|Image Credit: Riccardo Mion - Public Domain Image via Freely Photos|
This sermon was preached the day after we unexpectedly lost one of our associate pastors. Our pastor titled the sermon "When There Are No Words."
You are invited to watch and listen to the entire sermon here.
The scripture passage is Luke 4:16-38.
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, He went His way.And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; and they were amazed at His teaching, for His message was with authority. In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm. And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” And the report about Him was spreading into every locality in the surrounding district.
Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Him to help her.
When we have no words of our own, we have the words of Jesus.
When there are no explanations, we have God's promises.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,
"For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:28-29
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Nothing can separate us from God's love.
Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. - C.S. LewisTrauma has a way of softening our hearts. Pain helps us listen more.
Jesus is anointed. Jesus came for the poor (the morally and spiritually poor)
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,Jesus came for the brokenhearted. Only Jesus can heal a broken heart.
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. - Luke 4:18
The Lord is near to the brokenheartedAnytime we choose to love, we choose to suffer.
And saves those who are crushed in spirit. - Psalm 34:18
No one can avoid a broken heart. Only Jesus can heal it.
Jesus came for the captive and the bound - the spiritually imprisoned - those in bondage to addiction and sin.
Jesus came for the blind. He came for the spiritually blind.
Jesus opened peoples eye to see their need.
Jesus came for the oppressed and the overwhelmed.
And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. - Luke 4:20All eyes need to be fixed on Jesus.
Jesus spoke with gracious words. We need to do the same.
And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” - Luke 4:22When there are not words, we can always say:
"I need you, Jesus."
"I turn to you, Jesus"