Sermon Transcript – A Fool on the Hill?

Series A – Fourth Sunday After Epiphany – Sunday, January 29, 2023 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:27The holy Gospel
0:29According to Saint Matthew the fifth
0:37Jesus went up on the mountain and when
0:40he sat down his disciples came to him he
0:42opened his mouth and he taught them
0:44saying blessed are the poor in spirit
0:46for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
0:48blessed are those who mourn for they
0:51shall be comforted blessed are the meek
0:53for they shall inherit the earth blessed
0:55are those who hunger and thirst for
0:57righteousness for they shall be
0:59satisfied blessed are the merciful for
1:02they shall receive Mercy blessed are the
1:05pure in heart for they shall see God
1:07blessed are the peacemakers for they
1:09shall be called sons of God and blessed
1:12are those who are persecuted for
1:14righteousness sake for theirs is the
1:16kingdom of heaven and blessed are you
1:18when others revile you and persecute you
1:20and utter all kinds of evil against you
1:22falsely on my account rejoice and be
1:25glad for your reward is great in heaven
1:27for so they persecuted the prophets who
1:29were before you this is the gospel of
1:32the Lord in the name of Jesus
1:34all right you guys remember recent
1:36history recent history we saw the
1:38launching of the Artemis rocket sent
1:40capsule around the Moon it was kind of a
1:43big deal right but did you notice that
1:45the rocket did it Blast Off the first
1:48time that was on the launch pad no no
1:50there were problems right you know I
1:52remember kind of tuning in to see
1:54whether or not it would be launching iOS
1:56these are the kinds of things that nerds
1:58like so you know you have to kind of pay
1:59attention to these things I’m thinking
2:01man I haven’t seen a moon launch since I
2:03was a kid I remember in I was in was I
2:06in kindergarten or first grade was one
2:09or the other it was in the early 70s but
2:12we were gathered around our television
2:14set this whole black and white thing in
2:16a class that I was and we were watching
2:18Neil Armstrong walking on the moon and
2:21it was a big deal right so with the
2:23Artemis launch it was like one of these
2:25things where I gotta tune in and the
2:27countdown is going going going stop
2:33all right what’s wrong and so they start
2:36talking in rocket speak okay and in this
2:40particular case based on what they were
2:41saying was wrong I knew it would require
2:44a rocket surgeon to fix it okay yep this
2:47this is actual rocket science and it
2:49requires a rocket surgeon and what they
2:53have to do they had to scrub the launch
2:55now you’ll note that at that point we
2:58can say the Artemis rocket was broken
3:01and it needed to be fixed and some
3:04people who were really smart needed to
3:06get together and work the problem and
3:08fix what was wrong with it and
3:09eventually they did and they sent that
3:11thing and they sent that capsule up and
3:14it went around the moon and boy this is
3:16an interesting day that we’re living in
3:18in very near future we’ll see other
3:20human beings walking on the moon haven’t
3:22seen that in a while but all that being
3:24said I want you to think about this when
3:26the Artemis rocket was broken and wasn’t
3:28wasn’t going to be fixed you’ll note
3:30that they had a crack team of people
3:32working on the problem in order to get
3:34this thing up safely and it took some
3:37time now have you ever stopped to
3:39consider that the world itself is broken
3:42and it is broken by
3:44sin now here’s the question who’s gonna
3:48fix it have you noticed that all the
3:50crack teams that we’ve put together they
3:52never seem to really solve the problem
3:54do they right and so the world the world
3:57history is littered with the remains of
4:01teams that were assembled to solve the
4:04problems of humanity right and the thing
4:07is is that you can’t solve this problem
4:09I would note that back in the ancient
4:12world you had the philosophers and the
4:13philosophers were saying things like we
4:16just need to be moral we need to build a
4:18moral Society how do you build a moral
4:21society when the gods you worship or the
4:23deities you worship are even false I
4:25mean how does one do that and so well
4:27you’ve got Plato that was followed by
4:29Aristotle and the philosophers all the
4:31way down to our age have any of them
4:33solved the problems
4:35okay how about those politicians are
4:38they any good at solving this
4:42nope I would note that the current crop
4:46of potions do not look to me like
4:49they’re going to be able to solve
4:50anything right I I have zero hope that
4:54the problems of humanity are going to be
4:55solved and as for worldly wisdom
4:58nowadays you’re going to note that I
5:00have zero faith in worldly wisdom
5:02because at the moment they can’t even
5:03figure out the difference between a boy
5:05and a girl so this is a this is a
5:08problem and that is is that worldly
5:10wisdom doesn’t seem to be able to solve
5:13the problem of sin and Jill no why is
5:16there poverty in the world sin why do
5:19people die sin why do people get sick
5:21and have to go to hospitals and rack up
5:23huge hospital bills sin right the wages
5:26of sin is death why do we not get along
5:29so well with each other have you noticed
5:31that the ranker and the acrimony that
5:34just just dries rising and Rising why
5:37why is there all this violence and
5:39people who literally legitimately hate
5:41other people based on skin color and
5:43things like this you know why it’s
5:44because of sin right and so assemble the
5:47crack team that you that you want none
5:50of them are going to solve the problem
5:51because even if you were to find a way
5:53to kind of keep it at Bay which is by
5:55the way the job of the government the
5:58government exists God is instituted for
6:00the purpose of what punishing the evil
6:02doer right God’s solution is to
6:05basically keep it under wraps by
6:08punishing evil but that doesn’t even
6:11solve the problem does it nope not even
6:14close so what is it that’s going to
6:17solve the problem answer Christ and him
6:19crucified for our sins
6:22that’s the solution
6:24and I know that people are listening
6:25going come on it’s got to be something
6:27different than that really that’s all
6:29you’ve got yep that’s all I got so we
6:32can just wrap up this sermon right here
6:34and you’ve got you’ve now know the
6:35solution to the problem right
6:37but the point is this is that God has
6:39chosen listen to this the word of the
6:42Cross which the world considers to be
6:44Folly let me give you a different word
6:47moronic that’s a little closer to what
6:49the Greek is is getting at the the word
6:51of the Cross is moronic but who is it
6:54moronic to those who are perishing but
6:57to us who are being saved the word of
7:00the Cross is the power of God what does
7:04Paul say in Romans 1 I am not ashamed of
7:07the gospel for it the gospel is the
7:09power of God unto salvation right so the
7:13solution to our problem is a message
7:16that the world considers to be utterly
7:19moronic this by the way is the real
7:21reason why the well the unbelieving
7:24world is going to think that the church
7:26is irrelevant because they think the
7:28word of the Cross is folly so all those
7:31people out there who are trying to
7:32figure out how to make Christianity
7:34relevant so that pagans are interested
7:36in it
7:37you’ll know what they end up having to
7:39do they kind of have to take that gospel
7:41message and find a way to um well let’s
7:44put it over here and we’ll only pull
7:45this out a few times a year and we don’t
7:47want to draw too much attention to it
7:49because the world thinks it’s Folly what
7:52is the world looking for today they want
7:54influencers to help them make their
7:56lives better to help them find you know
7:59success in their chosen well field of
8:02study or interests or things like this
8:04they want to be powerful they want to be
8:06successful oh and by the way people
8:08don’t want to be religious they want to
8:11be spiritual right this is what the
8:13world wants people want to be spiritual
8:15they don’t want to be religious I mean
8:18so we’re never ever going to be loved by
8:22the world or considered relevant but
8:24note here the word of the cross the good
8:26news that Christ has bled and died for
8:29our sins this is the word that is the
8:32power of God that saves us you know I
8:36was thinking about an analogy I one of
8:39the things I do is I teach International
8:40men men who are internationally studying
8:43for the Pastoral office and I’ve been
8:45teaching him how to preach recently and
8:48one of my students I had him prepare a
8:50sermon on this particular text and he
8:52made a great analogy and I’m thinking I
8:56want to steal it but no I’m going to
8:57give him credit it was so good though he
9:00likened it to the Beatles song The Fool
9:02on a hill
9:04and boy have you ever listened and kind
9:07of read out the lyrics to The Beatles
9:08song The Fool on the Hill it’s about
9:10somebody who’s wise that this that the
9:13people in his town think is stupid and
9:15he’s actually the one that’s the smart
9:17one he’s the wise one and that’s a great
9:19way of talking about Jesus because if
9:21you think about it here’s God in human
9:24flesh what does he come to do he’s come
9:27to save us he’s come to Deliver Us From
9:30Slavery to sin death and the devil he is
9:33the one who’s going to finally finally
9:36set us free so that we’re no longer
9:38under the bondage of sin and what does
9:41he do
9:42he climbs a hill with a cross and allows
9:45himself to be nailed to it
9:48hmm Jesus is the Fool on the Hill is he
9:54at least by the world standards he is
9:56but note here Jesus climbing Mount
10:01going up Golgotha being nailed to a
10:04cross so that you and I can be forgiven
10:07is the only solution that there is for
10:10the sin problem that you and I all
10:12experience in our lives
10:15and note God chose to do this for a
10:18reason the goal was to destroy the
10:22wisdom of the wise the goal was to
10:25destroy the discernment of the
10:27Discerning and to thwart it that’s part
10:30of what he was up to a good way to think
10:31of it is this way is that when we talk
10:34about salvation by grace through faith
10:36apart from Works Paul asked the question
10:39where then is there room for boasting
10:41the answer is that there is no room for
10:43boasting but when I was a self-righteous
10:46legalist man was I good at boasting
10:50right I was just the smug arrogant idiot
10:55who really legitimately thought that he
10:57had his Christian life together and that
10:59others should model their Christian
11:01lives after my great example right
11:05boy the thing is is I was deluding
11:07myself when I spoke this way and you’ll
11:10note that if salvation were by works
11:12then we would have something to boast
11:14about right
11:16and that would make us exactly like the
11:20and so there is no boasting allowed in
11:23ourselves when it comes to God not in
11:26our righteousness not in our wisdom not
11:30in our discernment not in our
11:33all of that is out we all come to God as
11:38Christ describes in The Sermon on the
11:41Mount when he says this blessed are the
11:43poor in spirit theirs is the kingdom of
11:48poor in spirit I always like to say the
11:50rose bro paraphrase of this is blessed
11:52are the spiritually bankrupt
11:55and until you recognize that God’s law
11:59has not come to give you ten easy steps
12:03ten easy principles if you just apply
12:05them to your life you are going to be
12:07righteous the purpose of the law is to
12:10condemn you and to show you your sin and
12:12when the law has done its killing work
12:14at the end of it you say I got nothing
12:17and that’s the point blessed are those
12:20who mourn and lament and I would note
12:22this is the morning and lamenting over
12:24your own sin and blessed are the meek
12:27The Humble who say to them say to God
12:30Lord have mercy on me a sinner right
12:33so you’ll note then that God knows what
12:37he’s doing he chose the message of the
12:40Cross he troves the good news that
12:42Christ died for our sins this foolish
12:45moronic message for the purpose of
12:48furthering the the task of destroying
12:51the self-righteousness and the wisdom in
12:53man’s propensity to boast like the devil
12:56when somebody sits there and goes really
12:59you think that Jesus and him crucified
13:01for our sins is the solution to the
13:03world’s problems and you sit there and
13:04go yup and then they despise and loathe
13:07you and they no longer invite you to
13:09their Christmas parties what do you know
13:11about them
13:12right they’re buying into the world’s
13:15wisdom and here’s the thing
13:17here’s where we have to really be honest
13:20and that is is that these words were not
13:23written for the Pagan world
13:26these worlds these words were written to
13:28a Christian church the church at Corinth
13:30why because we’re always being tempted
13:34to abandon the Folly of the cross in
13:38order to embrace the wisdom of the
13:41current age do you notice that the world
13:44is not satisfied to leave the church
13:46alone but the world is absolutely
13:49hell-bent on getting the church to
13:51capitulate to its way of thinking
13:54and every time you turn on the
13:57television and you’re watching
13:59television you’re being bombarded with
14:02these messages and worldly wisdom I can
14:05barely watch television anymore I have
14:07to be careful what what programs I put
14:10on part of the reason why is because
14:12have you noticed that they’ll that
14:15television programs that seem kind of
14:17generic and safe and stuff like this
14:19what are they doing they’re well they
14:22have love interests that are of the same
14:24sex and they show these things this is
14:27all an affront to God
14:29and it’s designed to catechize you into
14:32the world’s way of thinking you and your
14:35children this past summer I had to stop
14:38literally stop watching one of my
14:40favorite summer programs America’s Got
14:43Talent how can there any be anything
14:45wrong with America’s Got Talent right
14:48well worldly wisdom showed up when
14:51somebody got well made it through and
14:53was and they got all four votes from the
14:55judges and when they were asking him
14:57about his personal life he brought his
15:00wife and his girlfriend on stage because
15:03they were a polyamorous couple
15:05not even a couple of thrupple I mean
15:07what do you call that thing right
15:09so you’ll note that we are being
15:12bombarded with the world’s wisdom
15:16and over and again we are feeling the
15:19pressure to give up on that old biblical
15:23way of thinking and that old dusty story
15:26about some guy bleeding and dying for
15:29our sins and stop calling people to
15:31repent and can’t we all just get along
15:34as the prophet Rodney King said right
15:41but God says I will destroy the wisdom
15:43of the wise the discernment of the
15:45Discerning Eye will throw it so where
15:47then is the one who’s wise where is the
15:50Scribe where is the debater of this age
15:53has not God made foolish the wisdom of
15:55the world yes he has and I would note
15:58that the delusion that our current
16:00worldly wisdom is under where they
16:03legitimately think that men can can
16:05actually get pregnant and give birth
16:07okay that is God’s judgment making their
16:11discernment their wisdom look like
16:13complete and utter Folly which is what
16:16it is
16:17for since in the wisdom of God the world
16:19didn’t know God through wisdom it
16:21pleased God through the Folly of what we
16:23preach to save those who believe Jews
16:25demand signs so to charismatics by the
16:28way Greeks seek wisdom but we preach
16:32Christ crucified a stumbling block to
16:35Jews and Folly to Gentiles no in order
16:37to get along with people of these of
16:39this mindset of a worldly mindset or a
16:41spiritual mindset like the Jews of the
16:43past in order to get along we’d have to
16:46get rid of the Gospel
16:51but that’s not negotiable
16:55you get rid of the Gospel you get rid of
16:56Jesus you get rid of Jesus you don’t
16:58have salvation
17:00all you have is a moralizing religion
17:03but to those who are called both Jews
17:06and Greeks Christ is the power of God
17:09and he is the wisdom of God for the
17:12foolishness of God by the way is wiser
17:15than men God knows what he’s doing have
17:17you noticed that he really legitimately
17:19knows what he’s doing in fact for us to
17:21sit here and say that we know better how
17:23to run the universe and how we should be
17:26what messages we should hear would be
17:28like a bunch of rednecks sitting in
17:30their driveway drinking slits okay
17:33because rednecks do stuff like this
17:35drinking slits looking at their
17:37television going you know I could fix
17:38that Artemis rocket just give me a
17:40wrench it’s it couldn’t be any harder
17:42than fixing a carburetor on a 64 Impala
17:46right you have any hope of that ever
17:49happening no okay so believe me when I
17:52tell you when we all say we know better
17:54than God how to run the world and what
17:57needs to happen you sound like those
17:58rednecks thinking that they can fix the
18:00Artemis rocket good luck on that right
18:03they’re not even going to let you on the
18:04property let alone let you touch it with
18:06a wrench
18:07so note the foolishness of God God at
18:11his most foolish is still wiser than all
18:13men in humanity and the weakness of God
18:16it’s stronger than men
18:18so consider your calling brothers
18:20sisters not many of you were wise
18:23according to worldly standards I can
18:25look at Kong’s finger and say yeah
18:26that’s true of all of us you know I
18:28think Paul’s being polite here right not
18:31many of you were powerful not many of
18:33you were of noble birth yeah not me
18:36either but God you see he chose what’s
18:39foolish in the world in order to shame
18:42the wise
18:44because God’s not going to allow anybody
18:46to stand in his presence and boast
18:49if the wise could figure out how to
18:51solve the problems of this world they
18:53would be intolerable in eternity but God
18:57chose what is low and despised in the
18:59world even the things that are not in
19:00order to bring to nothing the things
19:02that are so that no human being might
19:04boast In God’s Presence he is the source
19:08of your life in Christ Jesus God is not
19:10you whom God made our wisdom our
19:13righteousness and sanctification and
19:15Redemption therefore as it is written
19:17let the one who boasts boast in the Lord
19:21so brothers and sisters we all feel the
19:23tug we all feel the pressure we all feel
19:26the pressure to shut up just adopt the
19:28world’s wisdom and to no longer start
19:32keep talking about Jesus and him
19:34crucified for our sins and note here to
19:38every degree in which you’ve capitulated
19:40to the wisdom of the world you have
19:42sinned grievously against God and
19:44committed idolatry
19:46and every time you’ve been tempted to
19:49say you know what the word the church
19:50just needs to stop talking like this and
19:53stop being so biblical and we just need
19:55to figure out how to get along with
19:57everybody and be more affirming well
19:59you’ve again you’ve committed the sin of
20:01idolatry note here this is temp this
20:04temptation faces us all
20:08each and every one of us this is a call
20:11back to repentance a call back to the
20:15foolishness of the Gospel itself a call
20:18back for us to recognize that God knows
20:20exactly what he’s doing and for us
20:22rather than to despise being despised
20:26instead what are we to do we are to
20:29embrace what Christ has told us in our
20:32gospel text blessed are those who are
20:35persecuted for righteousness sake theirs
20:38is the kingdom of heaven and blessed are
20:41you when others revile you and persecute
20:44you and utter all kinds of evil against
20:45you falsely on my account rejoice and be
20:49glad your reward is great in heaven for
20:51so they persecuted the prophets who were
20:54before you you see the world sits there
20:56and says you guys are idiots you’re
20:58stupid you’re foolish you’re backwards
21:00you’re a bunch of bigoted people who
21:02hate Humanity right you’re nothing but a
21:05hate religion
21:07when they start talking like this
21:10listen to the one who is wise Jesus your
21:14Messiah your savior your God when they
21:17speak this way of us we’re not moronic
21:20nor are we cursed no when they start
21:22saying these things against us and they
21:25already are we are truly blessed
21:30so this is a call for us to not have our
21:32knees knocking not to worry about our
21:35reputation believe me your reputation
21:37before human beings is nothing the
21:39reputation you need to keep in mind is
21:41what does Christ think of you
21:43right and you’ll note then in the Book
21:46of Revelation when it talks about those
21:48who are thrown into the Lake of Fire
21:50cowards are near the top of the list
21:55and we all face that temptation
21:58to cower we all want to be liked we
22:02don’t like being despised we don’t like
22:04being treated like fools but note God
22:07has chosen the foolish things in the
22:09world to shame the wise that’s where the
22:11gospel is such an offense so brothers
22:13and sisters
22:15we need to continue to repent repent of
22:18our own idolatry our own desire to save
22:21our own reputations are we got to repent
22:24of refusing to be branded as idiots for
22:29and embrace it instead and see that we
22:31are blessed but when it comes to knowing
22:34this where do we go then where do we go
22:37then for forgiveness because each of us
22:39have broken these Commandments each of
22:40us are guilty of being tempted in this
22:42way and not only that in some degree or
22:44another giving in to those Temptations
22:46well remember the question that Micah
22:49asks what will please the Lord
22:52shall I give the Lord ten thousand Rams
22:55or rivers of oil shall I give my
22:58firstborn for my transgression and the
23:00fruit of my body for the sin of my soul
23:02it’s a great question that Micah asked
23:04the reality is is that neither your
23:07children nor your own body are
23:09sufficient to atone for your sins so
23:11think back to the Fool on the Hill Jesus
23:14your lord and savior the one who took
23:16your sin upon himself and by the way he
23:19chose to rescue you was to lay down his
23:23and die in your place on the cross so
23:26that you can be forgiven even forgiven
23:28of the idolatry of self and your refusal
23:31to be branded as a fool for believing
23:33Jesus in the name of Jesus Amen
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