Reflections: October 14, 2021
Thursday of the 19th Week after Trinity
By Eli Lietzau
But [Jesus] answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:39-40)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. What is the will of the Father? That He would break and hinder every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh that does not want His Word to be taught in truth and purity and does not want that Word to be believed in faith.
The sinner wants to see signs and wonders. The sinner tells God that he will believe in Him as long as God shows him a sign. But the signs that we want are always the wrong type of sign. We want to dictate to God the ways in which He should do things, the ways in which He should work and save and forgive. In telling God how He should be God, we are really just making ourselves god. It is the fruit in the Garden all over again. Sinners never come up with anything new; we always revert back to the original sin of wanting to be like God.
But God has already done it all for us in Christ Jesus, through a bloody Cross and an empty tomb. Believe in that, believe in Him, believe that God has already done the work of salvation and He gives that salvation to you in His Word and through His Sacraments. A Jesus risen from the dead is all that you need. The problem is that the sinner who is confident in his own ways won't even believe in the words of a once-dead Jesus, come back from the grave.
And so the sinner needs Jesus. He needs Jesus for it all: for life, for forgiveness, even for faith. For the sinner on his own can't believe in the things of an empty tomb and all that that means. So we pray that His Word is taught among us in truth and purity: free Gospel given to us without any merit or worthiness on our part. And we pray that His Spirit would bring us to, and keep us in, the faith as we hear this Word taught among us, so that we might hear Christ say to us, "You are My brother and sister." In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Christ Jesus, God's own Son, came down, His people to deliver; Destroying sin, He took the crown; From death's pale brow forever: Stripped of pow'r, no more it reigns; An empty form alone remains; Its sting is lost forever. Alleluia! ("Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands" LSB 458, st.3)
- Rev. Eli Lietzau is the pastor of Wheat Ridge Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, CO.
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