Sermon Transcript – Those Who Murderously Desire to Silence Jesus

Series C – Third Sunday After the Epiphany – Sunday, January 24, 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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0:29the holy Gospel According to Saint Luke Chapter 4 verses 16 through 30.
0:35Jesus went to Nazareth where he’d been brought up and on the Sabbath day he went into the
0:40synagogue as was his custom and he stood up to read The Scroll of the prophet Isaiah was
0:46handed to him unrolling it he found the place where it is written the spirit of
0:52the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor he has sent me to Proclaim freedom
0:59for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind to release the oppressed
1:04to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor then he rolled up the scroll gave it
1:10back to the attendant and sat down the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened to him
1:16and he began by saying to them today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing
1:22all spoke well of him and were amazed at his gracious words that came from his lips
1:28isn’t this Joseph’s son they asked Jesus said to them surely you will quote this
1:34proverb to me physician heal yourself do you do here in your hometown what we
1:40have heard that you did in Capernaum I tell you the truth he continued no Prophet is accepted in his hometown and
1:47I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time when the sky was shut for three and a half years and
1:54there was a severe famine throughout the land yet Elijah was not sent to any of
1:59them but to a widow in zaraphat in the region of sidon and there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of
2:06Elisha the prophet and yet not one of them was cleansed only Naaman the Syrian
2:12and all the people in the synagogue were Furious when they heard this they got up
2:18drove him out of the town and took him to the brow of the hill on which the
2:23town was built in order to throw him down the cliff but he walked right through the crowd
2:30and went on his way in the name of Jesus
2:35here again verses 28 and 29 from our gospel text when they the people of Nazareth heard
2:41these things all in the synagogue were filled with Wrath
2:46and they rose up and drove Jesus out of the town and brought him to the bra of
2:52the hill on which their town was built so they can throw him down the cliff
2:58now Lutheran theologians have said for centuries that there are only two religions in the world and this is true
3:04the religion of works she takes on many different forms by the way including pietism and Islam and
3:11other religions like that as what and the other religion the one that’s true is the religion of Grace and Our Gospel
3:18text today shows us that what divides these two religions are really belief and unbelief
3:25and as we walk through this text this fact will become painfully clear unbelief or the religion of Works Yes
3:32you heard that right unbelief will always lead you into the religion of works and unbelievers are
3:38very religious in this way they cannot bear that religion cannot bear the words
3:44of Jesus and in hatred and enrage to both him and his word that religion
3:50murderously seeks to silence Jesus and oftentimes seeks to silence Jesus
3:55ironically in the name of God now here’s our context for Our Gospel
4:01text this account keep this in mind occurred in a synagogue think of this as
4:06well a first century church if you would the people in the synagogue there are people who profess that Yahweh the one
4:12true God is their God and they had gathered to hear God’s word
4:19but did they did they really gather to hear God’s word and so we return now to our text and I
4:26will be preaching from my translation and you can follow along says this Jesus came to Nazareth where
4:32he had been brought up a little bit of a side note here this is one of these things I love about being able to read the Bible in the original languages here
4:39it says where he was brought up and when we talk about somebody growing up in that town or growing up in that house we
4:45always use the term growing up but the Greek word here is actually quite fascinating it’s taframinos and it means
4:52the place where he was nourished place where he was fed so the emphasis
4:58isn’t on him growing up it’s the emphasis on those who cared for him right and that’s the place where he was
5:03nourished and fed so he entered according to his custom into the synagogue on the day of the Sabbath this
5:09is a Saturday he stood to read that’s what he was supposed to do and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given
5:16to him and unrolling the scroll he found the place where it had been written we’ll pause right there a little bit of
5:22a note for Century Judaism they had a lectionary this is the assigned text for
5:28the day now they didn’t have a new testament reading at this time just in case you were confused about this so we
5:33only had the Old Testament reading so the Old Testament reading is from the prophet Isaiah Jesus opens up to the
5:38assigned reading for the day and he reads the spirit of Yahweh is
5:43upon me who because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor he has sent me to
5:49Proclaim release to the captives to the blind recovery of sight to send out with
5:55a release give Liberty to the ones who haven’t been broken or shattered and to proclaim the acceptable and favorable
6:02year of the Lord so Jesus reads the text
6:07and he rolls it back up gave it to the attendant and he sits down
6:14and all the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were looking intently at him and you can almost see him kind of
6:20pausing for some dramatic effect right have you all seen the movie Planes Trains automobiles at the beginning of
6:26it right we’re the guy in the uh in the Ad Agency is looking at these ad copies and he goes
6:33and he goes back to looking at it right you know it’s that kind of thing so Jesus everyone’s looking at him he’s
6:38seating waiting for him to speak and here comes the big sermon are you ready
6:45today this scripture has been fulfilled in your ears
6:54that’s it okay that’s quite a sermon
7:01but they all understood the implications of it and you have to understand this at this point they’re starting to chew on
7:08what it is that Jesus is saying wait a second you’re you’re saying you’re the Messiah
7:15this text that Jesus read is from Isaiah chapter 61. it’s the opening verses of
7:20Isaiah 61. this is a Messianic prophecy the Lord has anointed me Jesus is saying
7:26in their hearing that not only is he the Messiah oh but get this he’s saying that they’re
7:34captives that they’re poor that they’re blind and he is there to release them to
7:42give them sight to set them free and give them Liberty he’s proclaiming the good news in and of
7:49himself and well see if their response sounds like the
7:55response of belief or unbelief
8:00so they were all testifying concerning him marveling at the words of Grace that came from his mouth and then they were
8:06saying wait a second is this not one of Joseph’s Sons
8:13hmm this doesn’t sound like the response of belief does it
8:18it’s the exact opposite this is unbelief this reminds us of the Gospel of John
8:24chapter 8. where we remember we’ve read this this chapter you know maybe what
8:29four five six weeks ago it says this Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him if you abide in my
8:36word you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free great gospel text right so
8:44some of the people in the crowd who didn’t believe in Jesus they answered him and said well we are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to
8:51anyone how is it that you say you will become free right so Jesus answered them amen amen truly I
8:58say to you everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin slave does not remain in the house forever but the sun remains
9:04forever so if the sun sets you free you will be free indeed
9:10then you think in the Gospel of John when Jesus turns multiplies Loaves and Fishes and feeds the five thousand right
9:19and he says unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you and they say isn’t this Joseph’s son are
9:26his brothers and sisters where are they they’re nearby aren’t they right listen to how unbelief responds to The
9:32Words of Christ rather than saying amen thank you Lord for coming and setting me free unbelief responds yeah who Do You
9:40Think You Are what do you mean I need to be set free all right
9:46so notice the difference so then Jesus knowing their unbelief in
9:51their heart he’s going to stir them up a little bit more he’s going to whip him up into a
9:57unbelieving frenzy if you would he says this well surely you’re going to say this proverb to me physician cure
10:05yourself do also hear in your hometown all that you we have heard that had taken place in Capernaum but he said
10:12truly I say to you that no Prophet is welcome in his hometown and I say to you
10:17in accordance with the truth there were many widows in Israel in the Days of Elijah when the heavens were shut for
10:24three years and six months when a Great Famine took place over all the land and Elijah was sent to none of them except
10:30to zaraphath of sidon to a widow woman oh now Jesus is really getting nasty
10:35here and I mean it he’s really pressing pushing the buttons so that their sin
10:41starts coming out in droves because what do we know about the Jews of this time we know this from these texts in the
10:47gospel as well as the book of Acts Jews didn’t look so kindly on Gentiles and so Jesus here just Taps right into their
10:56racism and their bigotry and points out God’s mercy to Gentiles right and how
11:02God didn’t well send any didn’t send Elijah to the Jews send some Pagan lady
11:08in sidon oh and then he gets really nastier and says this and there were many lepers in Israel in the time of
11:15Elisha the prophet and none of them was cleansed except for Naaman the Syrian yeah Naaman the guy who was the over the
11:23army of Syria the enemy right God showed his grace and mercy and healed him and
11:29gave him faith well this was all about all they were going
11:35to put up with so notice and they were all filled with rage where
11:45in in church right there’s the god they claim that they
11:51worship in human flesh standing before them giving them great news that he’s
11:56the Messiah telling them that he’s come to set them free to open up their eyes well and to set them at Liberty
12:04and they’re having none of it so the church Council gets together and they vote to kill Jesus
12:13this makes no sense does it right so
12:19they brought him to the brow of the hill on which the city of Nazareth has been built it’s still there to this day you
12:25can see it in fact the valley of Armageddon where
12:30the great last battle is supposed to take place right yeah on the hill
12:35way over on one of the sides of the valley of Armageddon there you can see the city of Nazareth so they’re going to
12:41take him to the cliff and throw them down in order to kill him in other words
12:46the people of Nazareth these wonderful churchgoers they murderously attempted
12:52to silence Jesus enough of your words Jesus thus proving that they were not
12:58believers proving they were unbelievers they were not people who profess to be
13:05atheists they were not people who worshiped all and ashirah these were Torah observant Jews yet they did not
13:12believe they went to Church religiously every Saturday yet
13:18they did not believe but these murders attempts to silence Jesus by the way still take place today
13:25in many places called churches attended by many people who profess to be Christians
13:32and this is where we have to pay attention to some of the parallels in our own time I’m going to give some examples
13:39the pastor who preaches his own man-made doctrines from the pulpit
13:44this is a man who is seeking to murderously silence Jesus and instead exalt himself in his ideas rather than
13:51what the Bible says this is one way in which this takes place in churches today the pastor who
13:57scratches itching ears silences Jesus murderously so by telling people what
14:04they want to hear rather than telling them what God wants them to hear who’s playing God in that sense right
14:10the pastors who strip mine the scripture for Relevant life principles that people
14:16can apply to their lives they murderously try to silence Jesus by only
14:21preaching law rather than doing what scripture commands them to do to preach both the law and the gospel
14:27the pastors who read themselves into every biblical text silence Jesus
14:33because the scriptures are not about you and I the scriptures are about Jesus and when you make yourself the hero of the
14:40Bible you silence Jesus the pastor who preaches his life
14:46experiences spends practically the entire sermon talking
14:52about himself baptizing it with a couple of out of context verses here and there that one is also murderously silencing
15:00Jesus by refusing to do what he’s told to do and that’s to preach the word in season and now
15:06the pastor who preaches dreams and Visions oh I went to heaven I had coffee
15:12with Jesus that guy right he is also silencing Jesus by replacing the written word of God with pseudo words from God
15:19false words that God never gave him to speak the pastors who say that Miracles are
15:25not possible and that the Bible is not inerrant and authoritative they also
15:31murderously attempt to silence Jesus and they also try to keep Jesus in the Tomb
15:37because if Miracles are not possible Jesus hasn’t risen from the dead those people those ones they’ll never
15:44allow you to hear what Jesus said without a big yeah but as they censor
15:49Jesus and decide which part of Jesus’s words can be heard and which parts must
15:55be stricken from the record these are all signs of unbelief
16:02yet Jesus says anyone if anyone loves me he will keep he will guard my word and
16:09my father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him whoever does not love me does not keep
16:16my words so the pastor who says oh I love God but
16:24refuses to preach God’s word and aggressively silences Jesus is lying to
16:30you he doesn’t love God at all doesn’t love Christ at all if he loved Christ he
16:36would keep and guard and preach Jesus’s words that’s what Jesus says
16:43yep so keep this in mind then no Pastor who aggressively strives to
16:52silence Christ actually deserves to be heard in Christ Church
16:58and any congregant or group of church members who conspire with such pastors
17:03are every bit as guilty as they are every bit as guilty as the people of Nazareth for trying to murderlessly
17:11silence Jesus that’s what’s going on this is how unbelief works
17:18Jesus said the prophet is not welcome in his hometown not only is a prophet not welcome in his
17:25own town but we live in days when Jesus is all too often not welcome in his own church
17:31and his words are not welcome to be preached in his own church
17:36and this is exactly what scripture warns us about in second Timothy chapter four for the time is coming when people will
17:41not endure sound Doctrine but having itching ears they notice who’s at fault
17:47here it’s not the pastors the congregants the church people they will gather to themselves people who
17:52will tell them what their itching ears want to hear to suit their own passions and they will
17:58turn away from listening to the truth turn away from listening to Jesus and
18:03they will wander off into myths remember the third commandment
18:08and how Luther comments on it in the small catechism remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy Luther asks what does
18:15this mean answer that we should fear and love God so that we do not despise God’s
18:21word and the preaching of the same but instead we deem it holy and we gladly
18:27hear and learn it you see it’s really easy to talk about those
18:33pastors out there who aren’t preaching the word but the reality is is that those pastors are manifestations of the
18:39what’s going on in the hearts of many people who call themselves Christian and if you’re really honest with
18:46yourself consider whether or not you’d love to hear what God has written in his word
18:52what he reveals in his word you along with me will have to confess you know
18:57all too often I’m just not all that excited to hear God’s word when I open up the Bible my mind wanders
19:04and I find myself working through my grocery list rather than paying attention to the words of God right
19:11or when I come to church the pastor goes a little bit long I
19:16start to get antsy and think about well the things I got to get to after church in the afternoon not exactly thrilled
19:22about sitting through long sermons and things like that right keep it short pastor
19:29there are many different ways in which we despise God’s word showing us that we
19:36are just as guilty as the people of Nazareth now as Christians as Christians we know that we have a new nature that
19:42loves to hear God’s word and yet at the same time we have our old sinful nature and that old sinful nature of ours is
19:48not a Believer is a rank unbeliever and just is has no patience for or desire to
19:54listen to and hear the word of God and see the thing is is that there’s not a difference between you and your sinful
20:01nature you are one and the same and at the same time there’s not a difference between you and your new nature in
20:07Christ you are one and the same it’s a mystery how this all works and so as we
20:12read a text like this before you’re quick to condemn the people of Nazareth for murderously wanting to silence Jesus
20:18ask yourself this question have I not done the same
20:23do I not do the same the answer if you’re honest is yeah I do
20:29that first table of the law love the Lord your God with all your heart soul mind and strength starts to come into
20:35play where we hear over and again in scripture the man doesn’t live by
20:40bread alone bought by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God and yet how many of us
20:47are physically overweight and spiritually starving
20:54right and if you’re saying well pastor Pastor you’re stepping on my toes you’re this
20:59is hitting a little bit close to the mark yeah I know I’m preaching about myself too
21:06he said yeah how can you say that you’re a pastor there’s a reason why I wear black
21:13right because that’s the color of my heart too and so if this is you
21:19and you’re guilty of this repent repent
21:25and believe the good news that Christ is bled and died even for your inattentiveness and
21:32despising of his word and seeking to silence Christ you could do it aggressively or you could do it passive
21:38aggressively it’s still aggression against him is it not right and so be
21:43reminded again of what Christ said in Our Gospel text that is the good news
21:49remember the text he was preaching from Isaiah 61 the spirit of the Lord is upon me because the Lord has anointed me
21:56Jesus to bring good news to the poor is that you
22:02are you poor Jesus isn’t talking about money here
22:07his text is about a Poverty of the Soul he’s come he sent me to bind up the Brokenhearted
22:16is that you broken-hearted knowing that you stand guilty before God and here’s the best
22:23part to Proclaim Liberty to the captives Liberty to the captives and the captives
22:30here again that’s us sheboyim in the Hebrew as well as the word in Greek
22:36talks about those who are taken captive at spear point that was us that is Us by the devil the
22:44world The Temptations of our own sinful flesh drug into bondage sin death the devil
22:51Jesus proclaims to you Liberty
22:57proclaims to you the Concentration Camp has been liberated the one the devil has been
23:04holding you in you are now set free to open the prison doors to those who
23:10are bound and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor the year of the Lord’s
23:15favor really begins at the cross and never ends for us it’s the great Year of Jubilee when all the debts are canceled
23:22and that’s exactly what Christ has done for you on the cross so let us look now back
23:28at our Old Testament text and take a look at the people of Israel during a time when they didn’t despise
23:35the hearing of God’s word and they believed it’s in the time of Nehemiah and if you know your Bible you know full
23:42well that the children of Israel were sent into captivity because of
23:49their refusal to repent and to give up worship of the false gods of all Ashira
23:54and ashtareth and Molech and God sent the Prophet Jeremiah and we will hear this next Sunday I wish the
24:01Old Testament texts were today because it would have fit perfectly with life Sunday before you were born I knew you
24:06God says of Jeremiah right and so we learn in this opening of the Prophet
24:12Jeremiah that God is sending Jeremiah to Proclaim his word to a stubborn and
24:17obstinate people and that they will not believe God sends his word sometimes
24:23to judge people so the word of the Lord becomes a judgment against them and ultimately God’s threats that if
24:31they persisted in sin and unbelief and refused to repent of their idolatry that he would raise up Nebuchadnezzar to come
24:38and conquer them well that happened ninety percent of the people of Judah died at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar only 10
24:46percent of them remained alive taken into captivity for 70 years
24:51but God remembered his people and brought them back and so we come back then to Jerusalem in the time of
24:58Nehemiah after the wall has been rebuilt the scant remnant
25:05comes now to hear the word of the Lord and says this all the people gathered as
25:10one man into the square before the Watergate and they told Ezra The Scribe to bring
25:16the book of the law of Moses but the Lord had commanded Israel
25:21so Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly both men and women and all who could understand what they
25:28heard on the first day of the seventh month and he read from it facing the square before the Watergate
25:35from early morning until midday it’s about six hours
25:40six hours you think my sermons are long right they let me preach for almost two hours
25:46in Norway I want to let you know that don’t worry that won’t happen today
25:52so in the presence of the men and the women and all those who can understand in the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law notice
25:58that they are listening attentively for six hours Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people for he was above
26:04all of the people and as he opened it all of the people stood which is one of the reasons why by the way we stand to
26:10hear the gospel text we stand just like the people of Israel in the time of Nehemiah and this is the reason why
26:17pastors have a Pulpit right we get all of this from the book of Nehemiah from this passage
26:24Ezra blessed the Lord the great God and all the people answered amen amen
26:29lifting up their hands they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground they read from the
26:36book of The Law of God clearly and they gave the sense so that the people understood the reading which is what a
26:43pastor is supposed to do Pastors not to concoct his own things he’s supposed to
26:48study and show himself approved as one who can rightly understand and help the people of God to rightly understand the
26:55sense of God’s word Nehemiah who was the governor Ezra the priest and the Scribe and the Levites
27:01who taught the people said to the people this day is Holy to Yahweh your God do
27:07not mourn or weep for all the people wept as they heard the word of the law
27:13they wept they were crushed when they heard what the gods holy law
27:19commanded of them they were crushed because they knew full well that they
27:25had not kept that law these are the ones who had come out of captivity in Babylon
27:30this these the descendants of the survivors knowing full well that they
27:36had earned God’s Wrath for their sin and they were cut to the heart and Nehemiah
27:41and Ezra rather than pounding them with more law gives them the gospel
27:48and says this this day is Holy to the Lord go your way eat the fat drink the sweet
27:55wine send portions to anyone who has nothing ready for this day is Holy to
28:01our Lord and do not be grieved for the joy of the Lord is your strength and
28:08what exactly is the joy of the Lord it is the joy of the Lord to set captives free to Pardon Sinners to
28:16forgive those who are guilty to announce to them pardon mercy and
28:23Grace or as Jesus said at the beginning of our text
28:29the spirit of the Lord is upon me to bring good news to are those who are poor to bind up the
28:36Brokenhearted and to Proclaim Liberty to the captives this is the joy of the Lord
28:42and you brothers and sisters were once held in bondage to the devil you brothers and sisters were once blind
28:50poor brokenhearted and now in Christ you have been set free you have been
28:56forgiven you have a right standing before God so do not mourn Rejoice for
29:01the joy of the Lord the good news of the Forgiveness of sins is your strength in
29:07the name of Jesus Amen
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