6-30-2024

“MANY VOICES; ONE SAVIOR”

Text: Mark 5:21-43

Sunday June 30, 2024 – Pentecost 6

Trinity Lutheran Church – Creston/Mount Ayr.

 

       Grace, mercy, and peace is yours from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

 

       Our text for the Sixth Sunday in Pentecost is the Gospel lesson from Mark 5 that was just proclaimed.

 

Let Us Pray:  Dearest Jesus, you send your Holy Spirit to remind us that amidst the chatter of so many voices that surround us, only your voice brings comfort and peace to our lives.  Amen.

 

Dear Fellow Redeemed in Christ:

 

We are living at a time when we daily get more information than we can possibly handle. Internet, social media, TV, podcast, you name it. We are surrounded by many and various voices.

 

Which one is authentic? Which one tells us the truth? Dr. Luther defined the church as “lambs who hear the voice of their Shepherd” (SA III XII 2). For Christians, the voice of our Shepherd Jesus is the one thing needful.

 

Against the temptation into which Adam and Eve fell—to hear a voice other than God in the garden—we are exhorted to pay attention to the words of  Jesus more than anything else. For

In the Midst of So Many Voices That Surround Us Today,
Only the Words of Jesus
Bring Unqualified Comfort to Our Lives.

 

What words of  Jesus do we hear in our Gospel today?

 

I. In Mark’s larger context, Jesus is proclaiming a new relationship between himself and his church, so that any claim to a special relationship with Israel under the Law is an old, false voice.

 

A.       The new relationship is demonstrated by the confession of the centurion at Jesus’ death.

“Surely this was the Son of God.”

 

B. The old, false voice is demonstrated by Israel’s leaders failing to understand Jesus as their fully human as well as divine Messiah who would go to the cross.

 

1.  This voice is heard in modern Zionism and the false eschatology of many media preachers.

 

2.  But this is also simply the false voice of all works-righteousness. (Give examples.)

 

C. The new relationship is demonstrated by Mark’s references to the Twelve—and to other twelves: twelve tribes of Israel and now Jesus’ own Twelve.

 

D.  The new relationship is expressed in Jairus and the suffering woman trusting the word they had heard about Jesus, rather than trusting their own piety (vv 22–23, 27–28).

 

1.  Against the voices of despair, we often hear from within, God calls us to believe his promises in Christ. ( examples of situations in which our fears and suffering cause us to doubt.)

 

2.  The promises of God’s Word are absolutely reliable, the true voice for all these situations.

 

II. Against the false voices of neo-Pentecostalism, charismatics, and “prosperity Gospel,” Jesus’ voice teaches us what it truly means that our faith makes us well (v 34).

 

A.  Personal faith itself is never the cause of healing or salvation.

 

1.  This is clear since the woman Jesus healed and to whom he spoke those words was truly sinful and unclean.

2.  This is even more obvious in the case of Jairus’s daughter, since she was dead and his faith was weak.

 

B. Rather than something meritorious in ourselves, faith is a gift that is received.

 

C. In fact, healing miracles were only secondary in Jesus’ ministry.

 

1.  They were “easy” for Jesus, the Creator of the universe.

2.  They were accomplished simply by Jesus’ word.

 

D.  Jesus’ primary mission was to forgive sins.

 

1.  This required Jesus becoming flesh and taking our uncleanness upon himself.

2.  It required Jesus vicariously bearing our sin on the cross.

3.  A true voice says, “You can keep the miracles and healing, and we will keep salvation.”

 

III. Above all, against the terrifying voice that says death is the end, Jesus speaks the sweetly comforting words, “The child is not dead but sleeping.”

 

 

 

A.  It seems laughable to deny the voice that says death is the final tragedy (vv 38–39).

 

B. But against all voices of the world concerning death, we receive sheer comfort in the words of  Jesus. For Jesus, the baptized believers are sleeping when they are dead.

 

C. And these are not merely his words.

 

1.  With his words come his vicarious atonement and satisfaction.

 

2.  Jesus bore our sin in his body, taking upon himself our uncleanness and giving us his holiness in return—the great exchange indeed! With his wounds, we are healed!

 

D.  Because Jesus destroyed our death by his death and by it achieved our salvation, those whose sins are forgiven by his words and Sacraments are confident without any room for doubt that Jesus will come to awaken us when we are dead.

 

E. In the meantime, we will only sleep!

 

   Yes, we live in an age of information overload, with so many voices speaking at us. But God would have us pay attention to the words of  Jesus alone.

 

      Against all the voices that speak death, Christians get to say boldly that we will only sleep when we die, because we are in Christ and our sins are forgiven through Baptism and the Lord’s gifts that we keep receiving in his church through the means of grace.

 

      Blessed are you who will be addressed by your Lord, “Little girl, I say to you, arise” (v 41). “Do not fear, only believe” (v 36). God’s mercies are new every morning; great is his faithfulness to you (cf Lam 3:23)!

 

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing” (Ps 30:11). And “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). Amen!

 

 

Now may the peace of God which far surpasses our human understanding guide and keep us in the one true faith until life everlasting…Amen