Sermon Transcript – Christ is our Exorcist

Series B – Sixteenth Sunday of Pentecost – Sunday, September 12, 2021 | 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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0:28in the name of Jesus amen have you all seen the movie
0:33hook you know with dustin hoffman playing hook man he was a fantastic hook
0:39there’s something i want to remind you of if you’ve seen the movie and well in the story peter pan has grown up and
0:47he’s become an adult and he’s forgotten who he is but hook wants his revenge he wants the ultimate battle between good
0:54and evil finally to be fought so that he can well get vengeance on that boy who
0:59had cut his hand off and fed it to the crocodile we all know how the story of pan works right well as he’s away as pan
1:06is away from never never land there’s a there’s a new leader who takes over his name is rufio and rufio well he’s got a
1:15really kind of weird rooster light mohawk pompadour kind of thing going on
1:22is a little bit full of himself and as the story develops pan finally remembers who he is he’s got
1:28to rescue his children they’ve been kidnapped by hook and so he remembers who he is and well
1:35the final battle is on but here’s the thing
1:40in the final battle between good and evil it always has to be the hero who wins the day against the villain
1:47and well contrary to the rules laid down the explicit orders of pan that hook was his
1:56rufio allowed himself to be tempted to well gain the glory to gain the
2:02victory by none other than hook himself who kind of egged him on and was saying
2:08rufio rufio oh as if he was so important
2:13well as we all know how good fairy stories end when one is tempted to fight evil
2:21on evil’s terms when they’re not the hero of the story they often perish and rufio perished
2:29and i’m saying this to remind us of a few things our gospel text is an interesting one there’s quite a few
2:34themes that we can work out in here but one of the most important themes is
2:40this you are not special in the fight against the devil
2:46far from it you are almost practically powerless
2:51and it’s a good thing to think this way it’s a fantastic thing to think this way but cut because when it comes down to it
2:59Christ is the champion he’s the one who won the victory and ongoing the demonic
3:05is real our fight against the devil it’s pitched but Christ is our exorcist he is the one
3:11who wins the day not you don’t be tempted by the schemes of the
3:18devil in that regard i need to give a little bit of a preface to our text there are people nowadays who poopoo the
3:26idea that there are demons oh come on you believe in demons are you do you believe in the boogeyman and monsters
3:32under your bed too this is how they talk and they would dismiss the gospel text
3:38today purely on that ground oh come on we’ve long since graduated as a human
3:44race from the idea of a devil and satan and angels and demons and all that kind
3:50those are all the things of fairy tales no they’re not they are the things
3:56of our present reality scripture is clear our battle isn’t against flesh and blood
4:02but against the powers and principalities of the air against the devil the forces of darkness themselves
4:09so note here just because this text mentions the demonic doesn’t give you any grounds to
4:15dismiss it you dismiss it and ignore it at your own peril or risk and i assure
4:21you the devil is real and he means you the worst harm that you could
4:26possibly imagine if it were not for the hand of Christ the devil would have snuffed you out
4:32long ago me as well and it’s not a coincidence that Christ has taught us to pray daily
4:41lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one
4:47so with that we’re gonna go in a few different directions here so this might seem like a little scatter shot but
4:53remember here you’re not you’re not the one you’re not the victor don’t listen to hook when he eggs you on
5:00to come fight him toe-to-toe rufio like you’re the important one you’re not
5:07so here’s our context right before our gospel text begins
5:14Jesus had taken peter james and john
5:19and ascended a mountain we’re not exactly sure which one there’s a few likely candidates but that’s neither
5:24here nor there he ascended a mountain we call it now the mount of transfiguration and before their eyes
5:31he was transfigured i preach on this it’s this whole thing every single year
5:38during epiphany he was transfigured before their eyes moses and elijah showed up and they were
5:45discussing with Jesus his exodus and of course peter james and john their knees
5:53are knocking they’re terrified by what they see they see Christ in all of his
5:58glory they kind of say
6:03lord it’s good that we’re here maybe we can set up you know three
6:08shelters one for you one for moses one for elijah and it’s at this point that the voice of
6:14the father is heard this is my beloved son in whom i am well pleased listen to him
6:20and then whoosh everything goes calm the light turns off and there was nothing
6:26except for Jesus and it’s in this context that’s the that’s kind of just before this we need
6:32to recognize something here when we talk about the temptations of the devil
6:38in the schemes of the evil one over and again the devil would have you
6:44seek after the paranormal well
6:49the signs and the wonders the power and the glory the healings and
6:55the miracles and don’t fall for the trick don’t fall for it the mount of transfiguration was quite
7:02the event quite the experience and peter later in his second and last
7:08epistle in scripture he writes about the mount of transfiguration
7:14and he points us to something even more sure than that
7:19spiritual and miraculous experience here’s what peter says we do not follow cleverly devise myths
7:27when we made known to you the power and the coming of our lord Jesus Christ
7:33but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty for when he had received honor and glory from god the father and the voice was
7:40born to him by the majestic glory this is my beloved son with whom i am well
7:45pleased we ourselves we heard this very voice born from heaven
7:52for we were with him on the holy mountain so he’s recalling in his mind bringing
7:58it back to his recollection the experience that he had there on the mount of transfiguration he
8:04heard the voice of the father but here’s what he says but we have the prophetic word
8:11more fully confirmed the prophetic word the what yeah you know
8:17the bible huh don’t you want us to chase after signs
8:22wonders don’t you want us to go and slay and conquer demons and decree and declare and take back ground from the
8:30devil no no no no put it all away
8:36that’s all a ruse that’s the voice of hook roofio
8:41roofio ah roof yeah that that’s that’s hook tempting you into a fight on ground that
8:49he’s chosen stay away from it peter says listen we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed
8:56than even the voice i heard on the mount of transfiguration to which you would do well do very well
9:04to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns
9:11and the morning star rises in your hearts knowing first of all no prophecy of scripture comes from someone’s own
9:18interpretation for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man
9:23but men spoke from god as they were carried along by the holy spirit
9:30so note this isn’t in our text but it forms the context and since we’re talking about the supernatural the
9:37demonic the paranormal i would remind you
9:42in the immediate context amount of transfiguration takes place and peter
9:48thinking and meditating on the event says listen the bible we have is more sure than that
9:53the voice of god is in the scriptures stop chasing the voice of god and the wind and the
10:00trees and the rocks and the bees you’re not going to hear god’s voice there it’s in the prophetic word
10:08so coming down then from the mount of transfiguration and that was quite the event
10:14when they came down the disciples they saw a great crowd around them and the
10:19scribes arguing with them it’s almost as if the devil thinks all right Jesus is up there
10:26shining his little light so i’m going to create well the the greatest of disturbances and while Jesus is away
10:33with peter james and john having his little conversation with moses and elijah i’m
10:39going to stir up so much controversy and i’m going to make him look like a complete buffoon and idiot while he’s
10:46not looking it’s kind of like that so me all the crowd when they saw Jesus they
10:51were greatly amazed and they ran up to him and they greeted him and he asked them
10:56what are you arguing about with them so some from the crowd answered teacher
11:02i brought my son to you for he has a spirit that makes him mute
11:08his father knows what he’s talking about in this particular case this is a demonic spirit that has robbed
11:15his son of his ability to speak and the nightmare that this man and his
11:21son have gone through we barely get a glimpse of it and just what few details we have they’re
11:27harrowing it’s scary and that’s the point
11:32and whenever the demon seizes him it throws him down
11:38and he foams and he grinds his teeth and he becomes rigid now before you sit there and say well
11:44this just sounds like he’s having an epileptic seizure this is more than that
11:51far more than that so i asked your disciples to cast it out
11:58and they were not able now i said this is kind of like it’s the
12:06scenarios kind of set it up along these lines the devil’s taking advantage of the fact that Jesus is having his
12:11conversation about his exodus with moses and elijah and not only does he send a demon
12:18all right you know to you know to the field of battle it
12:23really appears like he sends one of his strongest
12:29ones one of the most difficult to get rid of and here’s the thing
12:35Jesus had already given his disciples who would become the apostles he had
12:41given them authority to cast out demons and so while Jesus is up on the mountain
12:47this fellow wants help his son has been possessed by a demons
12:53robbed him of his speech and many times it’s tried to take his life and it even throws him to the ground this isn’t a
13:01mere falling that’s being described here this is the stuff that you’ve seen in hollywood movies at least they try to
13:08emulate what it is that we see here and there are the disciples the remaining nine
13:14of the 12 they get to work oh it’s a demon and so what do they do
13:20i command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out
13:26and nothing happens you can almost see the demon going
13:34good luck on that one all right i ain’t leaving i’m not going anywhere
13:40and of course the scribes seeing the failure of the disciples they’re johnny
13:45on the spot calling Jesus whole ministry into question because remember when Jesus comes down from the mountain the
13:52scribes were arguing with the disciples what you guys aren’t able to cast us out
13:57this guy this demon out oh maybe Jesus isn’t the messiah this the whole thing
14:04has just turned into utter pandemonium it’s out of control Jesus walks into the
14:10middle of complete and utter discord in disarray caused by whom
14:18the devil and a very very powerful demon
14:24what happens next Jesus gives if you would a sigh of exasperation
14:31one that is talking to well the faithlessness of all of humanity so he answered them oh
14:38faithless generation how long am i going to be with you how long am i going to bear with you
14:45in other words you guys have really messed everything up
14:50it’s a way of basically saying all of this is the consequence of your sin i hope that you believe that that fruit
14:57was worth the bite that you took because really it’s not how long am i going to be with you i’ve got to clean up all of your messes and
15:04he’s not lamenting having to do that he’s lamenting the entire situation that created the scenario in the first place
15:11so he said bring the boy to me so they brought the boy to Jesus
15:16and when the spirit saw him immediately it convulsed the boy
15:22and he fell on the ground and rolled about foaming at the mouth
15:29let those words sink in a little bit here because the scene is terrifying
15:35all right if this were to happen here at kong’s winger i assure you everybody
15:40would be focusing in on the person manifesting the demon
15:45why because well that’s what’s going on here this thing like the movie the exorcist he’s on the ground rolling
15:51around foaming at the mouth do you think that this is a quiet scene no
15:57the kid’s probably making all kinds of ghastly sounds and
16:03just looking at him with all the foam coming out of his mouth and you know what Jesus does
16:09he ignores the boy yeah i know it’s weird isn’t it
16:17but here’s the thing Jesus is going to cast this demon out
16:24and at this point there’s two victims here
16:29two victims of this attack the father and the boy and these demonic attacks have rocked
16:37this man’s faith his faith is smoldering
16:44barely there at all and here’s the important thing Christ when he sees a smoldering
16:52wick a faith that has been brought almost to the edge where it’s going to go out
16:58Jesus doesn’t lick his finger and go and snuff it out
17:03no that’s not what Jesus is like at all and we all know this
17:10how many of us can say in our darkest times the Christ rather than cast us away
17:19kick us in the teeth instead brought us in from the storm
17:24took that smoldering wick put his hands over it and went
17:31and blew into it to start to fan back into flame that
17:36smoldering faith that’s what he does here so he looks at the father
17:43while this child is doing the exorcist thing
17:48and he looks at him and says how long has this been happening to him and you can almost see the pause
17:55you see the the father going wait what
18:00um oh well um it’s it’s from childhood
18:06it’s often cast him into the fire and into water in order to destroy him
18:12this father has been a diligent vigilant there that’s what
18:17i’m looking for vigilant father this demon has it out for his kid and he
18:23has vigilantly stood guard kept an eye on him
18:30kept him safe and on multiple occasions this demon tried to kill his own son
18:37the reason his son is alive is because of his loving care even though this
18:43demonic entity is well beyond his ability to do anything with
18:49he is still foughted and kept his son from dying and Jesus knows this
18:57and then come these words but if you can do anything
19:03if you can do anything Jesus you know what he needs have compassion on us please have mercy
19:11and help us
19:18kyrie eleison lord have mercy
19:23when one comes to Jesus in need and cries out to him for help
19:29and begs that the lord have compassion does Jesus say oh come on this is all
19:34your own fault you shouldn’t have let him you shouldn’t have let him play with ouija boards and tarot cards everybody knows that that’s
19:41how you open up the door to the demonic and to the occult this is all your own doing
19:48no that’s how the pharisees act Jesus has
19:53full compassion on him Jesus stops and says well if you can
20:00and then listen to what he says all things are possible for the one who believes believes what
20:07believes that Jesus is the Christ the son of god that Jesus is the seed of
20:15the woman promised to our human race all the way back in the garden of eden the
20:20seed of the woman who would come and deliver us by crushing the head of the
20:25servant everyone who believes all things are possible for
20:31the one who believes and trusts in our champion
20:36Jesus in fact this is where our old testament text really fits in perfectly
20:43consider that isaiah chapter 50 verses 4 to 10 it’s a prophecy about Jesus it’s all
20:50about him and listen to what isaiah extols and exemplifies and holds before
20:56our eyes in the prophecy regarding Christ yahweh elohim has given me the tongue of
21:03those who are taught these might as well be read letters because Jesus is the one speaking these
21:10words they are describing him so that i may know how to sustain with a
21:15word him who is weary oh man
21:21that is so good it actually causes me to have a little bit of a
21:27well spring in my step Jesus is the one
21:32who’s given a tongue like those who are taught so that he may know how to sustain with the word
21:38the one who is weary you me weary with sin
21:45weary with suffering weary with the schemes and attacks of the devil weary
21:51with the attacks of the demonic weary ah but this one Jesus
21:57our champion the one who conquers the devil for us he can sustain us
22:04with a word and he does what is the word that Jesus sustains us
22:09weary sinners with oh you heard it earlier today the word is this
22:16forgiven so that i can sustain with a word
22:23him who is weary and indeed he does are you weary and
22:29heavy laden bruised and battered in your battles against the devil
22:36have the flaming darts of the evil one well struck home and
22:43wounded you are you tired of the battle Christ will sustain you with a word he
22:49is your champion morning by morning he awakens
22:54he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught yahweh elohim has opened my ear and i
23:02was not rebellious and i turned not backwards only Jesus can speak this way i gave my back to those who strike
23:10and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard i hid not my face from disgrace
23:16and from spitting and here oh this is a prophecy
23:22of the beginnings of Jesus’s suffering that horrible first good friday
23:29where he was beaten with rod scourged with a whip
23:34punched in the face had his beard pulled out
23:40he didn’t hide from the disgrace he bore up under it because even then he was bleeding
23:47suffering and dying for your sins and for mine
23:52and then he says this but yahweh helps me therefore i have not been disgraced therefore i have set my face like a
23:59flint i know that i shall not be put to shame and indeed Jesus was not put to
24:06shame god the father vindicated him by raising him bodily from the grave
24:12and that’s the point Jesus by dying and rising again has
24:19conquered the devil remember pan and hook
24:25well they had their duel to the death and all of that is just the archetypes and the stories that we tell each other
24:31but in the real world there was an ultimate battle between good and evil
24:36and that ultimate battle we had a champion who came forward
24:42and he conquered our adversary and set us free
24:48by bleeding dying spit on
24:54having his beard torn out scourged and nailed to a cross
24:59he willingly laid down his life and bore your sin and mine in his own body
25:05so that we could be forgiven and that the power of the devil would be
25:10snapped in half and broken forever and indeed it
25:16was he who vindicates me is near so Jesus says who will contend with me
25:23let us stand together who’s my adversary let him come near to me
25:29[Laughter] Jesus having conquered the devil basically beats his chest and says come
25:35on are there any of you demons left you want to take me on it’s not going to go good for you that’s the point
25:42behold all of them will wear out like a garment the moth will eat them up who among you fears yahweh
25:49and obeys the voice of his servant let him who walks in darkness
25:55and has no light trust in the name of yahweh and rely on his god
26:04Jesus is your champion and in this world where we are buffered and battered
26:10buffered nothing buffeted that yeah that’s the word i’m looking buffered that’s the thing that happens to my computer where we are
26:17buffeted and battered by the devil sometimes sneakily
26:22sometimes overtly sometimes in ways that are very clearly
26:28supernatural and paranormal it’s all true Christ though he is our victor he is the
26:36one who we are to rely on he is our exorcist he is our life and our light
26:42and our salvation and our very forgiveness so note then here
26:48Jesus says all things are possible for the one
26:55who believes who trusts in their champion Jesus
27:02upon hearing these words the father who had suffered so much in his vigilant battles against the
27:09demonic which only proved to be a losing battle
27:14he cries out after asking Jesus to have compassion and mercy in him he says i believe
27:21please help my unbelief and that’s the thing
27:27Jesus says if you have faith the size of a mustard seed that’s pretty small if you think about it it’s kind of a microscopic mustard thingy kind of tiny
27:34tiny tiny doesn’t say you need avocado seed faith just need mustard seed faith here he recognizes he does believe but
27:41he has so much unbelief having been buffeted by the attacks of
27:46the devil but that’s a great prayer in fact
27:52the things that this father prays we too can also pray to Jesus
27:58have compassion on us and help us help my unbelief
28:04i do believe lord and how does Jesus respond to prayers of this type humble prayers
28:12true calls out for mercy and compassion he is our champion and our savior
28:18he comes to our aid he vindicates us he defeats the devil for us so here’s what
28:23happens Jesus saw that the crowd came then running together so he rebuked the unclean spirit saying to you mute and
28:30deaf spirit i command you to come out of him and never to enter him again
28:36and when Jesus gives the order the devils have
28:41no options they must obey the voice of their god
28:47so after crying out and confusing him terribly
28:53the demon came out the boy was like a corpse
28:59so that most of them said he’s dead he’s dead
29:05but Jesus took him by the hand another act of compassion mercy kindness
29:14our god has gotten into the muck he’s gotten into the mire he’s come down to our level he reaches out his hand
29:22and he lifts the boy up and he arose there you can see everyone going
29:28wow it doesn’t say what happens next with the father or the boy
29:34but you it’s not hard to imagine the relief the joy
29:40the peace that night that father and that boy
29:46were able to get a true night’s sleep something they hadn’t been able to get
29:53in years all because of Jesus and now resting in him
29:59they are with him now in the heavenly kingdom because Christ defeated the devil for them completely and having
30:06believed and trusted in Christ they now are with him
30:11for his throne worshiping him waiting for the resurrection like the
30:17rest of us well we right here we’ll wait with them after we die
30:23but then comes the thorny issue man the devil really made a mess of things and those disciples weren’t able
30:30to stop that demon why not remember what Jesus said all things are
30:35possible for the one who believes believes what trusts in their champion Jesus
30:42so the disciples came to him privately why could we not cast it out and by the
30:47way this is a great thing that they weren’t able to cast it out you say
30:53how do you figure that was terrible it was a big defeat for them their defeat is our victory
31:00because we go toe-to-toe with the devil and we do not have the apostolic authority to be exorcists the way they
31:05were we just don’t so when the devil shows up and starts harassing us in ways that are terrifying
31:12or there’s legitimate well demonic possession and oppression and things like this going on what are
31:19we going to do what do we get we don’t have the same authority the apostles had Jesus gave
31:24them the authority to cast out demons so what are we supposed to do we’re we’re helpless we don’t have no no no no we’re
31:32not helpless all things are possible
31:37for the one who believes the one who believes in their champion Jesus who conquered hook
31:43the devil you get the idea right he said this kind cannot be driven out
31:49by anything but prayer
31:55okay let’s think about this for a second so you’re saying Jesus
32:01that there are demons that are so powerful
32:07so strong that even when one of your disciples or
32:12apostles commands them to come out of a person they’ll laugh and say nope not coming
32:18out but all we have to do is get on our knees
32:26and pray to you the way that father prayed to you
32:32have compassion on us Jesus help us
32:40and you’ll answer and you’ll cast out that demon the same way you cast out that demon that day on
32:47the after the mount of ma transfiguration right you see it
32:54Jesus said in the great commission i will never leave you or forsake you i
33:00am with you always even until the end of the age
33:05Jesus isn’t there Jesus is here
33:11he’s with you now he’s with us now we’ve gathered in his name
33:17he will never leave us or forsake us so don’t worry what did Jesus say oh
33:22faithless generation faithless how long am i to bear with you bring him to me well Jesus is still
33:29bearing with our faithless generations bearing with our generations the generations that came before us and the
33:35ones that will come after us until he returns he’s still bearing with us because he bore our sin on the on the
33:41cross and he defeated the power of the devil he is still our exorcist he is our
33:49champion when you consider the implications of it this is the most amazing and refreshing
33:55and comforting thing ever don’t listen to the devil when he tempts you to fight him on his terms it’s a
34:03trap it won’t end well for you rufio
34:08no when the devil is trying to pick a fight with you
34:14and harassing you horribly and manifesting and well doing all the things that the devil does
34:22get down on your knees and pray
34:28and ask your exorcist the one who conquered the devil the one
34:34who set you free from bondage to sin death and the devil who transferred you from the dominion of darkness
34:40into the kingdom of his light get down on your knees and say lord have compassion
34:49have mercy deliver us from the evil one
34:55what do you think Jesus will do all things are possible for the one
35:01who believes in the name of Jesus amen
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