Rejoicing In Forgiveness! Matthew 9:1-8

Series: Trinity Season Gospel Sermons

October 15, 2023
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

"Sin is pure unhappiness, forgiveness pure happiness." (Dr. Martin Luther) We confess that God the Holy Spirit comforts us in Christ Church as He daily and richly forgives us our sins and the sins of all who believe in Jesus Christ their Lord through the Gospel. Sermon Text: Matthew 9:1-8. Sermon Theme: "Rejoicing in Forgiveness!" Preached for the 19th Sunday After Trinity, 15-October-2023, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Tell City, Indiana by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert, Pastor.

Episode Notes

The Nineteenth Sunday After Trinity    15-October-2023
Sermon Text: Matthew 9:1-8
Sermon Theme: “Rejoicing In Forgiveness” I. Jesus Comes Freeing Sinners! (Vs.1-2) II. The Scandal of Forgiveness! (Vs.3-4) III. The Joy Of Christ’s Renewing Word! (Vs.5-8)  by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

I.N.R.I. Psa 35:3 Say to my soul, "I am your salvation." is the prayer to Christ Jesus that David teaches us to pray. David doesn’t ask the Lord to show him how to earn salvation by his good deeds. David knows the weakness of his own sinful flesh. He knows the deceitfulness of worldly lusts. He knows Satan, the murderous liar, seeks to devour him. Against the unholy three he is powerless. He was born dead in his trespasses and sins, conceived in iniquity. The inner light of the human heart is only and always darkness. David needs salvation from outside of himself. Salvation from his Son and his Lord - Jesus Christ.
    Jacob needed salvation from outside of himself. His deceit had alienated him from his family. He tricked his aged blind father Isaac into giving him the blessing of the first born. Pitiless he stole the birth rite from famished Esau for a bowl of red stew. From the first day of Adam’s rebellion against our Creator’s Word, sin tears our families apart. Alienation. Divorce. Silence. Loneliness. Darkness. Sin swallows us up and all our plans, the ways we thought were right, only lead us to death. Alone in darkness - Salvation seeks out sinner Jacob. The Lord Jesus stands upon earth next to Jacob near a ladder to heaven on which angels were ascending and descending - carrying out God the Father’s good and gracious will. The Lord had put His Name and promise upon Jacob through the hands of father Isaac. He would never abandon him. Salvation assured called the sinner Jacob to turn away from his deceitful trickery and to trust in His Word and Promise. Emmanuel would journey with him. Mercy would not forsake His child whom bore His Name. Jacob was forgiven, reconciled, and strengthened to journey into the unknown through Jesus saying to him, ‘I am your Salvation!”
      You need salvation from outside of yourself. Rom 3:10-17 As it is written: "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE; (11) THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS; THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS AFTER GOD. (12) THEY HAVE ALL TURNED ASIDE; THEY HAVE TOGETHER BECOME UNPROFITABLE; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, NO, NOT ONE." (13) "THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN TOMB; WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY HAVE PRACTICED DECEIT"; "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS"; (14) "WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS." (15) "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD; (16) DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR WAYS; (17) AND THE WAY OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN." Pray to Jesus! Say to my soul, "I am your salvation." Sorrow over your sin, then lift up your eyes to see gracious King Jesus coming to you that you may be: “Rejoicing In Forgiveness” I. Jesus Comes Freeing Sinners! (Vs.1-2) II. The Scandal of Forgiveness! (Vs.3-4) III. The Joy Of Christ’s Renewing Word! (Vs.5-8) I. History records. (Mt. 8:1) As the previous week was winding down Jesus and His disciples sailed across the Sea of Galilee. A violent storm threatened to sink their boat while Jesus was fast asleep. The disciples were certain the church would be swallowed up by the fierce storm - its end was near and certain. Roused from His slumber by the cry of His disciples, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” Jesus rebukes our fearfulness of the storms we face, “Why are you so fearful. O you of little faith?” Rebuking the wind and the waves by His Word great calm is restored - men marvel- wondering Who is this Man Jesus that creation listens to His voice.
      Landing in the Gentile territory of the Gadarenes. Two demon possessed men come screaming at Jesus, Mat 8:29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" The demons realized the King of Creation had come to undo Satan’s tyranny and rule of lies. He sends the demons into a herd of about 2,000 swine, which drown themselves in the Sea of Galilee. The whole city comes out and begs Jesus to leave their region. He is disturbing their peace and the cost of rescuing the demon possessed is hurting their pocketbooks. They don’t want King Jesus to disturb their peace with sin, Satan, and the world.
          It is before sun down on Friday that Jesus returns to Capernaum. His own city - He claims it as His own for in it He preaches His Word in the synagogue and at Peter’s house. Here He preforms mighty saving signs of rescue and healing. The King has come to free sinners! Here He has called the fishermen Peter, James, John, Andrew, and tax collector Matthew to “Follow Him!” It is now the Sabbath day after the service of hearing God’s Word proclaimed in the synagogue a crowd gathers to hear Jesus’ Words at Peter’s house. (Mt. 8:2a) Some people, four men, the other Gospels report - break the Pharisees’ Sabbath Law. They carry a paralyzed man on a stretcher. Unable to gain access to Jesus through the front door of the packed house, they carry him up to the flat roof of the house. Opening a hole in the roof they lower their paralyzed man to Jesus’ feet. These men had heard the good news - the King has come! The Messiah - the Christ is present to heal the sick, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord!
        Since 1942, the women of the LCMS, have worked together like those four men to bring a world paralyzed in fear, sin, death, and Satan’s lies to the feet of Jesus. Through their mites and prayers they have supported countless missionaries around the world. Like the women who followed Jesus and His disciples supporting them with their humble service and donations - they rejoice in the King who comes to save sinners! This why Jesus established Emmanuel here in Tell City seventy-two years ago - that we might bring family, friends, acquaintances paralyzed by their sin, fears, death, and Satan to the feet of King Jesus to hear Him!
        Hear Him rejoin Heaven to Earth! (Mt. 9:2b) Jesus saw the faith of the four men tirelessly labored to bring the paralytic to Him. He also saw into the heart of the paralyzed man. When sickness paralyzes us, Satan the Liar and Accuser assails conscience, “You are suffering for your sin! God hates you! He doesn’t care! You might as well curse God and die! Trusting in His good and gracious will profits you nothing!” Jesus knows. In every point as we are He was tempted by Satan, sin, fear, and death - yet without sin! King Jesus comes to speak life giving words. “"Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you."
II. How dare Jesus speak such words! Don’t we have to first forgive ourselves before we can be forgiven? Don’t we have to do our time, pay our debt, restore what we have caused others to lose, before we can be reconciled to God and to one another? If you are in debt to MasterCard for $50,000. I can’t just say to you, “Be of good cheer, your debt is canceled!” I don’t have that authority - it isn’t my money that you’ve borrowed. You might fool yourselves - then the debt collectors would be calling.
    Forgiveness of sins scandalizes the old Pharisee inside of all of us. Children from little on complain that it isn’t fair when their siblings get more or get away with something that when they did it they were punished. (Mt. 9:3) The Pharisees are certain that Jesus is blaspheming God’s Name - by forgiving the debt that sinners owe their Creator. How dare this Man Jesus speak a paralyzed man forgiven! He hadn’t journeyed to the Temple. He hadn’t washed in the Temple courts. He hadn’t offered a spotless lamb as a sin offering through the priest. He hadn’t done anything to merit forgiveness - how dare Jesus declare this man suffering from his sin - forgiven!
    Words have power! My word cancelling your debt to MasterCard has no power or authority - but if I owned MasterCard - my word would have the power to free you from your debt - I’d have the authority to forgive your debt by taking it upon myself. Behold the King of Creation! He comes to scandalize us with forgiveness through His Word! (Mt. 9:5). King Jesus is talking about which words roll off your tongue easier - but who can speak these words and have them do what is said? Many religious charlatans litter media claiming they have the power to heal the sick by their words. If the sick aren’t healed they claim it isn’t their word at fault, but the sick didn’t have enough faith. They burden wounded consciences by their lies. The same charlatans are scandalized when a called and ordained servant of the Word by the authority of Christ say, “I forgive you all your sins. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
III. Listen! The King has come! He suffered and died on the cross to settle your debt once and for all with God the Father. Upon His crucified, risen, and glorified flesh and blood the angels of heaven ascend and descend to serve you. He reunites heaven to earth, Jew to Gentiles, slaves to free, men to women - by His forgiving blood. He stands here speak His Word, “Peace” and breathing out the Holy Spirit to comfort us sinners with His cross won and empty tomb certified forgiveness. In this Christian Church God the Holy Spirit daily and richly forgives me all my sins - and the sins of all the faithful!
    Behold the life giving power and authority of His Word! (Mt.9:6-7) King Jesus’ Word perfectly restores the paralyzed man. His strength is renewed -He breaks the Sabbath by carrying his bed and going home! What joy filled him - to walk home- made new again! The crowds share his joy! (Mt. 9:8) The King of Creation is present in the flesh and blood of Jesus. The crowds are filled with fear being in His presence - they know their sin deserves only hell. Above all they rejoice - He hasn’t come to dam us to hell - but to restore us to our heavenly Father. He pays our debt in full. Now He gives such authority to men - authority to forgive sins - live in Easter victory - Hear Him! Joh 20:22-23 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. (23) If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." What do you believe according to these words? I believe that when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, in particular when they exclude openly unrepentant sinners from the Christian congregation and absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain, even in heaven, as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us Himself. “Hear His Word! Rejoice! You are Forgiven - freed to put off your old self, and be clothed with Christ as you walk home - truly righteous - truly holy as you say the Jesus - “You are my Salvation!” Amen.

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