Collect for the Day
Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity
LORD, we beseech thee, grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I have included the Collect Prayer for today because of its striking relevance in addressing the tepid and passionless spiritualism being taught in above 90% of America’s churches today. The preaching from America’s pulpits fill the ears of the worshippers with the false notion that God’s Law is no longer in force for the believer – that the Law of God was done away on the cross at Calvary. This antinomian nonsense could not be further from the truth! It was the PENALTY of the Law that was nailed to the cross for those who believe in truth and spirit. Does that mean that we, as children of the King, may freely go about disobeying the rules of our Father’s House. If you do not love the Law of God, you have no part with Him. The only reason that GRACE is so vital to our interests is because the LAW does remain. Grace is absolution for violating God’s LAW. We can only have hearts that are pure by honoring God with our best efforts at obedience and, knowing that when we fail, we have an Advocate with the Father – our Lord Jesus Christ! Grace, as the Collect tells us rightly, also emboldens us to obey the Lord our God. Parents who are too strict at enforcing their laws upon the children, without mercy, often raise rebellious children.
Matthew 22: 34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Many Bible scholars of our day promote these two Commandments as new commandments instituted by Christ, but they are not. Christ is simply quoting the Old Testament Commandments of Moses day:
Deut 6:5And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deut 10:12And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
Deut 13: 1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
Lev 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
Silences the Pharisees about the Messiah
Christ was always the master of every crisis and every challenge:
Matthew 22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. 22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
This is one reason they (the Jewish rulers) literally hated Christ. He interfered with their money greed …… selling in the Temple…house of prayer, but a place of thieves.
Who is my Neighbor ….good Samaritan….etc
Now Jesus will also present them with a dilemma they should already have known being Masters of the Pentateuch:
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
Psalm 110:11 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool
David also said: Ps 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Now these snails crawled away to plan how further they might have Him put to death.
Psalm 58: 7 Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces. 8 As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun. 9 Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. 10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. 11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.
Snails love darkness. They hate Light. They also hate salt.
Matthew 5: 13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
A common enemy always unites various sects and interests together against it.
Jesus was a common enemy to the superstitions and power struggles of the Times, just as He is a common enemy of the political and economic structures of our time.
Though politics and financial interests are not found in the same common bed in normal circumstances, they both ally themselves against the True Gospel of Christ.
Text books promote evolution. News outlets say we must respect the religious faith of Moslems, Buddhist, and Hindus, yet, with one voice, they press for condemnation of Christian Faith in our society.
Those who accept the biblical authority that condemns adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness, are considered smug and made to look ridiculous in movies and news specials.
Nothing has changed in the world’s contempt for Christ since He first ministered as a boy in the Temple at Jerusalem.
HERODIANS, Sadducees, Pharisees, who were constantly at war with each other, made temporary peace alliances with each other in order to destroy the Man, Jesus. He was both Man and God. Instinctively, these culprits recognized this from their study of ancient biblical texts, and the testimony of His works. Yet, they found Him contemptible to their world of power and money. They all hated Him alike.
They cunningly contrived questions to entangle Him in His speech and in His knowledge, however, they always lost.
The last of the three questions put to Jesus, and the one question with which He turned the tables and silenced His questioners, are our subject. In the former, Jesus declares the essence of the law or of religion; in the latter, He brings to light the essential loftiness of the Messiah.
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Our Love for God crowns our love nature. The underside of that love is love for our fellow man. The Pharisees remained ‘gathered together,’ and may have been preparing another question, but Jesus had been long enough interrogated. It was not fitting that He should be catechized only. His questions teach. He does not seek to ‘entangle’ the Pharisees ‘in their speech,’ nor to make them contradict themselves, but brings them full up against a difficulty, that they may open their eyes to the great truth which is its only solution. His first question, ‘What think ye of the Christ?’ is simply preparatory to the second. The answer which He anticipated was given, — as, of course, it would be, for the Davidic descent of the Messiah was a commonplace knowledge and universally accepted.
One can fancy that the Pharisees smiled complacently at the attempt to puzzle them with such an elementary question, but the smile vanished when the next one came.
What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
Why do teachers often ask questions?
If they ask a question, and you know not the answer, why does a teacher often ask you another question?
The reason is to provide a guided discussion to help you discover the answer which is already a part of your knowledge.
How are Snails like sinners? Both hate Salt and Light. They both love darkness, and eat from the labours of others.
Here is the new commandment Christ gave:
John 13: 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
These are important words and an identifying command to us.
He gave it the night He was taken in the Garden to be crucified. It is the only new commandment.
But it is not written on tables of stone, but on the soft sinews of our hearts.
Love will release us from condemnation:
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
Do not try to argue away your sins and wickedness as the Pharisees. It is easy to love when we have compassion. And when we feed love in our hearts, hate will die of starvation, and our sins will cease.
Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Do you love God and His Word? Do you agree to follow Christ in all things.
Be richly blessed now and forever!