Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sermon Feb. 17, 2016 Lent Service of Prayer and Preaching

Title: Confession and belief are God’s gifts to you!
Text: Romans 10:8b-13

9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer attempts to reconcile the seemingly contradictory beliefs of God's sovereignty and man's free will:

"An ocean liner leaves New York bound for Liverpool. Its destination has been determined by proper authorities. Nothing can change it. This is at least a faint picture of sovereignty.

"On board the liner are scores of passengers. These are not in chains, neither are their activities determined for them by decree. They are completely free to move about as they will. They eat, sleep, play, lounge about on the deck, read, talk, altogether as they please; but all the while the great liner is carrying them steadily onward toward a predetermined port.

"Both freedom and sovereignty are present here, and they do not contradict. So it is, I believe, with man's freedom and the sovereignty of God. The mighty liner of God's sovereign design keeps its steady course over the sea of history."

Confession and belief are God’s gifts to you!

As we think about freedom most of you know what it is. Many of you here tonight and quite a few in our church fought for the freedom that we in the United States today enjoy. Most, I believe, would say that freedom isn’t free but came at a great cost. Yet, for many, in regards to salvation and our coming to faith, believe that the cost of Christ’s death didn’t procure it but that our decision does.

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim;

Paul Asks this question to those who will read his letter and it is also applied to you and me as well.

“Faith and confession are here mentioned as the two requisites for salvation. So near is the redemption of Jesus to every person in the world, in the Word of the Gospel-message, that it is necessary only to believe with the heart and to confess with the mouth in order to become a partaker of all its blessings. If any person believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth that Jesus is the Lord and that God has raised Him from the dead, then he has the faith which will give him salvation.”

Kretzmann NT Vol. II Pg 55
Confession and belief are God’s gifts to you!

For you and me we must ask ourselves this question: Is Jesus the savior of the word or did he just make a path that we must choose?

Is Christ’s work sufficient?

Martin Luther in his book, The Bondage of the will, speaks of man’s free will and his ability to choose where he says:
—"It would be ridiculous to say to a man standing in a place where two ways met, [You see] two roads, go by which [the road you choose], when one only way was open."— (99 of 283) [12/12/2002 11:41:13 PM

The path to faith is closed except through the working of the Holy Spirit. As the Spirit works through the Gospel faith emerges in those apart from Christ … and they believe. To paraphrase Luther, the road that had been close has now been open by God’s Spirit and by the gift of faith in Christ’s work you now believe and are directed down the way to everlasting life that God has ordained from the foundation of the world.


St. Augustine had this to say:

God's mercy ... goes before the unwilling to make him willing; it follows the willing to make his will effectual.

Augustine of Hippo, Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love.

Why some and not others? We may ask. It is through our own sinful eyes that we at times determine who is saved and who is lost not knowing for sure.


Recently, I was asked to do a funeral for a man I didn’t know. I talked with his wife and she was looking for a Lutheran pastor because he had been baptized and raised in a Missouri Synod church until he went into the service. He served in WWII and Korea and for the remainder of his life looked to those who knew him to be not a religious man. He was Baptized and raised in the faith and to you and me he may have looked to have departed from it. But, the promise of the Lord is that:

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

It is certainly within the realm of possibility that the Lord by his Spirit, as this man looked at the certainty of his death repented, asked for forgiveness and was saved. It is the blessed hope and sufficient working of our loving God by his Spirit that I proclaimed at his funeral the means of grace … word and sacrament, that at his baptism Richard was marked as one redeemed by Christ the crucified.

Earlier in Romans 9 Paul made this gift clear:

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

Confession and belief are God’s gifts to you!

God who in mercy has called you will now bring about the means to your belief.

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Eph. 2:8

God’s gift of grace in Christ is brought about by His gift of faith in this same Jesus so that you may believe. God is both the cause and the means by which belief is secured. So when you confess with the mouth and believe in the heart … God has brought about your conversion and has secured your salvation by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Confession and belief are God’s gifts to you!

Christ is the one who conquered sin, death and Devil for you. He took all the Devil could give and though tempted was without sin. This brings peace to you and me as we think about his sinless life and atoning death, given for the forgiveness of sins for the whole world.

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit


Sermon Feb 13-14, 2016 First Sunday in Lent

Title: Christ was tempted and tested and you are forgiven!
Text: Luke 4:1-13

13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

John Piper says that sin [name your poison] “gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be more happy if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.”

Quoted in Putting Your Past Behind You, E. Lutzer, Here’s Life, 1990 p. 54

Temptation lulls you and me and sin results and we all fall victim and give in at times to it. But thankfully Christ Jesus didn’t give in and as a result we have that blessed Amazing Grace of life eternal in his name.

Christ was tempted and tested and you are forgiven!

4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.

Sin and temptation we all know it too well. Jesus knew temptation yet was without sin. You might think well He’s God, so He had His divine God-ness on his side. He’s all-powerful, all-knowing, and omnipresent. But, it wasn’t the God nature of the God/man that was being tempted. It was the human nature of the God/man that was put to the test.

The truth is that at the incarnation God and man became one in Jesus Christ. He is fully God and fully man. Not part God and part man or God and man mixed together into this Jesus.
4 … And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. (Luke 4:1-2)

When we speak of Jesus we need to speak of His humanity in real terms. We need to speak of things that are part of His human nature. Things like time, temptation, and hunger for example … all things we can all relate to.

About 40 days ago we celebrated the Epiphany of our Lord … his being made known. Over these past 40 days I've been tempted many times as have you with, unfortunately, sin being the result. I've done and said things that I shouldn't and not done things that I should. Like you, I fall short daily. Thank God, I eat … and I eat well, because I've never experienced true hunger, like the type of hunger that Jesus must have felt after 40 days being tempted in the wilderness. This was no little stomach growl, this was hunger that you and I can’t even imagine. Think of not eating since Epiphany.

3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” (Luke 4:3-4)


Pastor F.B. Meyer once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know: First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin. And second, we do not know the power of the forces that [worked] on him or her. We also do not know what we would have done in the same circumstances.

Stephen Brown, Christianity Today, April 5, 1993, p. 17.

The truth is though, that sin is not just thought, word and deed. It is not overcome by just trying harder not to sin. It is in fact who we are. Luther called it the Bondage of the Will. Sin is what we are born in. Now, this is not to excuse it, but to understand our human nature. You will fail and you will sin. At times it is blatant and at times you are unaware. Sin permeates our very being and that is why Satan so hounds you and me.

He knows that when presented with a little sin it will lead to a bigger sin and the bigger the sin the guiltier you and I will feel. You will feel shame, and at times guilt for your actions, even an unkind word or a word misplaced can cause hurt.


Woodrow Wilson’s father was a minister [down] South. One day he joined a group of men caught up in a heated discussion. One of the men lost his temper and swore loudly. Only then did he see the Reverend Wilson in their midst. The man apologized profusely and said, “Sir, I had forgotten that you were present, please [forgive] me." Dr. Wilson replied, “[I forgive you,] but it is to God that you owe [the] apology.” [Paraphrased]

Larry Brook, The Quiet Hour, September-November, 1997, p. 54

Though you are forgiven you must die and rise daily. When you fall you must remember that Jesus stood the full test of the Devil’s temptation and though tempted in every way He was without sin. Perfection is not who we are but who He is … and we can all have joy because:
Christ was tempted and tested and because of that you are forgiven!

3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

Satan here uses the most subtle of temptations; “Command this stone to become bread.” He simply desires Christ, to abuse the power which He possessed as God’s Son for the gratification of the desires of the body.

Jesus answers Satan’s temptation with the word of God:

4 … “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.”

Or, as God’s word reads in Deut 8:3:

3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deut 8:3)

God’s provision of Mana humbled the Israelites who quickly found that they could not provide for themselves. Instead, they had to trust in God for their daily bread.

Lutheran study Bible Pg 291 Study Note

“Give us this day our daily bread.” We ask of the Lord in the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, which includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body; because Christ wants us to realize that our entire life … and that of everyone else depends of God.

Question/ Answer 219 Luther’s Small Catechism

But again, the temptation of the Devil continues:

“To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”

And Jesus answers:

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’”

This time Jesus brings God’s word to bear in Deut. 6:13

13 It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. (Deut 6:13)

What does this mean - The Catechism asks?

We should fear, love and trust God above all things. Luther gives answer to the First Commandment. You shall have no other gods.

Finally, Satan:

9 … took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,

to guard you,’

11 and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Jesus here quotes Deut 6:16

16 “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. Deut 6:16

In the close of the commandments God says: “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Ex. 20:5–6

13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Christ was tempted and tested and you are forgiven!

13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1Cor 10:13

Christ is the one who conquered sin, death and Devil for you. He took all the Devil could give and though tempted was without sin. Christ gives this peace to you and me through the working of the Holy Spirit so that his righteousness is yours and your sin has been laid on him at the cross.

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit

Feb. 10, 2016 Ash Wednesday

Title: Christ reconciles the word unto himself!
Text: 2 Cor. 5:20b-6:10

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Dear Friends,

When we look at a new born baby we might have a difficult time recognizing the corruption of sin upon this beautiful creation of God. How, we might think, can this be a sin bearer and God’s enemy? The truth is that sin like life happens at conception.

You might also ask, “How does a worm get inside an apple?” Perhaps you think the worm burrows in from the outside. No, scientists have discovered that the worm comes from inside. But how does he get in there? Well it’s simple! An insect lays an egg in the apple blossom. Sometime later, the worm hatches in the heart of the apple, then eats his way out. Sin, like the worm, begins in the heart and works out through a person's thoughts, words, and actions.

Heaven and Home Hour Radio Bulletin. 

Jesus Christ reconciles the word unto himself!

We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 

As a pastor to the congregation in Corinth, Paul’s words are passionate and direct. He implores those that are either apathetic, which means: (showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern) but living a mere outward type of holiness to be reconciled to God.

In his first Epistle to the Corinthians Paul had been strong in his rebuke of them in how they were dealing with sin in their midst. Paul had written them:

11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, (someone inside the church) who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

Paul’s rebuke is strong, as it should be. But after the Corinthian’s come to repentance, the sweet comfort of the gospel must be applied. For there is no joy for Paul in leaving a repentant sinner terrified of their sin, that Christ Jesus has carried upon Himself to the cross forever burying it in the grave by his all sufficient sacrifice.

Paul now pleads to the repentant sinner as workers together with Him … not to receive the grace of God in vain.2 For [God] says:

“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”

The help for the sinner is our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus who became sin for us that we might be reconciled to God receiving again the original righteousness that had been lost and broken in the fall in to sin.

Jesus Christ reconciles the word unto himself!


Will Rogers was known for his laughter, but he also knew how to weep. One day he was entertaining at a hospital that specialized in rehabilitating polio victims and people with broken backs and other extreme physical handicaps. Of course, Rogers had everybody laughing, even patients in really bad condition; but then he suddenly left the platform and went to the rest room. A man followed him to give him a towel; and when he opened the door, he saw him leaning against the wall, sobbing. He closed the door, and in a few minutes, Rogers appeared back on the platform, as jovial as before.

If you want to learn what a person is really like, ask three questions: What makes him laugh? What makes him angry? What makes him weep? These are fairly good tests of character that are especially appropriate for Christian leaders and those who serve the church. 

At times people throughout the church cry: "We need angry leaders!" or "The time has come to practice militant Christianity!" Perhaps, but the epistle of James tells us: "The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:20).

What is needed today is not anger but anguish, the kind of anguish that Moses displayed when he broke the two tablets of the law and then climbed the mountain to intercede for his people, or that Jesus displayed when He cleansed the temple and then wept over the city. The difference between anger and anguish is a broken heart. It's easy to get angry, especially at somebody else's sins; but it's not easy to look at sin, your own included, and weep over it. 

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, pp. 75-76.

The sin of the world, your sin and mine … God wept over. But do you? Do you feel the anguish of falling short daily? Are you in prayerful repentance sorry for your sin and asking for forgiveness? Or, is sin your master? 

It could be indifference, greed, jealousy, cohabitation, adultery - which Paul speaks of as being sexually immoral; gossip, or simple unkindness … does it cause you to break down in guilt and repent of your sin which really is simply to ask for forgiveness and turn away from sin.

Jesus Christ reconciles the word unto himself!

In the epistle today Paul brings Good News to those who are broken and repentant.

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Cor. 6:2b)

Friends, now is the time to receive forgiveness. 

Ash Wednesday is the name given to the first day of the season of Lent, in which ashes are applied to the foreheads of Christian’s signifying an inner repentance. This repentance continues throughout Lent as we remember the suffering that our Lord endured at the cross for the sins of the whole world – yours and mine - as we wait in anticipation of Christ’s glorious Easter resurrection.

The work of the ministry is to call sinners to repentance so that the work of God’s Law can bring about a true repentance for sin and the Gospel of salvation a glorious comfort that on account of Christ you are forgiven!

Paul tells the Corinthians and us what the true work of the ministry is commending ourselves as ministers of God:

in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 

8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Christ through his ministers today as then absolves the repentant. This gift He gives through his church, so that comfort is given to those broken by sin so that they might be renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit working in them to a newness of life over sin, death and the power of the Devil.


I saw Hilda Klein at her Autumn Ridge a few weeks ago. She’s had a problem with falling and needs a wheel chair to get around. I stopped by and Hilda was resting in her recliner. Our visit was comforting for us both. I sat with Hilda and held her hand and prayed with her and there was comfort for her and for me.

As I continue to visit those like Hilda or Joan Kitzman, who are unable to be at church or those Dorenne Ridge who are confused at times by dementia, I am constantly lifted up as together we pray and remember God’s, loving forgiveness in Christ. And though they at times may not remember me, they always remember Jesus who is the one who has freed them from sin and this broken world giving them the assurance that in Christ they have true forgiveness, peace and comfort and a place in the house of the Lord forever.

Jesus Christ reconciles the word unto himself!

It is interesting that the worm corrupts the apple from the inside out and that our first parents eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil separated us from our loving God who had to restore the broken relationship between God and man.

We can all be comforted to know that in Christ we are forgiven and that by His stripes we are truly healed!

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sermon Feb 6-7, 2016 The Transfiguration of our Lord

Title: Jesus Christ is the chosen one, for you!
Text: Luke 9:35-36

35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

C.S. Lewis says: 

When the author walks onto the stage, the play is over. And what he means is that God is going to invade [our world]; but what is the good of saying you are on God’s side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else comes crashing in?

This time it will be God without disguise; [no covering- no veil] something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. [It will be too late then. The time to believe will be over.]

It will be the time when we discover [whether eternal life or eternal damnation awaits]. [The sheep and goats, the wheat and tares] Now, today, this [very] moment, [is the time for faith and belief].

C.S. Lewis.

St. Peter writes in his second epistle about the destruction of the heavens and the earth by fire when he says:

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
But he also promises:

13 … a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him,

Jesus Christ who is the chosen one!

Our gospel reading begins:

28 Now about eight days after these sayings [Jesus] took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.

The transfiguration account in Luke today brings about a change in how Christ is seen. Prior to our text today Jesus had made clear his mission to his disciples when he asked them “But who do you say that I am?” To which Peter answer’s “The Christ of God.” And then Jesus explains his mission and work, that the son of man must suffer, be rejected by the people, the elders and chief priests and be killed and on the third day be raised from the dead. Jesus speaks about denying self, following him and that anyone who loses his life for his will … save it.

And he concludes:

27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Jesus Christ is the chosen one, for you!

Martin Luther once wrote:

And if [you are] not in the kingdom of Christ, it is certain that [you] belonged to the kingdom of Satan, which is this evil world.

Martin Luther - in Who Said That? by George Sweeting, p. 288

Demons, sickness and death Jesus had been casting out in our lessons these past two weeks. He is now ascending the mountain with his disciples to pray. The questions had been, “What is this word?” and “Where did he get this authority?” and “Isn’t this the carpenters son?” Now … the veil of his divinity is clearly seen in a transfigured Jesus – brilliant white - shown with Moses and Elijah the Law and the Prophets breaking forth on the top of the mountain and fulfilled in Jesus.

Life is real and death is real. We see the two realities separately. As one ends the other begins. There is either life or there is death but the truth of our existence is that life continues. We live fallen or redeemed and the moment of death is the transition, the point of revealing, and the point of understanding, what truth is our eternity?

In the incarnation, Christ was veiled – transfigured if you will – to hide the truth of his identity so that he might be revealed at the proper time. Even the demons exclaimed, “I know who you are Jesus of Nazareth – the Holy one of God!” To this Christ shuts their mouths. But here, on the mount of transfiguration, Jesus is seen by Peter, James and John, for who he is; the Christ, the son of the living God.

Jesus Christ is the chosen one, for you!

The glimpse of heaven, the glorified Jesus with Moses and Elijah, show for you and me the reality of bodily communion with the living God. Moses died and Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind but here they both are with Jesus and are known by those who, in their sinful flesh and with their own eyes see them together.

It is hard to understand this. Peter is confuse but senses that, “it is good that we are here.” He too wants to keep this glorified Jesus with Moses and Elijah in tents for themselves, much like the people in Capernaum wanted to keep this healing from Jesus for themselves, so that the reality of death might be removed.

But death is real. It is the means of transfiguration for you and for me and through it we are changed.

52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

The reality is that,

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the chosen one, for you!

The glorified Christ is your Christ but so is the Christ who took on human flesh. He is the one who in humility became man and stood in your place and he is the one who exalted awaits your transfiguration from this life to the life eternal and an eternity with him

The voice of God testifies,

35 “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.

But you dear friends are never alone, though the glimpse of heaven and Jesus transfigured was once again veiled by his humanity, your transfiguration is secured. Because Jesus came to finish his course for you … to go where you couldn’t go and to do what you couldn’t do so that, in him – in Jesus - the Father is well pleased … with you.

The glorified Christ is yours by grace through faith, and though we wait for a time, God has given you the means of word and sacrament to bring the reality of your transfiguration from death to life to you.

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit


Sermon Jan 30-31, 2016

Title: The good news is preached in the name of Jesus,for you!
Text: Luke 4:31-44

42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

C.S. Lewis once said:

Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is. If there are rats in a cellar, you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats; it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way, the suddenness of the provocation does not make me ill-tempered; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.

C.S. Lewis.

Our brokenness in sin is evident in many ways. We show fourth that brokenness at times in actions. The things we say and do say so much about who we are. But Christ and his work on our behalf are greater than the broken flesh we inhabit. It is through him and his work that we are made new.

The good news is preached in the name of Jesus, for you!

Our brokenness is nothing new. In the Gospel lesson for today, Jesus, who last week was compelled to do a miracle in his hometown goes to Capernaum casting out a demon of a man possessed.

34 “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?”
The truth is yes. Jesus came to destroy sin, death, the devil and brokenness in the world and to make peace with God and man and to restore our original righteousness lost in the fall into sin.
The one, whom the demon’s know by name, the Holy One of God, is in their midst.

Jesus commands the unclean spirits to come out and they obey. The people are amazed with this word saying:

“What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!”

What is this word? At times I’m not sure if we know or remember. The world sure gives us pause. What had been normal is now considered abnormal. Natural law has given way to the law of self.

At times it feels like the 10 righteous in Sodom are left to be destroyed by fire come down from heaven while the multitude of God’s enemies goes free.

37 [But] reports about [Jesus] went out into every place in the surrounding region.

What feels like brokenness in our day was with Christ and the people of our Gospel reading too. The taint of sin in the flesh we all inhabit was not only in the Synagogue but also in the fever of Simon’s
mother-n-law. The demon was cast out by the word of God and so too the fever which was rebuked by Christ healing her in an instant as she rose and began immediately to serve them. Not because it was her duty … but out of joyful thanks for the blessed gift of healing she received.

The Kingdom of God is present in Christ and it remains present for you.

“When Jesus laid His hands upon any sick person, it implied: [You are] a sinner, I am the Savior of sinners; I take the curse and consequence of sin from [you], [that is] an admonition [so that you] abstain from the service of sin.”

P.E. Kretzmann Popular Commentary of the Bible NT Vol.1 Pg 288

The good news is preached in the name of Jesus, for you!

40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them.

It is Christ’s desire to make you well … to heal you so that you will know him and know his love for you. In baptism you have been healed from sin, death and the devil and given new life in him and by his Spirit know him and love him.

41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

The Knowledge of Christ is not demonic and he is not made known through the demons whose mouths he shut - though they know who he is and they cower in fear.

The good news is preached in the name of Jesus, for you!

42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose." 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

When we look to Christ it is God’s Spirit in us pointing you and me to the one who is the way the truth and the life. In spite of our fears, sin, death and the devil we have been redeemed and made new. And in Christ as his new creation born from above … we … as our epistle says rejoice in truth.

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit