Sunday, November 7, 2021

Proper 28 Series B

PROPER 28 Series B 
(November 13–19)

Daniel 12:1–3
Hebrews 10:11–25
Mark 13:1–13

The Crucified and Risen Body of Christ Jesus Is the True Temple of God

O Lord, by Your bountiful goodness release us from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our weakness we have brought upon ourselves, that we may stand firm until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Lord of harvest, great and kind, Rouse to action heart and mind; Let the gathering nations all See Your light and heed Your call. (LSB 840:4)

Despite its “wonderful stones” and “great buildings,” the Jerusalem temple would be torn down, not one stone left upon another; just as this present world and its kingdoms will come to an end (Mark 13:1–8). 

But that temple pointed beyond itself to Christ, to His sacrifice upon the Cross, and to the resurrection of His Body as the true Temple of God. In the midst of sin and death, by the proclamation of the Gospel, He now gathers disciples into His Body, wherein “the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:10–13). 

For He is “a great priest over the house of God,” who “will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” By the pure water of His Baptism, they “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,” and by His flesh and blood they enter the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 10:17–22). 

Thus are His people delivered, “everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.” For by the wisdom of His Gospel, He turns “many to righteousness,” so that “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake” to everlasting life (Daniel 12:1–3).

Jesus begins to talk about the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the world with a prediction of the temple's destruction. What makes a house of worship worthy is not its outward appearance but the Word of God in it. 

The temple in Jerusalem had been the "embassy" of heaven on earth. With the birth of Jesus, this temple would no longer serve that purpose. Now, in Jesus Christ, the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily among us. (See Colossians 2:9) 

Jesus warms His disciples about the coming troubles they will face as they bring the Gospel into the world. He encourages them to trust God and rely on the Holy Spirit, especially when they face opposition and persecution.  

Nobody likes to be shown his or her sin. As Christians proclaim Law and Gospel, they need to be ready to endure the loss of everything including their lives. 

Because God wants all people to hear the Gospel. He prolongs the NT age so that the Church may witness to all the earth. To His alone we owe the survival of our personal faith as well. 

Before the end of the world comes, there will be natural disasters and Christ's followers will be persecuted.  This chapter from Mark's Gospel, is known as the "Little Apocalypse." 

It is the last long teaching of Jesus in Mark, as though it were a farewell speech. The destruction of the temple is predicted and the disciples privately asked Jesus when this would occur and what would be the signs of the end. 

But these signs mark only the beginning of the end: earthquakes, wars, and persecution. The end will not come until the Gospel is preached to all nations. When will the end come? When the last pagan is converted.

Mark 13:1-13-

Mark 13:1  
1 Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ λέγει αὐτῷ εἷς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ• Διδάσκαλε, ἴδε ποταποὶ λίθοι καὶ ποταπαὶ οἰκοδομαί. 
And coming out of the temple one of his disciples said look at these wonderful buildings. 

A genitive absolute. (Luke 21) "destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up". John 2:19  Is the trust being put in the temple?  This is coming right after the faith of the widow. All she had was God. The temple will be distorted as He Will be distorted. 

Mark 13:2 
2 καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ• Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς; οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ.
And Jesus said to him, do you see the majestic buildings, surely they will be loosed from another. 

Future strong negation. Absolutely not the stones will absolutely not be standing. The negatives get strong. 4 of them stacked together. Passion. Is Jesus raising his voice?  The temple, the old system will all be disproved.

Mark 13:3  
3 Καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ Ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν κατέναντι τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐπηρώτα αὐτὸν κατ’ ἰδίαν Πέτρος καὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης καὶ Ἀνδρέας•
After he had sat down on the Mt. of Olives, over against the temple. They asked him by themselves, the four asked, when will these things happen, what is the sign when all these things will be carried out? 

The Mt. Of Olives where he will be arrested, from the east where Messiah will come.  Mark 8 the Pharisees asked for a sign and received none.

Mark 13:4  
4 Εἰπὸν ἡμῖν πότε ταῦτα ἔσται, καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα συντελεῖσθαι πάντα. 
Now Jesus began to say to them, watch out, least no one leave you astray. 

Don't look for the signs. They ask in faith. But why ask for the sign?  Signs are not the point. Live within your vocation. Do what is given you. We all want to avoid suffering. 

Mark 13:5-6 
5 ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἤρξατο λέγειν αὐτοῖς• Βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς πλανήσῃ• 6 πολλοὶ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ πολλοὺς πλανήσουσιν.
Watch least no one deceive you. Many will come on behalf of Me claiming, "I am He" and will deceive many.  

Panic is the pastime of despair. We're called to faithfulness. 

Mark 13:7  
7 ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε πολέμους καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων, μὴ θροεῖσθε• δεῖ γενέσθαι, ἀλλ’ οὔπω τὸ τέλος.
Still and when you hear of wars and hearings of wars do not be disturbed (don't freak out don't panic.) They must come but not yet the end. 

Mark 13:8 
8 ἐγερθήσεται γὰρ ἔθνος ἐπ’ ἔθνος καὶ βασιλεία ἐπὶ βασιλείαν, ἔσονται σεισμοὶ κατὰ τόπους, ἔσονται [l]λιμοί• ἀρχὴ ὠδίνων ταῦτα.
Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. These are only the beginnings of the birth pangs.  

Mark 13:9  
9 βλέπετε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς• παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς συνέδρια καὶ εἰς συναγωγὰς δαρήσεσθε καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνων καὶ βασιλέων σταθήσεσθε ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς. 
See to yourselves, you will be betrayed into the hands of the Sanhedrin, stand before kings, and on account of me you will be martyred.   

"A court room scene. "

"We have entered that midnight hour when even the virgins sleep." - Walther 

Mark 13:10 
10 καὶ εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη πρῶτον δεῖ κηρυχθῆναι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον.
It is necessary that this good message be preached to all the nations first.  

See Revelation 6. 

Mark 13:11  
11 καὶ ὅταν ἄγωσιν ὑμᾶς παραδιδόντες, μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε τί λαλήσητε, ἀλλ’ ὃ ἐὰν δοθῇ ὑμῖν ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦτο λαλεῖτε, οὐ γάρ ἐστε ὑμεῖς οἱ λαλοῦντες ἀλλὰ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον.
And when they lead/hand you over to trial do not fret what to say, but the Holy Spirit will speak for you. 

To whom is Jesus speaking? Only these four. NOT to every Christian. We have the Creed, what has been given to us as eye-witnesses. 

Mark 13:12  
12 καὶ παραδώσει ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον, καὶ ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς•
Brother will deliver brother unto death and Fathers their children putting them to death. 

Yours safe place is not safe. 

Mark 13:13 
13 καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου. ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος οὗτος σωθήσεται.
You will be hated by all on account of My name but those who endure until the end will be saved. 

The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software

Hebrews 10:11-25
Rev. Dr. Daniel J. Brege

When Jesus, or the New Testament writers, separate “body” and “blood” in their discussion of the work of Christ, they are speaking of Him as a sacrifice.  To prepare an Old Testament sacrifice the blood was associated with the life of a creature, and it was taken from the sacrificial flesh and strewn, daubed or sprinkled on the appropriate place or person in relation to the worship occurring in the Tabernacle.  The blood—the creature’s life—was associated with atonement, and being the life of a creature it was not to be eaten, probably partly because such a creature did not willingly give its life-blood, and thus it belonged only to God.

Christ now comes and willingly sheds His life-blood, and now His blood is miraculously offered to God’s people to drink.  To the non-Christian and to those just being instructed in the faith this sounds gross.  Far from “gross” we realize that in miraculously drinking Christ’s blood we are taking into our bodies God’s life and His blood-bought atonement.

Hebrews 10:11-25 is the assigned three-year epistle for Proper 28.  In his Hebrews commentary Dr. John Kleinig convincingly presents the perspective that the entire epistle to the Hebrews is especially about the Sacrament of the Altar and—directly linked with this— it is about God’s people in worship.

Hebrews 10:19-25 has several markers identifying the Eucharist in worship.  In verses 19 and 20 we see that it is through the blood and flesh of Jesus that we enter “through the curtain (veil)” and into the Holy of Holies.  Indeed when we partake of Christ’s flesh and blood we are uniquely in God’s Holy presence. Thus Christianity has from ancient times prayed the “Prayer of the Veil” immediately before receiving the Lord’s holy flesh and blood. The remnant of this ancient prayer is found in our Lutheran liturgy when we pray, “Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven…”

In the celebration of the Holy Supper we confess that we are joining these other-worldly individuals in the heavenly Holy of Holies!

Our Lutheran church along with others has adopted the exact wording of verse 22 to be liturgically voiced as we approach Christ’s Holy Meal. We rightly confess, “Let us draw near with a true heart…” What gives us a true heart to rightly draw near the Most Holy Place?  The text continues, “…having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”  Yes, we may draw near and partake of Christ’s flesh and blood in the Most Holy Place, for we have been cleansed in the priestly bath of Christ’s bloody water in Holy Baptism!

No wonder this text concludes with the worship-related admonition that we should not be “neglecting to meet together.”  Why would someone consider avoiding the saving body and blood of Christ?

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