161120 Jeremiah 23:5-6

Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2016 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: Jeremiah 23:5-6
Theme: Keep Calm: Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

"The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness."

If you spent any time at all on social media during the days and weeks leading up to the election, most likely you saw something like this: "No matter who is president, Jesus is King!" This is a good reminder for all of us that while we elect human beings to serve in positions of leadership in our government to rule over us, ruling over them is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Remembering that Jesus is our King is also fitting for us as we watch the turmoil taking place on the streets of our country, as well as on the paths of our own lives. Today from God's Word, on this Christ the King Sunday, you and I receive this encouragement: Keep Calm: Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

From Jeremiah chapter 23 we read this, "'The days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.'" First, notice who it is that is speaking here. These are not only the words of the prophet Jeremiah. No, Jeremiah, led by God the Holy Spirit, is quoting the one and only true God. It is the Lord himself who will step in, and provide the Savior the sinful world needs. It is God himself who says that Jesus, our one and only Savior, is qualified to be our King.

What qualifications does God require of our King? First, that he be true man. Jesus, as true man, is a descendant of King David. As we will celebrate in a few short weeks, through a miracle carried out by God the Holy Spirit, Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary, was born and lived on this earth as a true man. In Galatians 4 we read, "When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law."

The second qualification God the Father requires is that our King be true God. As the Galatians passage I just read tells us, Jesus is the Son of God. It is important to note that the Bible does not call Jesus "a" son of God. Rather, God's Word tells us that Jesus is "the" Son of God. Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, is true God. Here in Jeremiah, the description of the King, Jesus, is that he is "a righteous Branch." This is not a branch, as we think of a branch of a tree, which depends on the trunk of the tree to give it life. In the original language, the word translated "Branch" refers to something new. It grows up on its own. It is not dependent on anyone or anything else. It is its own source of strength and life.

Here the branch is described as "righteous". Again the original language helps us to understand this. The Hebrew means "right, guiltless, correct, just, without fault." Jesus, as true God, is perfect. He was and always will be without sin. He was conceived and born without sin. Never once did he give into temptation and sin against the Law of God while living on this earth. The writer to the Hebrews tells us that "we have one (Jesus) who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin." Jeremiah was also led by God the Holy Spirit to describe Jesus as "a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land."

There is a lot of debate going on in our country right now over what makes a person qualified to hold a position of power and authority. No matter what qualifications you may list as important, from time to time those who are in these positions of power will fail to measure up to those qualifications. But, this is not true of our King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Why are you and I able to keep calm? Because Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. Consider his qualifications to be our King and Lord. Jesus, as true God, humbled himself to be born into this world as a true man. He placed himself under God's Law, and obeyed it perfectly. He suffered. He died. As Paul was led to write to the Philippians, Jesus our King "being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!"
Only through our King, Jesus Christ, do you and I enjoy the forgiveness of all sins. Only through our King, Jesus Christ, are you and I qualified to live forever with him in heaven. As we read earlier from Colossians chapter 1, "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins...For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."

Now in verse 6 of Jeremiah chapter 23 we read this: "In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety." As a prophet of the Lord, as his messenger, Jeremiah was sent to warn the people living in Judah that, because of their stubborn unbelief, the almighty Lord was going to send them into exile in the land of Babylon. However, the gracious Lord also made a promise to those who remained faithful to him and his Word. The Lord still reigned. The promise was that while they were in exile the Lord would keep them safe. The Lord would reign over things in such a way that the people of Judah would not stay in exile. Rather, one day, the Lord would lead his people back to the Promised Land; back to the land of Judah.

Not only would the Lord reign over the physical well-being of the people of Judah, but he would also reign over their spiritual lives as well as we hear the Lord promise: "In his days Judah will be saved..." Despite their many sins, despite the fact that, as a nation, they had turned their backs on the Lord time after time, a gracious Lord makes the people of Judah a promise; the promise that he will reign over their spiritual lives. He will send the Savior he had promised them. "This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness." It is the promised Savior who is the Savior the people of Judah needed. It is the promised Savior who made sinful mankind right in the eyes of the holy and just God. It is the promised Savior who will make heaven the home of all those who by the God-given gift of faith believe in him as the only Savior from sin.

The Lord's promise to reign over his people is not a promise limited just to the people of Judah. All of us here this morning are able to keep calm because Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Jesus rules over all things. He did not simply put things into motion, and now is sitting back, waiting to see what will happen next. If you are struggling through some particular difficulty at this time in your life, know that the Lord is still in control and promises to make all things work out for your eternal good. If you have been blessed with good things that are taking place in your life right now, give thanks to the Lord for his gracious and merciful reign. As a congregation, all of us are able to have comfort going FORWARD knowing that the Lord reigns over his Church, and will bless all our faithful efforts to share his life-Saving Word with as many as possible.

Most importantly, you and I offer our praise and thanks to our gracious Savior-God who daily continues to reign over our spiritual lives. In his great love, God the Father sent his Son, Jesus Christ, who willingly came to this earth to pay the price demanded for our sins. God the Holy Spirit, by the power of God's Word, has placed faith into our hearts. We know that one day the Lord will come again in all his glory as the King of kings and Lord of lords. He alone will reign over all. So you and I keep calm, confident that Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

At the conclusion of our church services this weekend, we will be at the end of yet another church year. Another year of God's grace has been granted to us. It has been another year of praise and thanks to our gracious Savior for all his many blessings to us. Just as the Lord blessed us this past year, both in our personal lives and as a congregation, we have the sure confidence that the Lord continues to reign over us. As we read in the book of Revelation, chapter 11, "'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.'" To which you and I respond with the words found again in Revelation, chapter 11, "'We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.'" My dear friends in Christ, keep calm for Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 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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