Sermons

Misericordias Domini (Jn 10:11–16, 1 Pt 2:21–25)

April 30, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

He’s your living Good Shepherd. As surely as He laid down His life for the sheep, as surely as He took it back again, He knows His own, and His own know Him. From even before the foundation of the world, He knew them as His own. The Father, too! The Father, in Christ and only in Christ, chose the sheep to be sheep. You don’t look for this choosing, this election anywhere else. It’s only found in Christ who gave His life for the sheep, and who calls all His sheep to Himself through the proclamation of the Gospel “that there may be one flock, one Shepherd.”

Well, that sounds like He did everything, and that’s right. He did. Sheep don’t choose their shepherd. He chooses them. They don’t and can’t do anything to become His sheep. From start, middle, to end, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, does it all, as any good shepherd would. There’s nothing left for the sheep to do except be sheep. Everything else has been taken care. That’s just how Jesus does things.

JESUS DOES EVERYTHING FOR THE SAKE OF HIS SHEEP.

Well,

((I.)) He certainly DID everything.

Laying down His life for the sheep. That’s giving everything, isn’t it? “He bore our sins in His own body on the tree…by His wounds we are healed.” Without asking the sheep, He did it. When the wolf came, He did it. Because they went astray, He did it. If there was any hope of them doing anything to get into the fold, surviving the wolf on their own, He wouldn’t have had to die. But that was the only way. The Shepherd’s death. God’s death. FOR YOU.

He prepared for His sheep, too. Once He’d risen from the dead, appeared to His disciples over and over and over again, He laid out the provisions. He showed where “the green pastures” and “the still waters” are. We heard about that last week: The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone His sins, they are forgiven.” But not just there: “Make disciples by baptizing and teaching.” Even today’s alleluia verse: “[The Lord] was known to them in the breaking of the bread.” Body and blood given and shed for you. In instituting all those things, the Lord Jesus was preparing for the care of His sheep. FOR YOU.

((II. He still DOES everything.))

Now, it’s not that Jesus did everything at one point, and then it’s up to you. No, none of that. That’d be like me saying, if I bought some sheep, “Yeah, I bought them, but they have to put their own food in the trough.” Not just the beginning is taken care of by Jesus. He cares for them, too. To care for them, He calls and gathers His sheep.

Of course they’re His: “I know My own,” He says. They were chosen in Him from before the foundation of the world. You were. Not even the gates of hell can prevail against that sort of set up. No hellish wolf will snatch and scatter the flock that’s chosen that way.

His eternal choosing is realized and effected through the Gospel. The Gospel is that He laid down His life, certainly for His sheep, but also for all. Through their own fault, some don’t listen. They’ve got better things to do than hear His voice, receive His Gifts. It’s sad really. “I would gather you as hen gathers her chicks, but you would not.”

But the sheep “know My voice,” He says. “The Church is the lambs who hear the voice of their Shepherd.” (SA III XII) He calls them, gathers them. He perks their ears to His voice, as He did with Lydia in Acts 16. They learn Him and no one else. Only His Gospel does that. It’s probably the most offensive thing to our American sensibilities. Sheep are only sheep in Jesus’ fold because He made them sheep and put them in His fold.

He can’t do anything else. He’s the Good Shepherd, after all. He’s the true “Pastor and Bishop” of your souls. That’s actually what Peter says. It’s all about the Office where the provisions are given out. He sends out His men to deliver the goods: Word, Forgiveness, Water, Body and Blood. FOR YOU. TO YOU.

They aren’t hirelings, they’re more like sheep dogs. Corralling sheep around the true shepherd. And even if they were hirelings, sheep don’t do the hiring, and certainly not firing! No, Jesus sends out faithful men to do His Work that He might work through them for the salvation of your souls.

It happened again this past week—call services at both Seminaries. 139 men sent out all over the country—one to Juneau, Alaska! 139 men to continue doing the same things I do, the same things Jesus would have me and them do: preach, teach, baptize, absolve, Lord’s Supper.

All these come from Jesus, the Father, too! They’re from Jesus FOR YOU, TO YOU—the men and the Gifts!. “That there may be one flock, one Shepherd.”

JESUS DOES EVERYTHING FOR THE SAKE OF HIS SHEEP.

That’s you. He died for you, rose for you, baptized you, absolved you, gave you His body and blood. In the Gifts you hear His voice. His sheep, who trust Him, receive these Gifts for it’s there and there alone that their Shepherd comes to them, to keep them His sheep, to care for them, to give them life, until He raises them to eternal life on the Last Day.

Yes, Jesus does it all. That’s how He’s set it up. From start, middle, to end, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, does it all.

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

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