Sermon Transcript – Jesus Dines at the Devil’s Dinner Party

Series C – Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, August 28, 2016 | 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
0:29the holy Gospel According to Saint Luke chapter 14 verses 1 through 14. one
0:35Sabbath when Jesus went to dine at the house of ruler of the Pharisees they were watching him carefully and behold
0:42there was a man before him who had dropsy Jesus responded to the lawyers and the
0:47Pharisees saying is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not but they remained silent
0:54then he took him and healed him and sent him away and he said to them which of you having a son or an ox that has
1:00fallen into a well on a Sabbath day will not immediately pull him out and they could not reply to these things now he
1:07told a parable to those who were invited when he noticed how they chose the places of Honor saying to them when you
1:14were invited by someone to a wedding Feast Do not sit down in a place of honor lest someone more distinguished
1:20than you be invited by him and he who invited you both will come and say to
1:25you give your place to this person and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place but when you are
1:31invited go and sit in the lowest place so that when your host comes he may say to you friend move up higher then you
1:39will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you for everyone who exalts himself will be
1:44humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted he said also to the man who had invited
1:51him when you give a dinner or a banquet do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your Rich
1:57neighbors lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid but when you
2:03give a feast invite the poor the crippled the lame the Blind and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you
2:09for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just in the name of Jesus
2:17all right if you think about family holiday meals they can be awkward those
2:23meals can either be really Pleasant or they can actually be quite painful and oftentimes things go badly during a
2:30holiday meal because someone foolishly brought up the subject of either religion or politics
2:36right but what happens when your God in human flesh every meal that you attend is going to
2:42steer into the subject of religion there’s no way around it that’s kind of how things go
2:48but what happens when the host of the dinner party is one of the sons of the
2:53devil now I know that might sound really harsh but bear with me keep in mind John
2:59chapter 8 verse 44 Jesus said to those Jews who did not believe in him you are
3:04of your father the devil your will is to do your father’s desires he was a
3:10murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him when he lies he speaks out
3:17of his own character for he is a liar and the father of Lies and that’s kind of the setup if you
3:23would for today’s Gospel text Jesus the son of God is dining at a dinner party
3:30hosted by one of the sons of the devil now how many of you remember the Muppet
3:35Show okay now that’s a confession me too okay now I remember the Muppet Show and I
3:41remember one particular episode where they showed Muppets who were well well dressed you know the Tuxedos and
3:48beautiful dresses and things like that and they were at a banquet and they were dancing and what they did is they kind
3:54of like had little vignettes they would zoom in on one couple and they would say something and then they would pull back
4:00and they would zoom in on a different couple and I remember in one particular you know in this particular episode that
4:06they zoomed in on this couple and and the male Muppet who was in a tuxedo says
4:11there was a fly in My Soup and the female Muppet says well what was he doing
4:17well he was doing the backstroke right and then they kept on dancing and doing their thing okay and and so the idea
4:23here is today’s Gospel text and we’re going to actually pick up the rest of this this is kind of like that this is
4:29the setup he’s Jesus the son of God dining at the home of one of the sons of
4:35the devil and there’s four little kind of pictures of what happens because the
4:41Collision is spectacular if you pay attention to what’s going on but to kind
4:46of help us before we dive back into our gospel text we’re going to have to frame
4:51this correctly well I’ll start by asking what is the devil’s Chief problem
4:57all right I mean if you were to meet the devil and say what is your problem anyway right what is your problem well
5:05I’d like to propose that the prophet Isaiah in chapter 14 actually explains
5:12to us the devil’s problem and he does so we’re familiar with this text how you
5:18have fallen from Heaven o Daystar the son of dawn how you are cut down to the ground you who laid low the Nations all
5:24right there’s a picture of the devil there but I want to back up in the context just a little bit because I want
5:30to pull out the themes that are going on in Our Gospel texts that appear in the in the verses immediately before that so
5:36we’re in Isaiah 14 starting at verse 3. and there’s a picture here of well Pro
5:43Isaiah is prophesying to the children of Israel this is what’s going to happen you’re going into Exile but when you
5:49finally come out you will kind of taunt the king of Babylon and watch what he says verse 3 when Yahweh has given you
5:58rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to
6:04serve you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon how the oppressor has ceased the
6:12insolent Fury ceased the Lord has broken the staff of the wicked the scepter of
6:19rulers that struck the peoples in Wrath with unceasing blows that ruled the
6:24nations in Anger with unrelenting persecution the whole earth is at rest
6:29and now quiet they break forth then into singing the cypresses Rejoice at you the Cedars of
6:36Lebanon saying since you were laid low no wood cutter comes against us notice
6:42the king of Babylon is now being laid low all right shayol beneath is stirred up
6:49to meet you when you come it Rouses the shades to greet you with all who were
6:55leaders of the earth it raises from their Thrones all who were Kings of the Nations all of them will answer and say
7:01to you you too have become as weak as we are you have become like us your pomp is
7:08brought down to sheol the sound of your Harps maggots are laid as a bed beneath
7:14you and worms are your covers I don’t ever remember the heist the uh my Sunday
7:20school flannel graph teacher kind of showing us a bed of maggots that would have been cool right but see you can see
7:26this motif of the high and mighty the self-exalted now being brought down and
7:32knocked all the way down to the bottom right and so the picture then continues
7:38with a picture of what the devil is like himself how you have fallen from Heaven o Day
7:45star son of the Dawn how you are cut down to the ground you who laid low the
7:51Nations you said in your heart I will Ascend to Heaven above the stars of God
7:57I will set my Throne on high I will sit on the Mount of assembly in the far
8:04reaches of the north I will Ascend above the heights of the clouds I will make
8:10myself like the most high but you are brought down to Shield to
8:16the farthest reaches of the pit so what’s the devil’s problem he has an
8:22eye problem right it’s all about him he is his own
8:28deity and he despises God now the question then comes up what happens when
8:34you are actually one of the sons of the devil but you clothe yourself in religion or maybe even the law of God
8:42that’s not real Christianity this is something different so the answer the
8:47answer is you become self-righteous and you use religion to camouflage your
8:53ambition you use religion to camouflage your unquenchable hunger for the
8:58pleasures and the riches and the prestige that this life has to offer right so keep that in mind but over and
9:06again we hear in Scripture that God opposes the proud
9:13over and again it’s not that he tolerates them he literally opposes them listen to what James writes in his
9:19epistle chapter 4 starting at verse 1. what causes quarrels and what causes
9:26fights among you is it not this that your passions are at
9:32War within you think of passions as like you’re yearning your desires and we’re talking about sinful passions you desire
9:38and you do not have so you murder you covet and you cannot obtain so you fight
9:45and you quarrel you do not have because you do not ask and you ask and do not receive because
9:51you ask wrongly in order to spend it on your passions you adulterous people do
9:58you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God therefore
10:04whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God
10:10or do you suppose that it is of no purpose that the scripture says he yearns jealously over the spirit that
10:16he’s made to dwell in us but he gives us more grace therefore it says God opposes the proud
10:22you hear that he opposes them but gives grace to the humble
10:27submit yourselves therefore to God resist the devil and he will flee from you and notice the resisting of the
10:33devil is in the context of not yielding to your sinful Passions
10:39those demonic passions that we learned from well the Devil Himself draw near to God
10:45He will draw near to you cleanse your hands you Sinners purify your hearts you double-minded be wretched and mourn and
10:52weep let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to Gloom humble
10:57yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you
11:05and we sit there and go yeah but when it’s kind of a long time to wait
11:11maybe it’s best if I just exalt myself just a little right so now with that all kind of
11:18framed up in your mind these are a motifs that we’re going to be working with let’s return to this devilish
11:25dinner party put on by one of the sons of Perdition right and the Son of God shows up here’s what it says one Sabbath
11:33when Jesus went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees they were watching him carefully why were they
11:40watching him carefully oh it’s real simple they don’t believe Jesus is the son of God they’re looking for him to
11:47say something they can go ah we knew it all along you’re a fraud you’re not the
11:52Son of God you’re a heretic Stone him Stone him right that’s what they’re
11:57looking for right and behold there was a man before him who had dropsy very serious condition
12:06dropsy people who have dropsy drop dead pretty quick some fatal heart condition so Jesus
12:13responded to the lawyers and the Pharisees saying here’s the question is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not
12:21and then you can hear the Jeopardy music playing in the background right and they’re not answering at all
12:28they remained silent the reason why they’re silent by the way
12:34is because they know perfectly well that there are some people who do work on the
12:42Sabbath and it has to do with the mercy of God let me give you an example Numbers chapter 28 verses 9 through 10.
12:51every single Sabbath this is commanded by God two male Lambs a year old without
12:59blemish two-tenths of an IFA a fine flower for a grain offering mixed with oil and it’s
13:05drink offering this is the burnt offering of every Sabbath besides the
13:11regular burnt offering and its drink offering every single Sabbath the priests would
13:18offer two male Lambs a food offering and a grain offering as a burnt offering which means they had to
13:25kill these animals prepare this offering and burn it all up that requires them to
13:31prepare a fire as well but scripture forbids these things on the Sabbath
13:36but see all of this has to do with God’s mercy because offerings point us to the
13:43Forgiveness of our sins and God’s grace and his mercy so here are these Pharisees and lawyers right Jesus is it
13:50is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not and they know perfectly well that not all work is forbidden work that is
13:56well related to God’s mercy and Grace continues to go on day after day
14:02so they don’t answer him so what does Jesus do he took the guy healed him sent him away and he said to
14:09them which of you having a son or an oxid has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day will not immediately pull him out
14:15and they could not reply to these things so there’s kind of picture number one at this dinner party right Jesus is kind of
14:24warming up and already things are how did the kids say it nowadays awkward
14:30right absolutely so there’s vignette number one but the party continues and Jesus is
14:38just going to go from group to group to group and oh boy it gets really cool so
14:45now he told them a parable to those who were invited when he noticed how they chose the places of Honor so Jesus is at
14:52this demonic dinner party and watching these people jockeying for position who’s going to have the best seat
14:59who’s sitting at the head table who’s really going to be honored and who’s well not so much right and they’re all
15:05jockeying for position because they’re all about me I want people to think I’m important I want honor for myself
15:13so Jesus says all right hey guys I got an idea it’s like who are you where’d you come
15:18from right he said all right listen listen when you’re invited by someone to a wedding Feast don’t sit down in the place of
15:25honor what what oh I have a better idea okay
15:31you don’t do that and well unless somebody more distinguished than you that had been invited shows up and then
15:37both he’ll come the the head of the banquet will come do both of you and say give your place to this person and then
15:43you will begin with shame to take the lowest place but when you’re invited I know go sit in the lowest place
15:49so that when your host comes he may say to you friend move up higher then you’ll be honored in the presence of all who
15:56sit at the table with you for everyone who exalts himself will be
16:01humbled he who humbles himself will be exalted notice that last bit Jesus is talking in
16:09future tense this is future tense relating to what the day when Jesus
16:14comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead the one who exalts himself will be humbled and there’s their
16:20problem true sons of the devil they’re all about exalting themselves and so
16:26Jesus at this dinner party like is insulting everybody and saying you know
16:31you guys who are exalting yourself why don’t you come in and just sit in the lowest place first
16:36but but it’s all about me that’s the problem right so Jesus is now smashing all of
16:46their self idolatrous self-centered self-exaltation sinful desires right
16:54so we went from Awkward to no he didn’t oh yes he did right
17:01oh it gets better okay snapshot number three the party continues and already a lot of the
17:08guests are offended so Jesus decides he’s going to really turn up the heat he
17:13goes to the man who had invited him and he says hey I have an idea when you give a dinner or a banquet
17:20don’t invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your Rich neighbors lest they also invite you in
17:27return and you be repaid well what’s the point of having a party
17:32then if I’m not going to invite all these people to recognize how great I am right Jesus says this but when you give
17:39a feast invite the poor the crippled the lame the blind
17:46now so that you understand just how offensive this is let me remind you of a little story in
17:53the Gospel of John chapter 9. in The Gospel of John chapter 9 we have the
17:59story of the man who was born blind and what’s the question that the disciples asked Jesus who sinned this
18:06man or his parents that he was born blind and Jesus said neither
18:12he was born this way so that the glory of God will be demonstrated in his life Rose Bros paraphrase right so he heals
18:19the guy he heals him by basically sending him to a pool and washing and then his eyes can see right
18:26and he comes back seeing and everyone’s marveling and of course the Pharisees wait wait a second who who opened your
18:32eyes how did you how did you now have good eyesight and they interrogate him
18:37twice they interrogate his parents once and his parents are so freaked out by it they basically say talk to him he’s over
18:44he’s of age he can talk for himself right and in the final part of the exchange
18:51like the guy actually has the hutzpah to
18:57say to the Jews interrogating him we know that God does not listen to Sinners but if anyone is a worshiper of God and
19:03does his will God listens to him never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man
19:09born blind he’s defending Jesus if this man Jesus were not from God he can do
19:14nothing and here’s what the Pharisees said you were born in utter sin and you
19:21would teach us and they threw him out of the synagogue
19:26you see what’s going on here Jesus says don’t invite your rich friends the
19:31pretty people the people who have it all together no no no no no when you throw a
19:37party you invite those who are cursed
19:43the poor the crippled the lame the blind in other words all those people who you
19:49think are cursed by God because they’re poor crippled lame and blind
19:57oh this is not going to go over well right he says
20:03do this and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you for you will be
20:09repaid at the resurrection of the just Jesus here is talking about what’s spoken of in Proverbs 19 17. whoever is
20:17generous to the poor lends to the Lord and He will repay him for his deed
20:24oh this party is really warming up now Jesus is turned into the proverbial bull
20:29in the china shop and he is taking all of their false religion and just
20:35mercilessly smashing it in front of their eyes everything they think they know about
20:42God has now been turned over who is this Jesus fellow
20:47but the story continues it’s good for us to look at the end of
20:52this dinner party so when one of those who reclined at the table with Jesus heard these things he
21:00blurts out blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God
21:05it’s like he just says this into the kind of like the awkward silence after Jesus said why don’t you invite all
21:11those cursed people all those sinful people the ones who God hates the
21:17crippled the lame the poor the Blind and it’s like you can hear a pin drop in the room and one goes blessed is everyone
21:24who’ll eat bread in the kingdom of God all right but keep in mind Jesus in John
21:316 51 says I am the living bread that came down from heaven if anyone eats of
21:36this bread he will live forever and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh you see Jesus is
21:43the living bread and this guy is completely clueless to this and so Jesus figures well let’s just keep going now
21:51that all the China is sitting in pieces on the floor let’s just stomp it just a little bit more and so he said to him
21:57and now he goes into Parable story oh this is fun a man once gave a great banquet and
22:05invited many and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been
22:11invited come for everything is now ready
22:16now Jesus has taught us how to understand Parables we need to find Jesus in the story who’s he referring to
22:23here what’s going on so the man who gave the great banquet this is none other
22:28than God the Father all right the banquet being referred to here is that eschatological banquet
22:35coming at the End of the Age it is the great wedding Feast of the Lamb that’s
22:41the banquet that’s being referred to here I’ll save the Jesus part for just a minute but listen to this come
22:48everything is now ready this by the way is the call of the Gospel everything is
22:55prepared the law has been fulfilled the devil that narcissistic Tyrant has been
23:00defeated the curse is about to be lifted the darkness is being rolled away and
23:06it’s time to party like it’s the eighth day of creation yeah that’s the day of the new creation
23:14there’s nothing to do all the preparation has been done by God come relax have a glass of wine God’s
23:22picked up the tab in fact at this party it’s an open bar sit and eat the best meal that you’ve
23:28ever had no expense has been spared and all of it has been purchased with the
23:34blood of the son of God all right
23:40but they all alike begin to make excuses who are they who began to make excuses
23:47well Jesus is talking about the men and whose presence he is at the time the Pharisees the Jews who did not
23:54believe in him so the first said to him I’ve bought a field sorry I got to go
24:00out and see it please have me excused another said well I just bought five yolks of oxen you
24:06know how those oxen are I gotta go examine them please have me excused and another said I just married a wife
24:14therefore I cannot come so a field is more important than the one who is hosting the great banquet
24:21five yoke of oxen are more important than the one who is hosting the great banquet
24:28betting your wife and that’s what this guy is referring to betting your wife is more important than the one who is
24:34hosting the great banquet what are these people thinking notice
24:41where all of their focus is the temporal riches and pleasures and things that
24:47happen in this life right
24:52you see that’s how the devil operates it’s not that these things and these Pursuits are more important than the one
24:59who is hosting the banquet it’s that the people pursuing these things think that
25:04they are more important than the one hosting the great banquet they love
25:10themselves they will not deny themselves any Earthly pleasure they hate God and
25:15have no desire to do anything with him yet alone Feast with him in his kingdom
25:23you see the setup boy this is a great party this is one
25:28that everyone’s going to talk about for like Millennia right so the servant came and reported these
25:35things to his master then the Master of the House became angry and said to his servants go out quickly into the streets
25:42and the lanes of the city and bring in the poor the crippled the blind the lame
25:50all those who are cursed by God those sinners you go invite them to my party and now
25:57we see where Jesus is in the story Jesus is the servant
26:03right and what’s he doing he’s bringing in the sinners
26:09those cursed by God the blind the lame whoa right
26:17so the servant said sir what you’ve commanded has been done and still there is room and the master said to the
26:22servant go out into the highways and the hedges compel people to come in that my
26:27house may be filled highways in the hedges that’s where the robbers and the prostitutes hang out
26:35compel the people to come in so that my house might be filled for I tell you none of those men
26:42who were invited shall taste my banquet yeah
26:48this is why Ephesians 5 5-14 says you may be sure of this everyone who is
26:55sexually immoral or impure or who is Covetous that is an idolater has no
27:01inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God let no one deceive you with empty words for because of these things the wrath of
27:08God comes upon the sons of Disobedience therefore do not become partners with them for at one time you were Darkness
27:16but now you are light in the Lord walk as children of the light for the fruit of the light is found in all that
27:21is good and right and true try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord and take no part in the unfruitful works of
27:28darkness instead expose them for it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret but when anything
27:34is exposed By the Light it becomes visible for anything that becomes visible is light therefore it says awake
27:40o sleeper rise from the dead Christ will shine on you
27:47so Jesus is the servant they don’t want to have anything to do with the invitation because they are
27:54self-centered self-exalting little sons of the devil perfectly mimicking their
28:00father but see Jesus isn’t like that Philippians 2
28:06starting at verse 3 says that Jesus though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be
28:12grasped but he emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave and
28:18being in the likeness of men and being found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of
28:24death even death on a cross and see Jesus is the one who perfectly humbled
28:30himself and became your servant and mine therefore God has highly exalted him and
28:36bestowed on him the name that is above every name so that the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven on Earth
28:42and under the Earth and every tongue confessed that Jesus Christ is the Lord
28:47to the glory of God the Father so there’s Jesus at a dinner party
28:52hosted by one of the sons of the devil and the Son of God cannot help but use the occasion of this demonic banquet to
29:00contrast it with the party that God the father is about to throw
29:06contrast is Stark if we see Jesus is that servant in the
29:12parable who was sent to compel now listen carefully to compel you
29:19to come to the banquet he’s the one looking for the blind
29:25lame the crippled those who are cursed
29:31by the law of God those who are sinners to come to the banquet
29:39and I have the invitation right here I’d like to read it to you
29:49by order of God the Father Almighty you are cordially invited to the great
29:55wedding Feast of the Lamb all is prepared and it’s all a gift
30:02and immediately following the banquet is life Without End in the new Earth there will be no more suffering no more
30:09funerals no more cancer no more heart disease no more Alzheimer’s no more
30:14walking by faith and not by sight not only will you see Jesus with your
30:20own eyes he himself has promised to wipe away every tear from your eyes
30:25come all are welcome come it is all paid for Christ has paid the price by laying
30:33down his life for you and if you think that I’m not talking to you yes I’m actually talking to you you
30:41have a seat of Honor waiting for you at this amazing feast put aside your Pursuits of your flesh in this dying and
30:48passing World Christ has died for those Pursuits he had to because they are sinful Wicked and devilish
30:55this invitation is no cruel joke this invitation is for you and it’s
31:00further and it is the real thing you Cinderella are going to the ball
31:06and don’t worry that your clothes are dirty and soiled with sin Christ has provided you with the Robes of his
31:12righteousness and when you enter the great Banquet Hall you will sparkle and shine with the Brilliance of God’s Own
31:18glory and Holiness come all is prepared believe and you have it all already
31:25believe and you will live with Christ happily ever after
31:32in the name of Jesus amen
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