Quinquagesima 2016

Bible Text: Luke 18:31-43 | Preacher: Rev. Mark Buetow | Series: 2016

This is what matters. This is everything. Jesus. Going to Jerusalem. Delivered to the Gentiles. Mocked. Insulted. Spit upon. Scourged. Killed. Risen the third day. It all comes down to this. Jesus, going to Jerusalem for His disciples. For the blind man. For the crowds. For all the people. For you. To be handed over. Mocked, insulted, spit upon. Scourged. Killed. And rise again the third day. And we get a window on the ignorance of the twelve. They have no idea what Jesus is talking about. It was hidden from them. They don’t know what He’s saying. It will only be later that they realize everything Jesus has just told them is going to happen has actually happened and was supposed to happen and happened for them. And for the world. And for you. Handed over. Mocked, insulted, spit upon. Scourged and killed. Rise the third day. If you ever want to know what the most important thing is that Jesus ever did, it’s that. That’s your salvation. Walking on water. Healing the sick. Raising the dead. Feeding the 5,000. Telling cool parables about God’s grace. All of it points to Jesus as the one who is going to undergo His saving work for you. Handed over. Mocked, insulted, spit upon. Scourged. Dead. Risen. Pay attention. We’re about to enter Lent and that’s what it is all about: Jesus going to suffer all things to save you.

The twelves disciples have big question marks above their heads. They still don’t get it. So it’s ironic that Jesus opens the eyes of a blind man. Here is a guy who cries out for Jesus’ mercy. And the crowds tell him to shut up and he just cries out louder. He wants to see! And Jesus opens his eyes so he can. And then he can see Jesus. You: cry out for mercy! Cry out for Jesus to open your eyes and show you God’s mercy and grace and forgiveness. But when you do that, there will be lots of things telling you to be quiet! Stop yelling for Jesus! The devil. The world. Your own sinful nature. It may be your warm bed on a Sunday morning that cries out, “Be quiet! Never mind Jesus. Go back to sleep!” It may be your friends or even family members: “Quiet with all that Jesus talk. It’s not that important!” It may be the people around you or the world that says, “Jesus is irrelevant! Stop calling out to Him. What has he ever done for you and what will He ever do for you?” Cry out to Jesus and everyone and everything will tell you to be quiet! What is it in your life that tells you to shut up and leave Jesus alone? Our repentance is to pay no attention to those things and cry out even louder: “Jesus, have mercy on me!”

Well, is he going to have mercy on you? He already has! The mercy of Jesus is that He gets handed over, mocked, insulted, spit upon, scourged, crucified to death and then rises the third day. What saves you is that whether you are a hard-headed disciple who doesn’t get it, or a blind guy who just wants to see or any other kind of sinner or person–nothing stops Jesus from going to Jerusalem. Nothing can sidetrack Him or turn Him from doing His work of being your Savior. You want the mercy of God? You want God to be merciful to you, a sinner who’s messed it all up? He’s got mercy for you, all right. Mercy on Calvary where He suffers and dies for you. Mercy at the font where He washes the sin crust from your eyes. Mercy in His Word, where He declares your sins forgiven. Mercy at the altar where the handed-over-mocked-insulted-spit-upon-scourged-dead-and-risen body and His blood are given to you to rescue you from blindness, from sin, from every little last bit that stands between you and the Lord. That’s mercy. Jesus is on His way. There’s no stopping Him. He’s gonna be handed over. He’s gonna be mocked, insulted and spit upon. He’s gonna be scourged. He’s gonna die. He’s gonne rise. He’s baptized you. He’s absolved you. He’s gonna give you His body and blood. And He’s going to keep reminding you of your baptism. He’s going to keep absolving you. He’s going to keep giving you His body and blood. That’s the Jesus that He is. His one mission, His work, His goal, is to save you and deliver His salvation to you. Now go in peace because your faith, your Jesus, has made you well. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.