Jun16

God Knows You

Categories // Sermons

Holy Trinity Sunday

God Knows You

Grace, Mercy and Peace from God our Father and His Only Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

In the vice-presidential debate held on October 5, 1988, at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska, Senator Lloyd Bentsen gave an historic response to Senator Dan Quayle. During the televised debate, Senator Quayle compared himself to John F. Kennedy with the following remark:

“I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency. I will be prepared to deal with the people in the Bush administration, if that unfortunate event would ever occur.”

Bentsen replied:

“Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.”

“That was really uncalled for, Senator.” said Quayle

Bentsen said, “You are the one that was making the comparison, Senator—and I'm one who knew him well. And frankly I think you are so far apart in the objectives you choose for your country that I did not think the comparison was well-taken.”[1]

        St. John writes in the 8th chapter of his gospel about another debate taking place in front of a crowd gathered at the temple. Jesus had returned from the Mount of Olives that morning to teach in the courtyard of the temple.

        Some of the Jews believed in Jesus’ words while others did not. The opposition began debating his claim to be the Son of God. The Scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been accused of adultery before him and asked how he would judge the woman according the Law of Moses.

 “This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” [John 8:6-7]

The opposition didn’t like this answer so they left to find another way to trap him.

      Jesus continued to teach. He told those who would listen,

“…If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

[John 8:31-33]

Jesus answers them:

“I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” [John 8:37-38]      

Jesus then explains to them that their father is not God nor is it Abraham because if that were true, then they would hear his words and believe. He even says directly to them that their father is actually the devil, the Father of Lies.

      Their response is an attack designed to discredit Jesus as God, as a prophet and even as one born from the lineage of Abraham. “You have a demon!” they say, “And you’re a Samaritan!”

      Jesus then tells them anyone who keeps his word will never see death. The Pharisees are beside themselves when they hear this. Everyone knows that Abraham and the prophets all died. How could anyone dare to say in believing his word they will never taste death? Who does this man think he is?

Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 

So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”  [John 8:54-58]

Jesus is saying, “I know God because I am God. I also knew Abraham. Abraham was a friend of mine. You sir, are no son of Abraham.”

      Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ gave us this teaching while he was here on God’s good earth. In John 14 verse 9, he tells Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” [John 14:9] In John 8 verse 18 Jesus says, “I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.” [John 8:18] Again, in John 10 verse 30, Christ tells us, “I and My Father are one.” [John 10:30]

      I repeat these words of our Lord to emphasize that it is not the words of man, which define our faith, but the words of God. Through the Holy Spirit we have been given the Scriptures to enlighten and teach ourselves and our neighbors of the infinite majesty, power and truth of the Triune God. The apostle John tells us, “…there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. [1 John 5:7]

      We become members of the body of Christ and therefore heirs to the kingdom of heaven through the Holy Spirit. Just as Christ was with the Father before all worlds, so we also were known by the Father before our existence. As is written in the book of Proverbs, “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.” [Proverbs 8:22]

      Our faith comes from above through our baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Father, who created us, sent His Son to free us from the grasp of sin, death and the devil. From this saving work of the Son, we now become one in the body of Christ. The apostle Paul tells us, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”

[1 Cor 12:27]

      What does this mean for us? The Holy Spirit, our guide and counselor, has come into our hearts to show us what is righteous and of God.

      We are now the messengers and proclaimers of the Word of the one true God to all people. We have been equipped for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, until we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God. [Eph 4:12, 13a]

      Although it is true, that it is the work of God and not our work that redeems our fellow man, we cannot call ourselves members of the body of Christ without following the commands of our Lord and Savior. We do not only deny our God by keeping silent, but we also hurt ourselves.

      This is clearly spoken by Jesus Christ to the Jews who wished to trap him in their own twisted logic, by claiming he was demon possessed, but their snare only tripped them in their accusations. “I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” [John 8:51] Jesus tells them, and then he makes it clear of who he is by saying:

“My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.

[John 8:54b, 55]

      Through your baptism God knows you! Through your baptism the Holy Spirit now dwells within you! God knows you and you know God. No one can call you a liar when you keep his word and those who keep his word will never taste death. [John 8:51]

      We glorify God through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit now dwells in us and he speaks for us.” We will speak the truth. We will speak of what we know, and we will testify to what we have heard. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” [John 3:17]

      Light has come into the world and whoever lives by the truth comes into the light …so that it may be seen plainly that what Christ has done has been done through God. [John 3:19a, 21b] Jesus Christ has been exalted at the right hand of the Father and has poured out His Holy Spirit so that you may see and hear. [Acts 2:33]

      Therefore let all people and all nations know that God has made this Jesus both Lord and Christ.

Amen.

 


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senator,_you%27re_no_Jack_Kennedy downloaded 13JUNE2019

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