And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father. (1 Samuel 19:4)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. David’s troubles with Saul continue in today’s reading. Saul is still plotting and scheming to take David’s life. But here we learn that David had an intercessor and friend in Saul’s son Jonathan, who spoke on behalf of his friend David. How bold Jonathan was in his dealings with his father for the sake of his friend. In faith and love he obeyed the Eighth Commandment, defending David and speaking well of him, all at great risk to himself.
In this, Jonathan is a picture of Christ, our truest friend and intercessor. The circumstances are not exactly the same. After all, we are guilty, whereas David, as Jonathan said, “has not sinned against you (Saul), and his deeds have brought good to you” (1 Samuel 19:4). Furthermore, Saul was a wicked man, motivated by sinful jealousy, but God is righteous, holy, and pure.
This means Jesus, as our friend and intercessor, has a much harder job defending us than Jonathan did defending David. We are not innocent. We have earned God’s righteous wrath. We have sinned against our king and deserve to die. How will our intercessor and friend, Jesus, appease God our king?
In a far greater way than Jonathan, Jesus took all the risk upon Himself. To save us from God’ s righteous wrath, He took our place, bearing the punishment that was meant for us. Risen from the grave, and seated at God’ s right hand in glory, Jesus is our advocate before the Father. He says to His Father, “Behold My friends. See how I have paid for their sins, forgiven them Myself, washed them clean in Baptism, and filled them with My own life. Not a spot, not a blemish, not a stain of sin remains in them.”
Jesus welcomes us into His kingdom and presents us before His Father cleansed and redeemed, righteous, holy, and pure. And the Father cannot but agree with His Son. He relents from His righteous wrath and welcomes you into His presence with open arms.
What a wonderful friend and intercessor you have in Jesus! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Jesus, hail! Enthroned in glory, There forever to abide; All the heavenly hosts adore Thee, Seated at Thy Father’s side. There for sinners Thou art pleading; There Thou dost our place prepare, Ever for us interceding Till in glory we appear. (“Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus” LSB 531, st.3)
-Rev. Jeffrey Ware is pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.