Pastor Weise’s Sermon – We Would See Jesus

Pastor Weise's Sermon - A Good Neighbor

Pastor Weise’s Sermon – We Would See Jesus

Jeremiah 8.4-12/St. Luke 19.41-48

Trinity X/August 25, 2019

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

Rev. Keith R. Weise, pastor/chaplain

LISTEN TO SERMON

TEXTS

Prayer of the Day

O God, You declare Your almighty power above all in showing mercy and pity.  Mercifully grant us such a measure of Your grace that we may obtain Your gracious promises and be made partakers of Your heavenly treasures; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

 

Jeremiah 8.4-12

“Moreover you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord:

“Will they fall and not rise?
Will one turn away and not return?
Why has this people slidden back,
Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding?
They hold fast to deceit,
They refuse to return.
I listened and heard,
But they do not speak aright.
No man repented of his wickedness,
Saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turned to his own course,
As the horse rushes into the battle.

“Even the stork in the heavens
Knows her appointed times;
And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow
Observe the time of their coming.
But My people do not know the judgment of the Lord.

“How can you say, ‘We are wise,
And the law of the Lord is with us’?
Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.
The wise men are ashamed,
They are dismayed and taken.
Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord;
So what wisdom do they have?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to others,
And their fields to those who will inherit them;
Because from the least even to the greatest
Everyone is given to covetousness;
From the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace.
12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed,
Nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
In the time of their punishment
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.                                                                                                      NKJV

St. Luke 19.41-48

41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

45 Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

47 And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, 48 and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.                                                                                                                                                          NKJV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

I          In St. John’s gospel—

right after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday—

some Greeks come up to Philip, one of the apostles and say—

Sir, we would see Jesus.                                               (St. John 12.20-21 KJV)

 

Those words—

that desire—

is at the heart

of what the Holy Spirit has to say to us today—

WE WOULD SEE JESUS.

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II         Well—

to see Jesus—

you and I have to recognize him when he comes to you!

 

And that has been a struggle for God’s people throughout all our history.

 

III       All the way back at the beginning—

in the Garden of Eden—

Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.                                                              (Genesis 3.8)

 

After they sinned

they deliberately hid themselves from God

so they couldn’t see Him when He came.

 

And because of that—

because they did not see their God—

they were driven out of their home—

and death became a reality for us all.

 

That’s what happens when you do not see God

when he comes into your presence.

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IV        In our Old Testament reading today

it’s much the same.

 

Judah is under siege by the Babylonian army—

an army whom God has sent as judgment on his people—

but even with this army banging on their gates

the people still don’t see their God.

 

They fall into sin

and do not rise up in repentance.

They turn away from God and backslide—

and do not turn back to see God in their midst.

 

They do not

speak to God.

 

They do

not repent of their sin.

 

Everyone goes his own way

and they all close their eyes to the presence of the LORD.

 

Their prophets preach a false gospel of a false peace

and the people have no shame.

 

V         So God sends the Babylonian army

to drive them out of their homes

to give their wives to others

to turn their fields over to foreigners

and

to pour out his judgment on them for their

covetousness and falsehood and sin.

 

THAT’s what happens

when you don’t recognize God when he comes into your presence.

 

The people literally lost sight

of the God who lived among them in the temple in Jerusalem.

 

They didn’t listen to God as he spoke through Jeremiah and the other true prophets.

 

They took shelter in the blindness of

their showy religiosity

and

their false piety—

and in the end they suffered for it.

 

Some died.

The rest were sent off to Babylon.

and

Not a single one of them got away with their sin.

 

All because they did not see God when he came into their midst.

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VI        It’s not much better in the Gospel today, either.

 

It’s Palm Sunday.

 

Jesus is riding a donkey on his way into the holy city, Jerusalem.

 

Along the way he stops

and looks over the city.

 

Now as he drew hear, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace!  But now they are hidden from your eyes.”                                                                         (St. Luke 19.41-42)

 

The vast majority of the people didn’t recognize Jesus

as God come into their midst—

so Jesus prophesied their destruction.

For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.   (St. Luke 19.43-44)

 

VII      Jesus announces

that because the people don’t recognize their God when he comes to them

they and their city will be destroyed.

 

And less than 40 years after Jesus uttered those words

in 70 AD—

the Romans did exactly what Jesus said—

they besieged Jerusalem.

 

Some of the people died.

The rest were driven from their homes.

and

The temple—

the city—

and everything in them

was destroyed.

 

Why?

 

BECAUSE THE PEOPLE DIDN’T RECOGNIZE THE TIME OF THEIR VISITATION.

 

THEY DID NOT RECOGNIZE THEIR GOD WHEN HE CAME INTO THEIR MIDST.

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VIII    Adam and Eve hid—

and did not see God when he came.

 

The people of Jerusalem

did not see God when he came

They did not see him when he came with a Babylonian army.

They did not see him when he came in the flesh to be their Savior.

 

So here’s the question for you today.

 

Do YOU recognize God when he comes into your midst?

Do YOU know the time of YOUR visitation from the Lord?

Do YOU SEE Jesus

when HE comes to YOU?

 

IX       Do you see Jesus when you invoke his name and say—

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit?

 

Do you see Jesus when

he stands here and forgives your sins

after you confess them to him?

Do you see Jesus as he speaks to you from the Scriptures

every time the Bible is read and preached into your ears.

 

Do you see Jesus as he listens to our prayers and petitions while we offer them up to

him

in our songs

in our prayers

and

in our praise?

 

Do you see Jesus as he comes to us in the bread and wine

that he makes his body and blood?

 

Do you see Jesus as he stands

and shines his face on you

and

pours his grace down on you

and

lifts his countenance upon you

in the Benediction?

 

DO YOU SEE JESUS?

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X         I truly hope you do.

Because right now—

Jesus Christ is

RIGHT HERE.

 

And he has come here

to do what God the Father has sent him to do.

 

Jesus has come

to open your blind eyes

and save you from the spiritual blindness that hides him from your

sight.

 

Jesus has come

to take away your sins

and rescue you from the eternal fires of hell.

 

Jesus has come to

lift you up when you’re bowed down

by worry

by sickness

by pain

and

by all the sorrows that weigh down your soul.

 

 

Jesus has come

to heal your body

to purify your  soul

to cleanse your heart

to decontaminate your mind

and

to anoint you with his saving grace.

 

Jesus is here—

and that’s what he’s doing!

 

DO YOU SEE HIM?

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XI       Now, I know you don’t see him like you see

everyone else here today.

 

We don’t see Jesus like we see

the chapel

with its

chairs

and

altar

and

pulpit

and

everything else.

 

That’s not the kind of seeing we’re talking about.

 

When I ask if you see Jesus—

I’m asking if you RECOGNIZE HIM

when he comes as he has promised.

 

Jesus is present in every part of our worship service.

He’s in the Invocation

He’s in the Absolution.

He’s in his holy word read from the Bible.

He’s in the sermon as it’s preached

He’s here—listening to and answering our prayers.

He’s here in the sacrament of the altar.

He’s here in the Benediction and the Closing Hymn.

 

In EVERY SINGLE THING we do during our worship—

Christ is here—present in our midst—

to pour his forgiveness, life, and salvation down upon us and into us.

 

As our Opening Hymn says—

God Himself is Present!

 

And to see Christ present in our midst doesn’t even requires eyes at all—

all it requires is

FAITH—

FAITH IN HIS PROMISE

NEVER TO LEAVE US NOR FORSAKE US.

(Genesis 28.15/Hebrews 13.5)

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XII      So pray for that kind of faith today.

 

Pray that God would open the eyes of your heart

today and every day

to see Jesus as he comes.

 

Pray that by his grace

YOU would see Jesus—

today

tomorrow

next Sunday

and

every day of your earthly life.

 

And once you see Jesus—

never take your eyes off him.

 

Do as the writer of Hebrews says—

Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.                                                                                       (Hebrews 12.1-2)

 

XIII    Fix your eyes on Jesus—

and on the Last Day—

at the End of the Age—

You will see Jesus in all his glory—

and he will take you to live with him forever

where you will fix your eyes on him together

with all the saints and angels of God

in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

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XIV     When you don’t see God when he comes into your midst—

you know what happens.

You get driven from home.

You lose everything that matters.

You suffer at the hand of your enemies.

and

In the end you die an eternal death.

 

So

Fix your eyes on Jesus

because he has promised you great and glorious things.

 

Fix your eyes on Jesus—

because when you see him—

you see the fulfillment every promise God has ever made.

 

Fix your eyes on Jesus

because when you see Jesus

you will see

God welcome you into your  everlasting home in the mansions of the

Lord.

God deliver you from all your sin.

God rescue you from all of your enemies.

God grant you a blessed life that has no end in the life of the world to

come.

 

Fix your eyes on Jesus

and make these words of those Greeks in St. John’s gospel

your prayer today and every day.

Pray it—and God will grant it.

 

Pray

WE WOULD SEE JESUS.

 

God grant it for Jesus’ sake.

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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