The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream


NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Third Mid-Week Lenten Service, 2015



Third Mid-Week Lenten Vespers, 2015


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Worship, 7 PM Central Time 

The Hymn # 159  Go to Dark Gethsemane            2.30
The Order of Vespers                                             p. 41
The Psalmody                   Psalm 2                  p. 128
The Lections                            The Passion History
                                                 John 8

The Sermon Hymn # 479       Zion Rise                    2.13

The Sermon –     I AM the Light of the World
 
The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace                                            p. 45

The Hymn # 654       Now the Day Is Over             2.7

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.
20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.
21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.
22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.
27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.

 I AM the Light of the World

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

We know "light" is an important word, because everyone wants to take it away from the Son of God and attribute "light" to their delusions.

The Enlightenment was a time when rationalism took over Europe and ministers gave sermons on building bridges and other practical matters - because they had nothing to say about matters of faith - just like today.

The Enlightenment had taken over the training of ministers when CFW Walther went to Leipzig University (where he earned his only degree, a bachelor's). 

Morningstar is associated with Christ but also with Satan, who is named Lucifer in a derivation of the morningstar name. This is appropriate because Satan always apes the Christian faith in every way possible. Thus the Satanists use Christian rites backwards and say such things as Bless God instead of God bless.

In the name of human reason, the most absurd and evil things take place because people think they are free from the restraints of society when they are in fact obsessed with those restraints, enslaved by their rebellion.

This sermonic exchange is something the unbelievers like to make fun of. In fact, I had a logic book that liked to use exchanges like this. The sayings of Jesus are comforting and strengthening for believers, but they offend unbelievers.

I AM - this a divine claim, because I AM is the Name of God. Moses asked, "What is Your Name," and the Angel of the Lord (the Son of God, before the Incarnation) answered, "Tell them I AM sent you."

The statement is triadic, which makes it easier to remember, when seen as poetic stanzas. 
  • I AM the light of the world: 
  • he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, 
  • but shall have the light of life.
The Son of God is defined as the source of all wisdom and understanding. This is the ultimate claim, and it is extraordinary. This claim excludes the idea is nice, or is a placebo, or is something sentimental and sweet and nostalgic.

That means, if Genesis 1 and John 1 say Jesus is the Creating Word, then every single plant, animal, microbe, and mineral was created through Christ - and nothing was made apart from Him - all in six 24-hour days.

There can be no compromise between this article of faith and the rationalistic view of evolving Creation over millions of years and other such nonsense. The Evangelicals were already compromising on evolution in the 19th Century, which shows how shaky the Protestant foundations became, long ago.

  • he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, 

Those who follow the Savior will not walk in darkness. Faith in Him means having our lives illuminated by the Gospel He gave us, and that light truly matters.

When something is lost or missing, the first thing we want is a bright light that will distinguish between one thing and another. Walking in darkness is no fun either. I used to take Sassy outside at night to get something - in Bella Vista with no street lights. I could not find anything or see our dog in the dark. Finally I got a little LED light on the key change. 

Walking in darkness is allegorical - it means tripping and falling - and it can also mean being scared. "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet."

This light is true Christian understanding, which quite the opposite of human wisdom.

  • but shall have the light of life.
Darkness and light. Good and evil. Falsehood and truth. John's Gospel highlights what the Savior teaches, in the most basic language, so that no one needs to feel puzzled, confused, or conflicted.

13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
The opposition of the Pharisees made it easy for Jesus to clarify His message, which was and is the Father-Son relationship.
If someone rejects this relationship, the statements by Jesus are easy to ridicule. We often ridicule what we do not understand. But these truths are revealed by the Holy Spirit, so believers can easily grasp what is being taught. After all, the Bible has hundreds of references to the Trinity, and many more about the Father-Son relationship. Believers understand this spiritually, so this is Jesus explaining it further.
The Two Persons (Father and Son) agree. That is one point Jesus makes. And the Third Person bears witness to this (the Holy Spirit). 
Let us assume for a moment that Jesus is the Son of God. He knows Who He is, and where He has come from. How can anyone argue with that? We have no way to grasp His divine experience and He cannot prove it to us with facts.
One fake on TV said today that He went to heaven and obtained two books to help with translating (very Mormon-like). He wanted to take another one, but was not allowed - an extra chapter of John's Gospel. Was that new to you, too?
Maybe later this fake will reveal it to us, for a price. He raised a baby from the dead too, and he was so full of the Presence one day that people fell down all around him.
If the Pharisees died without faith, they could NOT say, "No fair, You did not tell us about being the Son of God." But Jesus did and many were converted. How could they be converted when His experience and sermons were so different?
Jesus' miraculous healings were so dramatic and public that thousands saw the power of God manifested in many forms - healing and raising the dead, command over nature, and defying the laws He established - water into wine, walking on water, helping Peter to walk on water, and finally - rising from the dead.

19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.
20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.
21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.
22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.
27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.

Jesus compassion included both teaching the truth about Himself and final judgment against unbelievers. The opposition continues so he warned them against dying in unbelief.  This included a reference to the future crucifixion - lifting up the Son of Man, because He knew He would rise from the dead. What He taught the disciples nurtured their faith in the darkest days. What He taught the Pharisees condemned them if they did not believe.
And yet, many believed on Him. Jesus taught the Gospel plainly and planted faith in their hearts. He did not appeal to them or try to figure out their felt needs. He taught:
  1. There is only One Truth.
  2. He is the Truth and the Life-giver.
  3. Believing in Him brings true wisdom and eternal life.