The Glory Has Departed


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Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Second Sunday after Trinity, 2016. Luke 14:16-24






The Second Sunday after Trinity, 2016 

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The melodies are linked in the hymn name. 
The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.
The Hymn # 361                                O Jesus King 
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 #371                          Jesus Thy Blood                       

 Wedding Attire

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 #660                            I'm But a Stranger Here           

KJV 1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

KJV Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Second Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father, we give thanks unto Thee, that through Thy holy word Thou hast called us to Thy great supper, and we beseech Thee: Quicken our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not hear Thy word without fruit, but that we may prepare ourselves rightly for Thy kingdom, and not suffer ourselves to be hindered by any worldly care, 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.

 
Wedding Attire

KJV Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 

One thing should strike us about the Great Feast Parable - this is a concrete comparison and not an abstract one. Objections to Biblical teaching are abstract and often use newly minted words. But Jesus taught with concrete examples from ordinary life and His own Creation. If we cannot learn from Creation, then we might pay attention to parallels with ordinary life.

No one had trouble with Holy Communion until the Reformation, when those who opposed Luther found an agenda they could promote. Zwingli and later Calvin wrote against it, and others did as well. The idea was always to make Holy Communion only symbolic, just a ritual. In doing so, they thought they refuted Roman dogma. But they were like the man, as Luther said, who saw his brother attacked by a bear. He grabbed his knife and stabbed, killing his brother instead of the bear. So these supposed anti-Romanists attack the wrong thing and effectively kill the efficacy and purpose of the Lord's Supper.

A certain man...
Everyone can see this is a parable, one with everyday comparisons. "A certain man" signals that this is a parable. As a teaching of Jesus in His own words, we should pay attention to it. 

When people appeal to authority as a logical fallacy, they pick their own authority and skip the true source, the Word of God, which judges all authorities. In addition, they use a reverse version of this, saying, "I don't agree with you." I have said to many, "But that does not matter. Do you agree with the Scriptures and as a Lutheran, with the Book of Concord?"

Secondly, as a parable, this ranks as teaching by Jesus that was explained thoroughly to His disciples. It was not supposed to be so obvious that any dabbler could deal with it.

A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 

We can all relate to this, because it is saying that the Gospel is a gracious invitation. Who would not accept an invitation sent when they are hungry - at supper time? The Jewish people hungered for righteousness. They knew the Scriptures but often missed the main point. And yet, at the time of Jesus, there was so much longing, so much hunger, that they flocked to Him to hear the Word from him rather than the scribes and Pharisees.

This is a parallel to what the Fourth Gospel states - that Jesus came to His own people, and they did not receive him (believe in Him).

18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 

The rejection of the invitation is shown to be ridiculous, because each excuse is shallow and ridiculous. One has to go look at some land. One has to test-drive his oxen. The last one has just married.

As Luther noted, this parable is a rebuke to the Jewish leader who tried to show off and preach better than Jesus.

10. Following this address one of them who thought himself much more learned than Christ the Lord, begins to say: “Oh, how blessed is he who eateth bread in the kingdom of God.” As though he would say in his great wisdom: You make yourself unprofitable enough by your preaching! If it would depend on preaching, I can do that, too, even better than you; for I consider this a truly great sermon: “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”
11. Christ replies to him: Yes, says he, I will tell you how blessed you and your comrades are: “A certain man made a great supper, and bade many,” and they despised it and would not come. This blow was meant for him. As though he would say: You say much in the words, that he is a blessed man who eats bread in heaven! Oh, but you are in very great earnest! What an excellent holy man you are, namely, you are one of those who are invited and yet do not come. These are hard, sharp and terrible words when rightly considered; for he is speaking to real thorough-going rogues, who sat about the table, not because they wanted to learn anything, but in order to observe him closely to see by what means they might come to him and take him. To those he spoke this parable: “A certain man made a great supper.”

So these people who excuse themselves are the Jews invited to believe every since Abraham, since that patriarch was and is the model of justifying faith. The Gospel invitations are all those predictions and blessings in the Old Testament. People think of the prophets as warning them about their sins, which is true. Those sins - like ours today - came from lack of faith. The condemnations were intended to warn the Jewish people away from all the consequences of their lack of faith, such as chasing after the carnal pagan religions around them. But they were also promised the Messiah, and their response was to get rid of the prophets who annoyed them so much.



I had to do some homework about Andover Newton, because these mergers and changes get so complicated. My memory was correct - that the Calvinist Leonard Woods Senior was the first theology professor at Andover. His son was the rock star Leonard Words Junior, who translated the Knapp lectures from Halle University, established to teach Pietism (soon after the bastion of Rationalism, rejection of the Word). Junior explained the opaque language of Knapp as teaching Objective Justification and Subjective Justification. 


These terms may not have originated with Junior, but we know this famous book was so influential that Walther approved the terms when they began appearing in Germany. The two terms - OJ and SJ - slowly became canonical and blessed by CFW in the LCMS, WELS, and ELS.

Recently, Jay Webber declared that Luther taught a term - Objective Justification - which did not even exist until long after Luther died, long after the Book of Concord was published. Luther was quite the prophet, to teach something that did not exist as though it did exist.

21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 

Who would reject a gracious invitation with such rude, flimsy excuses? And yet they continue to this day. People cite their bad experiences with their parents or a minister or a denomination, as that mattered in terms of faith in the Savior. Anyone can cite as as many excuses, and ministers can add many more. People should be overwhelmed with gratitude that there are any ministers left who believe in the traditional teaching of the Christian Faith. The modern theologians and the denominational executives are apostates who hate the Christian Faith.

More importantly, the greedy, dishonest, and criminal clergy are rewarded for their apostasy and behavior. Those who want the riches and glory of the world, as Jesus was offered in His temptations, are eager to bow down and worship Satan. They will not die for the Faith, but they will kill for their synod's corrupt leaders.

The Gospel moves on. As Jesus is teaching in the parable the Gospel invitation was extended to those never considered by Jews to be part of the Kingdom. That would mean us! And now that the West has been rewarded by the blessings of the Gospel, it is moving on among the poorest nations.

24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Sometimes the Word emphasizes works, and at other times faith, but the decisive term in the entire Bible is faith.

As the Matthew 7:15ff passage teaches us, the good tree can only bear good fruit, and the bad tree only evil and corrupt fruit.

Any gardener can say, the battle against weeds is constant and never won. The weeds grab the good soil, the rain, and the sunshine to overwhelm the good plants. I have roses with grass growing right up through the plant, so I have to cut the grass carefully and deny it sunshine to sprout again.

Some weeds are so robust that they grow 9 feet tall, spread out their seeds, dominate the country they adopt, and produce horrible rashes when touched.

The believer still has sins, but they do not dominate and destroy, as we see happening with so many today. The unbeliever may strive to show off his great sanctity, but that by itself is an affront to God, as if a human's pretended righteousness is better than God's, which comes from faith in Christ alone.

35. But how shall we be constrained, as God does not want any forced worship? He constrains us by having the Gospel preached to all men: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Here he shows us both heaven and hell, death and life, wrath and grace, and reveals unto us our sins and ruined condition, so that we may be awakened on account of it, because we hear that a man as soon as he is born, naturally belongs to the devil and is condemned. This is part of this constraint, by which one is terrified at the wrath of God and desires grace and help from him.

36. When this has taken place by preaching and the hearts are thus stricken and awakened, he then desires that we should preach thus: Dear friend, do not despair because you are a sinner and have such a terrible sentence passed upon you; but do this, go forth and be baptized and hear the Gospel. Here you will learn that Jesus Christ has died for your sake, and has made satisfaction for your sins. If you believe this, then you will be safe against the wrath of God and eternal death, and you shall eat here at this glorious supper and live well, become hearty and strong.

This Is a Feast That Feeds
Holy Communion is not abstract, but concrete. It is both symbolic and real at the same time. Holy Communion symbolizes the Last Supper and has us re-enact that pivotal event. Christ instituted it, so the Sacrament is very important.

The power of this Sacrament is the Holy Spirit in the Word. What God promises is true - these ordinary elements, consecrated, are also the Body and Blood of Christ, given for the forgiveness of sin.

We say Sacrament because Communion  combines the Word with earthly elements. Supper is a good term. If we become weak from lacking food, how much more important is it to feed the soul so that we do not become weak in faith?

This feast depends on the Word and faith. God has the Word preached to strengthen faith and enjoy the invitation, trusting in the Spirit's work. Notice how powerfully people argue against this - to no avail. The use up 100 times the energy to say this cannot be so and to condemn those who agree with the simple and plain language of Jesus.