Happenings

Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.





29 March 2015

Sermon: Palm Sunday B (John 12)

29 March AD 2015
The Sunday of the Passion

Title: Unlikely Glory (MP3 Audio)

Palm Sunday Summary: Glory is something that many crave but few earn. Most lack the ability or the endurance necessary to bring even earthly glory to themselves. Even those who achieve it rarely hold it long and only a handful attain anything that lasts beyond their own days.

The vast majority of us either seek to gain cheap substitutes or else attempt to share in the accolades of those who actually excel. Much of our allegiance to various athletes and entertainers stems from settling for reflected glory earned by those with actual accomplishments.

In Jesus’ case, even those closest to Him had no idea what true and lasting glory was all about. Even with the prophecies of Isaiah, David, and others, they were clueless as to how the Christ would enter into His own glory.

Similarly, few had — or have — any idea how they receive glory from Him.. All too many think that they can either earn a share of Christ’s glory or at least come close enough to Him in order to reflect His glorious light.

Sinful eyes see Palm Sunday as Jesus’ day of greatest glory while the Father sees Good Friday. There, the Son completely set aside His own glory, fulfilling His rôle as the prophesied Suffering Servant. In response, the Father glorified Him, setting Him once again above all Creation. In turn, Jesus glorifies all who trust in His salvation and cling to Him with simple, humble faith.

Sunday of the Passion Text: 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. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”

Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”

So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”

Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. (John 12:20-43)

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Unlikely Glory.

NB: A few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio with Windows Media Player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: John 12:12-19 (Palm Sunday Procession); Psalm 118:19-29 or Psalm 31:9-16; Zechariah 9:9-12; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 14:1-15:47 or Mark 15:1-47 (Optional Gospel readings)

See Aardvark Alley for more on Palm Sunday.

Illustration: Graphics from Art of the Church Year by Ed Riojas available through Higher Things Store.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Helen said...

I love this. Blessed Palm Sunday to you Pastor Snyder. And glory to God.

March 29, 2015 at 9:24 PM  

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