The Glory Has Departed


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Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2015.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan


The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2015


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn # 281                                           The Savior Calls                
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual       
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #259                      Flung to the Heedless Winds  

Jesus Is the Good Samaritan


The Communion Hymn # 308               Invited, Lord, by Boundless Grace                     
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn # 464                                     Blest Be the Tie That Binds     

        

KJV Galatians 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

KJV Luke 10:23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.


Thirteenth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank Thee that Thou hast granted us to live in this accepted time, when we may hear Thy holy gospel, know Thy fatherly will, and behold Thy Son, Jesus Christ! We pray Thee, most merciful Father: Let the light of Thy holy word remain with us, and so govern our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may never forsake Thy word, but remain steadfast in it, and finally obtain eternal salvation; through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.



Jesus Is the Good Samaritan

KJV Luke 10:23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

This introduction is important to remember, because we are blessed to have this revelation from God, the Scriptures, the only revelation of the truth. We often grow up with it and are familiar with most of it, so we take for granted the spiritual wisdom revealed in the Word of God.

Prophets looked forward to the days the Spirit revealed to them, but we have that narrative complete before our eyes. Kings have asked seers to teach them the wisdom that would give them peace and salvation.

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

The introduction is not an extra saying to ignore but a red flag saying, "Stop, this is very important. Read this next parable carefully." The question addressed is "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Therefore, this parable is the answer to that question.

Without the parable, any Protestant would answer - believe in Christ and His righteousness, not in your own works."

But with the parable, everyone seems to take a wrong turn, into salvation by works. Like many passages, we can say with Luther - the monks and priests will mine this passage for all their false doctrine, unless we stop them.

But Protestants, Lutherans included, do not see the point of the parable and go into a zombie-like trance to focus on works. What better way to shame everyone and lay a ton of guilt on them. You are the religious who walk by, instead of the Good Samaritan who helps the wounded. The Social Gospel went beyond that - It is not enough to bind up the wounds. We must also make the road to Jericho safe. That is a key transition into social activism. In fact, misinterpreting this parable is the gateway into every possible error.

There have many many sermons that ended up, giving this lesson - we are all a bunch of heartless slobs who never do enough to help others.

Halle Pietism - also the source of UOJ
How did that happen among Protestants? The key historical point is Pietism, which taught cooperation as more important than doctrine, and tolerance of false doctrine. Pietism emphasized spiritual disciplines (the cell group instead of the Means of Grace) and works of mercy. Halle University was the main institution, built to teach Pietism. In one generation it moved from Bible-based teaching to rationalism. How did that happen? By moving sound doctrine a few notches, the road to rationalism was opened up and the Biblical faculty became known for attacking the Bible.

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 

This is the central teaching of Christianity and Judaism. The same response can be found in the rabbinic literature - love of God, concern for our neighbor. Luther summarized it as the two Tables of the Ten Commandments.

 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

Jesus answered appropriately, with some irony - do this... But the lawyer had something else in mind, justifying himself. Who is my neighbor? That was his goal, not to learn but to have Jesus reinforce his own self-esteem.

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

28. The man who here lies half dead, wounded and stripped of his clothing, is Adam and all mankind. The murderers are the devils who robbed and wounded us, and left us lying prostrate half dead. We still struggle a little for life; but there lies horse and man, we cannot help ourselves to our feet, and if we were left thus lying we would have to die by reason of our great anguish and lack of nourishment; maggots would grow in our wounds, followed by great misery and distress.

29. The parable stands in bold relief, and pictures us perfectly, what we are and can do with our boasted reason and free will. If the poor wounded man had desired to help himself, it would only have been worse for him, he would only have done harm to himself and irritated his wounds, and only prepared more misery and distress for himself.

Had he remained lying quiet, he would have had as much suffering. Thus it is when we are left to ourselves. We are always lost, we may lay hold where we will. Hitherto man has always acted thus, he has thought out many ways and methods how we might reform our lives and get to heaven.

The point of the priest and Levite passing by, when the road was narrow and no one could miss the man left half-dead was this - they represent dead works, or salvation by works. Jesus said, "22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" (Matthew 7)

When people believe in their own works and comfort themselves with those works, they have no compassion for others. That is the heart and dead soul of every authoritarian sect - from the Roman Catholics to Fundamentalists and "strict" Lutherans. They look at the outward signs of their allegiance and take comfort in those man-made marks of the church. It may be never smoking, never drinking. It may be extreme loyalty to the visible church while shunning others who are not so enlightened. It may be slavery to an authority figure, who stands above the Scriptures while using the Word to leverage his position above other people.

So - they will be heartless and fool themselves into thinking they love God.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

The Good Samaritan is Jesus - not an example of extreme do-goodism. This is a parable about salvation, not works. The Parable of the Last Judgment is about the connection between faith and works - in contrast. The problem many have is trying to fit their agenda into the Word of God. I can see that in reading essays. The maladroit essayists are like me when I try to get my big feet into new shoes. They shoehorn their ideas into the plain Word of God and make their words an instrument of torture. Nothing fits, or it fits just enough to cause a lot of pain.

The Good Samaritan is Jesus because He has fulfilled all law to atone for sins. Much is said about how much the Jews loathed the Samaritans, so it is ironic the Samaritan helps instead of the Jews. But that misses the prophesy of Isaiah 53, fulfilled in the Passion of Christ, where He became loathsome and repulsive in His torture and suffering - a man of sorrows, we hid our eyes from Him.

The actions of the Samaritan are many, so they represent what Jesus does for us. First of all, He finds us as we are and begins to treat and heal us. Jesus comes to us through the Word. We do not come to Him. When we are unbelievers, we have no power to seek Christ or come to Him. Instead, God has the Gospel come to us and call us to faith.

I have been in many hospital chapels, but I have never seen a baby crawling there to seek God. Instead, the parents take the helpless baby to the baptismal font, to wash, renew, and rebirth the baby in Christ, through the Gospel.

Christ does this for us because of His compassion. If we have had a mixed background and have been confused about sound doctrine, He uses good and bad teachers to drive us to the truth, and we value the truth that much more, the Word above all teachers and human agents.

  • He went to him
  • He bound up his wounds, using oil (the Gospel) and wine (the sharpness of the cross)
  • He put him on his beast and took him to the inn and cared for him.
  • He had the innkeeper take care of him and promised additional money when He returned for him.
These actions represent all the ways in which Christ claims us for his own flock.

  1. He comes to us through the Gospel, as infants or as adults. He seals us with the gift of the Holy Spirit and makes us His own.
  2. He heals our wounds through the forgiveness of sin (the oil). This is how I measure whether medicine works. If there is instant relief, it is healing and helping. Now they realize that natural oils are by themselves ideal for healing, and desert people knew that.
  3. The cross is the wine, since wine is sharp. The cross is the opposition and hatred that comes from being faithful to the Gospel. One FB discussion talked about Lutheran problems and rejecting certain doctrines. I wrote, "Some Lutherans reject justification by faith." As if to p;rove me right, my comment was erased, so I mused - They must think it is NO problem at all. The cross is painful and moves us to value the truth of God's Word and to see this opposition as a blessing and a purification.
  4. The beast and the trip to the inn is God's method of caring for us as Christian believers. He provides pastors, teachers, and congregations for teaching His Word and providing the Sacraments. 
  5. During times of devastation, He still maintains the faithful so they can establish new churches, as they did in America and also in the Third Word.
  6. He returns to pay the innkeeper, that is, God will bless those who provide the Gospel and care for them.
37. Ministers in this kingdom are to comfort the consciences, deal gently with them and feed them with the Gospel, carry the weak, heal the sick, and know how to divide the Word rightly, and administer the same to every one according to his needs. This is the office of a true bishop and minister, and not to proceed with violence as our bishops do, who come threatening with stocks and the block, crying: “Ho! up there, up there, who will not, must!” This should not be, but a bishop or minister ought to resemble one who Waits upon the sick, who treats them very gently, gives kind words, speaks very friendly to them and exercises all diligence in their behalf. Thus a bishop or minister should also do, and remember that his bishopric or parish is nothing but a hospital and an infirmary, where he has very many and various kinds of sick people for treatment. When Christ is thus preached faith and life meet together and fulfill the commandment of love.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

This last part throws people, because they are thinking of salvation by works, but this is a parable about Jesus, taught by Jesus, about salvation.

Who was the neighbor - Jesus - Love your neighbor. Salvation does not begin with works but with faith in Christ and love for Him because of His mercy on us, the beaten and left-for-dead on the road to Jericho.

Who is my neighbor? seeking to justify himself. The Savior is your neighbor. Salvation is faith in Him. Forgiveness is faith in Him. All good things begin with faith in Him and all evil begins with unbelief or remains with unbelief.