Summary: Jesus ability to work on our behalf is incredible
Pentecost 20 He is Able
† In Jesus Name †
Grace, Mercy and peace is yours, from God our Father, and our Savior, Lord, and Brother, Jesus the Christ!
Jesus calling the children to him….
Obviously, the boss had a different set of priorities that day, but then He often did. As He was working with the people that day, he had a different priority than his assistants thought. Though his assistants should have been used to his different ways, they messed up, and did exactly that which was opposite of his desire.
Like most men in leadership, when confronted by assistants who screw up, a level of frustration set in. Some would say he was irritated, some irate; some describe His attitude as displeased, and one witness uses the word angry. Seeking to please Him, his assistants did that which could put in jeopardy, the very mission, the very purpose He was there that day.
He came, to seek and save those who were lost, alone, hurting, and in danger.
They wanted to stop that, thinking that He was too busy, to engaged, to take time for those who needed him.
It would be like an aid, saying that the doctor and nurses were too busy to see his patients. That a teacher was too busy, to teach her students. That a shepherd, didn’t have time for the sheep.
Jesus chastised his disciples, for so completely misunderstanding His mission, as the Messiah. He scolded them for not understanding that Jesus wanted the children, and the adults, indeed, the world, to come to Him, that He might pour out His blessings on them. On us.
This day, we are not spending so much time looking at the gospel reading, as we shall looking at the incredible good news, that God gives us in the epistle.
He is able to overcome that which separates us;
Fear of death
Slavery to sin
In the example of the children being brought to Jesus, the disciples tried to stop them from getting to Jesus, to receive His blessing. Likewise, there are forces in this world, that would have stopped us, and will try to stop others, from receiving the blessings that He has done so much, to be able to give us. There are times that the opposition, the ones that oppose and seek to prevent us from being with Christ, are ourselves.
The last verse of our epistle reading, shows us one of our greatest challenges. Temptation. Before us, each and every day, there are temptations, challenges, tests, that we lack the ability to overcome, by our own strength. We may even fall to one temptation, while overcoming another temptation. Consider the person, who being tempted with lieng, or with acting out in anger, or in lust, wins the small battle. But in that victory, they take pride in their strength, and forget to give God the glory. Or the person who doing a good deed, must go seek out approval.
We are surrounded by temptation, and our adversary, the devil, knows how well, to make use of our failures, and our successes.
Satan would drive individuals to despair of life, throwing our very shortcomings up as barriers to our meeting Jesus. He would convince us of the futility in fighting temptation, and get us to surrender the fight. For how do we fight the inevitable? We know from life experience, that we often succumb to temptations, and that those temptations result in sin, in us building quickly another wall, between us, and God.
That is why death has such great power over the world, over us. It marks the end of being able to correct that which we have done wrong. It ends our influence over those we would advise, in the hope that they would not make the same mistakes we have made.
The Devil wanders, using the mastery of death to accuse us. That is what his names means after all – to throw things against us. Most often, our own sin. To remind us that we have not earned heaven, that our works do not merit anything, but judgment, and wrath, and death.
Even among the false, man-made religions of the world, our actions would fall short, far short of any ideal of perfection.
Another illustration. Friday, Ryan came to work on the pipe organ some more. He came in the church, and without greeting me, with the exception of the word Hi, he rushed towards the nursery, his 8 month son in his arms. Apparently, as I will find out, young children are capable of rendering themselves, unsuitable for company. We do the same, as we role around in the mess we have made of our lives. And like a young infant, we are not able to clean ourselves, from the mess we have got ourselves into.