Reflections: November 2, 2020
Monday of the 21st Week after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Why did God make the Tree of Knowledge if He knew Adam and Eve would disobey Him and eat of its fruit? Why did God put that tree there at all? To test them? To trick them? Why? The answer lies in the Word that Jesus threw at the devil during His temptation in the wilderness: "Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Even before there was a fall into sin, Adam and Eve were given the gift of God's Word and were taught that it was their highest treasure. That Word would keep them from death and be life and be a blessing to them. If, however, they let go of God's Word and abandoned the hearing of it, they would perish in death.
The Word of God saves you. It keeps you from death. When you are born with the curse of sin upon you, His Word declares you forgiven and a child of God. That Word that Adam and Eve ignored at the Tree of Knowledge is made flesh to hang on a tree in the place of sinners. When Adam and Eve brought death into the Garden, Jesus took on death and died and rose, conquering death in a tomb in a garden.
You see, even when man refused the Lord's gift of His life-saving Word, the Lord still brought that Word to man and still brings it now. It is the Word of grace, mercy, forgiveness--all for the sake of the Word, that is, Jesus, born, died, and risen for sinners. The same God whose Word Adam and Eve despised, spoke His Word of the promise of a Savior. It is the same Word and promise that declares Jesus' death and resurrection are for you. It is the same Word and promise spoken with the water of the font and the bread and wine of the Supper--the Word and promise of life for those who were dead in sin. The Word and promise for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Stay with us, Lord, and keep us true; Preserve our faith our whole life through--Your Word alone our heart's defense, The Church's glorious confidence. ("Lord Jesus, Christ, with Us Abide" LSB 585, st.6)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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