Trinity 12: He Has Done All Things Well

Lessons: Isaiah 29:17-24, Romans 10:9-17, Mark 7:31-37
Hymns: LSB 545, 820, 602, 708, 895

Listen to the entire service here (the sermon alone is above).

      Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

      Floating around are many false views about Jesus. This should be no surprise since Satan knows he needs to attack the heart of the Christian faith. If he wants to destroy saving faith, he needs to conjure up false views of Jesus so that people do not believe in the true Jesus.

      But did you know there are some false statements about Jesus written that are in the Bible? That’s right. There are some false statements in the Bible about Jesus. Now, you may be thinking, “Either pastor is telling lies, or he has suddenly embraced higher criticism.” But neither is the case.

      You see, there are some occasions when people said things about Jesus that simply weren’t true. For example, in Mark 2:1-12, Jesus healed the paralytic. Before doing so, He declared, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” The scribes responded by saying, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Obviously, Jesus was not speaking blasphemies, for God has given the authority to forgive sins to men.

      In Mark 3, Jesus appointed the Twelve Apostles. Then St. Mark reports, “[Jesus] went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of his mind’” (Mark 3:20-21). Stunning that His own family would say Jesus is out of His mind! And in the very next verse, it is written, “The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebul,’ and ‘by the prince of demons he casts out the demons’” (Mark 3:22). Obviously, these statements weren’t true either.

      There are many cases like this. The people thought they understood something of Jesus and believed it to be true—even though it wasn’t true at all. If people held false beliefs about Jesus then, it should be no surprise that people hold false beliefs today.

      But if you look at today’s Gospel, the people witnessed Jesus perform this most amazing miracle and they respond correctly: “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak” (Mark 7:37).

      Sadly, many in Jesus’ day and many in our day would dispute their observation. They would challenge them and say, “Has Jesus really done all things well?” Some would even go so far to question if Jesus really did perform this miracle. If you read the Thomas Jefferson Bible, every miracle of Jesus is removed. Higher critics in our own Synod back in the 1970s were trying to convince our own churches that the miracles recorded in the Scriptures did not happen. They asserted this because miracles didn’t fit with science or reason—or so they thought.

      But God is no liar, for it is written, “God is not man, that he should lie” (Numbers 23:19). The things that are written in the Scriptures are true. God certainly has done all things well. He certainly has made the deaf hear and the mute speak. Above all, He has redeemed us sinners.

      Yet others would challenge this statement in another way. Some would say, “Has Jesus really done all things well? Why, then, is there suffering? Why did my loved one die? Why is there sin? Why do some endure hard times? Why are Christians persecuted? Why are there wars? Why are their natural disasters?” The list of why questions can go on forever.

      Many get angry with God because they feel that if God really loves them, they should escape all hard times. Others feel that God should make sin and suffering go away. They then blame God for sin and suffering. After blaming God, they then hold God accountable for sin and suffering. When they hold God accountable for sin and suffering, then they cannot say with those who witnessed Jesus’ miracle, “He has done all things well.”

      The question needs to be brought up: who brought sin into the world? As we heard last week, it was not God, but Adam and Eve. They ruined God’s perfect creation with sin. And with sin comes suffering and death. For the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).

      God cannot be held accountable for sin and suffering. That is something we brought upon ourselves. We cannot blame God for it. It is our own fault. We’re the sinners. Not God.

      It is sad to see that there are a lot of people out there angry with God. They are angry with God for a wide variety of reasons. Some blame God for the death of a loved one. Others blame God for the ailments they face. Others blame God for the ways people have sinned against them. Others are angry with God because they do not want His Law, nor do they desire to listen to it.

      But where does this anger and blaming get a person? Such attitudes close the door to the very Person who gives everlasting life. Rather than getting angry with Him and blaming Him, God calls us to Himself. He adopts us as His children. He gives us peace with the world cannot give. He reconciles us to our Father, taking sin away.

      Clearly, He does indeed do all things well. Not just some things or most things, but all things. He created a perfect world. It is mankind who wrecked the world. He created a perfect way of salvation. It is mankind who doesn’t like God’s plan of salvation. He sent His perfect Son to pay for our sins on the cross. It is mankind who doesn’t want to believe in Him. Jesus promises the gift of eternal salvation. It is mankind who doesn’t think eternal life is relevant to their lives today. God constantly showers us with His gifts. It is mankind who thinks something else could be better.

      Just think of how He has done all things well! Jesus spoke a word in today’s Gospel, and it was done. He simply said, “Be opened” and this man could suddenly hear, and he could speak plainly.

      This same powerful Word of Jesus is at work today.

      Consider your own Baptism. Those words seem to be ever so simple. But they are words of God in which God Himself is active and present. In the words of Baptism, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” the Triune God comes to us, delivers us Christ’s forgiveness, adds us to His family, opens heaven to us, joins us to the death and resurrection of Jesus, kills our sinful nature, and brings us to life in Christ as God’s children. Clearly He does all things well.

      Jesus Himself instituted the Office of the pastoral ministry in which pastors are sent by God to forgive and retain sins. Ministers declare the absolution to repentant sinners and withhold forgiveness from the unrepentant as long as they do not repent. Pastors proclaim the Law and Gospel and apply each as needed. The goal of the work of pastors is to shepherd God’s people as one flock, united under the Word of God, so that sinners receive forgiveness for the salvation of their souls. Clearly Jesus does all things well!

      On the night when our Lord was betrayed, our Lord Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples. In the Upper Room, He established His last will and testament—the Sacrament of the Altar—for Christians to eat and to drink until the day our Lord returns. In the Lord’s Supper, we feast not only with those next to us at the communion rail, but we are united with our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world and in heaven. In the Lord’s Supper, we are given a foretaste of the feast to come in which we will commune with God forever. There is no closer way to be with Jesus or with those loved ones in heaven than when receiving Holy Communion. The Lord’s Supper is a gift in which our Lord gives us His Body and Blood under the bread and wine for us to eat and to drink. In this, Jesus is delivering to us the forgiveness of sins which He earned for us on the cross. Clearly He does all things well.

      The list goes on and on. He gave us the perfect prayer—the Lord’s Prayer—to pray. He promises to hear our prayers. Jesus gives us access to our heavenly Father. He sent His Spirit to guide us into the way of truth. He established for us the Sacred Scriptures in which we hear His words of Law and Gospel. We learn from Him what is truly pleasing to Him. We receive from Him all that we need to support our bodies and lives. He Shepherds us until we leave this world of sorrows and join Him in Paradise. He has done this all for us! Truly He does all things well.

      When we are about to close our eyes for the last time and breathe our last, His words of comfort and peace and still there. We may feel far from being a comfort or peace, but Jesus gives us the peace of God which surpasses all understanding. When our faith rests completely in Christ and in His promises, we truly do have peace with God. We are truly justified. We are truly forgiven.

      Jesus certainly does all things well!

      Because we’re sinners, we are very tempted to look at the negative things. We find ourselves complaining a lot. Every year something isn’t right in the fields—too hot, too cold; too wet, too dry. Every year God grants us a harvest. Every year God is with us. Every year God provides for our daily needs. God is continually at work in our lives. If He weren’t we wouldn’t even exist.

      God not only gives us our body and soul, eyes, ears and all our members, but He also takes care of them. He has taken our sins away on the cross. He has called us by the Gospel and enlightened us with His gifts. Clearly, God does all things well. And for that, we give Him thanks and gather to sing His praises. Amen.        

     The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus to life everlasting. Amen