Sermons

Epiphany 2 (Jn 2:1–11)

INI + AMEN.

What’s normal and natural? Water that becomes wine. “That’s not natural,” we think. We call that a miracle. There’s supposedly Laws against such things. Water is water, and wine is wine. And after Jesus turned 120–130 gallons of water into wine, they might’ve implemented the first blue laws in Cana of Galilee! There’s all sorts of laws for all sorts of times. Purification laws. Cultural laws—like running out of wine at a wedding is severely embarrassing for a new groom and bride! There’s God’s Law. The rules and laws we make for ourselves. All sorts of law, but in spite of such laws, breaking through them all, Jesus turns water into wine. He supplies for the wedding fest. It’s natural for Him to do so, and when He does, He gives the best.

JESUS ALWAYS GIVES THE BEST WINE FOR HIS BRIDE. Continue reading

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Sermons

Transfiguration (Lk 9:28–36)

February 7, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Jesus is God hidden in plain sight. Now, that might sound like an odd thing to say on the day we remember when our Lord Jesus was transfigured, but actually this is made even more clear by His Transfiguration. It’s like this: Jesus just looked like a normal guy before this. Sure, He did miracles like healing the sick, raising the dead. That’s not that special. Prophets did that. After His Transfiguration, Jesus looked like a normal guy again. So normal, in fact, He died! That’s pretty run of the mill. Ah, but the Transfiguration, Jesus’ Transfiguration lets you peek behind the curtain. Now “Peter, John, and James”—you too!—get to see that Jesus is who He really says He is. Well, you really know that Easter Sunday, but here’s a little foreshadowing and preview for Easter. But it’s not really about the glory. He hides it. His clothing flashes lightning white. He shines in glory, and then…nothing. Not until His resurrection does He do things never seen before: passing through doors, disappearing, ascending into heaven, appearing in glory to Paul. Anyway, Jesus being transfigured contrasts, in a very vivid way, that Jesus actually hides His glory. He hides it for you.

JESUS HIDES HIS GLORY TO SAVE YOU. Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany 4C (Lk 4:31–44)

January 31, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

 

INI + AMEN.

The Lord Jesus brings the Last Day to His day. That’s what we see going on in our Gospel text. There are many magnificent promises that the Lord Jesus makes about what will happen on the Last Day. The dead in Christ will rise from the dead to eternal life with Him, and those with faith in Him who are alive will live forever with Him. Sin will gone forever. Sickness, pain, and death will die and pass away. The devil and all the other demons will be cast down forever. That will take place on the Last Day because of what Jesus did in His day, and also what He does in our day. It’s all based on what Jesus is doing. What Jesus does is based on what He was sent to do. “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jesus ushers in the Kingdom of God, His Kingdom. It’s why He was born. Jesus being sent to usher in His Kingdom means He was sent to supplant, conquer, and overthrow another kingdom. That’s what happens.

THE KINGDOM OF SIN, DEATH, AND THE DEVIL IS OVERTHROWN BY JESUS. Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany 3C (Lk 4:16–30)

January 24, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

What do you want ringing in your ears when you come to church? Why do you come to church week in and week out? What do you come to church to hear? There’s always expectations when it comes to what you’re going to end up hearing at church. This is even the case, and may be especially the case, among life-long church goers. We have our expectations about what we will hear on a Sunday morning. Maybe we even have things that we think should be heard on a Sunday, especially for those people. As sinners that’s the way it goes. Sinners always want to hear what they want to hear. They ignore God’s Word for a different word, a “better” word. Sinners always think that there are better words than the Word of Jesus. Sinners continually have “itching ears,” and this happens even in the Church. As Paul says in 2 Timothy 4, “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Tim 4 NKJV) Because of this we fervently pray the first petition (“Hallowed be Thy Name”) because, as we learn in the Catechism, “Anyone who teaches contrary to God’s Word profanes the name of God among us. Protect us from this, heavenly Father!” (SC III) Continue reading

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Sermons

Epiphany 2C (Jn 2:1–11)

January 17, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

What do you do with a Jesus in plain sight? It’s happening in our text today. Not that Jesus was in plain sight then. Far from it! He wanted to remain out of sight. “My hour has not yet come,” and all that. But Jesus is plain in our sight because it’s a familiar story. Jesus changes water into wine. We all know the text.

(A1.) Jesus was a guest at Cana’s wedding. Continue reading

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Sermons

Baptism of Our Lord (Lk 3:15–22)

January 10, 2016
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

Today shows us the scandal of the Gospel. It really is scandalous. It’s not just scandalous in how salvation is won for you, for me, for the whole world. It’s scandalous also in how salvation is delivered to you, to me, to all. The scandal is in how Jesus appears in our text. Because of what Jesus did at the Jordan you can start to say things about God that you never could before. The sinless Son of God gets into the water. He gets in sinners’ water! Water where sinners had been, their sins were washed off there. John’s Baptism, as we’re told earlier in Luke, was one “of repentance for the remission of sins.” Jesus doesn’t need that. What’s He doing here? But Jesus goes where the sinners are—real sinners, true sinners, with big, nasty, horrible sins. So there’s Jesus standing in sin-filled water, having them washed over Him. God the Father made Jesus “who knew no sin to BE SIN for us,” and it all starts here in the Jordan river. Jesus numbered with sinners. Jesus bearing sins. Jesus being sin, being sinner for us, as Paul continues, “that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” What’s ours becomes Christ’s. It must be so, or we’re damned, lost forever. But here Christ appears, manifests Himself, He epiphanies at the Jordan to be baptized by John, fulfilling His Father’s will to save you. It’s what Jesus wants. He’s come for this.

JESUS IS MANIFESTED IN THE WATERS OF HOLY BAPTISM. Continue reading

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