Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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Lent 2 – February 24 – Luke 13:31-35 “God’s Word Prevails”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Gospel Lesson just read, from Luke 13.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • All of our Lessons for this morning are filled with conflict.  And all of the conflict has to do with God’s Word.  God speaks, and the powers of darkness oppose it.  Whether Jeremiah, the apostles, or even the Lord Jesus Christ – all servants of God’s Word enter into a very dangerous fray. 
  • So, what is to be done about all of this?  What can we do about all of this?  What should we do about all of this?  We do care!  We have come to know and believe God’s great love for us in Christ Jesus – we have heard His Word!  We know what Jesus has done for us in His suffering, death, and resurrection.  We want others to come into His love, to receive His mercy and salvation, and to join the throng of those who are being renewed in God’s love. 
  • However, we must also know that as God’s Word enters into the darkness of this fallen world of sin, it will create conflict and violence.  The greater the success of God’s Word the greater the conflict.  Of course, the wretchedness and violence of the darkness is even worse – if just left to itself.  So there is no question that although we are between a rock and a hard place, we must continue with the Word of God – in faith, in love, and in promoting that Word. 
  • And so it is great comfort for us to realize and to remember that although God’s Word suffers opposition, even violent opposition, nonetheless “GOD’S WORD PREVAILS.”  Jeremiah asserts it, as does Paul, and Jesus assures it to be so.  Regardless,

I.  There Will Always Be People Who Believe That They Can Prevail Against God’s Word And Against His Servants


OT:  “Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, ‘This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.’”


Epist.:  “For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.”


Text:  “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it.”


Statement:  To this day it is much the same – that there are wicked people who think that they can ignore, or change, or argue against and destroy the Word of God.  To do so, they attack those who are servants of God’s Word – whether with debate, or with sneaky slander and plotting, or with crafty and sly tactics, or with outright opposition and trying to get rid of them. 

It must be noted that this does not occur among those who are “outside” of the church – their opposition to the church is open and forthright.  No, Jeremiah’s critics and adversaries were from within the church, as were the Apostle Paul’s enemies.  So also those who opposed Jesus – Jerusalem was representative of Jewish religion, the epitome of their religiosity. 


Application:  So, it is not so much for those outside of the church that we have concern, but rather for those within the church who have the audacity to oppose the Word of God, who believe that they will be able to succeed in high-jacking Christ’s Church and taking it over for themselves.  It is not those who fall into error, but are willing to be corrected by God’s Word, but rather those who persist in their opposition to God’s Word and in their hatred of those who are servants of God’s Word.  Their opposition is ceaseless – they will not be reconciled; and this demonstrates that they truly belong to those who “kill the prophets and stone those sent to” the church.


Transition:  But thanks be to God they will never gain the victory – their efforts are stupid, ill-advised, darkly evil, and futile, for:


II.  Even Though Prophets Are Killed And Perish, God’s Word Goes On To Victory – As Seen In Christ’s Resurrection


OT:  “Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, ‘The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words  you have heard.  Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will relent of the disaster that He has pronounced against you.  But as for me, behold, I am in your hands.  Do with me as seems good and right to you.  Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the LORD sent me to you to speak all these words in your ear.”


Text:  “Behold, your house is forsaken.  And I tell you, you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.’”


Statement:  Jeremiah’s Word came true – even though the vast majority of the religious people of his day opposed him.  Paul’s gospel and preaching prevailed, even though “enemies of the cross” had infiltrated the church and attacked him.  Jesus’ Word prevailed – even though He was arrested, convicted, crucified, and buried.  He rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and will come again with great glory to judge the living and the dead! 


Application:  So we must consider our own relationship to the Word of God, and to those who speak and preach it.  There is no middle ground, no neutral territory within the church.  If you are among those who “kill the prophets and stone those sent to you” I would urge you to reconsider your stubbornness and to repent – for as the apostle pronounces, “their end is destruction.”  It will come for you, if not in this life, then certainly in the next. 


For those of us who embrace the Word of God, and the blessedness of the feet of those who preach peace in Christ Jesus – we are not to attack our enemies, but rather pray for them, and be kind to them.  However, we must surely identify them, and take great care not to be drawn into their darkness of heart.  Rather, we must continue to bear with and patiently oppose their agenda – and pray that perhaps they may come to repentance and reconciliation.  But if not, we know what their end will be – for “GOD’S WORD PREVAILS.” 


Transition:  And always we remember the blessed distinction that will prevail, that which God’s Word pronounces, that:


III.  Those Who Reject God’s Word End Up With Nothing Good, While Those Rejoicing In God’s Word, Who Rejoice In Christ, Who Rejoice In Those Who Have Been Sent To Them By God, Inherit Eternal Life

Epist:  “Their end is destruction.  . . .  But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject all things to Himself.”


Statement:   For years people prevailed in opposing Jeremiah, and they appeared to do very well, prospering, retaining their positions of honor and authority – but then the hand of God fell upon them, just as Jeremiah had prophesied.  For years people opposed the Lord Jesus Christ, and they even crucified Him – but He rose again, and now His oppressors suffer in hell.  So also within the church, those who are enemies of the cross may appear to be opposing and confronting the prophets sent to them and still doing well – but God’s hand is upon them, and it is only a matter of time before it crushes them – for “GOD’S WORD PREVAILS.”


Application:  This is not God’s primary will for anyone, as Jesus made clear:  “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!  How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you would not!  Behold, your house is forsaken!”  Even now God’s will is to gather His enemies, those who attack His servants, back to Himself – if only they might become willing!  We must pray for this!


Conclusion:  It troubles us when we observe this phenomenon within the church.  We want to fight fire with fire – to engage in the same wicked, violent, and underhanded practices as the “enemies of the cross” engage in.  This we cannot do – for we know that “GOD’S WORD PREVAILS,” and His Word bids us pray for our enemies.  His enemies, however, should take no comfort, confidence, or ease from this, for just as certainly as God’s Word prevails, so certain is it that “their end is destruction.” 


Thanks and praise be to God that He has delivered us from such destruction, by gathering us to Himself, as His dear children, through His Word – the good news of our salvation in Christ Jesus.  Yes, thank God that “HIS WORD PREVAILS!”  Amen.


Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.