GRACE, MERCY and PEACE are yours this day from God our Father, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This man believed the word that Jesus spoke to Him and went on his way.
In the Name of Jesus. AMEN.
He knows our weakness as human being. He realizes that we have this strange notion that seeing is believing. And so, as Jesus goes about teaching and preaching, He reaches out to do things that people will see and experience that are miraculous – that point to His power and authority over all things in heaven and on earth.
But our today text takes a curious turn. When the man presses Jesus to come with him, when he begs Jesus to accompany him to save the life of his son, Jesus doesn’t follow the man. Jesus doesn’t perform some great sign to give this man hope and comfort. Jesus doesn’t seem to DO anything. He simply says, “Go; your son will live.”
And notice what our text says, “The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.”
He took Jesus at His word. Jesus spoke and the man believed it.
Jesus had given the man nothing to see. The man had nothing to experience. He merely had the word of promise by Jesus, “Go; your son will live.” And after this word reached the man’s ears, the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.
This is faith, dear friends. This is what faith does – how it operates. Faith hears the words and promises of Jesus and acts and lives according to them. A faith-filled person goes on their way in and through this world expecting to come to pass exactly what Jesus said would come to pass.
After all, “In the beginning was the Word and the word was with God and the word was God.” The almighty God of heaven and earth sent forth His Word in the beginning, and everything was created – from nothing. All that we see – all that we experience – all that surrounds us – came from nothing – by the power of the Word of God.
“Let there be light,” and there was light. Let there be a separation – the waters below from the waters above – and the sky came into being separating the water above in the clouds from the waters below that covered the face of the deep. Let “Let the waters pool and dry land appear,” and we have land and solid ground. Let there be vegetation – stars, moon, sun – let there be living creatures in the water and in the expanse of the sky – fish and birds in abundance – let there be land animals and creatures that move along the ground.
It all happened by the Word of God that went forth from His mouth. If you want to see and experience the power and might of the Word of God, open your eyes – look around you – and see and experience it for yourself. The very existence of all things is a sign and a wonder that should lead us to know and believe that there is a creator.
It is only the blindness of unbelief – the rejection of the testimony of our eyes and our experience that demands more from God than He has already done.
But God does not leave us in such blindness – He does not allow Himself to remain hidden and ignored. The speech that poured forth at the creation accomplished it’s purpose – the world was created – and when he had formed Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed into Him the breath of life, behold, it was very good.
But the Lord did not stop speaking. He spoke of the trees – that would bring to the remembrance of Adam and Eve that He is the creator. Notice – a word – attached to something visible – so that the word and the speech would not be forgotten and the object would be a constant reminder.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed, God’s Word poured forth again, Adam, Where are you? – seeking – reaching out. Not to punish and condemn, but to rescue and save. And so they went their way knowing and believing that the one who spoke all things into existence would send the seed of the woman to crush the head of the serpent.
And He did – in the person of Jesus Christ – who is the very word of God made flesh to live among us. The one who was raised up on the cross to draw all men to Himself. The one who was put into the tomb, and on the third day rose again. The one who has ascended into heaven to put all things under His feet.
This is the very one who speaks to us through His Word today to deliver peace and comfort and security. To speak into our ears words that awaken faith within us so that we go our way as the man did in our text – believing and trusting that all Jesus said is true.
Because He knows the struggle in this life is real. He knows that we fight not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
So we must perk up our ears and realize – and know – and trust – and believe – that the one who ascended into heaven has done so for us and for His church. He has done so to subdue all things under His feet. And as He lives and reigns at the right hand of God, even in the midst of what we see and experience – all that we hear on TV – all that we see in the news – all that the media tells us – and all that we pick up in bits and pieces from those around us – He is and remains the ultimate ruler of all things for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes.
This is espeically important for us to know, and hear, and believe in this hour. As our country is embroiled in one of the most vile and disgusting displays of politics – where by far more people are holding their nose as they vote simply in order that the OTHER person won’t get into office. Therefore, it is vitally important for us to remember – On November 9, this Jesus who healed the son of this official will still be over and above all officials in heaven and on earth as He sits at the right hand of God , ruling and reigning over all things. Likewise, on January 20th, when the next president is sworn into office. In fact, even if the current president declares martial law and sets aside the election, Jesus will still live and rule and reign over all things.
And He will not merely live and rule and reign separately and distantly from us – but He will live and rule and reign over all things for His church – whether we see it or not, whether we feel it or not – whether we experience it or not.
What’s more, He will continue to work through His word to keep and preserve and sustain you believing and trusting in all He has done and continues to do for you.
Therefore, do not fear. Do not be anxious. Do not so idolize your vote that you come to think that all is up to you. For no matter what happens, Jesus will remain on high as your savior – the one who bled and died and rose and ascended to make you His own – to gather you to Himself is and remains the God who created and sustains all things. If religious liberty is trampled under foot or upheld. Whether the holocust of abortion continues or the tide of infant blood is stemmed. Whether traditional marriage is abolished or defended, Whether our nation survives or is overtaken by ruthless individuals – as Christians, none of it should worry us personally or cause us any anxiety on behalf of ourselves – because Christ Jesus still lives and rules and reigns for you, He has still bled and died and risen to make you His own and gather you into His church, and He still does all things – oversees the ebb and flow of history for good of all those who love God and are called according to His purposes.
Therefore, “Go.” As the man in our text was told by Jesus, “Go.” Go to your home, go to your life, for the church will live – faith will live – Jesus will reign and God’s good and gracious will shall be accomplished no matter who has the highest vote tally.
And when you have gone, remember what was given to us in Genesis chapter 1, “Be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth and have dominion . . .”
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it – and He has established us and placed us here as caretakers. So even as we are not concerned for our own selves – our own fortunes – our own welfare. We are concerned for our neighbor – young and old – large or small – rich or poor. We love God by trusting in Him with all our heart, soul and mind. But we still are responsible to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Certainly, sin has corrupted our reasoning, and our thinking. In our weakness and frailty, we seek to do our job with clouded judgement as to how best to love those around us.
Therefore, to be sure, we will have disagreements – sometimes sharp and pointed disagreements over how best to love our neighbor and care for those whom God has given us as fellow citizens of this nation. We will disagree about the way to lift up the poor, care for the widows and the orphan, how to protect and save the unborn with compassion and concern for the mother who gives birth and we will have different strategies to love the stranger and sojourner in our land.
We will see different dangers and consequences and so we will pursue different policies to accomplish what God has given us to do.
We will misinterpret data. We will misunderstand history. And we will most certainly misjudge our own significance and importance in the process.
But we must never lose sight of the fact that this is our duty as God’s creatures who have been placed here to tend and care for the things that He has created.
Those who are weak in faith, those who do not have the Holy Spirit, and those who do not have a good knowledge of the Scriptures, will misunderstand and give ear to those who deceitfully twist the Scriptures and seek to convince us that evil good and good is evil.
Even as all of this happens – and the chaos and noise surround us, we must lay hold of the fact that – at the end of the day, when the polls close, Jesus will remain on the throne. His will shall be accomplished.
It may be accomplished as we elect leaders who will fight against His will and cause our nation to struggle against what God desires to do – as many examples in History show.
Or, God’s will shall be accomplished as He blesses our nation with wisdom and knowledge to work alongside Him and participate and cooperate with what would have done. But either way, the Good and gracious will of God IS done even without our prayer – as we teach in the small catechism.
So as we enter the end of this national election cycle as those with the highest rank in the nation, the rank of citizen and elector, what is up to us is that we seek to listen – hear – know and comprehend what He has revealed to be the way of righteousness and goodness in things of this world – so that we are able to make wise decisions and choose and elect those who will lead us to love and serve our neighbor. Where necessary, we must warn against God’s wrath and even as we seek, as a nation to live and act according to what God has declared to be good so that we might avoid His wrath and punishment.
And dear brothers and sisters, as you engage in that fight – as you seek to love your neighbor by yourself doing what God reveals to be good and right and by electing leaders who you are sure will do the same – because they do so in YOUR authority and they do so in YOUR name – “Put on the whole armor of God – that you may be able to withstand in this evil day. And when you have done everything within you to love, protect and serve your neighbor – from the youngest to the oldest – when you have done all that you think you can to establish the family as father, mother and children as taught in the 4th commandment – as you seek to protect and preserve life – as you seek yourself to live a sexually pure and chaste life and encourage your neighbors to do the same – as you combat theft and murder and covetousness through the laws enacted in our land – having done ALL that in love and service to your fellow citizens – to the best of your ability and the best of your wisdom and knowledge – having fastened the belt of truth – having put on the breastplate of righteousness – as shoes on your feet, put on the readiness given by the Gospel of peace – knowing that your service in the Lord is not in vain, but that He will greatly reward you according to His bountiful goodness.
And as you go out, take up the shield of faith – knowing – believing – and trusting in the One who has overcome all – and even now is putting all things under His feet. Because such faith is able to extinguish the flaming darts of the evil one who seeks to destroy you and your faith.
And finally, take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the very Word of God itself. As you learn this word and as you know it – you can cut through the false hope and the lies and deceit of the evil one. Using this Word of God, you can test the plans and purposes and policies of those who seek our votes. And most importantly, by this Word – you are called and given faith to trust not in a political party, not in a political leader, not in a political process, but in the One and Only God who has come into our world and by His own blood, has purchased and won you to be His own so that you may be His own and live under Him in His Kingdom in everlasting innocence and blessedness.
Therefore, Go your way – no matter what happens next month, YOU will live in the Gospel – because Jesus has saved you.
In the NAME of Jesus. AMEN.
May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guard your hear and keep your mind in Christ Jesus our Lord. AMEN.