130616 Luke 7:36-50

Last Updated on Monday, 24 June 2013 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Luke 7:36-50
Sermon Theme: Look at What the Love of Jesus Gives You!

To all those who are fathers or grandfathers, to all those who have served as a "father-figure" to someone, I want to begin this morning by wishing each and every one of you a very blessed Father's Day. Maybe Father's Day doesn't get the hype and excitement that Mother's Day receives. Maybe you won't get a bunch of Father's Day presents or even a card. But on a day such as today, it is good for us to give thanks to the Lord of the Home for the blessing of Christian Fathers. As Fathers, we love our family. Because we love our family, we will do everything we can to support them and care for them. Now, let's switch gears a little. At this time, I want us to focus not on the love of our Christian Fathers, but on the love of Jesus. Based on the Gospel Lesson that we heard read earlier, I want you personally to Look at What the Love of Jesus Gives You!

The Savior is at a dinner hosted by a man named Simon. Simon was a Pharisee; one of the religious leaders of the day. As Jesus is eating, we are told this: "When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them." This disgusted Simon. He thought to himself, "'If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner.'" Jesus, knowing what Simon was thinking, then told this parable: "'Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?' Simon replied, 'I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.' 'You have judged correctly,' Jesus said." After pointing out to Simon how differently the woman was treating him, the Savior then turns to the woman and tells her, "'Your sins are forgiven.'" To which we are told the other guests began to say among themselves, "'Who is this who even forgives sins?'" The Savior's final words to the woman are words of comfort, "'Your faith has saved you; go in peace.'"

Based on this section of God's Word, look at what the love of Jesus gives you! First, note that the love of Jesus gives you the forgiveness of all your sins. The Pharisees in Jesus' day didn't think they needed a spiritual Deliverer. They were only looking for a Messiah who would rescue them from the hands of the Roman government. They thought they could earn their place in heaven by obeying all the Old Testament Laws and the additional laws that they invented. You and I will confess that there is a "Little Pharisee" in each one of us. We have thoughts that go something like this: "God has to be happy with me. I live the best I can...I do my best as a father...I do a lot for my church and my community...I know I'm a better person than a lot of other people I can think of..." and it goes on and on. When that "Pharisee" inside your heart and mine wants to take control, we do well to remember what we are by nature. The Bible tells us that you and I are sinful from birth; sinful from the time we were conceived in the wombs of our mothers. Together, you and I just confess a few moments ago, "In countless ways I have sinned against you and do not deserve to be called your child."

But, our confession continued, "Trusting in Jesus, my Savior, I pray: Have mercy on me according to your unfailing love. Cleanse me from my sin, and take away my guilt." In response to our confession, you and I heard Pastor Pagels proclaim some wonderful good news to us, "God, our heavenly Father, has forgiven all your sins. By the perfect life and innocent death of our Lord Jesus Christ, he has removed your guilt forever." Look at what the love of Jesus gives you! It gives you complete and free forgiveness of all of your sins!

Pastor's words of encouragement continued, "You are his own dear child. May God give you strength to live according to his will." Look at what the love of Jesus gives you! It gives you the power, the strength and the motivation to live for him. It was the love of Jesus, and her love for her one and only Savior, that prompted the woman that day to do what she did. As we read in chapter two of the book of James, "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." So you and I respond to our Savior's love by living for him who saved us. I will be the best father I can be, the best mother I can be, the best child I can be, the best Christian I can be, not to win God's favor, but as a way to say thank-you for the love of my one and only Savior, Jesus Christ.

Mrs. Lai, I know that you will not be comfortable with the next part of this sermon. But they are words that need to be said and that you need to hear. THANK-YOU! Thank you for all your tireless efforts, for the countless hours of faithful service, while you served in two vital roles in the ministry of our congregation, both as a teacher in our school and as our congregation's Early Childhood Director. Thank-you also for all your time and effort to instill in your children a love for their Savior Jesus. I know that you would be the very first to say that it's all because of Jesus and his love for you. And it's all because of the Lord of the Church, and his love for our congregation, that together we can take time on a day such as today to thank him for blessing our congregation through your ministry, to say thank you to you and your family for all your service to our congregation and to pray for his continued blessings upon all of you.

To all of our Father's on this "Fathers' Day", we say a word of thanks to you as well. Thanks to all of you for your time and efforts to bring up your children in the knowledge of their one and only Savior. Thank you for all the time that you spend working hard and doing the things that you do to support the family the Lord has given to you. Thank you for the Christ-like love that you show to your family. Certainly we as Christian Fathers pray that our heavenly Father would give to all of us (not just to fathers) a rich measure of his Holy Spirit to rejoice in the forgiveness of sins that Jesus won for you and me; to live a life that gives all praise and glory to our Savior-God. Each day of his grace to you, remember to look at what the love of Jesus gives you! Amen.

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
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