Sermon Transcript – Sent To Reunite The Lost With The Father

Series B – Second Sunday after Christmas – Monday, January 4, 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:
Intro bumper
Time StampTranscript
0:23The holy gospel according to saint luke
0:30the second chapter [Music] [Applause]
0:40the child Jesus grew and became strong filled with wisdom and the favor of god
0:45was upon him now his parents went to jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover and when he was 12 years old
0:51they went up according to custom and when the feast was ended as they were returning the boy Jesus stayed behind in
0:58jerusalem his parents did not know it but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey but then they
1:04began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances and when they did not find him they returned to jerusalem searching for
1:11him after three days they found him in the temple sitting among the teachers listening to them and asking them
1:16questions and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers
1:22and his parents saw him they were astonished and his mother said to him son why have you treated us so behold your
1:28father and i have been searching for you in great distress and he said to them why were you looking
1:33for me did you not know that i must be in my father’s house and they did not understand the saying
1:39that he spoke to them and he went down with them and came to nazareth and was submissive to them and his mother treasured up all
1:45these things in her heart and Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with god and man this is
1:53the gospel of the lord in the name of Jesus all right tough text that we have to deal with today
1:59and i’ve done some research did a little reading in the church fathers to see how other pastors have addressed this text i call
2:07it the original um this is the original uh home alone
2:12story if you would yeah you think kevin mcallister home alone home loan one home loan two yeah this is the original one if you
2:19would Jesus gets lost and of course it’s during the Christmas season as the text comes up
2:24but that’s kind of missing the point if you would think of it this way Jesus says to his mother why were you
2:31looking for me did you not know i must be in my father’s house and they did not understand the saying
2:36that he spoke so i went and looked at other sermons other pastors through history to see
2:41how they have understood this text and the one thing i can say with certainty at this point is that there is kind of no unified
2:47voice as to what to do with this so i made an executive well actually not
2:52an executive i’m not an executive i made a pastoral decision that what i would do is work with this
2:58text in a way that folds it into some of the themes of our epistle text
3:04in the in our epistle text you’ll note that it begins with these words blessed be the god and father of our lord Jesus
3:11Christ who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
3:17and one of the things i think that it’s really easy for us to do as Christians is to really overlook in many ways
3:25the love that the father has for us and so as we listen to our gospel text
3:31as we heard it today every time i’ve read this i’ve always thought it reminded me of a particular
3:37story from the book of genesis and it’s one of the details of the story of
3:42joseph and his brothers if you remember the story in the book of genesis joseph is the son
3:48of jacob jacob at this point has had his name changed by god himself to israel the one who wrestles with god
3:56and joseph is the favored son he’s the guy with the technicolor dreamcoat the broadway musical is all about him
4:03but you get the idea but his father loves him he is the favored son and his brothers they don’t like him so
4:10much and he has two dreams prophetic dreams so if you’ve ever heard anyone say you
4:16need to dream audacious dreams they’re totally missing the whole point of the text the whole point of the text is that this
4:22was a prophecy given by god to him to prepare him for what it is that would come
4:27but the the details of the dream go that uh yeah well as interpreted it makes it
4:33sound like his parents and his own brothers and siblings would bow before him like he was some kind of a ruler or
4:39something and as brothers were not really keen on him or his dreams and so they came up
4:44with a great idea they thought they would just murder him that’s yay you think your family is
4:50dysfunctional all right yeah so here’s the idea we’re just gonna murder joseph now one of them one of the brothers
4:57prevails over the others and says rather than murder him why don’t we do this we’ll sell them into slavery so
5:04they betrayed him for pieces of silver sold him into slavery in egypt you’re sitting there going i can already
5:10start to see some of the themes as they relate to Christ and you should because joseph
5:15exemplifies Christ in so many ways and then when what happens he finds himself in
5:20egypt in slavery working for a fellow by the name of potiphar and
5:26then of course his brothers they lie to dad and tell their father that he has been torn apart by animals
5:34they found his technicolor dreamcoat covered it in goat’s blood to make it
5:40look like you know he had been thrashed to death by a lion or a tiger or a bear you kind of get the idea and
5:48israel goes into deep lament very very deep mourning in fact
5:55we learn from these texts that he never really gets over the fact that he has lost his son
6:00and that’s an important part but as the story goes joseph then
6:06well he’s goes from slavery to prison because i like to say he’s uh if you
6:12read the account in in genesis uh he was doing very well as a slave
6:17in fact very well his master trusted him with everything but his his wife had the hots for joseph
6:23so we have in recorded history the first recorded case of work case workplace sexual harassment and he
6:30ends up in prison for 13 years after that for a crime that he’d never committed
6:37hmm well we all know how the turn of events goes there were two fellows who had dreams
6:43who worked for for pharaoh himself and one of them the dream went favorably for him
6:49and he then remembers he remembers that joseph is able to interpret dreams later when pharaoh had dreams dreams that were
6:56warning the egyptian world the war the world at that time that god was going to be sending seven
7:02years of famine and they need to prepare for it and after hearing his dreams interpreted by joseph
7:07pharaoh takes joseph from prison to second in command of all of egypt and he
7:13begins the process of preparing egypt for the coming famine that will strike the land and
7:18when the famine strikes guess who shows up in egypt to buy grain
7:24none other than joseph’s brothers and on their first visit on their first visit
7:31they didn’t bring joseph’s full biological brother with them the youngest
7:36benjamin and joseph is a little worried for benjamin and so he makes it clear to them on
7:42their first visit that he would not allow them to purchase more grain unless they brought their youngest brother with
7:48him the second time and so they did but it wasn’t an easy discussion with
7:55their father when because it was jacob himself who refused to let benjamin go
8:01and in order for benjamin to go judah had to prevail upon jacob and basically offer up his life
8:09in exchange for his brothers should anything happen to him which in the types and shadows is
8:14actually quite meaningful if you think about it judah offering his life in exchange for
8:19one of his brothers aha and so with that we know then that they traveled back to egypt they were able to purchase the
8:27grain that they had hoped for and joseph’s heart well he was having a hard time holding it together when his brothers
8:34visited him the second time but in order to test his brothers to see what their intent really was
8:40he came up with a scheme whereby he had all their money put back in their sacks even though their sacks were filled with
8:45grain and he hid one of his silver cups in the mouth of the sack of the youngest benjamin
8:51and then they didn’t know that they had these things in their sacks and they headed off towards home and
8:56then joseph sent one of his servants saying why have you stolen my master’s cup he hadn’t really stolen it and they
9:03found the cup in benjamin’s sack and now it’s time to return so there’s a little
9:10bit of a return trip going on here but the themes are fascinating and so upon their return
9:17judah says to joseph and this is from genesis chapter let’s see here where was i
9:25genesis chapter 44.
9:31benjamin they all fall to the ground when judah and his brothers came to joseph’s house he was still there they
9:37fell before joseph to the ground and joseph said to them what is this deed that you have done
9:43do you not know that a man like me can indeed practice divination now he really can’t but uh it’s all part
9:51of the the ruse if you would uh the the thing that he had set up so judah
9:56said what shall we say to my lord and what shall we speak or how can we clear ourselves
10:03god has found out the guilt of your servants and we’ll note here with a careful
10:09reading a more thorough reading of this story we know that judah and his brothers all believe that
10:15they’re kind of being messed with if you would and here judah speaks on behalf of the
10:20whole group the god has found out the guilt of your servants plural ten brothers were responsible
10:28for joseph being sold into slavery and lying to their father and he says god has found out the guilt of your servants
10:34now i want to assure you of this god never has to find out your sins
10:40god knows you thoroughly he knows you’re waking up he knows what you do in the morning he
10:45knows what you think about while you’re sleeping he knows what you do throughout the day god doesn’t find
10:51out your sin he knows your guilt and what’s interesting here is that
10:57judah like many of us think of god the father in terms almost that are synonymous with the concept
11:03known as karma you guys familiar with karma what goes around comes around
11:09right and so many times it’s easy for us to think well i’m having bad circumstances in my life you know
11:15maybe i’ve lost my job because of covid or you know you get the idea bad circumstances and so it’s easy for us to
11:22sit there and say what have i done and you’re thinking a specific thing that god is punishing me
11:28for to make my life so difficult right now but the reality is is that that’s not
11:34how god operates and if you don’t believe me let me ask you this
11:39have you ever noticed how the rich and the famous they’re not really known for their piety
11:46or their love for god and seems like everything goes really well for them
11:51they’ve got all the money they’ve got all the inside connections they drive amazing cars they live in
11:58beautiful houses in fact they themselves they all they can afford to aid defy age and make themselves
12:05beautiful long into their elderly years using plastic surgery right
12:12so you’ll note that in reality there are consequences for sin this is
12:19true but often in this world people do not experience those consequences for
12:26their sin they experience them later on the day of judgment and the blessings that they’ve
12:31had and they’ve received often times will be held against them for their lack of faith so here judah is
12:38saying god has found us out he we believe he believes we they are being punished for their sins but that’s
12:44not what’s going on we know the story in its entirety and this is where we have to consider
12:50something here and this is where i want to flesh out just a little bit more the concept of
12:56the love of the father for us famous verse that we all know by heart god so
13:01loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him
13:06should not perish but have eternal life now stop for a second and back it up
13:11just a little bit god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten
13:16son do you know that you can change a word in that passage and not do
13:24violence to the text the father so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son
13:30it’s god the father that we’re talking about and i want you to think of this in the same way that jacob
13:38lamented the loss of his son joseph truly lamented
13:44and feared the loss of his son benjamin in that same vein god the father
13:52has lamented the loss of his children you and i
14:01it has struck him to the core and it is out of his great love mercy
14:08and compassion that he has sought us out and he sent his only begotten son Jesus
14:17our brother if you would by virtue of the incarnation in order
14:22that we can be reconciled and be reunited with the father that’s what’s at work here and joseph
14:29knows this joseph knows that the intent of his heart here is not to throw his brothers into prison the intent of his
14:35heart is to reveal who he is and for him to be reunited with his father and to return
14:42benjamin to his father unharmed in a joyous reunion and the only way that that can
14:49be a joyous reunion is by the fact that he has forgiven his brothers
14:55of their great sin that they committed against him forgiven them and that’s what we see really going
15:02on here behind the scenes so judah speaking god has found out the guilt of your servants behold we are my lord’s slaves both we and he
15:09also and whose hand the cup has been found so judah is basically saying all right
15:15we’re all your slaves but joseph said well far be it for me that i should do so only the man in whose hand the cup was
15:22found shall be my slave but as for you you go up in peace to your father
15:29but they can’t go up in peace to their father without benjamin so judah then went up
15:36to him and he said o my lord please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears
15:41and do not let your anger burn against your servant for you are like pharaoh himself my lord
15:48asked his servants saying have you a father or a brother and we said to my lord we have a father
15:57an old man and a young brother the child of his old age his brother is dead and he alone is left
16:03of his mother’s children and his father loves him and then you said to your servants bring him down to
16:09me that i may set my eyes on him and we said to my lord the boy cannot leave his father for if he should leave
16:15his father his father would die then you said to your servants unless your youngest brother comes down with
16:21you you shall not see my face again when we went back to your servant my father we
16:27told him the words of my lord and when our father said go again and buy us a little food we said we cannot
16:34go down if our youngest brother goes with us then we will go down for we cannot see
16:39the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us and then your servant my father said to
16:45us you know that my wife bore me two sons one left me and i said surely he has been torn to pieces and i will never
16:53see him have never seen him since if you take this one also from me and harm happens to him you
16:59will bring down my gray hairs and evil to shayol now therefore as soon as i come to your
17:05servant my father and the boy is not with us then as his life is bound up in the boy’s life as soon as he sees
17:13that the boy is not with us he will die and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father
17:20with sorrow to sheol for your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father saying if i do
17:27not bring him back then i shall bear the blame before all before my father all of my life now
17:34therefore please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a slave to my lord and let the boy go
17:42back with his brothers for how can i go back to my father if the boy is not with me i fear to see
17:49the evil that would find my father
17:55wow that’s quite the speech judah has stepped up and it’s appropriate that it
18:00is judah judah has stepped up to take the place to bear the sin of his brother
18:08so that he can go in peace and that his father would not die so appropriate so appropriate and then
18:16what follows is probably one of the most touching portions of scripture
18:23at this point joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him
18:28and so he cried out make everyone go out from me so no one stayed with him when joseph
18:33made himself known to his brothers and he wept aloud so that the egyptians
18:39heard it and the household of pharaoh heard it and joseph said to his brothers
18:44ani josef i am joseph is my father still alive but his
18:50brothers could not answer him for they were dismayed at his presence so joseph said to his brothers come near
18:55to me please and they came near and said i am your brother joseph whom you sold into egypt and now do not be distressed
19:02or angry with yourselves because you sold me here for god sent me before you to preserve
19:09life and that’s the point great theme and so you’ll note then this is an
19:14important aspect of our gospel text today because you’ll note that the types and shadows always give
19:21way to Christ in one form or another and here in our story we have
19:26joseph again but joseph is not the one in town he’s the one traveling back home
19:33and he in his journey has cut short and he and his wife are going back to jerusalem to look for
19:39Jesus but i want to point this simple fact out that in the incarnation
19:44Jesus never left the father because you’ll note that Christ’s prayer life which is
19:50exemplified throughout for us in the gospels show that he spoke with his father daily
19:58constantly and for Jesus Jesus knows that he is both the son of david
20:05and the son of god in one human person and so it says here that the child grew
20:11became strong he was filled with wisdom and the favor of god was upon him of course how could it not be
20:17because in his case he was keeping god’s law perfectly every commandment perfect now his
20:23parents went to jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover and you’ll note here that the mosaic covenant only requires the men
20:30of the household to show up in jerusalem for the passover for the feast of tabernacles and for the
20:38what we call the pentecost and so you’ll note that the whole family goes
20:43even though the whole family is not required to go tells you something of the piety of the house that Christ is growing up in
20:50and when he was 12 years old they went up according to custom and Jesus here as a 12 year old he is
20:57right on the cusp of being a man legally in the ancient world in ancient israel
21:02seems like kind of a young age 13 is a young age for a boy to be considered a man but keep in mind that human life was a
21:09lot shorter then for a man who had to work hard for a living well like his father joseph did average
21:16age expectancy somewhere between 45 and 55. you have a midlife crisis at 22. you
21:22know it’s uh it’s kind of a serious thing so Christ is on the cusp of becoming a man
21:28he’s not quite there yet and when the feast was ended they were returning and the boy Jesus stayed behind in jerusalem
21:34his parents didn’t know it supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey and then they began to search for him
21:40among their relatives and acquaintances and when they did not find him they returned to jerusalem searching for them
21:45and you can see the franticness here even in the way she talks to Jesus it’s if you want to get an idea of what
21:51this looks like just again think of home alone and kevin mcallister’s mother realizing
21:57kevin is not with the family and going kevin you know that’s what we’re seeing here but in his
22:02in her case she’s count shouting out yeshua where are you right you had one job lady protect the
22:08messiah and you lost him and so kind of a kind of a serious thing
22:14all right so after three days uh there we go again that three-day stuff pay attention to that
22:20after three days they found him in the temple sitting among the teachers
22:26listening to them and asking them questions all who heard were amazed at his understanding
22:32and his answers and this kind of foreshadows the time when Christ would be teaching in the temple after palm sunday Jesus
22:39spends the week doing what teaching every day in the temple but as
22:44a 12 year old he shouldn’t be teaching he’s there to ask questions and i would say this that as a teacher
22:51when somebody asks you a question oftentimes the question they ask you gives you an
22:56insight as to where they are in understanding the scripture in their biblical maturity and understanding
23:03and so you’ll note that the text says that they were amazed at Christ’s understanding and his answers which
23:09means they in turn were asking him questions but he’s not being impertinent he’s not being a show-off
23:14that’s not what’s going on here his his inquiries were honest so his parents saw him they were
23:20astonished and his mother said to him son why have you treated us so behold your father and i have been searching for you in great distress
23:26and here i want to point something out and we need to do this carefully but joseph is not Jesus’s father
23:34not biologically joseph is Jesus’s legal father and there is a
23:41difference but i’m going to note this the fact that both mary and joseph had no clue where to look for Jesus is
23:48another indicator that they just like you and i are deeply impacted by sin
23:57in fact that’s kind of the point of what Jesus was saying why were you looking
24:02for me because without the fog of sin they would have known
24:10exactly where Christ would have been and it would have made perfect sense and so you’ll note then
24:15that Jesus’s legal father and his biological mother like you and i can be lumped into the
24:23great group of the lost those impacted by sin those who need to be saved
24:31in fact Jesus was sent to save them and reunite
24:37them with the father and all of this was the father’s doing so this is why Jesus says why were you looking for me did you
24:43not know that i must be in my father’s house and there’s Jesus he gets to jerusalem and there’s the temple
24:49and how does Jesus see it that’s my dad’s house i’m gonna go see my dad i’m gonna hang
24:56out with my dad it seems like a natural thing for him to do there’s there’s no mischief on Jesus’s
25:03part here in fact it’s just as natural as natural is and you’ll note he’s never been separated
25:10from the father he continues to commune with him throughout his lifetime here and this
25:16for Jesus this is just an ordinary common thing that he would do
25:22so they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them and he went down with them and came to
25:27nazareth and he was submissive his mother treasured up all these things but then Jesus increased in wisdom and
25:32in stature and in favor between god and man so what does it all mean what does it all mean we have these two accounts
25:39of people traveling towards home who end up having to make a return journey well think of it this way then
25:46through our epistle text and hear again these words blessed be the god and the father of our lord Jesus
25:52Christ who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
25:58even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless
26:03before him you’ll note that god knew full well that we would fall into sin
26:08before he even created the earth before he spoke the universe into existence he knew full well
26:15that we would be plunged into sin in sin and our relationship with god severed
26:21because of it we would go from being the sons of god by creation to being the sons of the devil by
26:28rebellion and this is true of all of us but god so loved us he so loved you
26:36that it says here in this text in love god the father then predestined us for adoption as
26:42sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will god the father was not
26:49satisfied or wasn’t about to let his children all be snatched
26:54and for him to not see them ever again to be destroyed by the wild animal that the devil is if you would
27:01so much so that he sends his beloved son it would be as if well jacob had sent benjamin to go look
27:09for joseph that’s the picture that’s going on here but what jacob was unwilling and incapable of doing god the
27:16father is not only willing he’s capable of doing and he sends the son his beloved son
27:22to find his beloved lost children you and i and so the text goes on to say that
27:29this is all according to his purpose and it’s to the praise of his glorious grace with which he has blessed us in the
27:35beloved in Christ we have received redemption through his blood and the forgiveness of all of our
27:41trespasses according to the riches of his grace with which he lavished upon us in all
27:47wisdom and insight and here we got an interesting way of describing god’s love for us and what he has given
27:54us in Christ i’d always point out that god doesn’t piecemeal the gospel he doesn’t say well you need a little
28:00bit of grace here’s a pinch of it just enough to get you through instead the text says that he has
28:05lavished this grace these riches of his mercy upon us lavished them
28:10on us in an insane display if you would of his love and his mercy and even god’s
28:17own riches in his grace and he has made known to us the mystery of his will
28:23according to the purpose that he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time
28:28to unite all things to him things in heaven and things on earth and here we have to
28:34recognize this text is not talking about just any old kind of uniting it’s really
28:40talking about a reuniting a true reuniting and
28:45if you read farther in the text in genesis joseph himself travels back
28:53to canaan and there is a grand reuniting of jacob and joseph
29:00in another one of those tear-jerking moments in scripture but that is a picture then of the moment
29:07that each and every one of us will see god face to face we have been
29:12united with him now through the blood of Christ and we will be united with him in a
29:19world without end and he’s prepared an inheritance for us and it’s as if god has said now that i have forgiven
29:26you Christ has accomplished his mission to reunite me to you by the forgiveness of sins through his
29:32blood now in the waters of baptism i have given you the promised holy spirit
29:37so that you would never be snatched from me again it’s a beautiful picture of the love
29:45that the father has even for rebel sinners like you and me
29:51and it’s pictures like this that sober us up because each and every one of us can
29:56think in our own minds of the different ways in which we have sinned so horribly against god and against others and god knowing all
30:04of that he’s predestined us to be forgiven predestined us to be clothed in the
30:10righteousness of Christ predestined us to be reunited with him
30:16because of his great love he foresaw all of it and he’s covered all of it and we’d
30:21mention in scripture that it’s god’s kindness that leads us to repentance
30:27this love that god has for us it’s hard to fathom that god can be that merciful
30:34that he can be that kind that he can be that gracious but that’s the point he is
30:42the gospel is might sound too good to be true but it’s not god so
30:48loved God the Father so loved you that he gave his only begotten Son sent
30:54him so that he being about the work of his Father might redeem rescue forgive and reunite you with the
31:02Father in the name of Jesus amen
Auto-generated (English) from YouTube
If you would like to support the teaching ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church, you can do so by sending a tax-free donation to:
Kongsvinger Lutheran Church
15950 470th Ave NW, Oslo, MN 56744

We thank you for your support. All of our teaching messages may be freely distributed as long as you do not edit or change the content of the message, and, again, thank you for listening.
Outro bumper

Blog at