Sermon Transcript – The Journey is Too Great for You

Series B – Eleventh Sunday of Pentecost – Sunday, August 8, 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
0:28the holy gospel according to saint john
0:30the sixth chapter
0:39Jesus said to them i am the bread of
0:43whoever comes to me shall not hunger
0:46whoever believes in me shall never
0:48but i said to you that you have seen me
0:50and yet you do not believe
0:52all that the father gives me will come
0:54to me whoever comes to me i will never
0:56cast out for i have come down from
0:59not to do my own will but the will of
1:01him who sent me
1:02and this is the will of him who sent me
1:04that i should lose nothing of all that
1:05he has given me
1:06but raise it up on the last day for this
1:09is the will of my father
1:11that everyone who looks on the son and
1:13believes in him
1:15should have eternal life and i will
1:17raise him up on the last day
1:19so the jews grumbled about him because
1:21he said i am the bread of life that came
1:23down from heaven
1:24they said is this not Jesus the son of
1:26joseph whose father and mother we know
1:28how does he now say i’ve come down from
1:30heaven Jesus
1:31answered them do not grumble among
1:33yourselves no one can come to me unless
1:36the father who sent me draws him
1:38and i will raise him up on the last day
1:40as it is written in the prophets
1:42and they will all be taught by god
1:44everyone who has heard and learned from
1:45the father comes to me
1:47not that anyone has seen the father
1:49except he who is from god
1:51he has seen the father truly truly i say
1:53to you
1:54whoever believes has eternal life i am
1:57the bread of life
1:59your fathers ate the manna in the
2:00wilderness and they died
2:02this is the bread that comes down from
2:03heaven so that one may eat of it
2:05and not die i am the living bread that
2:08came down from heaven
2:10if anyone eats of this bread he will
2:12live forever
2:13and the bread that i will give him for
2:14the life of the world is my own flesh
2:17this is the gospel of the lord in the
2:20name of Jesus
2:22all right time for a well reality check
2:26you know when we talk to people out in
2:28the world people generally believe that
2:30you know babies they’re they’re born
2:31they’re cute they’re innocent
2:33no they’re not they’re not
2:37let’s just get that out over and again i
2:39feel like i’m doing good therapy for
2:41myself when i talk about the fact that
2:43gave my wife and i children that were
2:48and i couldn’t fix him i couldn’t fix
2:51him at
2:51all in fact i was broken too talk to my
2:56she can tell you story after story after
3:00in fact think of it this way when i was
3:01in growing up in the 1980s this was the
3:04first time we’d heard of that thing
3:05called crack
3:06cocaine and the terrible thing that was
3:09is that there were infants being born
3:11addicted to crack cocaine
3:13the term they came up with at the time
3:15that’s still being used they are crack
3:17babies right utterly tragic
3:21that you have a newborn child going
3:24through withdrawal symptoms you know the
3:25day after they’re born this is a
3:27terrible thing but have you ever stopped
3:29to think that each and every one of us
3:32me included that every one of us we are
3:34born crack babies when it comes to sin
3:38right it’s true i know it doesn’t make
3:42you feel good
3:43sorry if your self-esteem is hurt it’s a
3:46good thing that it’s been hurt right
3:48but listen listen to what paul says in
3:50our epistle text today
3:52this is now this i say to you and i
3:53testify in the lord
3:55you must no longer walk as the gentiles
3:58do and when paul here is talking he’s
3:59talking about the pagan world the pagan
4:01world that has not heard the gospel
4:03they remain in darkness under the
4:05dominion of the devil
4:07he says this about them they are living
4:10in the futility
4:12of their minds they’re darkened in their
4:15understanding they’re alienated from the
4:17life of god because of the
4:18ignorance that is in them due to their
4:21hardness of heart
4:23they’ve become callous they’ve given
4:25themselves up to sensuality and they are
4:27greedy to practice every kind of
4:31is it any wonder that so many people
4:32hate the apostle paul when he talks so
4:35bluntly about just how lost in sin
4:39we all have been and it’s with that in
4:43mind consider
4:44our old testament text at least this
4:46one’s a rather interesting one
4:48a little bit of context here i’ll give
4:50you the quick summary if you would
4:51in the previous chapters before first
4:54kings 19
4:55you have well the first appearance of
4:58the prophet elijah
5:00and he basically says to ahab and to
5:03jezebel all that’s
5:04really her name jezebel all the princess
5:06that ba’a’al what a
5:07horrible woman this was right he says to
5:11it’s not going to rain until i say so
5:14so what’s the big deal about that well
5:16but all according to
5:18jezebel all and all those who believed
5:20in baal what a terrible religion by the
5:22way in required human sacrifice
5:25all right what a terrible terrible deity
5:27and paul tells us in first corinthians
5:2910 that what’s behind the all
5:31the demonic the devil himself so
5:34they are believing that but all is the
5:37one who
5:38brings the rain right it seems like all
5:41the old ancient mystery religions it’s
5:43all about fertility
5:44has something to do with crops and also
5:47it’s weird how this all works but god
5:50decides he’s going to have mercy
5:52on the northern kingdom of israel how by
5:55basically taking ba’all behind the
5:58and beating him to a pulp
6:01you you think that paul brings the reign
6:04so elijah says he’s not going to rain
6:06until i say so and then he goes
6:08missing for three whole years he goes
6:10missing i always like to point out
6:12during that time every saturday night
6:15in israel on television on israel’s most
6:19have you seen this prophet right if
6:22you’ve seen him please
6:23call 1 800 jezebel right
6:30but no one finds him he’s hiding out
6:33and then after three years he shows up
6:36and nobody can believe it but he
6:37basically says let’s have a showdown on
6:39mount carmel
6:40and on mount carmel they have the
6:42showdown and basically elijah says
6:44you offer a sacrifice to all i’ll offer
6:47a sacrifice to yahweh
6:49the god who answers by fire don’t touch
6:51it you know the god who answers by fire
6:54that’s the true god and they said you’re
6:56on elijah
6:57and of course we know that all failed to
7:00show up
7:01it’s an embarrassing thing if you think
7:02about it these 500 prophets of
7:05all limping around the altar oh
7:08oh answer us right but there was no
7:12and so elijah is one of the first
7:15prophets to engage in what we call
7:17holy trash talk he says
7:20to the prophets of all after they’d gone
7:22on and on for a few hours
7:24why don’t you cry louder did you go to
7:27sleep does it need to be woken up is he
7:28on a journey
7:29oh i know he’s in that little room
7:37right he can’t hear you over the noise
7:42that’s really the kind of the gist of
7:43what’s going on there
7:45and what does elijah do after well but
7:47all fails to answer
7:49he takes the altar of god that had been
7:50thrown down
7:52disassembled by the pagans of israel
7:56at that time and he reassembles it
7:59puts the sacrifice on the altar digs a
8:03has water taken from the mediterranean
8:05sea which is less than a kilometer away
8:08fills the trench not once not twice
8:12but you’ll note kind of in an allusion
8:14to baptism three times
8:16father son holy spirit and god answered
8:19by fire
8:22and the people of israel who witnessed
8:24this who heard
8:25the words of the prophet that are
8:26recorded for us in scripture note that
8:29when elijah was speaking that day the
8:31words coming from his mouth were the
8:32word of god
8:34hearing the word of god they repented
8:36and they said
8:37yahweh he is god yahweh he is god
8:43now you’d think that after this right
8:46elijah would write a book
8:47you know how you know how to have the
8:50fire of heaven fall in your life you
8:52something like this right go on tour you
8:54know show up on all the talk shows
8:57and everybody praising a tick or take
8:59parade in jerusalem right
9:01everyone would think he’s the bee’s
9:03knees this is the guy to talk to his god
9:05is true
9:07you never underestimate the power of
9:10just how
9:11dead dead in trespasses and sins we all
9:14so jezebel hearing the report from ahab
9:18you know and you can just see i have
9:19gone yeah you know it was kind of
9:22you know it was really embarrassing um
9:25you know they and i i always like to
9:27pick picture ahab as being a little
9:30than jezebel there’s other stories that
9:31kind of flesh this out you know
9:33she wore the pants in that relationship
9:36you know because he was he was prone to
9:38and being a crybaby you remember the
9:40whole story of the vineyard of nabal
9:42right i went on vineyard she won’t tell
9:47and then she says don’t worry i’ll get
9:48it for you you weak little man right
9:50that’s kind of the rose bro paraphrase
9:52so you can just see her you know it was
9:55they cried out and bawled and come and
9:57then elijah he just prayed and boom you
10:01and now they’re all dead and you know
10:05i just i i would love to have heard this
10:07report it’s like
10:08kind of sad that there was no video at
10:10the time but anyway
10:12jezebel jezebel does she repent
10:16does she sit there and go oh whoa it
10:19hasn’t rained for three years but all
10:21hasn’t come through yahweh answered oh
10:23he’s god does she do that no
10:27what does she say i kill you i
10:30kill you that’s what she says right
10:32that’s their answer
10:34so it says this after ahab given the
10:37report jezebel sent a messenger to
10:39elijah saying
10:40so may the gods do to me and more also
10:43if i don’t make your life as a life of
10:45one of them by this time tomorrow
10:49hmm well this kind of blows apart all
10:51that theology of bethel
10:53you know all you need to do is perform a
10:55sign and wonder and people will believe
10:57didn’t work out so well for jezebel
11:00in fact you’ll note that Jesus puts in
11:02the words of abraham
11:05down in sheol he says abraham says to
11:08that man who’s
11:09burning that rich man who died he says
11:12he says
11:13send send lazarus back because if he
11:15comes back from the dead my brothers
11:17will repent and they’ll not end up in
11:18this place
11:19and abraham says they have they have
11:21moses in the prophets no
11:23no no and abraham’s all if they will not
11:25listen to moses and the prophets
11:28they will not believe even if somebody
11:30rises from the dead
11:33that is just how dead
11:36dead and trespasses and sins is
11:40if god doesn’t grant you repentance
11:43if god doesn’t work through his word
11:46you don’t have any hope and here’s the
11:49thing you’re so
11:50lost in the futility of your mind that
11:53you think it’s a good thing to chase
11:55after sin
11:56and you think people are stupid and
11:57weird when they don’t
12:02but here’s the thing
12:05does elijah at this point basically say
12:08look at how wicked and evil
12:10she is as if somehow he’s not
12:14his prayer to god and his actions are
12:17actually very helpful for us so
12:20it says elijah was afraid
12:23so he didn’t decree he didn’t declare he
12:26didn’t stand his ground
12:27he ran away he rose ran for his life
12:32and he came to barashiba which belongs
12:34to judah
12:35he left a servant there and then he
12:37himself went a day’s journey into the
12:38wilderness and came and sat down under a
12:41broom tree
12:42and he asked that he might die saying
12:46it’s enough now o yahweh take my life
12:50i am no better than my father’s
12:54that is a good humble prayer so no he
12:57doesn’t point to jezebel’s wickedness
12:59and say oh i’m better than her
13:00he basically says no i’m no better than
13:02she is
13:04no better and this is the part that’s a
13:07little bit tough for us
13:08because we’re all Christians we’ve all
13:11been to the water
13:12we’ve all been united with Christ and
13:14his death and his resurrection we’re
13:15here because we believe
13:18i mean who would drive out to the middle
13:19of nowhere to hear me babbling on on a
13:21sunday morning you all got better things
13:23to do
13:24right you’re not here to hear me you’re
13:25here to hear about Christ
13:27hear a word from him all of that being
13:31you’ll note that well paul in our
13:33epistle text
13:35continues on when he says this
13:38so talking about the pagans that you
13:40know they’re callous in their mind their
13:42hearts have been hardened
13:44and we then as Christians he says
13:47that’s not the way that you learn Christ
13:49assuming that you’ve heard about him
13:50and you were taught in him as the truth
13:52is in Jesus and here’s the words
13:54put off your old self which belongs to
13:56your former manner of life
13:58it’s corrupt through deceitful desires
14:00and instead be renewed in the spirit of
14:02your minds
14:03and put on the new self created after
14:05the likeness of god
14:06in true righteousness and holiness now
14:09little bit of a note
14:10there are people out there who
14:12legitimately believe that once you
14:14become a Christian you no longer
14:16have a sinful nature
14:19this is silly and this is actually very
14:23because paul here is writing to
14:24Christians and what does he tell us to
14:26put off our old self well if Christians
14:30didn’t have an old self then why would
14:32paul be telling you to take that thing
14:35but you’re going to know he doesn’t
14:37merely say that you have an old self he
14:39also says
14:39you have a new self and so how often do
14:43we need to do this
14:44change of clothes minimally daily
14:49realistically sometimes minute by minute
14:54because you’re going to note your old
14:55sinful nature you still have one
14:58and i still have one and you know what
15:00your sinful nature wants to do
15:01same thing mind wants to do all the
15:03things the pagans are doing in the
15:05futility of their minds
15:07that’s what our sinful natures want to
15:09do in other words being a Christian
15:11feels a lot like
15:12being schizophrenic being at war with
15:16there’s a part of me that really wants
15:17to do good and the other part says
15:19no right and they’re just going dad
15:26and i noticed that you all participated
15:28in the
15:29confession of sins today so did i you
15:32know why you did
15:33because you sinned like i did this past
15:35week and you know what’s going to happen
15:36after you leave church today
15:38same thing that happened last week and
15:40you’re gonna need to come back next week
15:42and me too right so you’ll note then
15:46that we are wise to not
15:49think pridefully about ourselves i
15:53wonder as to why it is that god left
15:56Christians with an
15:56old sinful adam makes me think that
16:01has something to do with continually
16:03being humbled
16:05right so that prayer that prayer
16:08of elijah it doesn’t sound like prayer
16:10or victory does it
16:11kill me lord i’m not better than anyone
16:13else i’m no better than my father’s
16:16and so he wanders off into the
16:17wilderness a little bit of a note here
16:19you guys remember have you read the book
16:22where the wild things are
16:23right you know what i’m talking about
16:25it’s kind of a journey of max
16:27on the night that max wore his wolf suit
16:29and made mischief of one kind and
16:31he said to his mother i’ll eat you up
16:33and so
16:34she sent him to his room without any
16:36supper and that very night in max’s room
16:38of forest grew and grew and grew and
16:40grew until his
16:41walls became the world all around right
16:43and there was a sea and a boat
16:45and he went off right and so there’s
16:46this journey that he takes you know
16:48off to the island of where the wild
16:49things are and then he comes back
16:51so the return journey is heading back
16:53but here we’ve got elijah
16:56heading off into the wilderness to mount
17:00this is backwards all right this is
17:03backwards but you’re going to note here
17:07the mercy of god and we know that in the
17:10old testament we see
17:11types and shadows and the wilderness of
17:14the old testament is a figure if you
17:17of the very life that you are living
17:19right now
17:20the life of the in between this is not a
17:22place to set down
17:24a foundation to plant crops and to live
17:26a long life no we’re all dying
17:28the life of the in between the in
17:30between from you being set free
17:32from slavery to sin death and the devil
17:34being baptized in the red sea
17:37you see what i’m saying here and the
17:38wilderness wanderings as you’re heading
17:40towards what the promised land
17:42is the promised land a postage stamp
17:44sized piece of property in the middle
17:46no the promised land is
17:49the new earth the heavenly jerusalem
17:53come down
17:53from heaven when god makes his abode
17:56with man
17:57forever in a world without end tree of
17:59life makes a reappearance
18:01so that being the case here you’ll note
18:03that in the types and shadows what what
18:05well what elijah’s doing doesn’t quite
18:08but does god sit there and go oh oy vey
18:11get your act together elijah
18:13no god has mercy on him because
18:16each and every one of us this journey
18:19that we’re on
18:20to the new heavens and the new earth the
18:23inheritance given to us as a gift
18:25because Christ has borne our sins
18:28made us righteous declared us to be so
18:30given us his holy spirit
18:32forgiven us all of our trespasses god
18:34has mercy on elijah
18:36and sustains him in his wilderness
18:40so he says it’s enough lord take my life
18:42so he lay down he slept under a broom
18:45and behold an angel touched him and said
18:47arise and eat
18:48and he looked and behold there was at
18:50his head a cake
18:51baked on hot stones and a jar of water
18:55is that interesting elijah is sustained
18:58in his wilderness journey
19:00by bread from heaven
19:04weren’t the children of israel sustained
19:07in their wilderness journey
19:08by god with bread from heaven
19:12and indeed they were and see that kind
19:15of then
19:16connect the dots aren’t you
19:19sustained in your wilderness journey
19:23by god with bread
19:26from heaven yeah you are
19:30so he ate and he drank he lay down again
19:34and the angel of the lord this is Jesus
19:37came again
19:38it’s Jesus who’s feeding him the angel
19:40of the lord always an appearance of
19:42came and said a second time and touched
19:44him and said rise and eat
19:47the journey is too great for you and he
19:51and he ate and he drank and he went in
19:54the strength of that food 40 days and 40
19:56nights to horeb the mountain of god
19:59brothers and sisters your wilderness
20:00wandering as you’re heading to the
20:02promised land this journey is too great
20:03for you
20:06it’s too great for me i do not have the
20:09strength to make it
20:11neither do you we just don’t
20:15you can try as hard as you want but you
20:18fail you cannot make this journey on
20:21your own strength
20:23consider that humble elijah was
20:25mercifully fed
20:26by god it’s in that light then
20:31we consider our our gospel text
20:35Jesus said to them i am the bread of
20:40whoever comes to me shall not hunger
20:43whoever believes in me
20:45shall never and i said that you’ve seen
20:48me and yet you do not believe
20:50all that the father gives me will come
20:52to me whoever comes to me
20:54i will never cast out
20:58what an amazing prayer that was of
21:00elijah lord i’m no better
21:03than my father’s confessing his own sin
21:07you know there’s places that call
21:10themselves Christian churches
21:12where those who attend fear to speak the
21:15truth about themselves
21:18they fear to say that they’re sinful
21:21fear to confess that they’re struggling
21:24fear they fear to confess that they
21:27don’t have the strength to make it that
21:30they haven’t cleaned up their act
21:31enough that despite all of their efforts
21:34they continue to fall short
21:37what does Jesus say to people like that
21:39away from me i never knew you
21:41no Jesus says all who come to me i will
21:43never cast out
21:46you see Christ has taken all of your
21:48sins upon himself
21:50bore them in his body on the cross
21:53god has had mercy on us he’s not come to
21:57us he’s come to save us to save you
22:01and if you’re weary worn out tired and
22:03just ready to say i can’t go on another
22:07do not fear you’re in good company
22:10same company as elijah
22:14whom Jesus mercifully appears to
22:17and feeds bread from heaven so that you
22:20can go in the strength of that food
22:24today we are having the lord’s supper
22:30we will hear the words of Christ again
22:32when he says
22:33this is my body given for you
22:37for the forgiveness of your sins this is
22:40my blood
22:40shed for you for the forgiveness of your
22:45are you tired are you weak are you weary
22:49are you laden with sin come
22:53this wilderness wandering is too much
22:54for you
22:56it’s too strong the journey is too
23:00you don’t have the strength
23:03come and feed on Christ the bread of
23:09he will sustain you he will give you
23:13because all who come to him he will
23:15never cast out
23:17i’ve come down from heaven Jesus says
23:20not to do my own will but the will of
23:21him who sent me
23:23and this is the will of him who sent me
23:24that i should lose nothing of all that
23:26he’s given me
23:27and raise it up on the last day but
23:29pastor you don’t know how
23:31janky of the sheep i am yeah i do
23:34i’m your pastor i get it you’d be
23:38surprised how janky of a sheep i
23:39am Christ has come and bled and died
23:44for all of his janky sheep he’s the one
23:46who washes us
23:47and cleans us feeds us and sustains us
23:50this is the will of the father that
23:53everyone who looks on the sun
23:55and believes in him should have eternal
23:58i will raise him up on the last day so
24:00don’t worry about that old sinful adam
24:02of yours don’t worry
24:04Christ is taking care of it he’s nailed
24:06that guy
24:08to the cross and don’t worry he’s going
24:11to get rid of it
24:12properly dispose of it in one of those
24:14graves out there in the graveyard or
24:16somewhere local nearby wherever you die
24:19give me a second here sometimes i work
24:22myself up
24:25but note then Christ says i am the bread
24:28that has come down from heaven
24:30and they took issue with him well isn’t
24:33this Jesus
24:34the son of joseph we know his father
24:36right how can he say that he’s going to
24:38give us his body to eat and blood to
24:40they’re really offended by this this
24:43but Jesus kind of doubles down in a good
24:47it says whoever believes in me has
24:49eternal life
24:50and i am the bread of life your fathers
24:53ate the manna in the wilderness and they
24:55so this is the bread that comes down
24:57from heaven so that one may eat of it
24:58and not die
25:00i am the living bread that came down
25:02from heaven
25:03if anyone eats of this bread he will
25:05live forever and the bread that i will
25:07give for the life of the world is my own
25:10oh brothers and sisters what a kind and
25:12merciful Jesus you have
25:14the same Jesus who appeared to elijah is
25:16here today
25:18Christ promises that wherever two or
25:20more gathered in his name he is present
25:23we cannot physically see him yet he is
25:25here he’s here to serve you
25:27he’s here to feed you to comfort you
25:30he’s here to give you the strength of
25:32the journey that is too strong for you
25:34and he feeds you with his very body and
25:36blood given and shed for the forgiveness
25:38of your sins
25:39it is miraculous it is kind
25:42it is merciful it is comforting
25:46that is our Jesus the same one who
25:49comforted Elijah comforts you today
25:52so take note brothers and sisters Jesus
25:55is the true bread given from heaven
25:57and it’s not his will that you should
25:58perish it is his will that you would
26:00have eternal life
26:01and he will never cast you out
26:05in the name of Jesus amen
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