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.



(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
(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
(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
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) His strength became yours, your weakness became His (2 Corinthians
(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
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
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
(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.


(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.