INI + AMEN.
Driven. The Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament were. Not just to preach. Not just to rule. No, more than that. They desired, they were driven “to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
Driven. The Lawyer certainly was. Not to receive the Gift of God’s Word. Not to deliver the Good News. No, he was driven to “put Jesus to the test.” Why? Because he desired, he was driven “to justify himself,” to make himself right with God, to make himself forgiven.
Driven. Jesus was. Certainly was. He wasn’t just driven by the Spirit, like He was at His temptation. Jesus Himself was “destined, dedicated,” desired even, was “willing” to do all that He did, “to do His work, and [meet] His death.”
((2. We’re driven by all sorts of things.))
Driven. We are, too. We all have desires. We can’t quite control them. We want things, want people. We have goals and plans, hopes and dreams. Our deep-seeded desires drive us. That sort of living is selfish, self-serving. We should be driven by something else entirely—love.
We should be driven by love for our Lord. We should love Him: what He does, what He says, what He gives. After all, “many prophets and kings desired to see what you see and hear what you hear, and did not.” Our desire for Jesus, His Word, and His Gifts should drive us to come here on a Sunday to hear, see, and receive of Him—His body and blood given and shed for you. Living that way is to “love the Lord your God”—Jesus—“with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.” That’s living by the Spirit, to be driven by Him.
We should be driven by love for those around us. We should be loving with a self-less love. No rewards. No ulterior motives. Not out of obligation. Not doing it but secretly wanting something else. No, 110% them focused, just like the effort we put for ourselves. We should love everyone around us because we actually love them! We should have fervent, heartfelt, eager love for them—not just the people we like. In fact, to live by the Spirit, to be driven by Him is to love everyone—no favorites, no loving some more or less than others.
We’re driven by what doesn’t save. Driven by being better than others. We’re always asking: “Who’s my neighbor?” If we label someone, we don’t have to help them, we can gossip about them, treat them not out of love and respect. Don’t have to be kind, compassionate, forgiving. Unless of course, we’re comparing. Then we can always think of people we’re more loving than.
Being driven by the flesh is to come here not desiring Jesus, or it’s to think coming isn’t really all that important. Being driven by the flesh is to love less than loving Jesus much. Being driven by the Spirit is to love Jesus (receiving always, only from Him). Being driven by the Spirit is to love those around you (always, only because Jesus).
((1. Jesus is driven to save you.))
Driven. Jesus was. Jesus is. Yes, Jesus is driven. He desires you. He’s driven to come into enemy territory. “He came to His own, but His own did not receive Him.” He’s like a Samaritan journeying outside of where He’s supposed to be. God’s not supposed to be born, to grow up, to live among sinners. He’s supposed to be off in heaven, off in the temple somewhere. He’s certainly not supposed to be hanging on a cross, bleeding, dying, dead for people like us, for those who so quickly pass by Him and pass by others. But that’s what He does.
He was driven to give everything for you, and He is driven to give everything to you. He bears the sin Himself. He takes your sin, your coldness of heart, your lack of love, your lack-luster love. All of it, His. When you couldn’t even possibly love Him, let alone love others, He pulled you out of the ditch your sinfulness put you in. He poured on the oil and balm of your Baptism. He gives you the wine that’s His blood and the bread that’s His body. There He forgives you, and He “refreshes,” enlivens your “faith toward God” and your “fervent love toward one another.” Here in His inn, He takes care of you, and He will return. The Samaritan in the parable would return on the third day. (He only paid the innkeeper for two days.) Jesus already did that (rose third day) for you, and He will come for you again on the Last Day.
Driven. It doesn’t really matter how driven the Prophets and Kings were. Or how much the Lawyer was driven. What matters is you and me. Driven. That’s each of us. If we’re honest, we’re driven by all sorts of fears and insecurities, wants and lusts, hopes and desires. Confess. The reality is, left to yourself, you’re stuck in the ditch with all that forever. Repent. But what matters more than all that is how Jesus is driven, and He is. Certainly is!
JESUS, DRIVEN BY HIS LOVE AND COMPASSION, SAVES YOU.
He comes for you. Gives everything—even His blood and life—for you. He gives everything to you—His love, His life, His full forgiveness—in the oil and wine of His Font and Supper. He has compassion on you, is kind to you, is daily and much before your heavenly Father for you. He more than has compassion on you. He compassions you, would make you loving, kind, compassionate for everyone around you. And He does that, today, for you. He really does!
So, where is this being driven by faith and love toward God? Where is this being driven by love, kindness, and compassion toward one another? There! For there, JESUS, DRIVEN BY HIS LOVE AND COMPASSION, SAVES YOU. “Take, eat My body; take, drink My blood—given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”
INI + AMEN.