Sermon for Epiphany 4 – 1.30.22

+ 4thSunday after the Epiphany – January 30th, 2022 +

Series C: Jeremiah 1:4-10, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13; Luke 4:31-44

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA

 

“A Man of His Word”

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me,” so the saying goes. But that’s not always true is it? Words are powerful. Words make things happen. Words often carry authority. The word of a judge can sentence you to jail. The words of a commanding officer issue orders that are to be followed.

 

When someone in authority speaks, those words carry that authority. When someone who has power speaks, those words carry power. So when Jesus who is the Word speaks the Word, His words come with all the power and authority of God Himself. And that’s the point of today’s Scripture readings. Jesus’ words are powerful. Jesus’ word makes things happen. Jesus’ word carries the greatest authority of all, that of his life, death, and resurrection.

 

Today’s Gospel reading picks up right where we left off last week. The Word Jesus read and proclaimed from Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth, he now performs in the town of Capernaum.

 

Like a good Netflix miniseries, Luke reveals the power and authority of Jesus’ words in three episodes. And like a good binge-worthy TV show, it’s better to see these three episodes together as one unit, all with Jesus’ powerful, authoritative word at the center.

 

Jesus teaches God’s Word and casts out a demon in the synagogue by his Word. Jesus rebukes the demon and the people proclaim, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!”

 

Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law of her fever. Jesus rebukes her illness by his Word, and in response to Jesus’ healing Word she serves.

 

Again, Jesus healed many other sick; he cast out and rebuked the demons – all by his Word.

 

Holy Scripture begins with God speaking His Word. In the beginning was the Word. Creation is six days of God speaking. And God said…and it is so. The Word says what it does. “Let there be light,” and there’s light. God does by speaking. He doesn’t pick things up with His hands. He doesn’t use tools. He speaks, and His Word, with all the power and authority of God, does what He says. What God says happens.

 

Not so with our words. When we yell at the TV during a hockey or football game, the ref doesn’t change his call cause he heard us. When we say “be clean” to our messy desks or children’s rooms they aren’t instantly picked up. When we demand our bodies to heal and get over a cold or illness, they don’t heed our word.

 

But this isn’t the only thing our words fail to do. Our words fail to show love to our family, friends, and neighbors. Our words fail to share the Gospel with others. Our words fail to thank and praise God for all he does for us in His Word. Our words fail to heal, forgive, and withstand temptation. Our words reveal our sin.

 

Not so with Jesus’ Word. Jesus’ Word comes to undo the brokenness of our fallen world. In the synagogue in Capernaum, Jesus cast out the demon with his Word. The same Word he used to cast out the devil at your Baptism, and to destroy the devil by the great exorcism of the cross. Jesus’ words reveal and give life.

 

In Capernaum, Jesus rebuked Peter’s mother-in-law’s fever by His Word. The same Word that promises you there is nothing that can separate you from his love – not sin, disease, or death. For Jesus’ love is patient and kind; Jesus love bears all things for you as surely as he bore our sin on the cross.

 

In Capernaum, Jesus healed the sick and cast out many unclean spirits by his powerful, authoritative Word. The same Word that comes with the power of his life, death, and resurrection to heal, forgive, and save you in simple, yet powerful words that do what Jesus says: I forgive you all your sins.

 

It’s true. Our words fail. Thankfully, and graciously, God’s Word to us in Jesus never fails.

 

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

 

This is why Jesus went to Capernaum. To proclaim that He whose powerful Word heals disease and rebukes and casts out the devil, is same One who will keep and fulfill every one of God’s Words by going to cross for you. And there declaring another word for you. A word that destroys the devil, cancels our sin, and heals our brokenness. “It is finished.”

 

That’s why Jesus had to leave Capernaum. “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 

 

By His Word, Jesus promised to go to Jerusalem to suffer, die, and rise again for you. And he did, just as he said.

 

By His Word, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to speak continually to you of His death and resurrection, and he did just as he said.

 

By His Word, Jesus promised to be with you always, and he is, just as he said.

 

By His Word, Jesus promises to wash your sins away in Baptism, forgive you in the absolution, and feed you in His supper. And he does. Just as he said he would.

 

By his Word, we speak not with the clang and clamor of gongs and symbols, but with his Word of love that sets us free to love others.

 

Today, the Word of the Lord comes to us here in Milton as He did to Jeremiah and Capernaum. To dwell with us, and to abide with us in His Word. To declare His life-giving, powerful, does-what-it-says, Good News Word to us.

 

Today, as in Capernaum, Jesus, the Word made flesh comes to you. The same Word that silenced demons, that raised old ladies from their sickbed, comes to you. “I forgive you all of your sins.” “This is my Body given for you, my Blood shed for you. For the forgiveness of your sins.” All because Jesus says so. That same Word with the same power and authority comes to you to forgive you, heal you, restore you, raise you up from death to life. Jesus’ Word does what he says. The demons are silenced. Death has no sway. The Law cannot accuse you. You are forgiven. You are cleansed.

 

You have Jesus’ Word on it.

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
8:30am-12:30pm

By appointment only June and July

Contact

Address
2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
Phone
(253) 922-6977
Fax
(253) 922-6977