Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Today's Reading: Jeremiah 26:1-15

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 39:1-23; Mark 10:13-31

But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its inhabitants; for truly the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing." (Jeremiah 26:15)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Jews had said that Jesus was casting out demons in the name of Beelzebub. They were calling Jesus the devil, really. Of course the devil wouldn't throw himself out. That wouldn't make sense. No, the real mark of the devil is trying to get rid of God's Word. When Jeremiah preached God's Word, the people wanted to put him to death. "Go ahead," he says, "but all I'm doing is preaching what the Lord has told me to say."

We don't defeat the devil by coming up with clever ways to avoid him or clever words to argue against him. No, he'll deceive us every time, just as he deceived Adam and Eve. Once again we learn that the only hope against the devil trying to rob us of the Word of God is the Word of God Himself, Jesus.

Remember when we heard of Jesus' being tempted by the devil? He responded with God's Word. This was more than just quoting the Bible--Jesus spoke with the authority of the One to whom even Satan must bow. And that One, that Jesus, that tempter-defeating Savior, has overcome the devil for you.

It may be that as you believe and confess the Word of God, the world will hate you. And if the devil can't get the Word of God out of your life and mouth, then he will try to kill you. But even there the Word saves you. For the Word is He who answered the devil and defeated him on Calvary and rose again on Easter. The promises of Jesus given in your Baptism and in His Word and at His Supper will always be true and will blot out the devil's lies.

You can't out-argue the devil, but you don't have to. The Word of God in the flesh has defeated him for you. Christ's victory over Satan is yours. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

May glorious truths that we have heard, The bright sword of your mighty Word, Spurn Satan that Your Church be strong, Bold, unified in act and song. (Lord Jesus Christ, with Us Abide, LSB 585:4)

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