Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Moses’

Moses was born in Egypt several generations after Joseph brought his father Jacob and his brothers there to escape a famine in the land of Canaan. The descendants of Jacob had been enslaved by the Egyptians and were ordered to kill all their male children. When Moses was born his mother put him in a basket and set it afloat in the Nile River. He was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised by her as her own son (Exod 2:1–10). At age 40 Moses killed an Egyptian taskmaster and fled to the land of Midian, where he worked as a shepherd for forty years. Then the Lord called him to go back to Egypt and tell Pharaoh, “Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness” (5:1). Eventually Pharaoh gave in and, after the Israelites celebrated the first Passover, Moses led them out. At the Red Sea the Egyptian army was destroyed and the Israelites passed to safety on dry land (Exodus 12-15). At Mount Sinai they were given the Law and erected the Tabernacle (Exodus 19-40). But because of disobedience they had to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Moses himself was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, although God allowed him to view it (Deuteronomy 34). In the New Testament Moses is referred to as lawgiver and prophet. The first five books of the Bible are attributed to him. (From The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

Reflection:  Moses looms over the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, or the Pentateuch and so the whole Bible.  C. S. Lewis points out that the way to Golgotha must always pass by Sinai, that is the only way to know the Gospel is to spiritually know the Law accusing and showing us our sin so we can see by faith our Savior.  It is Jesus Christ Who looms over and under the New Testament but even more:  all of creation, all of the world. The comparison between Moses and Jesus is important: 

Hebrews 3:  Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. 3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

and

St. John 1: For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

But when we forget the Ministry of Moses we do not know the Ministry of Holy Spirit.  When we forget the Law, license looms. When we forget the Gospel, despair grabs hold. The difference between Moses and Jesus, Law and Promise, the one Word of God is beautifully illustrated by Lucas Cranach in his Law and Grace painting below.  If you want an explanation of painting, check out this link  Living Treasures from the Reformation: Law and Promise

“…the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?”  For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.”  (2 Corinthians 3: 6-8)  The Ministry of Righteousness through Jesus Christ has fulfilled all the Law. Even Jewish theologians see the Law given on Sinai destroys as the rabbis tell it,  God held Sinai over the heads of Israel, and He said:  Obey.  The Law condemns, as Moses points to the Law, and the prophet Moses saw the ministry of the Holy Spirit:  “But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord‘s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” (Exodus 11: 29).  Moses was faithful as a servant, Jesus as the Son, right hand side, and God gives life through the preaching of Christ. 

Lord God, heavenly Father, through the prophet Moses, You began the prophetic pattern of teaching Your people the true faith and demonstrating through miracles Your presence in creation to heal it of its brokenness. Grant that Your Church may see in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the final end-time prophet whose teaching and miracles continue in Your Church through the healing medicine of the Gospel and the Sacrament;through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Read Full Post »

The text for this morning’s sermon is the Gospel Reading, St. Luke 24: 36-49, especially these verses:

“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

When a man appears out of nowhere, who was dead, the first thing that comes to the Old Adam’s way of thinking: It’s a ghost!  So right away the Lord questions, does a spirit, a phantasm have flesh and bones? Yet He again appeared among the 12, flesh and bones.  He who needs no food eats and most importantly, no ghost has wounds. In the movie “Ghost”, the ghost, played by Patrick Swayze comes back to his wife. He was brutally killed, this ghost had no wounds. He came back to get his murderer.   The Lord has the wounds of the Cross and is risen for the repentance of even murderers.  The Lord cares for His flesh and blood, that is our flesh and blood, and our spirits and minds.

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself (Jesus) likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”(Hebrews 2: 14-15)

Body and soul in the forgiveness He has won for all.  He did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, He came that they might be fulfilled, all the promises of God fulfilled, which we cannot fulfill in a thousand lifetimes or reincarnations.  Now the Lord speaks of the entire Old Testament, the Law and the Prophets AND the Psalms, the Writings are fulfilled.  The  Scripture does not give eternal life, but they clearly, unmistakably, and without error point to Christ Jesus who does give eternal life, raising us up out of the mire and death of transgressions. 

 At the beginning of the written Gospels, Jesus tells Peter, James and John that from now on they would fish for men.  Now the risen Lord has given them the net:

“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” 

The Lord’s net is repentance and forgiveness of sins proclaimed in the Name of Jesus.  The chaotic far and wide sea and ocean is in deep turmoil, “all nations”, all the Gentiles.  Jesus sent the Apostles in the  huge Ninevah of this world.  The Lord’s will is all to be saved, to be fished out of the depths of the world, the flesh and the devil in His mercy  won for us all in His death and resurrection.  Jonah did not want to go to Ninevah as the Lord called him to preach.  The Lord went into Ninevah willingly.  Jonah was not executed.  The Author of life who carried all sin and death, was killed and was raised. 

Jesus taught that the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms are fulfilled in Him and are written about Him.  God is just.  He hates the sin but ever loves the sinner.  The Lord’s will is the just must of Christ Jesus bearing the sin of the  world upon the Cross. The three fold division of the Old Testament is the very pattern of Christ: 

In the Law of Moses, it is clear:  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mightDeuteronomy 6:5 and equally clear is the text, “…you shall love your neighbor as yourself”, Leviticus 19: 18.  Jesus put those two passages together to sum up the 10 commandments, the vertical and the horizontal of the commandments and more:  In His Spirit and flesh they are put together perfectly, as He is true God and true man, perfect love that casts out all fear, for you. 

In the prophets, Isaiah saw the day of the One who would be the Suffering Servant.  The prophets of Israel were not treated well at all by Israelites.  They were thrown into cisterns, marked for death, killed, mocked and despised.  The false prophets who taught false doctrine were warmly  welcomed into the courts of the cultured despisers of the faith.  In Isaiah 52 and 53 is the depths of the prophecy of the Suffering Servant.  Luke 22: 3737 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.”  He cited Isaiah 53: 12.

In the Psalms:   When Jesus was upon the Cross, dying for your life here and to eternal life, He prayed Psalm 22: 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Psalm 22 is clear: IN the depths of the rout of the world, the flesh and the devil, Jesus triumphed.  The Psalms foresaw the royal Davidide, the King descended from David would come forth and yet this King would be David’s King, and our as well, yet more than King:  Savior. 

Law of Moses, Prophets and Psalms are all the Word God fulfilled in Jesus Christ.   I do not need to have a Phd in theology to understand the Bible.  The usual lament about the Bible is that it is so difficult to understand.  The Bible is so plain. From today’s Epistle reading (1 John 3), Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. I get it. This practice does not make perfect, quite the opposite. Equally clear is godly repentance and sorrow over sin leads us ever to the Lord. Johann Gerhard preached this well:

Whoever preaches forgiveness of sins without preaching repentance is not holding to Christ’s command. For He sets both together: repentance and forgiveness of sins. Wherever there is a broken and shattered heart, there Christ wants to live, Isa. 57:15,wants to impart His blessings which He won through His death and resurrection. He, indeed, calls sinners to Himself, but [He calls them) to repent, Matt. 9:13. True repentance is the pathway by which sinners come to grace.

Isaiah 57: 15 is this Word:

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
    and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.

In Psalm 51, after David committed adultery with Bathsheba, and his sin was shown to him by the preaching of the Law by Nathan the prophet, David prayed:  “…a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (verse 17).  Out of the depths, the Lord can reach those who have been humbled by their wrong, when we repent.

In these earthen vessels the Lord pours out His mercy to us as His blood covers our sin and comes into these earthen vessels.  We are made His own to act as His own.  The Bible is clear:  You know the Lord is righteous, from today’s Epistle reading, “…you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of Him.” We are born of Him. We are God’s children now.  His Word in our ears and hearts that we may share the vessel of His Word with others, our families, our co-workers, our friends, our colleagues…Abide in Him is the continual encouragement of the Word. Christ, and His unilateral redemption and salvation opens our hearts and minds to understand the Scripture and love and serve our neighbor. He opened their minds to understand Scripture, that all of the Bible points to Christ and undeserved grace, God’s grace in creating, redeeming and sanctifying us. Grace is sheer gift poured into our hearts, as the grace of God is key to the Bible.  Paul called us earthen vessels,not cracked pots, or crack pots (!). We hold stuff and we can hold the wrong stuff, but in repentance the turmoil of sin is gone, He filled us with the Holy Spirit.

Yes, there are Scripture passages that are hard to understand.  Luther wrote about not understanding Scripture passages:

To many people a great deal remains obscure; but that is due, not to any lack of clarity in Scripture, but to their own blindness and dullness, in that they make no effort to see truth which, in itself, could not be plainer.

A musician does not know and understand every piece of music, an artist every work of art, a chemist every equation, etc. but they can still all do their vocation well, as their understanding and love of their vocation increases. So can we as Christ’s communion and brethren.  We need to read the Bible daily because daily we need to be so fed by what we have read.  “I don’t have the time.”  If I can watch Big Bang theory for a half an hour, I have time for the Scripture.

The great orator of ancient Rome, Cicero said: “Read at every wait; read at all hours; read within leisure; read in times of labor; read as one goes in; read as one goest out. The task of the educated mind is simply put: read to lead.”  This also is true regarding the Lord’s written word in the Bible. The Lord reads us like a book, and by His grace alone, He has written us into the Book of life, as we believe. In Jesus Christ, His Word in the Bible becomes the times of refreshing. Read to lead.  Read to lead and so serve someone who might be lost.  Read to lead to stay true to the way who is Jesus.  The task of the saved mind is simply put:  read to lead.
  

Read Full Post »

           

The Lessons for the 25th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, can be found here.

The Sadducees thought only the first five books of Moses, the Torah, Genesis through Deuteronomy were really the inspired Word of God, but not the remainder of the Bible.  Since the Torah does not mention resurrection,  they said there is no resurrection.  The church of the world bends the Word of God to its own fancies.  The Sadducees robbed themselves of such sweet comfort the Lord gives to men and women:  the hope of the life of the world to come. By their false doctrine or teaching, they robbed others as well of consolation, the Lord’s own Word.  Maybe to make Biblical teaching more palatable and  more in tune with people’s need.  Maybe to control them. Maybe they had a hard time understanding the resurrection of the body. I do.  However, when Jesus says to Martha at Lazarus’ tomb, I am the resurrection and the life, that there is no death, the stench of sin and trespass in Him, I get it but more He has me, not as His plaything to use us, but as baptized sons and daughters to love you all.  By His Word Lazarus comes forth.  He is the Lord and by His Word saves, utterly out of the control of the Sadducees, the Pharisees and all false teachers. His Word is not chained. It is not bound. Therefore, the church of the world comes with trick questions to the Church of the Word as it did to Jesus.  The Sadducees brought up levirate marriage.  “Levir” is Latin for brother’s wife. According to Moses command to Israel in Leviticus, if a man dies childless then his wife marries his brother. The Lord provided social security to Israel. This is God’s good for Israel, but in a religious argument, men twist God’s Word. What happens if this happens 7 times, since there were 7 brothers and each brother died childless:  Who’s wife shall the woman be in the resurrection? 

 Jesus’ answer is two-fold:

  1. The life to come will be the new creation.  It will be qualitatively different.  In the resurrection men will not marry nor be given in marriage.  As the Lord said in Hosea, the land will be called, “married”, the whole land, the whole of God’s people, His Church is the bride of Christ and for her life He died.  Those who are deemed worthy, of worth, deemed worthy by someone else, the Lord:  by His grace for us all, to His sons and daughters, sons and daughters of the resurrection.  
  2. Jesus quotes today’s Old Testament lesson:  I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Present tense God, I am, for present tense people, whom I saved. The blessed patriarchs are before the Lord who made them His own and He does not give up on them in death, neither you. Moses was standing on holy ground and so were the Saduccees but they did not know it.  Moses saw the bush on fire but not consumed, such is the work of the Holy Spirit. On fire, the dross of sin melted away but the branches alive in Christ’s forgiveness.  The Lord, said Jesus, His Father, is not the God of the dead, of sin, but of the living, for all live to Him and through His Son, by faith, makes all alive.  He is the present-tense Savior for present tense sinners. 

 Jesus ended the argument with the truth of Biblical doctrine or teaching. They could not ask him another question. I think Jesus would have been a real kill-joy on a blog. No endless thread of discussion, for He weaves our the threads of our lives into His life, the life of all the living, the death of death our foe.

The Church of the world is unsettling, as the Apostle Paul knew. The Church in Thessalonica had heard false doctrine. “… not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.”  As for the Lord, so for His Church: the Thessalonians concern was the resurrection caused by false teaching. First, before the day of the Lord the “lawless one” is to be revealed, that is, the antichrist.  The lawless one has not been revealed because the day of the Lord has not come, yet, lawlessness is all over and building. The man of lawlessness is at work but the Lord is restraining him.  

What is meant by “lawless” in 1 Thessalonians?  Answer: Without the Law of God.  Note that in so many serious discussions folks begin by saying, “I feel that…”  “What I feel about that…” As feelings is the final criterion of truth.  So even if a book is recognized as authoritative, its inherent truth is trumped by what I feel or experience.  This is a functional definition of lawlessness, in particular when the book in question is The Book, The Bible, as did the Sadducees, so all false teachers. Lawlessness: 

Disregarding the Law of God when it comes to the 5th commandment, you shall not kill, and allowing for abortion. 

Disregarding the 8th commandment about not bearing false witness and lying has been institutionalized in our politics, or worse, the churchly institutional lying about what the Bible says. 

Disregarding the Law of God as to the 4th and 6th commandments and the biological and spiritual marriage between man and woman is denied, and marriage, and the abuse of women and abuse of the family.

Disregarding the regular abuse of the 2nd commandment, regarding God’s Name and its regular abuse and the attendant demons of foul language.  …the 1st commandment.  Lawless ones become their own law and are worshiped: from politicians to singers to athletes etc. etc. etc. The gods of the church of the world, the golden calves, are to be seen and demand sacrifice for their policies and programs. (The lawless one)  acts as though he were not under, but over God’s will and Law; he treads all true religion under his feet, making the service of God a play and a farce. So Pr. and Prof. Paul Kretzman, Missouri Synod wrote in his commentary on the Bible in the ‘20s, on the Epistle reading.  Back then radio preachers were the media evangelists who in the hands of Billy Sunday and Aimee Semple MacPherson made the true religion into a play and a farce.  Look how many times the service of God is made into a play and farce on television these days. The problem is not too little religion but too much religion, that is,  false religion and the idolatry of lawlessness. These false gods demand sacrifice as much as Israel willingly gave up all their gold and silver and gems to make the golden calf.  As lawless as the day of the Judges and the last verse of the book of Judges, Everyone did that which was right in their own eyes, for their was no King in Israel.  Beloved!  The King lives in His Israel, His kingdom, His reign, not of this world.   The Lord calls and makes His Church by and through His Word, the Word made flesh. Church of the Word is called to hear.   

 Paul wants not only to warn but to point to the blessings of the Lord in Thessalonica and for us as well. The work of the Father is particularly emphasized in this connection. He loved us with an everlasting love, with a love so great that He did not spare His own Son, but gave Him for us all. In His grace, through His Word, He gives us everlasting comfort and consolation, namely, the certainty of our salvation through the merits of our Redeemer. And by reason of this same grace we now have a good, a certain hope; we know that our souls, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, are secure in His hands, not only to the last great day, but beyond that day throughout eternity. (From Rev. Kretzmann’s commentary on the Epistle reading)

 Therefore, stand firm wrote the Apostle.  The Psalmist prayed:  “Lead me to a rock higher than I.  The Lord has: Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand. The One has set us within His kingdom so our feet do not follow the dead ends of the gods of the church of the world. He has called you through His Gospel, His forgiveness, His grace and peace, sanctified in the hope of the kingdom come so that others may hear the clear call of His mercy to sinners. I end the sermon with the same benediction the Apostle Paul did in today’s Epistle reading:

 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Read Full Post »

Lord God, heavenly Father, through the prophet Moses, You began the prophetic pattern of teaching Your people the true faith and demonstrating through miracles Your presence in creation to heal it of its brokenness. Grant that Your Church may see in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the final end-time prophet whose teaching and miracles continue in Your Church through the healing medicine of the Gospel and the Sacrament;through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Moses was born in Egypt several generations after Joseph brought his father Jacob and his brothers there to escape a famine in the land of Canaan. The descendants of Jacob had been enslaved by the Egyptians and were ordered to kill all their male children. When Moses was born his mother put him in a basket and set it afloat in the Nile River. He was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised by her as her own son (Exod 2:1–10). At age 40 Moses killed an Egyptian taskmaster and fled to the land of Midian, where he worked as a shepherd for forty years. Then the Lord called him to go back to Egypt and tell Pharaoh, “Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness” (5:1). Eventually Pharaoh gave in and, after the Israelites celebrated the first Passover, Moses led them out. At the Red Sea the Egyptian army was destroyed and the Israelites passed to safety on dry land (Exodus 12-15). At Mount Sinai they were given the Law and erected the Tabernacle (Exodus 19-40). But because of disobedience they had to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Moses himself was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, although God allowed him to view it (Deuteronomy 34). In the New Testament Moses is referred to as lawgiver and prophet. The first five books of the Bible are attributed to him. (From The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

Reflection:  Moses looms over the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, or the Pentateuch and so the whole Bible.  C. S. Lewis points out that the way to Golgotha must always pass by Sinai, that is the only way to know the Gospel is to spiritually know the Law accusing and showing us our sin so we can see by faith our Savior.  It is Jesus Christ Who looms over and under the New Testament but even more:  all of creation, all of the world. The comparison between Moses and Jesus is important: 

Hebrews 3:  Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. 3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

and

St. John 1: For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

But when we forget the Ministry of Moses we do not know the Ministry of Holy Spirit.  When we forget the Law, license looms. When we forget the Gospel, despair grabs hold. The difference between Moses and Jesus, Law and Promise, the one Word of God is beautifully illustrated by Lucas Cranach in his Law and Grace and our journey with first Moses, then and forever with Moses with, in and under Jesus Christ:

:

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: