nullPentecost 14 2018
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hamilton, Ohio
Pastor Kevin Jud
August 19, 2108
Proverbs 9:1-10, Ephesians 5:6-21, John 6:51-69

Sermons online: 
Text and Audio:         immanuelhamiltonchurch.com   click “sermons”
Text:                            pastorjud.org  
Audio:                         pastorjud.podbean.com 
itunes:                         bit.ly/pastorjud
Full Service Audio:    bit.ly/ImmanuelWorship

In our reading from Proverbs, Wisdom has prepared a feast and invites simple folks to come and partake.  Proverbs 9:6 (ESV) 6 Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”[1]  Proverbs 9:10 (ESV) 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.[2]

Just after our Old Testament reading about the way of wisdom we find the way of folly.  Proverbs 9:13-18 (ESV) 13 The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, 15 calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, 16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” And to him who lacks sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” 18 But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol. [3]

We see in Proverbs this struggle between the way of wisdom and the way of foolishness.  Also in our Epistle reading where Paul warns the Christians in Ephesus, Ephesians 5:6 (ESV) 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.[4]  …. Ephesians 5:15 (ESV) 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,[5]

You have been marked as a child of God in your baptism and since then there has been an ongoing battle for your soul.  The Lord God has you and the evil one, Satan, wants you back.  Ephesians 5:8 (ESV) 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. …[6]

God and the devil both want you.  There is a struggle for your present life and a struggle for your eternal soul.  It is a struggle between wisdom and folly.  Between light and darkness.  Between fruitful works and unfruitful works.  Between Jesus, the Bread of Life, and the devil, the great deceiver.  The devil knows your weak spots; he knows just what to tempt you with.

The devil is powerful but God is Almighty.  And God has called you to himself.  He has washed you clean in the waters of Holy Baptism and set you apart from the multitude of unbelievers.  He has given you His Holy Spirit who breathes the breath of faith in you.  Through the Holy Spirit you know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  And because you have the Holy Spirit you are a target for attacks by the devil and his demons because you have the life of the world.

            You have been marked as a child of God in your baptism and since then there has been an ongoing battle for your soul.  The Lord God has you and the evil one, Satan, wants you back.  Ephesians 5:8 (ESV) 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. …[6]

Jesus said, John 6:51 (ESV) 1 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”[7]

Jesus is telling the people there in Capernaum that they don’t need Jesus to give them physical bread; they need Jesus for salvation, Jesus is telling you.  You need Him for redemption.  You need Jesus.  Your flesh is of no avail.  You cannot save yourself.  You need Jesus’ words of spirit and life.  You need the bread of life.

And you don’t just need Jesus in some cursory, tangential way in which He doesn’t interfere with your day to day life.  You need to feed on Jesus’ flesh and drink of His blood.  You need to find your sustenance in Jesus for eternal life.  You need Jesus to be your Lord and Savior each day, every day, because you are totally reliant on Jesus for forgiveness, life and salvation.  Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)  8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.[8]

Now faith is not easy.  Believing in Jesus is putting your faith in someone you cannot see instead of putting your faith in the things of this world which you can see.  Faith is a foreign thing to us.  We prefer to operate under the paradigm of “seeing is believing.”  You are comfortable with what you can see, what you can touch, what you can experience.  Jesus is so much more than what you can see, touch and experience and yet He comes to you in such simple and yet mysterious ways; in the water and word in Holy Baptism, in the words of forgiveness, in the bread and wine of Holy Communion.  God is present in mysterious ways.

The devil wants you to be offended that Jesus comes to you in such simple ways; in water, word, bread and wine.  The devil wants you to be offended that Jesus is the only way to heaven.  The devil wants you to be offended that you have faith in someone you cannot see.  But you know, Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)  …faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.[9]  The devil wants you to be offended that Jesus calls you out of the darkness of sin into his marvelous light.  The devil wants you to be offended that Jesus does not want you to indulge your sinful desires.

In the war for your soul there is wisdom and there is folly.  But you are not unprepared.  You have insight.  You know the truth.  You know what the disciples know.  You know you cannot leave Jesus.  When Jesus asked the disciples if they were leaving Him also, John 6:68-69 (ESV) 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”[10]

When the folly of the devil is ringing in your ears and you are struggling to resist the call of foolishness and evil.  When you are tempted to give up doing what God wants you to do and instead do what you want to do.  When you hear the call to leave Jesus and separate yourself from your fellow believers in the Church, remember this truth and confess this to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall I go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and I have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”  Proverbs 9:10 (ESV) 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.[11]          Amen.


[1]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

[2]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

[3]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

[4]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

[5]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

[6]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

[7]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

[8]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

[9]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

[10]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

[11]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s