Sunday, September 1, 2019

Proper 18 C

Proper 18 C
(September 4-10)

Deuteronomy 30:15–20
Philemon 1–21
Luke 14:25–35

Christ Jesus Has Paid the Cost of Discipleship for You

A disciple of Jesus Christ will “bear his own cross” (Luke 14:27) and follow the Lord through death into life. Discipleship is costly because it crucifies the old man with “all that he has” (Luke 14:33), in order to raise up the new man in Christ. The disciple disavows “his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life” (Luke 14:26) in deference to Christ. That way of the cross is impossible, except that Christ Jesus has already paid the cost. His cross is set before you as “life and good, death and evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15). Taking up His cross is to “choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him” (Deuteronomy 30:19–20). To live that life in Christ is also to bear His cross in love, “that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord.” (Philemon 14).

Some Salty Thoughts
Rev. Dr. Daniel J Brege

Jesus states in Sunday’s mini-parable, “Salt is good.”  Salt has been used to illustrate many things.  Consider it here to be that which purges, purifies, and ultimately preserves what it has rendered good.

Such “good salt” can first be understood to be Christ and His life in this sinful world.  He—the good salt—can alone reverse the rottenness of this world and give it preservation. Even in the kingdom of the left His words of wisdom and instruction were salt in a putrid world of vain philosophies and worldly wisdom.  His words about issues such as love, marriage and morality stand as law-related salt to preserve a culture and society gone awry in these matters.

Christ’s miraculous and powerful presence was the salt that purged the decay of disease and demons, even calling forth the dead from their graves. Those healed, exorcised or resurrected by Christ were then freed in Christ to lead lives of salt-created purity.

The foundation of mankind’s rottenness is sin.  All of Christ’s salty words and works would initially be welcomed as people perceived Him to be an earthly philosopher and provider. Thus at first Christ received a wondrous welcome.  But His salty words began to expose corruption.  In a short while His salt in this sin-fouled, putrid world would be declared “unsalty” and He, being perceived as not even good enough for the manure pile, would be thrown out of Jerusalem to be trampled underfoot, being nailed to a stinking cross.

Christ is however such good and powerful salt that His rejection becomes the saving salt for the world.  He rises from the dead to establish a salt that preserves into eternity.  The salt of His word, drawn from the salt mine of His cross and empty tomb, purges the corruption of sin.  His salted people then—armed with His salty word— become themselves the salt of the earth.

However, even as Christ’s saltiness would be perceived by the worldly as useless, so now Christians—though themselves being salt for the purification and preservation of a society—find the world declaring them to be “unsalty” and worthless, not even good enough for a manure pile. The Savior thus predicted time and again the reality of persecution, even martyrdom.  So Christians face the same expulsion and rejection as their Lord.   Sadly such rejection occurs even within families, so that those family members who reject Christ are to be “hated”—that is they are not to be accepted in relation to their non-Christian counsel and beliefs.

So what is the outcome?  Even as Christ was preserved, rising victorious from the decay-causing grave, so too Christ’s salty people are preserved.  Indeed the salty salvation of Christ is such a powerful preservative that the Lord will preserve our going out and our coming in—even the going out of death and the coming in of resurrected bodies into heaven—from this time forth and even forevermore.

copyright © 2019 Indiana District - Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Luke 14:26 - Jesus provides chastisement "and does not hate" division in the family mentioned for the fourth time. Who do you fear and trust in? Everything must die. Hate means renunciation. We die to self.

ostiV ou bastazei ton stauron eautou kai ercetai opisw mou ou dunatai einai mou maqhthV

And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:27 - whoever does not carry his own cross cannot be my disciple. To carry the cross means to die. We do bear our own cross. But we do not choose it.  The aim is faithfulness. The aim is Christ. Look to the giver not the gifts.

tiV gar ex umwn qelwn purgon oikodomhsai ouci prwton kaqisaV yhfizei thn dapanhn ei ecei eiV apartismon
"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?

ina mhpote qentoV autou qemelion kai mh iscuontoV ektelesai panteV oi qewrounteV arxwntai autw empaizein
For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him,

legonteV oti outoV o anqrwpoV hrxato oikodomein kai ouk iscusen ektelesai
saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'

Luke 14:28-30- For which one of you who wants to build a tower will first consider the money if he has enough to complete it? Jesus is the only disciple. He is the one who was ridiculed, mocked, rejected. When you start to build  - know where it leads to. Jesus was the one ridiculed, mocked from the cross," he saved others himself he cannot save." The world mocking says, you did not consider the cost."

h tiV basileuV poreuomenoV eterw basilei sumbalein eiV polemon ouci kaqisaV prwton bouleusetai ei dunatoV estin en deka ciliasin upanthsai tw meta eikosi ciliadwn ercomenw ep auton
"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?

ei de mh ge eti autou porrw ontoV presbeian aposteilaV erwta proV eirhnhn
If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.

Luke 14:31-32 Jesus is the one who went against legions as an army of one. He knew the cost and entered the war willingly.  In his parables Jesus will always flip common sense on its head.

outwV oun paV ex umwn oV ouk apotassetai pasin toiV eautou uparcousin ou dunatai einai mou maqhthV
In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

 Luke 14:33 - all from among you who does not renounce is not worthy to be my disciple.  We need now to renounce Resources that which we have by nature.

kalon oun to alaV ean de kai to alaV mwranqh en tini artuqhsetai
"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?

oute eiV ghn oute eiV koprian euqeton estin exw ballousin auto o ecwn wta akouein akouetw
 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

 Luke 14:34-35 - salt cannot loose its saltiness. Even when thrown out it still serves a purpose.

The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software
ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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