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

29 January 2017

Epiphany 4A Sermon: Blessed

Preached on Matthew 5:1-12
The Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany
29 January AD 2017

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Blessed.

Beatitudes Summary: “Blessed are...” those who live up to Jesus’ expectations. But who are these people? We botch every one of these seeming qualifiers. Is any of us a meek, pure peacemaker?

Obviously, there’s no way we can accrue these blessings. We neither deserve nor can we earn an inheritance on earth or in eternity. Yet even though we fail miserably, we have One who fulfilled all these conditions and then credited them to us.

Leaving Heaven’s wealth, Jesus became poor in spirit. He mourned over fallen humanity, dying friends, and His own impending death. He was meek, craved constant and full communion with His Father, showed mercy to stricken sinners, remained pure and holy, came to bring peace between God and man, and was persecuted because of His righteousness.

The blessings He earned through His life and death became His gift to us. We inherit the kingdom, receive divine comfort in all our sorrows, and are citizens not only of this earth but of the new heavens and new earth. We “taste and see that the Lord is good” and dine on Word and Sacrament to our full satisfaction. Adopted in Baptism, we are the sons of God, receiving His mercy and are guaranteed to see the Father in the Resurrection.

Text: Seeing the crowds, [Jesus] went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:1-12

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 Blessed.

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: Psalm 15; Micah 6:1-8; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

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