The sermon for this morning is based upon Mark 1:29-39.
Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! AMEN! Our text for this morning’s sermon is taken from St. Mark’s Gospel account the first chapter.
He enters the House – Jesus Brings Salvation
Beloved in the Lord, having put the devil to flight by the authority of His Word our King advances from the Synagogue to the home of Simon Peter. He enters the House. Wherever He steps the kingdom marches on and the cobra is trampled. Wherever He speaks the Kingdom increases and Hell’s angels are cast out. Wherever He is there is our great advocate doing His mighty works as a servant; a suffering servant.
This morning He enters the house! It is a house not unlike our own, not unlike this one, for within these walls dwell souls in need of rescue, salvation, Jesus. So Jesus enters the house, but not everyone can greet Him. He enters the house, but one lay sick with a great fever. He enters the house and one is in dire need of His touch.
He enters the house and finds that His adversary has already been there. Sin, death, devil, all that assail us and our faith during this life, have laid siege to Peter’s mother-in-law. Where there was war going on in the Synagogue earlier that day, the battle has now shifted to the house, to the sick, to Peter’s Mother-in-law. But there is good News. Jesus enters the house and He brings with Him divine love and mercy. Through the touch of His hands and the Word of His mouth the heart of God reclaims His dear child from sin, death, and devil. Again the enemy is defeated! Again Jesus is victorious! Again His people rejoice and serve Him. For Jesus enters the house to save all who call on His Name.
Everyone is Looking for Healing – Setting our eyes on the Flesh
So, when evening had come everyone from the surrounding regions gathered to the house. Why? Because Jesus is there healing the sick. There’s no other reason to go to Peter’s house. It’s not that great of a place to be. It’s not fancy, there’s nothing special about the food. His big screen TV. doesn’t have cable and he lives with His mother-in-law! So why go to Peter’s house? It’s all because of Jesus. Everyone was looking for Jesus, looking for healing and deliverance! That was their concern. They were coming to Jesus, like you or I might go to a doctor. But, I dare say, few angels rejoiced that evening. For few actually repented and believed. You see, they were there to save their necks, not their souls. They were there to have Jesus touch them and quicken their limbs, but not their hearts.
The heart is a difficult thing for God to penetrate. Besides we’ve got more important things to worry about. The Kids school, our bleeding 401Ks, the economy, my job, not mention Cancer or Hospital bills, or mom and dad in the Nursing Homes, the list could go on and on. Anxiety about today, tomorrow, and even the years down the road cultivate doubt and even idolatry. For we’re all to ready to latch on to whomever promises to deliver our felt needs.
And so, our days grow colder as we withhold peace and forgiveness from one another. We begin to distance ourselves from that which God calls good, even from God Himself. Joy, contentment, and true happiness give way to despair and sorrow. And as the Psalmist says, “my sorrow is stirred up. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned. Then I spoke,” and so should we, “Lord make me to know my end and what is the measure of my days that I may know how frail I am.” (Psalm 39:2c-4). In other words, that we might know that sin, death, and devil have laid siege to our body, heart, and soul and we are in need of saving.
Peter’s mother-in-law and everyone who came to the house that evening were burning up with sin and sorrow that they might know how frail their life is, that they might know who alone can save them, that they might repent and believe the gospel. After all, that’s why Jesus entered the house. That’s why Jesus laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.
Even in Darkness Light Dawns – Jesus Heals & Touches
And under the cover of night, touch them He did. Every one of them! Not a single one was turned away! Not a single one was sent home with their illness, not a single one left the house void of His love. He touched every one of them, healed every one of them, quickened them, cleansed them, rebuked them, loved them. He’s the King and the King loves His people!
The King enters the house of His subjects, even yours and mine, even this one, in order to take upon Himself our infirmities. For “surely He has borne our griefs and carried or sorrows! But we esteemed Him stricken, smitten and afflicted by God. He was wounded for our transgressions and by His stripes we are healed.”
Jesus enters the house, enters this house, in order to take away your sin, your death, as well as the power and might of that wretched adversary of ours. He enters the house in order to forgive! And to forgive He must bear the wrath of our sins in His flesh! He’s the King, but He’s a servant King! He rules creation, but submits to death! He’s God, but assumes human nature! He’s royalty and worthy of honor, but humbles Himself and is subject to a cross! He came to His own but His own did not receive Him! He offers life but gives it only through His death! He loves you, even if you don’t love Him. For He is a faithful, suffering, servant whose heart is set upon your salvation, whose eyes are fixed upon you, whose hands are outstretched to save, whose feet march towards Calvary, whose back is striped with the wood of the cross, whose brow sweats blood, and whose Word reveals a tender heart!” And under the darkness of the cross dawns the day of Salvation! For under the darkness of Friday, touch us He did! For God has come no closer to humanity, than in the death of His Son for the salvation of the world, even for you, even today! Being lifted up He draws all men to His side! He draws them to His Cross!
Everyone is Looking for You – Setting our Eyes on Jesus
Therefore beloved, we Christians are called to fix our eyes upon Jesus and His cross. Yes! We should fix our eyes on Jesus. That’s what faith does. Faith looks for Jesus. But where is He? Where has He gone? Our text tells us that under the cover of night Jesus hides Himself from His disciples, from the crowds, even from you and me. He gets up early, while it was still dark in order to pray. And Simon Peter and those with him, searched for Him. And when they found Jesus they said, “Everyone is looking for you!” Why are they looking for Jesus? Why are you looking for Jesus? That’s what faith does. You have been touched by Christ in your baptism. That’s what God does! Now you look for Him, to see Him, to love Him, to adore Him, to follow Him wherever He may lead. But where? Where shall we find Him and adore Him?
Beloved, You find Him where He has promised to be for you. Though Risen and ascended, though filling the heavens and the earth with the majesty of His glory in His flesh, Jesus hides Himself where His Christians may find Him for their salvation. He is hidden in the Word of the Cross for it is the power of God unto Salvation! He is cloaked in the waters of baptism for He saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. And He is masked in, with, and under the bread and wine. These are where Jesus has promised to be for you! Upon these you set your hearts and in these you find the heart of God. “He who sees me, sees the Father”, says Jesus. By faith we find, we see, we bow, we worship, we adore, we cry out Kyrie Elesion, Lord have mercy, we sing Alleluia, we confess AMEN! This is most certainly true. This is by faith and by faith alone, for our hearts have been touched by the hand of God in the flesh!
He enters the Villages – Jesus Brings Salvation (is found) through Preaching
Having entered the House, Jesus now sets His sights on the villages. He has come to preach! He enters the house, He enters the village, He enters the synagogues, the church, even here in your midst to preach the Gospel of God. What does He find? He finds us poor sinners looking for Him. Are we looking for Him to save our bodies? Are we looking for Him to heal our flesh? Are we looking for Him to do some sort of miracle, put on a show? Or are we looking for Him where He has promised to be? Are we looking for the gifts He longs to give us; grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, eternal life? Are we here in this house that we might hear with our ears, see with our eyes, look upon with love, handle with our hands, taste with our tongues, that which was from the beginning, that which was with God in the beginning, is God, and became flesh to dwell among us? Beloved, are we here, gathered before the door of eternity to embrace the Savior of the World? Faith says Yes! For Jesus has entered this village, this house, our midst . . . for us, even for you . . . even for me as a servant, a suffering servant! AMEN!
The peace of God which surpasses all human understanding keep your heart and mind through faith in Christ Jesus. AMEN!
Pastor Tony Sikora
Hope Lutheran Church
De Witt, MI