The Fifth Sunday in Lent – Judica March 21, 2021
Text: Luke 12:20-33 CW – Series B 21:2250
Theme: I Want to See Jesus.
As a child my family and I watched a certain television show every week. We hardly ever missed it. Maybe some of you saw it too. I think it was reproduced in later years. It was a game show called “To Tell the Truth.” Here is how it went.
There was a mystery guest whom a panel of 4 celebrities was to identify. He sat with two other contestants who all claimed to be that mystery guest. The panel was to pick the real one from the 3. The host began the questioning by reading a statement about the mystery person. That person held an unusual job or did something very unique. The celebrities would proceed to “cross examine” the 3 contestants to figure out who was the true mystery guest. Two contestants tried to mislead the panel with their answers while the true mystery guest was sworn “to tell the truth.” After the celebrities voted their choice, the show’s host said to the contestants: “Will the real…please stand up!” All of the contestants pretended like they were going to stand, but in the end, only one remained standing – the true mystery person.
I can’t recall one contestant from that show. But one thing I do remember was a line that became a popular catch phrase calling for someone’s true identity: “Will the real…please, stand up!”
While considering today’s Epistle & Gospel lessons, that phrase came to mind. By no means do I say this in a blasphemous way: “Will the real Lord Jesus please stand up.” That phrase came to mind because there are two sides to the Lord Jesus that are shown and they seem contradictory. Which one is the Savior?
I Want to See Him correctly. I need to see Him as He truly is.
I. Troubled yet determined.
First go to the Epistle Lesson – it says, “In the days of His flesh, (Jesus) offered prayers and pleas with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death” (Heb.5:7). When did Jesus cry out loudly in prayer?
There were probably several occasions because He constantly went to His heavenly Father in prayer, pleading for His help. But I especially think of the time, just two days after this story, when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, fell on His face and prayed: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me – take it away!” (Mt.26:39;Mk.14:36). Three times He prayed like that in such agony that He sweat great drops of blood. That’s an intense plea driven by a deep desire to avoid something horrible that lay ahead – His suffering and death on the cross.
The Gospel Lesson also portrays a time of concern for Him just days before His death. He cries out, “Now my heart is troubled. And what shall I say?” What do you hear? What do you see? I see a troubled Lord Jesus.
But then I see Him in another way. The Epistle said, “He learned obedience from the things He suffered. And after He was brought to His goal, He became the source of eternal salvation for everyone who obeys Him” (Hb.5:8f). And Jesus adds in the Gospel, “What shall I say: ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No! This is the reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name….(For) I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (Jn.12:27,32). What do you hear? What do you see? I see a troubled Lord Jesus? Yes. But more than that a determined Lord Jesus, determined to see this horrible thing through so that He could save us eternally by what He did. Nothing would stop Him
On the one hand Christ pleaded for help with tears; on the other, Christ gave help without fears. On the one hand He was troubled and sought to shun; on the other, He was determined to get it done. So, who is He? Which is the Savior? Will the real Lord Jesus please, stand up! I Want to See Him. I need to see Him.
Troubled or determined? It’s both! You see the Lord Jesus in two ways.
The Bible presents Him as the One who asked for help, and it presents Him as the One who gives help. He was troubled by the cross that lay ahead. At the same time He was determined to die on that cross tthrow out the ruler of this world, as Jesus called him, the devil, from His damning influence on our lives (v.31).
That’s what Jesus wants me to see in Him – a Savior troubled yet determined. Why does He want me to see that in Him?
Because, first of all, it assures me that I have a Savior who did all that He could for me, and He did it out of His great love. It doesn’t matter who I am, what I’ve done, or how I see myself. The fact is that Christ gladly and willingly was determined to be lifted up on the cross to die for sin. Then, like a mighty magnet, He could draw us back to God. He did it. That’s my assurance and comfort.
Secondly, I see that He can identify with me when I have problems and think that nobody understands or even that God doesn’t care. Then I should remember that the Lord Jesus also asked for help when He was in need. He understands the pain. Like the Bible says (Heb.4:15f). “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin. So let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
There is something about the majestic holiness of God which would make Him appear remote and unapproachable to us were it not for the sufferings of Christ. Without them the seeming aloofness of God towards us would crush us. But in His troubles we see Him bring Himself to our level, a man in agony, putting His greatness as God aside that He might become the lowly One. In His determination the all-sufficient Savior can help us in every time of need. Nothing would do but the cross with all its shame and suffering. It made Him fully one of us, so that thereby He could make us fully one with Him.
Who is the real Lord Jesus? I get to see Him as the One suffers with us and the One who suffered for us to deliver us from all evil. See Him troubled yet determined to do it.
II. Fallen yet glorified.
But how do I know for sure that what He did helps me? Just because He was troubled and determined to do something doesn’t mean it helps me. Lots of people have been troubled and determined to do something, but it doesn’t mean that what they did actually accomplished anything. That’s what I want to see with Jesus. I need assurance that what He does helps me. And God grants us that assurance.
So it was that while He was praying to the Father to glorify Him through that which was going to happen, the Father thundered an answer back. In a sound, maybe a voice heard but not understood, He replied, “I have glorified my name, and will glorify it again.”
Now there’s a sure sign, right from heaven, proof that you can rely on. The voice of God the Father affirmed everything Jesus said and did. This voice wasn’t for Jesus’ sake; it was for everyone else’s, including ours, to show that God governed all the upcoming events from above. He gave His verbal assent to it all. He would plant the “seed,” Jesus, His Son, into the ground in His death. But that was not the end of the “seed.” Christ was raised to life again giving “birth” to many others who would see in Him their Savior.
Do you think the Greeks saw Him that way, as their Savior? I don’t know. Nothing else is said about them here. But just a few days later everyone in Jerusalem saw Jesus hanging on a cross. My, how that must have confused them at first! But they were in Jerusalem for the duration of the Passover festival and that was not completed until Jesus had risen from the grave on Easter. They got to see and hear that, too. And through it all God was lifted up in glorify for sending His Son, the Savior.
I hope that’s what the Greeks eventually got to see. More than they first requested, they got to see a Savior fallen yet glorified by God. Assurance beyond any shadow of a doubt that it was all true.
Will the real Savior please, stand up! Here He is dear friends. I want to see Him, don’t you? I thrill to see Him like this for my comfort and assurance. In His love troubled yet determined, fallen yet glorified forever. God grant it to us all in faith for Jesus’ sake.
Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield
(A member congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)
4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)
Church phone: 417.887.0886 Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244
www.zionluthchurch.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fifth Sunday in Lent – Judica (“Judge me, O God”) March 21, 2021
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32
F o r O u r V i s i t o r s
The family of Zion welcomes you as we worship the Lord today. We encourage children to worship with us. However, if you need to leave with your child, there is a nursery room to the right as you exit the sanctuary. The rest rooms are located in the hallway between the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. Visitors, please sign our guest book to the right, just outside the sanctuary. We’re glad that you are here and pray that through our worship the Lord grants you peace.
U p o n E n t e r i n g G o d’ s H o u s e
“Judge me justly, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation. Rescue me from the deceitful, wicked man. I know You are God, my Stronghold. Send out Your light and Your truth. Let them guide me.” (Psalm 43)
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
The Hour Has Come. On previous occasions Jesus had said, “My hour has not yet come.” But with the Passover and the time of His passion staring Him right in the face, Jesus said, “The hour has come.”
Within the next few days He would set His face towards the judgment that awaited Him in Jerusalem. He was determined to pursue it so that the new covenant which God had promised His people could be fulfilled. God would be glorified and He would draw believers to Him.
The hour has come sounds so ominous. But in truth we are glad to see it happen for in it we find our salvation.
To that end we pray: Eternal God and Father, help us to see Jesus, who obeyed Your will and bore the cross for our salvation that through His anguish, pain, and death we may receive forgiveness of sins and inherit eternal life; for His name’s sake. Amen.
– T h e W o r d o f G o d f o r T o d a y –
The Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 31:31-34
The Lord promises to make a new covenant with His people because they broke the old one. It would be one-sided in which He graciously promised to redeem and set apart a holy people. When that time came, they would know Him fully from the least of them to the greatest.
The Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 5:7-9
During His life on earth and especially in His Passion, Jesus prayed to the Father for help. His prayer was heard, but it did not change what had to be done for sinners. An hour of death must come. In submission to His Father’s will, Jesus rendered full payment for all our sins.
The Gospel Lesson: John 12:20-33
Jesus’ hour had come. His suffering and death for sin lay right ahead of Him. Through it salvation would be won and God would be glorified. Before it happened some Greeks wanted to see Him. It raised His sights to see all who would be drawn to Him when He was raised on the cross.
O u r P r a c t i c e o f H o l y C o m m u n i o n
Out of deep love for the truth of God’s Word and precious souls, we follow the practice of Close Communion in our congregation. This has been the practice of Christians for centuries and reflects the Bible’s teaching on unity of faith in the reception of the Supper (1 Cor.10:17). It does not judge a person’s heart but anticipates agreement in that which God says. Since we do not wish to put anyone in the position of declaring such agreement with us before study in the Word is possible, we ask that only those who are communicant members of this or another Wisconsin Synod or ELS congregation come to receive the Sacrament.
The Organist: Jane Rips
The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Point to Ponder: “The cross…there hangs the Son of God with outstretched arms in order to testify that He rejects no one but wants to accept everyone and draw all unto Himself. There He lets Himself be seen as the true, eternal High Priest who comes to the accursed wood and turns it into a blessed altar for Himself so that we are freed from sins, obtain God’s grace, and become His children.”
— Martin Luther on What the Cross Means
Outline of Our Worship
Opening Hymn: #106
Order of Worship: Service of Word and Sacrament Hymnal page 26
The Ministry of the Word
Hymn Response: #104
The Gospel Response: pg.30
Sermon Hymn: #347
Sermon: John 121:20-33 I Want to See Jesus
Our Response to the Word
The Nicene Creed: page 31
Prayer & Lord’s Prayer: Hymnal page 32
Lord, Bless Us
Order of Holy Communion: Hymnal pages 33-35
(Visitors: Please read box inside about the practice of Holy Communion)
Thanksgiving & Blessing: Hymnal pages 36-37
The Closing Hymn: #387
C a l e n d a r & A n n o u n c e m e n t s f o r Z i o n L u t h e r a n C h u r c h
Divine Worship Service
with Holy Communion on line – Facebook
Fellowship & Brief Bible Study
Lent 5: Judica
|11 am Midweek Bible Class
4:30 pm Confirmation
5:45 pm Lenten Supper
Lenten Service 6:
What Wondrous Love…
at the Tomb
Divine Worship Service
on line – Facebook
Fellowship & Brief
Lent 6: Palm Sunday
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
Before Jesus, believers regularly offered sacrifices for sin. Only the High Priest went before God with the blood and prayers of the people. These sacrifices went on for the entire life of Old Testament believers as a vivid reminder that God would send a Savior to be sacrificed on behalf of all people. Jesus sacrificed Himself, bringing a new covenant of life that lasts forever.
The Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 31:31-34 (answers are found on the back side)
- What was the old covenant that the LORD had made with Israel when He took them out of Egypt?
- What would be the new covenant that the LORD would make?
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Dea Windsor; Clyde Johnson; Dave Ballou; Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; Bill Buchanan; Norine Richardson; Barbara Long; Jodi Milam; Laurie Moon’s husband. William; Pastor Jim Witt, St. Louis; Lois Wiese; the Domeier & Parten families from NE; Patsy Mickelson, Jane Rip’s mother, in rehab suffering injuries from a fall; the family of Sharon Johnson whom the Lord took to Himself last Sunday.
Midweek Lenten Suppers and Services The theme for our Lenten observance this year is What Shall I Do with Jesus? Follow Him in His Wondrous Love…. this week….to the Tomb. Our midweek services at Zion are held on Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm with a soup supper beforehand. The suppers and services at Peace in Marshfield are held Wednesday evenings at 6 and 7 pm respectively. We hope you can join us at one or the other.
Copies of the Daily Devotions written by pastor this past week will be found in the narthex.
To Mask or Not to Mask To our knowledge the Springfield/Greene County Health Dept.’s mask and distancing requirements are still in effect till April. You will find masks, disposable gloves, and sanitizer in the narthex and the fellowship hall for your use. Please, continue to watch your physical distancing, side to side and front to back. We are not passing the offering plate during the service at this time, but you will find it at the door upon leaving the sanctuary.
6th Midweek Lenten Supper & Service at Zion – Thursday, March 25 – 5:45 & 6:30 pm
The Week in Review
Last Sunday’s Worship Attendance: 16; Sunday Bible Class: 8; Midweek Bible Class: 6; Offering: $785. Midweek Lenten Service 5: Worship 11; Offering: $210.
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
Sixth Sunday in Lent: Zechariah 9:9-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 11:1-10 (Series B)
Answers to Today’s Old Testament Lesson Brief Study:
- The old covenant the LORD made with Israel in the desert was a covenant that regulated everything they. They had laws of what to eat, how to clean, what to touch and not touch. They had Sabbath laws and all the animal sacrifices that would continually have to be made to the LORD for sin.
- It would not be like the old covenant. It would not contain laws, rules, or regulations that have to be kept for acceptance. Jesus would be the fulfillment of all of God’s demands. Jesus would keep all the laws for all people. Jesus’ death would be the one sacrifice that would finally pay for the sins of the world. Jesus’ death would open the way to God. Instead of a covenant of “You must do this and not do that,” the new covenant comes with Jesus’ assurance, “It is finished.” All of Jesus’ work is bestowed to us as the Holy Spirit uses Word and Sacraments to create and sustain faith in our hearts.
This week I am praying for……
The Fifth Sunday in Lent – SERIES B
Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 31:31-34 – The New Covenant
31Yes, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers,
when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant of mine, although I was a husband to them, declares the Lord.
33But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord.
I will put my law in their minds, and I will write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34No longer will each one teach his neighbor, or each one teach his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord, for I will forgive their guilt, and I will remember their sins no more.
Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 5:7-9 – Jesus the Great High Priest
7In the days of his flesh, he offered prayers and pleas with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8Although he was the Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. 9After he was brought to his goal, he became the source of eternal salvation for everyone who obeys him.
Gospel Lesson: John 12:20-33 – Death and Glory
20Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Festival. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” 22Philip went to tell Andrew. Andrew came with Philip and told Jesus.
23Jesus answered them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Amen, Amen, I tell you: Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it continues to be one kernel. But if it dies, it produces much grain. 25Anyone who loves his life destroys it. And the one who hates his life in this world will hold on to it for eternal life. 26If anyone serves me, let him follow me. And where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
27“Now my soul is troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, this is the reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!” A voice came from heaven: “I have glorified my name, and I will glorify it again.”
29The crowd standing there heard it and said it thundered. Others said an angel talked to him. 30Jesus answered, “This voice was not for my sake but for yours. 31“Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be thrown out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33He said this to indicate what kind of death he was going to die.
The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2019 The Wartburg Project.