Archive for February, 2009
The text for this lesson is Matthew 14:22–33.
- Jesus was gracious to Peter when he feared drowning. Jesus is gracious to us and is ready to catch us as we sink in sin and unbelief; His hand is always strong to save us.
The text for this lesson is Mark 4:35–41.
- Just as Jesus calmed the storm with His Word for the frightened disciples, so He calms and ends the storm of sin and its certain death by taking our sin on Himself and dying in our place so we may live eternally.
- Law: “God doesn’t care about us, our fears, our sufferings, our anything.” That’s what we think, all too often, when the storms of life hit. We feel God is giving us the cold shoulder, or, worse by far, wonder if He even exists. Fear suffocates faith, leading ultimately to despair and hopelessness.
- Gospel: God does care. In the vast cosmos, nothing is as much the object of His love as you. Though, when walking through this valley of sorrow (or being tossed about in a ferocious sea), it seems the Lord is heartless, He is anything but. He is with you. At the right time, He will provide peace through His Word, bring you out of the valley and storm, and calm your trembling heart.
The text for this lesson is Mark 9:2–10.
- The transfiguration of God’s Son, Jesus, exemplifies the transformation that God gives us. Through uniting us in Baptism with His death and resurrection, Jesus purified and transformed us from sin-filled children of Adam to Christ-filled children of God.
- Law: Though Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, when sin corrupted him, he “fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image” (Genesis 5:3, emphasis added). Sin-filled Adam sired a sin-filled son. And if we ask, “Mirror, mirror of the Law, who’s affected by this flaw?” it will point its reflective finger at us, to all the sin-filled sons and daughters of Adam. As we sing, “In Adam we have all been one, One huge rebellious man; We all have fled that evening voice That sought us as we ran” (LSB 569:1).
- Gospel: The Son of God became a man to make us sons of God. He restored us to the image and likeness of God. No, yet more! He restores and improves that image and likeness. His transfigured flesh, radiating the brilliance of divinity, links us bodily with God Himself as we are baptized into Him, purified, and transformed from the sin-filled children of Adam to the Christ-filled children of God.
The text for this lesson is Mark 5:1–24, 35–43.
- Just as Jesus by Word and touch raised the dead girl to life, so by His divine Word, Baptism, and Supper, He kills and buries death and raises us to life eternal.
- Law: “The wages of sin is death”—wages death pays faithfully and fatally (Romans 6:23). From the stillborn babe to the gray-haired grandma, death is no respecter of persons. It has its way with us all, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Thus, for the sinner, death is the ultimate defeat, the ultimate fear, the sad end to pre-hell days.
- Gospel: The glory of God is a living man. Death is the foe of God, man, and the God-man Jesus. He is not only life itself, He is a killer of death and the bestower of life. That life He gives via Hiw Word, the very Word that once crafted a living man from dust and will, one day, raise us from the dust, resurrected and re-created to live forever with Him.
The text for this lesson is Mark 2:1–12.
- The miracle of healing the paralyzed man confirmed that Jesus, the Son of Man, has authority on earth to forgive sins and deliver all believers from death and the power of the devil.
- Law: Sinners don’t know what they need; they know what they want. They want instant gratification, their fancy tickled, their wallet fat, and their health pristine. They keep last things first. They major in minors. That which contributes the most to their salvation, they value the least.
- Gospel: Christ knows what we need, and He bestows it without our even having to ask. Though we, like the paralytic, suppose we need healing more than forgiveness, He gives forgiveness first. He keeps first things first: forgiveness, life, and salvation for us.