Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Jesus Loves You

Pastor Weise's Sermon - Wrestling with God

Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Jesus Loves You

Jesus Loves You

I Corinthians 13.1-13/St. Luke 18.31-43

Quinquagesima/March 3, 2019

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd/Good Shepherd Community Chapel, Sauk Rapids, MN

Rev. Keith R. Weise, pastor/chaplain

LISTEN TO SERMON

Text

I Corinthians 13

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

St. Luke 18.31-43

31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32 For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. 33 They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”

34 But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.

35 Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. 36 And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. 37 So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

39 Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

40 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, 41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”

42 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

 

 

 

 

Invocation    In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

I          This coming Wednesday

is Ash Wednesday—the beginning of Lent.

 

During Lent we will take up

repentance

and

charity

and

prayer

and

fasting

with more intensity than any other time of the year.

 

By his grace

the Holy Spirit

will use the sacred days of Lent

to make us ready to celebrate Christ’s resurrection at Easter.

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II         But before Lent begins

today Jesus tells us what will happen

during the coming days.

 

More specifically—

Jesus tells us what will happen to HIM

during the season of Lent.

 

III       Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, [he says]—

and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man

will be accomplished

For He

will be delivered to the Gentiles

and

will be mocked and insulted and spit upon.

They will scourge Him and KILL Him.

And the third day He will rise again.                   (St. Luke 18. 31-33)

 

IV        Jesus doesn’t tell us these things

just to get us ready to do more holy stuff during Lent

and try to be more pious.

No—

Jesus tells these things

to get us ready to

to suffer with him—

to die with him—

and

to rise with him.   à

V         And to make sure

we’re ready for that—

he also tells us

that he loves us.

 

And

He tells us HOW he loves us.

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VI        I Corinthians, chapter 13—our epistle reading for today—

Is Jesus saying, I LOVE YOU—

                                    and this is what my love is like.

 

Jesus’ love

suffers long with us

is kind

and does not envy.

 

Does not parade itself

is not puffed up

and does not behave rudely.

 

Does not seek its own

is not provoked

and thinks no evil.

 

Does not rejoice in iniquity

but does rejoice in the truth.

 

Bears all things

believes all things

hopes all things

and endures all things—FOR YOU!

And

Jesus’ love never fails—

because Jesus’ love for you is the greatest love

in all of human history.                                                   (I Corinthians 13.4-13)

 

VI        Because he loves you

with this divine love—

today Jesus heads to Jerusalem

knowing that he will die on the cross of Calvary.

 

Jesus submits to the authority of Pontius Pilate

and also to his power to crucify him.

 

Jesus endures

mockery

and

insult

and

scourging

and

being spit upon.

 

Because he loves YOU

Jesus suffers

the shame

and

the agony

of the cross—

and the humiliation of being buried in a borrowed tomb.

 

That’s how Jesus loves you.

That’s what Jesus’ love does for you.

 

There is no greater love

than this love that Jesus has for you.

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VII      So by the power of Jesus’ love

today we steel ourselves

to head to Jerusalem with him.

 

We make ourselves ready to suffer with him—

by repenting of all our sins

and recommitting ourselves to love like he loves us.

 

Because Jesus loves US

we submit ourselves

to our earthly authorities

and we suffer their foolishness and even persecution

in steadfast faith

and in unwavering commitment to Christ.

 

Because Jesus love US

we endure

the mockery of unbelievers

the insults of the damned

the spitting of the hysterical crazies under the spell of the devil

and

the social scourging of those who will not receive the gospel.

 

Because Jesus loves US

we take up our own crosses—

And as we suffer and die under the weight of the cross—

we suffer and die with Jesus.                                                                                                                             and we suffer and die

LOVED BY JESUS.

 

VIII    And because Jesus love you

with this great unlimited love—

Even though you die—

just like Jesus rose on the third day—

you will rise, too.

 

When Jesus returns in glory

                        he will raise you up from your grave

and

together with all the saints—

we will judge the world.                                                                   (I Corinthians 6.2)

All the nations will submit to us—                                                                                                                                   and to the love of Christ forever.

 

When Jesus returns and raises you up

No one will ever

mock you

or

insult you

or

spit on you

or

scourge you

again.

 

When Jesus returns in glory

there will be no more crosses for us to bear—

for all will be made new—

and we will live in the precious love of Christ forever.

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IX       Until that time comes—

we must carry our crosses in faith—

we must endure the trials and temptations of this life

we must make ourselves ready

to suffer

and

to die

and

to rise

with Christ.

 

So today

we pray that God

would grant us grace to do just that.

 

We pray that God

would set us free from the bonds of our sins

and

deliver us from every evil.

 

We pray for strength

to carry our crosses

with faith in the promises of Christ

in hope for the life of the world to come.

and

in Christ-like love for one another.

 

We pray

that right here/right now

the Holy Spirit

will fill us up with the love of Jesus

and grant us grace to love one another as he loves us.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

X         Counting today—

you’ve got three days

to get ready for Lent.

 

So get ready

by taking a good hard look at your own love.

 

How much does your love

look like Jesus’ love?

 

Repent of every

sinful

heartless

loveless

deed you do

and

every evil habit that steals the love of Christ from your life.

 

Suffer long

with the people in your life who drive you crazy.

Put up with everything you can

while maintaining your faithfulness to Christ.

 

Put away all envy from your life

and do your best to help your neighbors

keep what is theirs

and to use their blessings

for the further blessing of the people of God.

 

Do not parade yourself—

not now—

and not during Lent—

but carry yourself humbly during these days

in the confidence of Jesus’ love

and his salvation of your body and soul.

 

Don’t be all puffed up about how holy you are—

Mortify your flesh

through

repentance

charity

prayer

and

fasting

and as St. Paul says—

be imitators of God.  Walk in love as Christ also has

loved [you] and given Himself for [you, as] an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.       (Ephesians 5.1)

 

Be nice.

There’s no place

for rudeness or unkindness among the saints.

 

Look after the needs of others.

Stay calm and level-headed in conflict.

Say everything in the kindest possible way.

 

Always seek the truth.

Always rejoice in the truth.

And

Renounce and fight against every evil you see in this world.

 

Bear with those who are struggling in their faith.

Believe in every promise God makes you in Christ Jesus.

Endure every trial and tribulation the devil throws your way.

 

Take up your cross

and love like Christ loves you.

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X         With that kind of love dwelling in your heart—

the Holy Spirit will make you ready

for EVRYTHING the future holds.

He will make you ready

to go to Jerusalem with Jesus.

 

He will make you ready

to suffer with Jesus.

 

He will make your ready

to die with Jesus.

 

He will make you ready

to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

 

and

He will make you ready

to rise up with Jesus

when he comes again in glory at The End of the Age.

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XI       Jesus loves you.

 

He loves you so much

that

he suffered for you.

he died for you.

he rose up from the dead for you.

and

he is coming again to raise you up on The Last Day.

By his love

He will bear with you every day—

even when your love doesn’t measure up to his.

By His love

He will strengthen your faith in his salvation—

especially when the devil/the world/and even your flesh

call his love and salvation into question.

and

            His love for you—

                        WILL NOT FAIL.

                                    IT WILL ENDURE FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER.

 

XII      When you’re loved like that—

you’re ready for more than Lent—

you’re ready for eternity, too.

 

Praise God.  Jesus loves you.  Amen.

 

Invocation    In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Hymn of Response:  Create in Me.

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