TDP: October 23;
Original Broadcast: Thursday; 2008-10-23;
'From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you." But [Jesus] turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man." (Matthew 16:21-23, ESV)
Peter can't seem to get it right. Jesus tells him that he will soon suffer and die at the hands of his enemies. Peter disagrees. "Not while I'm alive. I'll never let anything like that happen to you. If that's how all this ends, everything you've done will be for nothing. Jesus I won't let you mess it up by dying." Peter misses the point. He wants Jesus to be about something else. He is thinking about the glory. Jesus hits him with the reality of the cross. God's way isn't our way. When we are in the middle of trouble and suffering we think God has messed up. We don't think we should ever have to suffer. We think life should be all glory. Jesus hits us with the reality of the cross. Our suffering reminds us of our helplessness. When we are in trouble we are dependant. When we are dependant we see God for who he is. He saves us because we need to be saved. The cross of Jesus is God's way of saving us. Through the suffering and death of Jesus our sin is removed and we have a relationship with God.
Let us pray: O God, help me to see your ways in my suffering. Amen.
Devo ID: 14
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TDP: October 22;
Original Broadcast: Wednesday; 2008-10-22;
Other Broadcasts: Tuesday; 2009-08-11; Matthew 16:5-9; Thursday; 2009-10-22; Matthew 16:5-9; Friday; 2010-05-21; Matthew 16:5-9; Friday; 2010-10-22; Matthew 16:5-9; Thursday; 2011-10-20; Matthew 16:5-9; Thursday; 2012-05-24; Matthew 16:5-9; Monday; 2012-10-22; Matthew 16:5-9;
'When the disciples reached the other side [of the lake], they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, "Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, "We brought no bread." But Jesus, aware of this, said, "O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? (Matthew 16:5-9, ESV)
The disciples are talking about food. It's typical. Jesus has important things to say and we think about food. Sitting in church on Sunday morning our thoughts are drawn to what's in the oven at home. We wonder what we're going to have for "tailgating" in front of the big screen for the big game. The disciples had fallen into a trap of "little faith." Jesus provides food for thousands and they are worried about lunch. Jesus shows us all we need to know. Jesus feeds us with his word. There he tells us of our greatest need, the forgiveness of our sin. There he tells us of God's solution to our problem, His perfect life, and sacrificial death on the cross. Because of Jesus we have forgiveness. God will take care of all our other needs too.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, think on me, By anxious thoughts oppressed; Let me Your loving servant be And taste your promised rest. Amen. (Lutheran Service Book, 610, Text: Public Domain)
Devo ID: 13
TDP: October 21;
Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2008-10-21;
'And Jesus ... went to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon." But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." And he answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly. (Matthew 15:21-28, ESV)
Jesus calls this woman a little dog. She comes to him seeking help and this is what he says. She won't take no for an answer. "Help me, Jesus! You are the only one who can." Jesus answers. "It's not right to give the children's food to little dogs under the table." "Yes, Lord," she answers, "but God is so gracious even the leftovers will be enough for me. Even little dogs get leftovers." The woman shows a very humble faith. She deserves nothing at all from God. She knows he is gracious. Her faith is great because she knows where to go for what she needs. We go to our gracious God in times of need, too. We ask for help when we are in trouble and when we are sick, and when we need forgiveness of our sin. When sin troubles us we go to Jesus. His love overflows to us. He gives us more than leftovers. Jesus death and resurrection provides more than enough forgiveness for us.
Let us pray: God of grace you provide us all that we need, thank you for your forgiveness in Jesus. Amen.
Devo ID: 12
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TDP: October 20;
Original Broadcast: Monday; 2008-10-20;
Matthew 15:1-2, 16-20;
'Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat." [Jesus said,] Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone." (Matthew 15:1-2, 16-20, ESV)
The Pharisees thought that you had to be clean on the outside to be clean in your heart. If you did certain things, like washing your hands on the outside before eating, you could remove your sin on the inside. Jesus makes it very clear that sin can't be dealt with in that way. Food goes into your mouth and stomach and then out of your body. It does nothing for you spiritually. You can't change your heart by washing on the outside. Jesus condemns us all with his list of sins. What a person really is, in his heart, affects what he does and says. Like the Pharisees we try to make ourselves clean by changing our behavior, but that doesn't change the heart. Only God can change the heart. He does it with forgiveness. Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins of the heart. He offers that forgiveness freely to you without you changing anything on the outside. God's forgiveness washes you clean from the inside out.
Let us pray: Dearest Jesus, thank you for washing me clean on the inside. Amen.
Devo ID: 11
TDP: June 11;
Original Broadcast: Thursday; 2009-06-11;
'Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, Where I am going you cannot come. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:33-35, ESV)
A commandment to love? Doesn't that kinda take the 'love' out of it? Bobby love your sister, don't tease her. Suzy love your brother, don't pester him. Actually, we don't usually doubt that brothers and sisters love each other. What we want is for them to act out their love toward each other. We want people to see them and 'know' that they are family. Jesus wants the same thing. He commands us to love one another. He wants the world to see that we are a family. He wants the world to see His love acted out toward each other. What kind of love is this? Jesus gave his life for us. He shed his blood on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. The best, and hardest way, to show Jesus love is in three simple words. "I forgive you."
Let us pray: Jesus, forgive my sin, so that I can forgive others. Amen.
Devo ID: 152
TDP: June 10;
Original Broadcast: Wednesday; 2009-06-10;
'[Jesus] poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?" Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand." Peter said to him, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me." (John 13:5-8, ESV)
Jesus was always giving the disciples examples to follow. He did the lowliest job there was. Dirty feet need washing. Peter doesn't want Jesus to do it. He doesn't want Jesus to stoop down to that level. He proves he doesn't understand Jesus. That's what Our Savior is always doing. In Jesus, God stoops down to serve sinful people. Sinful people need washing. People dirty with sin can't have any part with God. So Jesus cleans us with his holy and precious blood and innocent suffering and death. On the cross Jesus sheds his blood for the sins of the whole world. Holy Baptism is our washing in Jesus blood and death. We now have a share with God because of Jesus. So we do what Jesus did. We serve others.
Let us pray: Dearest Jesus, you washed me clean from sin, help me to serve my neighbor. Amen.
Devo ID: 151
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TDP: June 9;
Original Broadcast: Tuesday; 2009-06-09;
'And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. (John 12:44-46, ESV)
Jesus shows us God. He is not a God who is far away, but a God who is near. He heals, and loves, and teaches, and touches, and laughs, and cries. Jesus is God. When we face trouble, we have a God who faced trouble. When we are in pain, we have a God who suffered wounds in his hands, and feet and side. When we a full of sorrow, we have a God who wept at the death of his friends. When we face death, we have a God who himself died and rose again. Jesus shows us God. He loves us and gave himself up to death in our place. This is all we need to know when we want to know about God.
Let us pray: Thee will I love, my crown of gladness; Thee will I love, my God and Lord, Amid the darkest depths of sadness, And not for hope of high reward, For Thine own sake, O Light divine, So long as life is mine. (LSB 694:5) Amen.
Devo ID: 150
TDP: June 8;
Original Broadcast: Monday; 2009-06-08;
'Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:20-24, ESV)
Oh that God's people would ask of their pastors what these Greeks asked of the Disciples. "We wish to see Jesus!" All too often today in Christian churches we find everything but Jesus. "Fifteen ways to improve your marriage." "Bible Secrets to improve your love life." "Finances the Bible Way" While these kind of topics might be useful, Jesus didn't die on the cross to help you balance your checkbook. Jesus died on the cross to save you from sin, death and Satan. He suffered God's anger over human sin to give you eternal life. Jesus tells us what to look for. "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." Jesus is talking himself. He dies on the cross for your sin. God declares that you are righteous. Tell your pastors to preach Jesus!
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, guide and guard all our pastors to preach Jesus Christ crucified. Amen.
Devo ID: 149
TDP: October 17;
Original Broadcast: Friday; 2008-10-17;
'"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:44-46, ESV)
There is something odd about these stories. That's one of the problems with listening to Jesus' parables. We try to make ourselves into the hero. It's only natural for us because in our sinful nature we want to be the center of the universe. We hear about the treasure and pearl and we are sure Jesus is telling us how much we should be willing to give up to get it. We think forgiveness is the treasure and we have to do our part to get it. That's what's odd about the parable. No merchant or worker would do what these guys do. Notice it doesn't say they give up the business holdings, but instead it says they give up everything. It's impossible for them. It's impossible for us to do enough to earn what Jesus won for us on the cross. He gives it to us freely as a gift. We are forgiven our sins freely by Jesus willing suffering and death on the cross. The truth is Jesus' parables make much more sense if we make Jesus the hero, and put him at the center. He's the guy who gives up everything to have the treasure. He gives his holy and precious blood, and his innocent suffering and death. So what is the treasure? What is the thing God, himself, in Jesus gives all that he has to get? It's you.
Let us pray: In perfect love he dies; For me He dies, for me. O all atoning sacrifice, I cling in faith to thee. Amen.
Devo ID: 10
TDP: October 16;
Original Broadcast: Thursday; 2008-10-16;
'[Jesus] put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches." (Matthew 13:31-32, ESV)
Place a mustard seed in your hand and you might loose it. It is very small. A dozen are hardly worth noticing. Plant it in the ground and it becomes something very noticeable. Some varieties grow up to ten feet tall, and birds really do use them for shelter. It is amazing that something so insignificant becomes something so large. Jesus tells this parable to show us that things aren't always the way they seem. The tiny seed grows to a large plant. The kingdom of heaven starts small too. We should understand that when Jesus says "the Kingdom of Heaven" he's usually talking about his work of saving the world. The kingdom isn't as it seems. Jesus begins small; a tiny baby born in a backwoods town of no account. A dozen babies born there would hardly be worth noticing. In fact, most of Jesus life is unknown to us. Not until "suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried" do we begin to see the kingdom grow. That's Jesus' work. His life, lived perfectly, his death and burial in the ground, and his resurrection are the Kingdom of Heaven come to us. His work brings us the forgiveness of sin. It is that work that brings us forgiveness of sin. And through forgiveness we are brought into the kingdom. No one would ever think it to hold that tiny baby in their hands.
Let us pray: Jesus, Our Savior and King, thank you for bringing your Kingdom to us. Amen.
Devo ID: 9