Summary: This sermon reminds those present of the Church Year, then moves on to the reason Jesus came. The words of the angel to Mary or the words of John the Baptist remind us... He shall be called Jesus for he came to save us from our sins... The sermon includ
In Jesus Holy Name November 23, 2008
“The Relationship Principles of Jesus”
# 4 in series “Love Does not keep a Record of Wrongs
Today our liturgy celebrates the last Sunday in the Church Year, Christ the King Sunday. Next week we begin a new church year with the first Sunday in Advent.
Through out the year the Sunday Gospel lessons have moved us through the events in the life of Jesus and his message of salvation. These Gospel lessons are read from one of the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.
The Church Year will begin next Sunday when the gospel lessons bring us to the Jordan River and the message of John the Baptist. His message calls everyone to repent, in preparation for the arrival of the long awaited Messiah. We will then hear the message of the angel to Mary and Joseph who are told to name their child, “Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
We will travel to Bethlehem with the Wise men; walk with Jesus into the villages of Galilee. We will see Jesus demonstrate his authority over the devil, illness and death. We will listen with the multitudes and disciples. Our feet will cross the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane. We will watch as Jesus carries the cross to Calvary, where the words of John the Baptist find fulfillment…”Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
On Easter Sunday the Church Year celebrates with the women who heard the message of the angel: “He is not here he is risen just as he said.”
Today on Christ the King Sunday we will speak the words in the creed: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.”
The Apostle John wrote: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we have seen his glory.” The same glory of God, that led the children of Israel for 40 years through the wilderness in a fire by night and a cloud by day was visible in the sandals of Jesus. The woman, whom slipped into the home of Simon the Pharisee when Jesus was in town, knew who Jesus was. She knelt and washed his feet with her tears. (Luke 7)She knew that he brought God’s forgiveness.
So Jesus tells Simon a story. Simon: Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him so much that even if the man worked everyday for 3 years and did not take a penny home for bread, he could not repay the loan. The other only owed two months worth of wages. Neither had the money to repay their loans. So the Moneylender canceled both their debts. Now, Simon, which of them will love him more?
For Simon the answer was easy…you could see the smile and pride as he answered correctly. “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” Jesus said: “you have answered correctly.” Then Jesus, with a gently act of kindness, softly lifted the woman’s chin and turned to Simon and said. “Simon, do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not offer one act of kindness, no water to clean my feet from the dusty road, yet she wet my feet with her tears and wiped my feet with her hair. You did not put oil on my hair, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven. But he, who has been forgiven little, loves little.”
We have no power to save ourselves. As human beings like the woman kneeling at the feet of Jesus, are helpless to find true spiritual peace with an almighty, righteous God. That’s why Jesus came. He would carry the sins of all believers to the cross.
The woman knew, what the disciples would learn that: “God the Father was pleased to have all of his full deity dwell in Jesus and through Jesus restore peace through his blood shed on the cross.” (Col. 1:19-20)
The O.T. prophet Jeremiah understood the depth of God’s love for the human race long before he was born in a stable in Bethlehem. These are the words God spoke through Jeremiah: “I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.” They are gone. They are erased.
Here at Redeemer, we understand, the forgiveness that Jesus gave to the woman. We understand, the forgiveness given to us at the cross on which Jesus died. Together we are learning how to imitate Jesus. We are learning that one of the relationship principles of Jesus is the call to forgive ourselves and one another.
We have talked about forgiveness before. The primary act of faith is forgiving. It is the characteristic act of God, the Father of Jesus Christ. If we follow him in faith it is the first thing we do in our own discipleship. It is not easy. When we forgive another for the hurt they have caused us, that act of forgiveness may not change them but it will free our heart from bitterness.