15).
(3) Disease came into the world as a result of sin, and Jesus is personally
sinless.
(4) Nonetheless, just because Jesus had no sin of His own, we should NOT
therefore think that He carried no sin at all in His body.
(B) He is the Lamb of God, who took upon Himself:
“the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
(C) Sinless Jesus was made to be the sinner for our sake.
(1) God the Father laid onto His perfect Son every corrupt thing about us
(Isaiah 53:6).
(2) Jesus held Himself personally responsible for our guilt;
(3) He made Himself to be the guilty one so that we could be:
“blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish” (Philippians
2:15).
(4) That is why the Scriptures say God:
“made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the
righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
(D) Because Jesus took upon Himself all of our sin, He also took upon
Himself all the bodily effects of our sin, including our diseases and
ailments.
(1) You might have a bad hip; you can find comfort in knowing that Jesus
bore the pain and hobbled for you in His Passion.
(2) You might have bad lungs; knowing that Jesus suffocated on the cross
can help you realize that you are not alone in your breathing problems.
(3) Isaiah declared, and Peter echoed, a promise from God concerning Jesus
that shall yet be fulfilled in our bodies:
“with His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).
(4) That is why David could pray in another place—and why we also can pray,
even in pain:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives
all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from
the pit” (Psalm 103:2–4).
(5) David said in Psalm 41:
“The Lord sustains him on His sickbed; in his illness You restore him to
full health.”
(a) Those words describe God the heavenly Father’s personal attentiveness
toward Jesus, who is God the fully embodied Son.
(E) “The Lord sustains him on His sickbed.”
(1) A German artist named Matthias Grünewald painted a picture of our
Lord’s crucified body not merely pierced with the nails and the spear but
also pockmarked and discolored with a disease called the plague.
(2) Grünewald wanted us to think of our Lord’s cross as a sickbed, where
Jesus suffered for us and for our salvation, bearing both our sin and its
bodily consequences.
(F) David’s word, “sustains,” could also be translated as “upholds,” which
is a synonym.
(1) God said through His prophet Isaiah:
“Behold My Servant, whom I uphold, My chosen, in whom My soul delights”
(Isaiah 42:1).
(a) Some ancient artists depicted God the Father present at the crucifixion
of our Lord.
(b) In those depictions, the heavenly Father would sometimes be positioned
above and behind our Lord’s cross, arms outstretched toward Jesus, holding
His Son’s sacrificial body in place against the beam.
(c) Thus, God the Father upheld and sustained the incarnate Son “on His
sickbed,” as it were.
(A) “In his illness,” said David, “You restore him to full health.”
(1) Stated another way, God:
“raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope
are in God” (1 Peter 1:21).
(a) In the resurrection of our Lord, God the Father restored full health to
His Son, setting Him free from the weight of our sin and the burden of our
disease.
(b) The resurrection of our Lord’s flesh promises resurrection also to our
flesh because He made Himself one with us.
(2) That is why Job confidently prayed:
“After my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold” (Job 19:26–27).
(II) Because Psalm 41 is about Jesus, the same psalm is also about YOU, the
baptized of Christ.
(A) David said, for the purpose of your abiding faith and eternal hope:
“The Lord sustains him or her”—that is, the Lord sustains each of His
chosen ones—“on each person’s sickbed; in each Christian’s illness You, O
Lord restore him or her to full health” (verse 3, paraphrase).
(1) David’s “sustain,” or “uphold,” is a beautiful word!
(2) Jesus of Nazareth is the hand and Word of the Lord of hosts.
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly, the right hand of the Lord
exalts!” (Psalm 118:15–16).
“Your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63:8).
(3) Your Christ knows:
“how to sustain with a word him who is weary” (Isaiah 50:4).
Conclusion
(A) Are you, at this moment, a picture of health?
(1) If you are, you did NOT reach that temporary state through your own
effort or strength.
“The God of Israel—He is the one who gives power and strength to His
people” (Psalm 68:35).
(B) Is anyone among you sick?
(1) You did NOT get that way because of some accidental oversight in the
heavenly realms or because the Lord your God has forgotten you.
(2) If you are sick, it has been allowed by the attentive grace and
overflowing mercy of your God, who:
(a) “gives power to the faint” and
(b) “increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29).
(3) Even when we suffer in our bodies and struggle in our minds, Jesus is:
“sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24).
(C) Has your dear Christian loved one died in the faith and departed this
life?
(1) His illness was NOT his death, and her disease did NOT claim her life.
“The child is NOT dead,” said the Lord, “but sleeping” (Mark 5:39).
(D) Why is this all true?
(1) Because David’s words in Psalm 41 are faithful and true:
“The Lord sustains YOU on YOUR sickbed; in YOUR illness He restores YOU to
full health” (Isaiah 41:3 paraphrased). Amen.
(E) Let us pray:
Dear Father, thank You for Your infinite love and goodness toward us, Your
dear children.
Even when we are disciplined, we know You love us.
Keep us in Your Word, in faith and in prayer. Amen.
(F) The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
(G) In the Name of the Father…Amen.

Categories
Sermon

Sermon for 02.18.24 “Get behind me, Satan! I’m baptized!”

02.18.24 LENT 1
Text: Mark 1:9–15
Theme: “Get behind me, Satan! I’m baptized!”
Other Lessons: Genesis 22:1–18; Psalm 25:1–10; James 1:12–18

(A) In the Name of the Father…Amen.
(B) The Gospel lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.
(C) Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
(D) Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It LSB594:1-2

Introduction

(A) When you experience temptation, say, “Get behind me, Satan! I’m
baptized!”
(1) This saying is often attributed to Martin Luther.
(2) They reflect his teaching on Baptism and resisting the devil.
(3) Even more importantly, they align with God’s Word.
(4) Peter wrote in his first epistle:
1 Peter 5:8–9 (NASB95)
8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls
around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of
suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
(5) We daily face the evil one in a very real battle.
(6) Saying, “Get behind me, Satan! I’m baptized!” fits with Peter’s call to
resist him and stand firm in the faith.
(B) Peter, in fact, would have known this phrase, because he heard it from
Jesus himself during Jesus’ earthly ministry.
(1) It went like this:
(A) Peter had just given the good confession that Jesus is the Christ, the
Son of God.
(B) But when Jesus said this means he will be rejected by the religious
leaders, be killed, and rise after three days, this is what Peter did:
Matthew 16:22 (NASB95)
Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord!
This shall never happen to You.”
(C) Then came Jesus’ stinging rebuke to Peter, saying:
Mark 8:33 (NASB95)
But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said,
“Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s
interests, but man’s.”
(D) Yes, Peter knew these words, but they came from Jesus’ own lips to the
devil tempting him.
(C) The devil also tempts us to set our mind on the things of man and not
God.
(1) He tempts us:
(A) to sin,
(B) to despair,
(C) to doubt God’s love and mercy.
(2) It’s a battle we face all the time, every day, from a hidden enemy.
(3) It’s why the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray, “Lead us not into
temptation.”
(D) “Get Behind Me, Satan! I’m Baptized!” is not a mere mantra or a
rabbit’s foot we hold on for good luck.
(1) It is a confession of faith in the very work of Jesus, who defeated the
devil.
(2) So how can we be so confident in saying this? Here’s how:
(I) Immediately after his Baptism, the Spirit drove Jesus into the
wilderness to be tempted by Satan.
(A) Mark, in his account of Jesus’ temptation, closely connects Jesus’
Baptism with his temptation.
(1) He writes that after his Baptism, the Spirit immediately hurled Jesus
into the wilderness, where Satan tempted him for forty days.
(2) The word “immediately” connects these two events.
(B) Here’s what happened:
(1) Jesus’ earthly ministry began as he was baptized by John in the Jordan
River.
a) It was a Baptism for sinners.
b) That is important, as we’ll see.
c) When Jesus came out of the water, an amazing cosmic event took place.
d) Mark writes:
Mark 1:10-11 (NASB95)
Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the
Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;
11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I
am well-pleased.”
(2) The Father says this because Jesus has set in motion his messianic work
to save sinners.
a) He is baptized with the sinners’ Baptism.
b) He has come to be joined to our sinful condition.
c) This pleased the Father.
d) The Holy Spirit is also intimately involved as he now descends upon
Jesus, anointing him for his messianic mission.
(3) Jesus’ Baptism, therefore, was a huge inaugural event.
a) The Baptism of our Lord is a very significant part of God’s plan of
salvation.
b) Jesus insisted:
1) on being baptized with sinners,
2) and the Father commends him for that
3) and the Holy Spirit anoints him for it.
c) The fulfillment of the messianic covenant, made long ago by Jeremiah and
other prophets, is now being fulfilled!
(4) “Immediately” after his Baptism, Mark writes, the Spirit literally
“hurls” or “drives” Jesus into the wilderness.
a) The words read like pushing a boxer into the ring to take on his
adversary!
b) Matthew and Luke also make this connection between Jesus’ Baptism and
temptation.
c) But Mark, by omitting the details of these temptations, really
emphasizes the connection.
d) Today’s Gospel helps us see this by putting both events in the same
reading.
(C) If Jesus’ Baptism:
(1) was the announcement that the Messiah had come to fulfill the covenant
God made to save sinners,
(2) that Jesus is who he says he is,
(3) then Jesus being hurled into the desert was a declaration of war
against Satan and the forces of evil.
(4) Yes, God had come to take on and defeat the devil!
(D) Once a declaration of war is issued, it is going to happen.
(1) You’re committed!
(2) In the United States, it takes a two-thirds vote of Congress to declare
war against an enemy.
(3) In the battle against sin and evil, there’s unanimous consent of the
Trinity:
a) Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the Baptism of Jesus.
b) The evil enemy will be attacked.
c) The Holy Spirit immediately drives Jesus into the wilderness to take on
the devil.
(II) Jesus’ Baptism and temptation reached fulfillment on the cross in
triumph over Satan.
(A) Now this was a very strange battle plan.
(1) Mark’s account simply says that out in the wild Satan was tempting
Jesus for forty days.
(2) Imagine what a spiritually immature Peter might have said.
(3) Perhaps something like:
a) “Come on, God.
b) Knock this guy out!
c) Don’t put up with this.
d) He’s no match for you!”
(B) Yet Jesus suffers Satan’s temptations for forty days.
(1) Why did he do this?
(2) It’s all part of God’s plan to save sinners.
(3) Jesus must suffer temptation with and for us.
(4) He does this for forty days.
(5) He’s the promised Messiah who took the place of Israel, which fell into
sin and unbelief.
(6) The Old Testament records that the people of Israel:
a) yielded to temptation,
b) refused to believe that the Lord really could, really would bring them
into the Promised Land.
c) They had to wander forty years in the wilderness as a result for their
disobedience.
(7) But Jesus never yielded.
a) He never fell to temptation.
b) He trusted that God would provide for him.
c) The writer of the book of Hebrews says it this way:
Hebrews 4:15 (NASB95)
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,
but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
(C) After the forty days, however, the devil didn’t stop.
(1) Luke writes:
Luke 4:13 (NASB95)
When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an
opportune time.
(2) He would hide his attacks.
(3) He would come at Jesus as he did through Peter during his earthly
ministry.
(4) As he did at the cross, when hecklers taunted:
Mark 15:30–31 (NASB95)
30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”
31 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were
mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save
Himself.”
(5) All were still Satan’s attacks, tempting Jesus to abandon his mission
to save sinful humankind.
(D) The final attack by the devil on Jesus was at the cross, where the war
had its crucial battle.
(1) There, Jesus’ Baptism would reach its fulfillment.
Mark 10:39 (NASB95)
They said to Him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I
drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with
which I am baptized.
(2) When Jesus says:
Mark 15:37 (NASB95)
37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry [it is finished], and breathed His last
(cf. Jn 19:30)
a) the battle is over;
b) the war is won.

(3) He descends into hell, as Paul writes:
Colossians 2:15 (NASB95)
When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display
of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
a) After the triumphal procession in hell, Jesus rose from the dead on the
third day.
b) His resurrection announced to the world God’s victory over sin, death,
and, yes, the devil!
(III) As Satan tempts you, let the Spirit drive you to your Baptism into
Christ, who defeated him, so that you confidently say, “Get behind me,
Satan! I’m baptized.”
(A) “Get behind me, Satan! I’m baptized!” is not a mere mantra.

(1) It’s a confession of faith that Jesus defeated the devil.
(2) A Christian can confidently say this because Baptism gives the promise
of that victory to you.
(3) The Baptism of Jesus resulted in the defeat of Satan.
(4) Your Baptism into Jesus’ death and resurrection promises that same for
you (cf Rom 6:3–4).
(B) This is why telling Satan to get lost, that you are baptized, is a good
strategy. It’s why singing a hymn like “God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It”
(“I am baptized into Christ!”) is a good practice.
(1) Stanza three of that hymn declares:
Satan, hear this proclamation:
I am baptized into Christ!
Drop your ugly accusation,
I am not so soon enticed.
Now that to the font I’ve traveled,
All your might has come unraveled,
And, against your tyranny,
God, my Lord, unites with me!” (LSB594:3)
(C) In his book Grace upon Grace: Spirituality for Today, John Kleinig
describes the devil as a “hidden enemy” and the spiritual warfare the
Christian endures as “the hidden battle.”
(1) He compares the attack of Satan on the conscience of a believer to the
sneak attacks endured by United States soldiers in the war in Vietnam,
where the enemy often hid from sight in tunnels underground.
(2) He writes [quote]:
a) They were often confused and frustrated because there was no clear line
of battle.
b) The soldiers never knew who their enemies were and where they were
located.
c) Enemies would appear as if from nowhere, emerging from secret tunnels
and disappearing in them once they lost their cover.
d) This meant that the U.S. soldiers could rarely take the offensive;
mostly they discovered the enemy only when they came under attack.
e) That’s how it is with us.
f) There are no clear lines of battle that join us with our allies and
separate us from our enemy.
g) The enemy is hidden from us.
h) The attack comes from inside us, our conscience. (John Kleinig, Grace
upon Grace [St. Louis: Concordia, 2008], 224) [end quote]
(D) But Jesus took on this enemy.
(1) His presence drew the devil out of hiding.
(2) Jesus encountered the devil directly in the wilderness and successfully
endured his temptations, remaining holy and without sin.
(3) Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for the sins of the world disarmed the
enemy, enabling the Christian who trusts in the saving death and
resurrection of Christ to have a clean conscience, protected from the sneak
attacks of the enemy.
Conclusion

(A) You need such a strategy because the devil, though defeated, is still
on the prowl.

(1) When an enemy is defeated in war, the leaders of the defeated country
are to meet with the victor to acknowledge defeat and ask for terms of
peace.
(2) In John 8:44 (NASB95), we hear this of the devil:
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your
father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the
truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks
from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
(3) The devil acts as though he is not defeated, even though God has
declared it to be so.
(4) For now, God allows this.
(5) So Satan still goes about prowling and seeking whom he may devour with
his temptations, accusations, and lies.
(B) But when he tempts you to doubt that Jesus completely paid for all of
your sin, say, “Get behind me, Satan! I’m baptized!”
(C) When the devil tempts you to despair, thinking life is hopeless, when
he tempts you to indulge your sinful nature, say, “Get behind me, Satan!
I’m baptized!”
(D) When you fall and he accuses you of guilt before God, say, “Get behind
me, Satan! I’m baptized!”
(E) Therefore, when you face any of these attacks, you can confidently say,
“Get behind me, Satan! I’m baptized!”
(F) Now, though, a time is coming when you’ll no longer need such a
strategy.
(1) Jesus has promised to rend the heavens again and come down a second
time.
(2) When that happens, the devil will no longer be on the prowl.
(3) The devil will be cast out from the earth and:
Revelation 20:14 (NASB95)
Then [he and] death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is
the second death, the lake of fire.
(G) Until that time, you and I would do well, in the face of Satan’s
temptations, to look to the promise of Jesus’ victory in our Baptism and
say, “Get behind me, Satan! I am baptized!” Amen.
(H) Let us pray:
God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It LSB594:4-5
(I) The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
(J) In the Name of the Father…Amen.

Categories
Sermon

Sermon for Ash Wednesday 02.14.24 “Mutual consideration”

Sermon for Ash Wednesday 2024

Text: Psalm 41 (in its entirety)
Old Testament: Joel 2:12–19
Epistle: 2 Corinthians 5:20b–6:10
Gospel: Matthew 6:1–6, 16–21
Theme: Mutual Consideration
Psalm 41:1–2

(A) In the Name of the Father…Amen.

(B) Psalm 41:1-2 serves as our sermon text for this evening.

(C) Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus
Christ! Amen.

(D) Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:

Lord Jesus, who came to Your own and they received You not, grant us Your
Spirit to glorify You in our hearts.

Enlighten our souls with this living knowledge that You are the power of
God and the wisdom of God, that we may never be offended in You, but may
hold Your righteousness in an unwavering faith, and may not be ashamed to
confess you before men.

Amen.

Introduction

(A) Psalm 41 will be the focus of our attention during this season of Lent.
(B) David said in the opening words of that psalm:
Psalm 41:1–2 (NASB95)
1 How blessed is he who considers the helpless; The LORD will deliver him
in a day of trouble.
2 The LORD will protect him and keep him alive, And he shall be called
blessed upon the earth; And do not give him over to the desire of his
enemies.
(C) Those words from David are like a man who painted a portrait of his
friend, and then the two switched places, and his friend painted a portrait
of him.
(D) Here is what is meant by that:

(1) “Blessed is the one who considers the poor!”
(A) David’s word, “considers,” can also be translated as “pays attention”
or “focuses upon” or “thinks about intently.”
(1) When you paint someone’s portrait, you must first look intently upon
that person, studying his or her features very closely.
(2) When David said, “Blessed is the one who considers,” he was talking
about someone who gives careful, attentive thought to something.
(3) David also spoke in the singular, not in the plural:
a) “Blessed is the ONE who considers the poor [ONE]”;
b) “Blessed is the INDIVIDUAL who considers the poor INDIVIDUAL”;
c) “Blessed is the PERSON who considers the poor PERSON.”
(B) Those singulars are important.
(1) Someone could argue that David was generalizing or making a sweeping
statement that applies to everyone.
(2) However, David could have easily said,
a) “Blessed is everyone who considers anyone who is poor.”
b) But David did NOT say that.
c) David wrote in the singular on purpose.
d) He wanted us to think in singular on purpose.
e) “Blessed is the ONE who considers the poor [ONE].”
f) Those words boil the entire world down to only two people.
(C) Who are those two people?

(1) You are one of them.
(2) Who is the other? Jesus.
a) That is the entire point of tonight’s sermon.
b) You and Jesus are like a person who painted a portrait of a friend and
then switched places so the friend could paint a portrait of the person.
(D) Jesus is the poor man you shall be eternally blessed to consider, focus
upon, and always bear in mind.
(1) That is why the Book of Hebrews talks about:
Hebrews 12:2 (NASB95)
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the
joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down
at the right hand of the throne of God.
(E) You also are the poor person whom Christ Jesus, our Lord, carefully
considered, bore in mind, acted on behalf of, and was declared blessed for
it.
(1) As Jesus said to John in the Book of Revelation:
Revelation 2:9 (NASB95)
‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the
blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue
of Satan.
(2) I know all this sounds a bit strange that you and Jesus are both the
poor person, and that both of you are the person who shall be blessed for
considering the poor. Here is why that strange thing is true:
(A) In one way or another, all of God’s psalms—including Psalm 41—speak
about our Lord and His work of salvation on our behalf
Luke 24:44 (NASB95)
Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was
still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of
Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
(1) That is why God included the Psalms in His Scriptures:
John 5:39 (NASB95)
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal
life; it is these that testify about Me.
(B) Because the Psalms are about Jesus, they are also about you:
(1) You are, after all, the baptized of Christ.
(2) When you were baptized, you were joined into Christ’s holy body (Romans
12:5; 1 Corinthians 1:30) just as surely as He joined yours (John 14:20;
Galatians 2:20).
(3) You and Christ are now joined together as one flesh (Ephesians
5:31–32).
Matthew 19:6 (NASB95)
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined
together, let no man separate.”
(C) Here’s what happened at your Baptism:
(1) Your Lord’s perfection became yours, your sins became His (1 Peter
2:24).
(2) His strength became yours, your weakness became His (2 Corinthians
12:9).
(3) His life became yours, your death became His (Romans 6:4).
(4) Truly a blessed exchange!
(5) The words of the Scriptures that speak about you became applicable to
Jesus, and the words that speak about Jesus became applicable to you.
(6) Because you are:
2 Peter 1:4 (NASB95)
4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises,
so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having
escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
(7) Therefore every Scripture passage about Jesus is also about you.
(8) Your inseparable, eternal, baptismal unity with Christ is why Jesus is
the poor man whom you shall be blessed to consider AND why you are the poor
person whom Jesus likewise considered.
(9) Psalm 41 speaks of mutual consideration: “Blessed is the one who
considers the poor!”
a) Those words are like a person who painted a portrait of a friend, then
the two switched places, and the friend painted a portrait of the person.
b) You and Jesus are those friends.
(3) Why then did Jesus give Himself up?:
Mark 8:31 (NASB95)
31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things
and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be
killed, and after three days rise again.
(A) Jesus did so because He always “considers the poor.”

(B) It is written elsewhere in Scripture:
Psalm 9:12 (NASB95)
For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the
afflicted.
Psalm 34:15 (NASB95)
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to
their cry.

Psalm 34:6 (NASB95)
This poor (that is, afflicted) man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved
him out of all his troubles.
(1) All these passages describe our Lord’s consideration toward you, His
“poor” one.
(C) What key words do the Scriptures use to describe the nature of our
Lord’s consideration toward you?

(1) They use such words as:
a) pity,
b) compassion,
c) mercy,
d) Grace
Acts 15:11 (NASB95)
“But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in
the same way as they also are.”
Jude 21 (NASB95)
keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our
Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
Micah 7:19 (NASB95)
He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under
foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.
Mark 1:41 (NASB95)
Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and
said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
(D) So Jesus is the blessed man who considers the poor one.
(1) In Psalm 41, David prophesied the great blessing and reward that Jesus
received precisely because He “considers the poor” one and:
Isaiah 53:12 (NASB95)
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide
the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was
numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And
interceded for the transgressors.
Psalm 41:2 (HCSB)
The LORD will keep him and preserve him; he will be blessed in the land.
You will not give him over to the desire of his enemies.
(E) Those are the words of resurrection:
John 6:68 (NASB95)
Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of
eternal life.
(F) Because Jesus considered our poverty:
(1) By paying attention to us,
(2) By focusing upon us,
(3) And by thinking intently about our needs and then acting on them
(4) Therefore because Jesus considered our poverty, God:
1 Peter 1:21 (NASB95)
who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave
Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
(G) God the Father so completely and profoundly raised Jesus from the dead
that David could look from afar, in the prophetic distance of history, and
say:
Psalm 41:2 (NASB95)
The LORD will protect him and keep him alive, And he shall be called
blessed upon the earth; And do not give him over to the desire of his
enemies.
(H) The resurrection of our Lord also indicates that the heavenly Father
did NOT give Jesus up:
“to the desire of his enemies.”
(1) Through His death and resurrection, rather, Jesus gained eternal
victory over every enemy.
(2) Thus, Jesus is indeed blessed—and is called blessed in the land of
eternal life—precisely because He “considers the poor.”
(4) Now switch places with Jesus and paint a portrait of your friend Jesus,
as it were:
(A) Jesus is the poor man whom you shall be eternally blessed to consider,
focus upon, and always bear in mind.
2 Corinthians 8:9 (NASB95)
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich,
yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might
become rich.
Matthew 8:20 (NASB95)
Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have
nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Luke 2:7 (NASB95)
And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and
laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Matthew 27:59–60 (NASB95)
59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and
he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.
Philippians 2:6–7 (NASB95)
6 [Jesus], who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard
equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in
the likeness of men.
(A) “Blessed is the one who considers the poor!”
(1) What key words do the Scriptures use to describe the nature of your
consideration—that is, your faithful attention—toward Jesus?
(2) How about such words as faith, hope, and trust?
Psalm 20:7 (NASB95)
Some TRUST in chariots and some in horses, But we will TRUST in the name of
the LORD, our God.
Romans 5:5 (NASB95)
and HOPE does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out
within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Galatians 2:20 (NASB95)
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but
Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by
FAITH in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Conclusion

(A) So you will be counted among the blessed when you consider the poverty
of your Lord Jesus, just as surely as Jesus Himself was blessed because He
considered your poverty.
(1) That is the promise of God, spoken through David in Psalm 41:
(A) Blessed are you who consider the poverty of your Christ, whose poverty
has made you rich in every way.
(B) How is it that you shall be blessed? David explained it this way:
Psalm 41:1–2 (GW)
1 Blessed is the one who has concern for helpless people. The LORD will
rescue him in times of trouble.
2 The LORD will protect him and keep him alive. He will be blessed in the
land. Do not place him at the mercy of his enemies.
(C) In the resurrection of all flesh on the Last Day, the Lord your God
shall make it so, and more. Amen.
(D) Let us pray:
Dear Father, thank You for Your infinite love and goodness toward us, Your
dear children.
Even when we are disciplined, we know You love us.
Keep us in Your Word, in faith and in prayer. Amen.
(E) The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
(F) In the Name of the Father…Amen.