Luke 18:9-14 Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Justified Before God

Luke 18:9-14
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: [10] “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. [11] The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ [13] But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ [14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

Our risen and ascended Lord in the midst of his church declares, in the Revelation of St. John, “I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. ” (Rev. 2:23) This is the picture of himself which Jesus paints in today’s parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector.

Both of these men entered the temple before the holy presence of God almighty.Jesus’ teaching about these two men at prayer is a fearful commentary about Himself and His relationship with His church; that He is the One “who searches the minds and hearts,” He is the Shepherd of the flock “who divides his sheep from the goats” (Mt. 25:32).Jesus’ teaching this morning can also be a comfort to us as He reveals how you and I can stand truly righteous, that is “fully justified,” before God. Continue reading

Luke 18:31-43 Quinquagesima

Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!

Luke 18: 31And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” 34But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

35As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41“What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” 42And Jesus said to him,“Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

I. Introduction

Before I came to Missouri, I was a pastor in a large congregation in suburban Detroit. As is typical in a large congregation, I had several opportunities each year to perform weddings. One of unfortunate personal side-effects of all those weddings is that 1 Corinthians chapter 13 is probably one of my least favorite chapters in the Bible.

Brides, never the Grooms, but Brides would want to use 1 Corinthians 13 to support a wholly unbiblical understanding of love. “See, how beautiful love is” and they where always talking about the emotion, the pitter-patter of hearts, the Hallmark celebration that combines attraction and feelings and hope and perception. But Hallmark has a hard time talking about the reality of marriage: growing together through hard times, bad times, disappointments; commitment to one another–the something that every successful marriage must have when the emotion is a little cold, attraction has to face the reality of mornings, and the idealize perceptions are tempered with laundry, and jobs, and raising of children. Continue reading