Sermon Transcript – Defeating God?

1 Year Lectionary – Second Sunday in Lent – Sunday, March 13, 2022 | 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:
Intro bumper
Time StampTranscript
0:28the holy gospel according to saint matthew the 15th chapter [Music]
0:40Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of tyre and sidon and behold a canaanite woman from that
0:46region came out and was crying have mercy on me o lord son of david my
0:52daughter is severely oppressed by a demon but he did not answer her a word
0:58and his disciples came and begged him saying send her away she’s crying out after us and he answered i was sent only
1:05to the lost sheep of the house of israel she came and knelt before him saying lord help me
1:11and he answered it’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs and she said yes lord yet even the
1:17dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table then Jesus answered her oh woman great is your faith be it done
1:24for you as you desire and her daughter was healed instantly this is the gospel of the lord in the name of Jesus
1:32all right so there’s jacob yaakov if you want to pronounce it and sound like you know a little hebrew yaakov right heel
1:39grabber deceiver that’s kind of the implication of the name and what happens
1:44is that god has told him i need you to go back to canaan he spent 20 years with
1:50uncle laban and while he was with uncle aban 14 of those years were working off
1:56a debt so that he could well it started with a debt for him marrying one of the daughters and then
2:01uncle laban pulled this old switcheroo trick i still don’t know how you pull that off and and the day after the
2:07wedding there’s jacob he wakes up and the woman that he thought he would had married was not there it was uh her
2:14sister and ah he panicked and ladies and no problem seven more years of work and you
2:20you you know you can have the other wow that’s crazy and then after all of that
2:25god kind of works things in his favor so that uh he ends up having his own uh
2:31very large set of flocks and herds and things like this and god says to him head back to kanan
2:37but if you remember the reason why he left is because well he had stolen the blessing
2:43from this that was supposed to go to his older brother and boy a lot of people they don’t know
2:48what to do with that that whole jacob stealing esau’s blessing thing let
2:54me help you out on that one all right all right have you noticed that scripture says that we
3:00Christians the ungodly lot that we are i mean man there wasn’t truer words that we
3:06prayed than when we said these words in in our intro today for your name’s sake
3:12oh lord pardon my guilt it’s great right each and every one of us we we have a
3:18huge pile of sin we are not righteous in any way shape or form but the scripture
3:23says we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ and if you were think of it this way we
3:30being clothed in the righteousness of Christ in his holy robes god the father
3:36is has chosen to be a little blind okay and so when we come in he smells
3:41Jesus on us and we look like Jesus we don’t exactly sound like him and we receive the blessing of salvation mercy
3:48and grace from from god who can’t tell the difference it’s kind of cool when
3:53you think about it it’s a little sketchy but that’s how it works with forgiven sinners it’s kind of scandalous that
3:59real sinners really get forgiven really are pardoned real children of the devil
4:04are really adopted by god it’s really fascinating when you consider it but there’s jacob he’s heading back and
4:11he sends word to esau that he’s heading back and esau gets word and sends 400
4:16armed men in his general direction this is the days before satellite and social media but he uh jacob gets word and he
4:23thinks that his brother is finally going to do him in he wanted to murder him and now he’s going to do them in and so
4:28jacob is in a panic he takes his family divides it into two groups sends him
4:33across and his thinking was well if esau attacks one group maybe just maybe the other group will
4:40survive right that’s kind of the thinking on how that went and one has to
4:45wonder did he have a favorite group because we know this about jacob he did play favorites it’s kind of part of the
4:52story there in genesis but all of that being said he’s in a little bit of a panic very anxiety ridden thinking this
4:59is the end and his family having gone across the jabock he then
5:05stops and prays and then one of the most bizarre things in all of scripture happens
5:11Jesus shows up and every every time i read this i cannot help but think of Jesus kind of
5:17like andre the giant from the princess bride you know we’re going to wrestle
5:23we’re going to what wrestle why
5:29because because okay and you know
5:34the wrestling happens and it goes on all night now we all know how this is
5:41supposed to end last time i preached on this text this is real simple Jesus is hulk hogan
5:47jacob is pee-wee herman we know how this is supposed to go right he’s going to snap him in half i mean the god who
5:54spoke the universe into existence all he has to do is say a word
5:59and jacob is toast it’s over right but he doesn’t
6:04they wrestle and they wrestle and they wrestle and then Jesus cheats he touches his hip socket
6:11knocks it out of socket ah right and what happens jacob doesn’t let
6:16go what is this what is going on here
6:23i feel like seinfeld you know i don’t get it right
6:29well have you ever stopped to think that here we have something interesting i
6:36always like to say you don’t want to twist scripture you don’t want to take descriptive texts and then turn them
6:41into prescriptions all right but you’re going to note that there is an almost unbroken chain
6:48in scripture of people who’ve and here’s the the analogy wrestled with god in faith
6:56wrestled with god have you noticed this life’s a little difficult things don’t always go our way that um
7:02that we are prone to suffer in all kinds of different ways and sometimes it feels like we’re in
7:10kind of a wrestling match with god we can see what the bible says and then what god is doing isn’t matching with
7:17what the scripture says and so you you pray out to god hey what gives right
7:23what’s going on here and so now the wrestling of faith takes place but we learn from this text that
7:30jacob has great faith because he hangs on to Jesus that’s who he’s wrestling
7:36with and he says i’m not going to let you go unless you bless me
7:44that’s that’s pretty cool that actually makes a lot of sense all right because he knows that Christ can
7:50and so what does Jesus do he says all right what’s your name
7:55yaakov okay we’ve got to fix that right your name is yaakov we got we got to work
8:02this out Jesus said all right your name is no longer yahoof but your name will be israel what a great name by the way
8:10he who strives with god all right he who wrestles with what a great name he has his name changed now
8:17he’s sitting there going well what does this have to do with me all right fast forward to the last book
8:23of the bible revelation chapter 2 verse 17 if you want to be specific what does
8:29Jesus say the one who conquers i will give him a white stone with a
8:35name written on it that only he knows did you know that each and every one of us
8:41in Christ has a unique name that god has given to us
8:46and to the one who conquers conquers conquers conquers who well
8:52you’ll note that jacob had to conquer Christ and then this gospel text of ours this
8:58woman from tyre and sidon she conquers Jesus too how does one conquer god can can it be
9:07done yes god wills to be conquered the only way to do it is with faith
9:13with his own words it’s a very fatherly thing if you think about it
9:18you know again i i think back to when my kids were smaller it gets awkward as they get
9:24older you don’t want to say no okay but when they’re smaller what do kids want to do wrestle
9:31what’s the job of dad when kids want to wrestle your job is to lose gloriously
9:38right that’s your not to just merely lose oh you win no you you gotta like
9:45you know oh you got me i’m tall i’ll never be able to get up again you know you got to do it right
9:51and you’ll note that that’s a really great fatherly thing to do and god is no different with us
9:59with his words with our faith in him we legitimately
10:05and here’s the weird word defeat god because god wills to be defeated with
10:10faith i know it seems kind of weird but that’s exactly what happens jacob wrestles with
10:17Christ doesn’t let go Jesus cheats still doesn’t let go i’m not letting you go
10:23unless you bless me and he does he blesses him by changing his name to the one who conquers i will give him a white
10:29stone with a name written on it now this then is bookended
10:35with our gospel text and i’ll be blunt i like the fact that in scripture we have
10:41an account of a man wrestling with god and winning we also have an account of a
10:46woman wrestling with god and winning i think it’s important because we’re all made in the image of god this
10:53is most certainly true and each and every one of us male and female alike yes we’re binary sorry that’s the way
11:00god made us if you don’t like it take it up with him right and note i used him because that’s god’s
11:06chosen pronouns sorry you know just have to point that out but all that being said i think it’s if very appropriate
11:13that here we got a woman doing the same thing and here’s the account see if we can
11:18fill in a little bit of the data so Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of tyre and
11:25sidon well if you look this up on a map it’s right on the coast there in the mediterranean one has to wonder if this
11:30isn’t uh well a little r r a little relaxation time you know you know nice seaside village maybe they’re staying in
11:36a cool hotel you know out by the pool looking over the mediterranean getting the salt smell air
11:42coming through you know what i’m talking about with maybe a pina colada with a little umbrella who knows it doesn’t
11:48exactly say but when they get there i love how the greek says this behold
11:55behold a canaanite like out of nowhere like a thundercrat crack this woman shows up and she’s
12:02crying out and listen to these words have mercy on me oh lord son of david my
12:10daughter is severely oppressed by a demon
12:17have mercy on me lord son of david
12:23who catechized this woman one has to wonder what the back story is
12:30here her daughter is severely oppressed by a demon and by the way that’s not a small
12:37thing that’s like a huge thing haven’t you ever seen like any scary movies as it relates to the demonic
12:43okay the nice thing about scary movies they’re over in two hours this woman’s scary movie she lives it
12:51and she her she’s in a complete panic regarding the health and well-being of her daughter
12:58who is being oppressed by a demon and of course the the callous self-righteous
13:04person would say something well that’s what you get for being a canaanite you know if you hadn’t been playing with
13:10the ouija board you wouldn’t have the demon problem now would ya you know this is how people talk right
13:16well that’s not how Jesus is dealing with the situation but in her quest
13:23to help her daughter which always seems to be our quest as parents being a
13:28parent is loads of fun right always again i don’t know why god gave us children that are dead set on killing
13:34themselves and our whole job is to keep them from doing that it’s just this crazy thing that you have to do right
13:40but all that being said we’ve got a demon here she’s living a nightmare and somewhere along the line she comes in
13:47contact with the the hebrew scriptures
13:54she knows a thing or two about Jesus and she’s put two and two together she knows exactly who Jesus is there’s folks back
14:02in israel who have seen Jesus heal the sick have heard him preach and they’re still
14:07uncertain as to who Jesus is that they haven’t been able to come to grips with
14:13you know he’s the messiah he’s the one that moses told us about he’s the one that isaiah told us about and all the
14:18prophets they haven’t put two and two together here this canaanite woman did
14:24and now she through some connection to the word of god has put this all together and she
14:30wonderfully confesses that Jesus is her lord and that Jesus is the son of david
14:37and she is crying out to him prayerfully that she would have that he would have mercy on her and she’s come and she’s
14:45praying on behalf of her own daughter not even herself her own daughter
14:50that’s pretty good i mean wow i’d like to have this lady in my confirmation class i mean this she’s
14:57she’s a great student of the scriptures here and so what does Jesus do
15:06nothing he says nothing
15:12what’s that well i would argue when you read your bible
15:17you’re going to find that that’s kind of a common response from god i know it seems weird but let me explain
15:25job he familiar with job you know this poor fellow was made to suffer horrifically and was never it was never
15:32told to him why he was suffering when we read job we have the actual explanation
15:39as to why he’s suffering he’s going through it and has no clue and that’s kind of the big thing is is
15:46that then when he is being comforted by his comforters they are utterly clueless
15:51and the things that they’re saying do not jive with the reality as to why he’s suffering why is he suffering because
15:57the devil and god are having a bad that’s the reason why he’s suffering that’s how this went down and so in job
16:04chapter 30 listen to these words he says now my soul is poured out within me
16:11days of affliction have taken hold of me the night racks my bones and
16:16pain that gnaws me takes no rest what a great way to describe it you ever had like a
16:22super painful night like you know something’s gone wrong and the agony just doesn’t go away you know you’re
16:29exhausted but the pain isn’t and you can’t figure out how to get this thing to settle down what a beautiful way of
16:35describing the pain gnaws that gnaws me takes no rest with great force my
16:40garment is disfigured it binds me about like the color of my tunic god has cast
16:47me into the mire and i’ve become like dust and ashes and i cry to you for help
16:53and you don’t answer me i stand and you only look at me
17:03that’s job you know what that’s all of us
17:09have you noticed that there we are we we’ve learned that god says call to me
17:14in the day of trouble and i will answer so the day of trouble shows up and you pick up your cell phone and you dial god
17:21and no answer what’s going on you leave a voicemail hey god we’ve got a problem
17:26here you said i can call you on the day of trouble and you’re hello are you there send a message it’s not even red he
17:34doesn’t leave it on red he doesn’t even read the message and you’re going what’s going on here right job went through
17:40that same thing so does this woman you know so did david now that i think
17:46about it david in psalm 13 says how long o lord will you forget me forever
17:52yeah it’s like did god do david a good big favor by anointing him as the king of
17:58israel yeah no okay he’s the anointed king of israel but there’s a big problem
18:05saul he’s not only the anointed he’s also the current reigning king of israel
18:10and usually when there’s an anointed king and a reigning king they don’t get along too well
18:16all right and so how does david spend a large portion of the bible on the run
18:22like some kind of fugitive and saul is constantly trying to kill
18:28him pin him to the wall things like this and so david in psalm 13
18:33how long o lord will you forget me forever how long are you going to hide your face from me how long must i take counsel in
18:40my soul have sorrow in my heart all the day how long shall my enemy be exalted
18:46over me consider and answer me o lord my god light up my eyes lest i sleep the sleep of death lest my enemy say i have
18:53prevailed over him lest my foes rejoice because i am shaken
19:02how about you i can think of many a time when i’ve prayed and it and i legitimately have like a
19:10real need that really needs to be solved like pronto by god
19:18and like my dad on a saturday morning says yeah i i i’m not going to get up until like nine so you just leave me
19:24alone go watch cartoons or something that’s what it seems like right
19:30but note this then that job who also felt like god wasn’t
19:36even hearing his prayers he’s also the fellow who wrote these words same book
19:42oh that my words were written oh that they were inscribed in a book o that with an iron pen and lead they were
19:49engraved in the rock forever they just happened to be that job yes they are now
19:54here and then he says this for i know that my redeemer lives i know we’re in lent so we can’t sing
20:01the tune okay that’s just for like the next seasons it’ll be here shortly but know what job says i know that my
20:07redeemer lives and at the last he will stand on the earth and after my skin has
20:13thus been destroyed yet in my flesh i shall see god whom i shall see for myself and my eyes
20:21shall behold and not another my heart faints within me thinking about it
20:26so there’s job god isn’t even answering my prayers but yeah i know that my redeemer lives and even after my skin
20:32has fallen off my bones don’t worry i’m going to see god with my very eyes my own flesh funny enough david does the
20:38same thing in that same song psalm it’s psalm 13. you know he said how long are
20:43you going to forget me oh lord are you going to keep hiding your face from me but then it ends with this but i’ve trusted in
20:50your steadfast love my heart shall rejoice in your salvation i will sing to the lord because he has dealt
20:55bountifully with me how do you reconcile these two very
21:02well they seem contradictory thoughts are you gonna keep ignoring me god but yeah i trust in you i’m gonna see you face to
21:09face like my eyes are gonna see you even though my flesh falls off my body and i die and worms eat me
21:15how is that possible what is the glue that holds these two thoughts together answer
21:20faith faith and that’s the point
21:26it’s okay to pray this prayer to god are you going to keep ignoring me god
21:31i’m in a lot of trouble a lot of pain here i need your help are you going to keep ignoring it’s okay to say that
21:37because even when you say that you’re saying it to the one who actually can’t help you and you believe that he will
21:44and ultimately he will in his own good timing but this is where we must
21:49understand something that scripture teaches us romans 5
21:55therefore since we have been justified by faith and boy that’s good news right there
22:02we have peace with god through our lord Jesus Christ and through him we have
22:07also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand
22:13the grace in which we stand in which we rejoice in hope of the glory of god and
22:18even more than that are you ready for these words i don’t
22:23think you’re ready for these words i’m not ready for these words but here are the words
22:29we rejoice in our sufferings
22:36it goes on knowing that suffering produces endurance
22:42endurance produces character character produces hope
22:47and hope doesn’t put us to shame because god’s love has been poured into our hearts through the holy spirit who’s been given
22:53to us
22:58rejoice in our sufferings and so what we’re seeing here
23:03in our old testament text and in our gospel text are accounts where
23:10god has permitted for a short bit of time
23:15for faith to be tried through suffering
23:20faith to be tried through silence you’ll note that even joseph and i preached about this on wednesday joseph
23:29god gave him two fantastic dreams of what was going to be coming in the future then had him sold into slavery
23:35and then he ends up in prison for 13 years and god said nothing to him
23:40not a thing and so we’re not any different faith basically is able to say hey god
23:48are you listening you said you are why aren’t you doing anything and at times i’ve gotten to the point where the
23:53difficulties in my life my attitude with god and my prayers go something like this
23:58i’m not god you are so this isn’t my problem to solve it’s
24:04your problem to solve i’m going to just go do my things and you got to take care of this because
24:10you’re god right can you do that yes because that’s
24:16really how faith talks and so note then here this woman who clearly has faith great
24:24theology here she knows exactly who Jesus is Jesus says
24:30nothing not a word and so now his disciples come and they
24:35beg him please send her away for she’s crying out after us
24:43which is basically a nice way of saying she won’t shut up
24:49one has to wonder how that went down i know you can hear me you can ignore me
24:54all you want Jesus but i know you hear me and i know who you are i know that you can help me and i’m not going
25:00anywhere until you do i’m not letting go until you bless me same attitude right
25:06that’s what the text says she kept on crying out after them and the disciples are man this is really
25:12embarrassing and so Jesus kind of off the cuff says i was sent only for the
25:18lost sheep of israel now really funny here
25:24really funny i read johann gerhart’s sermon on this text this week i wanted to see what he did with it johan gerhard famous
25:31lutheran confessional lutheran and he says the fact that that didn’t
25:37bring Christ crumbling down and you know and well actually she just
25:42she continues and persists on it the fact that he said this and this is not exactly true
25:48is proof that get this limited atonement that the calvinists believe is false [Laughter]
25:54it was a great point sorry i nerded out on that one okay i i like literally got up on my desk and
26:00went yes yeah yes anyway
26:05it’s embarrassing the things i do in my office my apologies all of that being said
26:10you’ll note then this does not send her away because she knows enough
26:16of her scripture to sit there and go ah they ain’t gonna work with me Jesus i know everybody who believes in you is
26:22brought into israel i mean think of rahab the prostitute you think of ruth the moabitess
26:28notable pagans who are part of the story of scripture and they weren’t cast aside
26:34they’re grafted into israel so she said so that doesn’t get rid of her so she comes and she kneels before Jesus saying
26:42lord help me and she’s looking him dead in the eye
26:49kneeling down she knows who he is she’s not going away
26:56and i always like to point this out if Jesus were ministering today he would get cancelled for this next bit
27:03it’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs all the feminist theologians did he just call
27:09that woman a dog cancel cancel cancel Jesus no way
27:14right she’s a bad dog right
27:20still won’t take no for an answer and here’s where
27:26faith kicks in when we trust Christ
27:31have you met him have you seen him know how tall he is what shade of brown his eyes are or his
27:38hair you know how does he like to wear his beard do you know these things i know we have Jesus’s graduation picture back
27:44there but he’s he’s older since then okay you don’t know what he looks like
27:52you couldn’t recognize his voice if he spoke to you without allowing you to know it was him
27:58that being the case then note then we have faith in Christ and we
28:04know his words because he speaks to us from scripture he’s spoken to us through the prophets he’s spoken to us through
28:10the writings of the apostles who’ve recorded this very story for us and note then that well
28:18we need to trust Christ’s words and believe him and this woman does and
28:26now comes the ultimate move wrestling move it’s she’s going to
28:32flip Jesus and pin him with his own words that’s right lord
28:38yep that’s right dogs uh yeah if you want to say i’m a dog i’m a dog yet the dogs they eat the
28:45crumbs that fall from their masters table so where are my crumbs
28:55she just defeated god can you do that yes
29:02that’s kind of the point and she did it with faith and now he says oh woman
29:07great is your faith be it done for you as you desire and her daughter was
29:12healed instantly listen to those words be it done for you as you desire prayer is an interesting thing
29:21when people start talking philosophy are you a fatalist do you believe that everything’s like planned out ahead of
29:26time and that god has like worked it all out and all this kind of stuff this is how philosophers talk
29:31all right i see in scripture that god who’s doing a fine job of running the universe i do a terrible job at it fine
29:39job of running the universe that some of his plans some of the things that are going on there they’re not written in
29:44stone they’re written in pencil and that when we pray
29:50in faith asking for things that we need or asking
29:55for somebody else god sits there and goes well yeah that person’s suffering right now but you know i’m gonna do what
30:02you’ve asked here and so he takes his pencil out and he puts on the eraser and goes this he goes as you have desired
30:14whoa don’t tell me that prayer isn’t something important
30:21it’s huge is it any wonder that the devil tries to deceive us into believing that it
30:27doesn’t matter or even worse the doubts come up within us that say
30:34god isn’t hearing my prayer he’s not answering me faith says i don’t care if god’s
30:39answering me or not i’m gonna persist until he does
30:47and Christ answers her prayer and does what she desired
30:52she prevailed not only again over Christ Christ ended up doing her will
31:00how is any of this possible it makes us rethink things a little bit here what is faith
31:08who is our faith in what is he like what i see here
31:14is a loving kind Jesus merciful slow to anger abounding and steadfast love
31:20knowing full well just how deep the consequences of our sin is and yet he
31:26rather than giving us what we deserve total silence for eternity from god
31:32instead he comes and he gets into the mess and the mire himself and i would note this silence from Jesus that this
31:40woman experienced Jesus himself got to experience it when he was on the cross
31:47there on a friday afternoon in the dark naked and bleeding
31:54suffering for sins that he did not commit sins that i committed sins that you committed there Jesus bearing the sin
32:01and the guilt and the iniquity of the whole world god the father
32:06in the midst of all of that turns away and Christ cries out my god my god why
32:11have you forsaken me
32:18you’re in good company i’m in good company
32:24this is the road of faith this is the pattern you see it throughout the scriptures
32:31from jacob to this woman from tyre and sidon to Christ himself but we can say the truth just like job
32:39in the midst of all of his pain and his suffering he never flagged in faith and
32:44noted that my redeemer lives and even though my flesh and my skin is destroyed
32:49yet in my flesh my very eyes i will see god and god did not forsake Christ
32:57and leave his body in the grave instead on the third day he rose again
33:02bodily to show that his sacrifice for our sins
33:07was accepted by the father so let us rejoice in the god
33:13who wills to be defeated by his creatures but the only way you can defeat god is
33:18not with your works but with faith in the name of Jesus amen
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