Readings: Jeremiah 26:1-15; Ephesians 5:1-9; Luke 11:14-28
In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Last week and this week the Introit was from Psalm 25. I’ve said we get the psalms wrong when we make them about us. There is always lots to instruct and comfort us in the psalms, but they are prayer book, or if you will the diary, of Jesus our saviour.
Consider Psalm 22. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me... All who see me mock me... He trusts in the Lord, let Him deliver him, let Him rescue him for He delights in him... They have pierced my hands and feet... They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing...” Etc. (Psalm 22:1, 7, 8, 16, 18)
Is this about King David? No. These are prophecies about Our Lord on the cross. The Psalmists were given the mind of Christ. His thoughts came through their mouths and pens.
Our Lord knew His Father would. He had faith in His Father’s mercy which is of old (Psalm 25:6). He knew that if He went to the cross His Father would save Him, though He must die in our place. Yet in mercy His Father would deliver Him out of all of His troubles (Psalm 25:16-18, 20). There is no net that can entangle you from which the Father can not save you, not even death itself.
Our Lord who never sinned can claim to be a sinner (Psalm 25:18) for He bore all sin on the cross triumphing over it. He commands His merciful Father “loose me of it” which is same phrase for “forgive me” used throughout the Bible.
“Guard my soul”, watch it. That was Our Lord’s prayer. It is ours too. Today’s Gospel certainly had some soul guarding and watching going on. An afflicted soul, tormented by a demon was delivered. The afflictions of that sorry man’s heart were greatly enlarged, but Our Lord freed that man with a word. There was a debate. Those who hate Him accused him of sorcery (Luke 11:15-23)—using a demon’s name and power to do what He does. But one believing, but slightly misguided, woman says, “Blessed is your mother who bore you and nurtured you.” He says, “No, as great as she is, her blessings came to her from outside herself. They were received by her in faith, just as all blessing from the Lord is not earned but comes from outside you and is received by you in faith. Instead, blessed is anyone who hears My Word and keeps it. Guards it. Watches it. Because My Word watches your soul. My Word casts out Satan. My Word is Me. I will be watched, guarded, kept by My Father even in the midst of death, suffering, and shame. Where My Word is My Father’s keeping is. Where My Word is received in faith, believed in faith, there you will be watched, guarded, kept in faith, even through the midst of death.”
“My eyes are ever toward the Lord.” His eyes never departed from His Father. The Father's eyes were always on His beloved, only-begotten Son. Baptized into Him you have had His name, His Word bound to you. You have the eternally keeping of the Father who loosed Him from sin, guarded His soul in death, and drew His feet out of the snare of death and the grave. You are His and His Father will guard you eternally.
In +Jesus’ name, Amen.
—Pastor David Haberstock
Epiphany Lutheran Church
Thunder Bay, ON