The Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity
Genesis 28:10-17, Ephesians 4:22-28, & St. Matthew 9:1-8
686, 708, 748, 610, 611
Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you from God the Father and Christ Jesus the Lord. Amen.
The sermon text is the Gospel appointed, the Gospel according to St. Matthew, the 9th chapter, with particular focus on these words:
And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”
The text in part. Please be seated.
In the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
St. Matthew records, “Getting into a boat [Jesus] crossed over and came to his own city.”
Jesus and His disciples are now in Capernaum. Saints Mark and Luke also have this account recorded and have offered additional information. Mark says prior to the entrance of the paralytic, about Jesus, that “after some days, it was reported that He was at home” (Mark 2:2).
St. Luke adds that this account happened “on one of those days, as [Jesus] was teaching, [and] Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from Jerusalem” (Luke 5:17).
From these parallel accounts we know that the news of Jesus being there and teaching had a few days to circulate among the people. And that all who wished to see Him were gathered there crowding the house, its doorway, and even the access to the doorway.
With five men coming and with the Pharisees and teachers of the law present, Jesus was about to demonstrate that He is Lord of all. Indeed this morning we consider that:
JESUS, SON OF GOD FROM HEAVEN ABOVE, REIGNS ALSO IN THE REALM OF MEN. ALLELUIA!
- JESUS, SON OF GOD FROM HEAVEN ABOVE.
- JESUS REIGNS ALSO IN THE REALM OF MEN.
I. JESUS, SON OF GOD FROM HEAVEN ABOVE.
There is plenty in this text that demonstrates that Jesus is the Son of God sent by the heavenly Father.
Certainly these Jewish people knew their Scriptures. And with the Pharisees and teachers of the Law they were quite familiar with the prophets words concerning the promised Messiah.
St. Matthew tells us that Jesus saw the faith of the five men, knew the evil thoughts of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, and that He cured the man of His crippling muscle disorder.
Only God can see into the hearts of men – good or evil – and only God can cure the sick.
Of course they dismissed Jesus forgiving the man's sins as blaspheming. Yet when He asked them, “which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
O no! Only God can do either. And yet this man is reported to have healed, raised the dead, cast out demons, and cleansed lepers!
While these Pharisees do refuse to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, yet His miracles and authority teaching God's Word are so convincing.
But miracles cannot produce faith only God's Word can do that. And without faith they are annoyed with Jesus, even angry with jealousy over His popularity.
Jesus heals the man, which seems to indicate one of two things – either Jesus is God, or God is working through this man at the very least. But these Pharisees and teachers reject Jesus, and His miracles. He isn't what they want.
The very Son of God stands before them, in the flesh, true God and true man – some believe like the five men, but others like the Pharisees and teachers of the Law do not.
II. JESUS REIGNS ALSO IN THE REALM OF MEN.
But for those who are brought to faith they see Jesus both forgiving sins, and healing the sick. His mercy is bountiful and gracious. Mankind doesn't deserve such loving treatment!
Born sinful, and sinning freely, all men are thus in the world. Yet,
“For āGod so loved āthe world, āthat he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not āperish but have eternal life. For āGod did not send his Son into the world āto condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (Jn 3:16-17).
All men fell into sin, and all men sin. Yet the Father sent Jesus to pay for all sin. With creation fallen, and mankind all sinners, Jesus became man, He entered His own creation with created flesh.
Yes, true God, indeed the very Son of God, became man, true God still and now also true man, yet one person. He entered the realm of men. And when He took on our flesh, it was in answer to all the promises of God to send the Messiah to rescue men from their sins.
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. This is the purpose of His entering our realm to reign as our King by dying for our sins and rising again to life. The Father chose to show forth His glory in that Christ died on the cross for our sins.
In our own sinful realm, Jesus came and with His Holy Passion, His suffering and death, He defeated sin, death, and devil. His suffering, death, and resurrection restores those who believe to become sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father.
Because Christ descended and ascended again, we too will now be raised to heaven with new restored flesh and spirit on the last day. Alleluia!
This is the reason the Church now prays come Lord Jesus. Yes, we want and need Him to come in His Word taught and preached, in Holy Baptism, Absolution, and His Holy Communion. But we especially look forward to when He will end this veil of tears, sin and death and carry us to heaven for all of the glorious eternity.
In the verse for the Day we sing, Alleluia. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! Alleluia.
Marvelous things! Indeed! His life, suffering, death, and resurrection are most certainly marvelous things. For through these His great works of atonement He has ransomed us from our sins.
Alleluia, praise God for His Son, our Savior!
T T T
And this applies especially to you. You are still on this earth. Therefore you are still in the flesh. This means that you sin, you get sick, are subject to aging, and will eventually die.
But Christ has gathered you to become His baptized. He has forgiven you all your sins. Indeed He now works in you to give praise and thanks to God and to live God-pleasing lives in thanksgiving to Him.
Your neighbors need your Christian service. They are hungry, thirsty, naked, homeless, imprisoned, and dying. Worse yet, many of them do not know Jesus Christ. You get to thank the Father for Jesus by helping, and loving your neighbors.
Even though you aren't any good at it, and stumble and drag your feet while doing it, The Father lets you thank Him, in this way, for Christ's sake.
It is by what Christ did in the realm of men that you are made His children. Your works do not save you. Christ's works alone do that!
When Christ ascended into heaven, the Father gave Him power over the heaven and the earth. Man's realm while sinful through and through has been given real hope. Alleluia!
While your old Adam, Pharisee heart still resists, your new man rejoices in Christ Jesus. Our flesh is still annoyed with Jesus, but our new man in our new baptismal life believes and trusts in the Savior from sin, death, and devil.
We sing with the Psalmist in the Introit this morning, repeating God's Word,
Say to my soul, “I am your sal- | vation!”*
When the righteous cry for help, the | Lord hears.
[The Lord] saved him out of all his | troubles;*
this is God, our God forever and | ever.
Four men heard that Jesus was in His own city. They brought their paralytic friend
to Jesus that He might help him. Jesus saw their faith and forgave the man, and also those with him, their sins. Faith in Jesus receives forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life.
Those with hardened hearts rejected Jesus, but those who believed were saved. And so it is with you.
Unable to know Jesus or even come to Him, by yourself, others brought you to be baptized. Given new life and faith, you too are forgiven. And Jesus continues to send His Holy Spirit to gather you often to His Word.
His Word is gracious and it is this morning to you,
“Take heart, my son, [my daughter]; your sins are forgiven.”
Indeed little Emanuel/Zion, alleluia! You are forgiven, you are saved, and you have already begun to live forever (point to the fount), for Jesus' Holy Passion's sake. Amen.
In the name of the Father and of the T Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
The Peace of God which passeth all understanding, keep you hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.