Reflections: October 7, 2021
Thursday of the 18th Week after Trinity
By Kyle Mietzner
Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. (Matthew 9:35, Evangelical Heritage Version)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Matthew 9 is a whirlwind of activity. As soon as Jesus finishes healing one person, someone else is begging for His mercy. In one instance, He is on the way to heal someone, and another person chases Him down, trying only to touch His clothes, and even she is healed. Jesus brings forgiveness and life wherever He goes. Death flees before Him.
Do not be troubled by the apparent lack of miracles in our day. Remember that these people all saw and experienced great things, but still ended up nailing Jesus to a cross. You are not saved by miracles, but by grace through faith in Christ. I sometimes think of Jesus like the star quarterback, lifted on the shoulders of the crowd, who are just thrilled that He's done something amazing. I'm wrong. He was despised and rejected, even when He was doing these great things and forgiving sins.
Matthew 9:24 says that they laughed at Him when He said that a dead girl was just sleeping. He knew the truth: that her death had been overcome. They laughed. A few verses later, He is accused of casting out demons by the ruler of demons. He did not win many friends, and most of the friends He did have ended up rejecting Him.
And yet He continued to preach, teach, and heal their diseases and sickness, even though they rejected Him and nailed Him to the Cross to die, He still calls out for their forgiveness. He casts out demons and brings life. We have not always hailed Him as our king. Have you even laughed at Jesus? Have you mocked Him?
He has not rejected you. He still comes to you. His Word is still given to you, poured upon your head in Baptism, sung into your ears through the church's liturgy, and given into your mouth in Holy Communion. Jesus will not give up on you. He has come to you, and you have life. That is a miracle. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
- Rev. Kyle Mietzner is the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Anchorage, AK.
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