The apostle Paul boasts in the cross of Christ and in his own weaknesses, knowing that God’s grace is sufficient and that the power of Christ “is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:8–9).
HYMNS FOR THE WEEK
- Opening Hymn | “God Bless Our Native Land” (LSB 965)
- Hymn of the Day |“O Christ, Our True and Only Light” (LSB 839)
- Closing Hymn | “Before You, Lord, We Bow” (LSB 966)
- Communion Distribution Hymns
of APOSTLES’ Tide
The Ministers of Christ Are Sent with His Authority to Forgive Sins and Give Life.
The prophet Ezekiel was raised up by the Spirit of the Lord and sent to speak an unpopular Word to the rebellious house of Israel. As a prophet, he was not to speak his own word, but to preach the Law and the Gospel: “Thus says the Lord God,” whether the people “hear or refuse to hear” (Ezek. 2:4–5). So, too, in the footsteps of the prophets before Him, the Lord Jesus “went about among the villages teaching” (Mark 6:6). In His hometown, as elsewhere, “many who heard him were astonished,” marveling at His wisdom and at the “mighty works done by his hands,” and yet “they took offense at him” (Mark 6:2–3). The offense culminates in His cross, which is, ironically, the heart and center of His “authority over the unclean spirits” (Mark 6:7). It is by that authority of His cross that those He sends preach repentance, “cast out many demons” and heal the sick (Mark 6:12–13). Thus, the apostle Paul boasts in the cross of Christ and in his own weaknesses, knowing that God’s grace is sufficient and that the power of Christ “is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:8–9).
In today’s Gospel, Jesus “came to His hometown… and on the Sabbath He began to teach in the synagogue.” Jesus came bodily into that place where the people of Nazareth gathered each week to hear the Word of the Lord, both read aloud and preached in their midst.
There does not seem to be much Gospel in today’s Gospel. That is to say, there does not seem to be much good news about the forgiveness of sins and eternal life that we have been given through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Yet while today’s Gospel seems somewhat absent of Gospel, there is plenty of clear warning and threat of judgment:
First, there is the familiarity and contempt of the people of Nazareth, which God gives to us as an example and a warning. Second, there is a warning that a personal relationship with Jesus will do you very little good. Third, the preaching of Jesus’ Words today, and administration of Jesus’ miraculous sacraments today remain as vitally important for us today as it was for the people of Nazareth in this Gospel.
So, where’s the Gospel?