Eighteenth Sunday After Trinity 2017

October 15, 2017

Bible Text: Matthew 22:34-46 |

Series:

Jesus was like a juggernaut; He could not be stopped! First Jesus silenced the Sadducees when they tried to trap Him on the question of marriage. And then He tore through the Pharisees and their test about the greatest commandment and the nature of the Messiah. Those hypocrites needed to be set down a peg! The Lord deserves a standing ovation! But hold on there just a second. Jesus doesn't need our applause. He doesn't need any more people heaping honors on Him. He doesn't take the Pharisees to task just for the sake of scoring points. No, He does what He does to save you and me from our constant questioning of God.

Don’t bother to deny it: we interrogate our Lord all the time. We hold our little inquisition with God. We call upon Him to do what we want Him to do when we want Him to do it. We demand that He be the sort of God we think we need. When we lack money, we press Him to give us what we need…“and a little extra wouldn’t hurt either, Lord.” When there is a storm coming our way, we press Him to get to the work of being our God to save us. When our children are struggling or suffering, we storm the gates of heaven; we wonder why He allows such things to happen, and we demand that He fix what’s wrong. “Answer me the way I want, Lord! Take care of my problems, and be quick about it!”

Jesus changes the subject to save you. There can be no more asking questions about what kind of God He should be or how you think God should work for you. There can be no more testing God to make Him the sort of God you want Him to be. He directs you away from your fleshly desires, and He turns you to Himself. He pulls you away from your demands about what sort of God He is, and He leads you to a deeper confession of how the Father deals with you in Christ.

So let's talk about the Christ. “Whose Son is He?” Is the Christ David's Son or David's Lord? The answer is simple: He is both! The Christ is the Son of David and He is the Son of God. He is Son of David, having been born of the Virgin. He is the only-begotten Son of God. He is both God and man. He is Immanuel, “God with us,” God made flesh to dwell among His people.

St. Matthew says that after no one from the Pharisees, Sadducees, or the crowd dared to question Jesus again after this. And then, on Good Friday, one dared. The Roman Governor Pilate interrogated Jesus: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus, now bruised and beaten, answered, “It is as you say.” That's Jesus telling Pilate—telling you—that He is the Christ. He is both King David's Son and King David's Lord. And then, from Pilate, Jesus went to Cross to show you what it means that He is David's Son and David's Lord. His death counts for you. His death counts for all the times you interrogated and doubted God. His death counts for you once and for all. On the third day, God raised Jesus from the dead. He raises you with Him in the waters of Holy Baptism. The Christ now sits at the right hand of God with all His enemies as a footstool under His feet. The devil, sin, death, and the world have all been defeated.

Today our Lord turns you aside. He keeps you from going on and on about what you think He should be doing. He is no longer your Mary Poppins or genie in a bottle to act according to your whims. Instead He says, “Enough about what you think. Here is what I did for you on the Cross. And here the daily bread you need to live.” David’s Lord died for you so that your old Adam would die with Him in the waters of Holy Baptism; and then the David’s Son rose to raise you with Him from those same waters. In the name of the Father and of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

The peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus always.  Amen.

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