TRINITY – WEEK 9 – TUESDAY
LESSON: MATTHEW 10:16-23
“The sons of this world are wiser in their own generation than the sons of light.” Luke 16:8
To understand the story in this week’s Gospel (Luke 16:1-9) correctly, consider St. Paul’s statement, “Adam…was a type of the one who was to come” (Romans 5:14). Adam was a type of Christ. How can the apostle compare Adam with Christ when Adam brought sin and death upon us, and Christ has brought us righteousness and life?
St. Paul compares Adam with Christ in respect to origin and race, not in regard to fruit and work. Adam is the origin and head of all sinners, whereas Christ is the origin and head of all saints. We have inherited nothing else from Adam but sin, condemnation, and our eternal curse; from Christ, however, we have obtained righteousness and salvation. You cannot make these two extremes agree, for sin is punishable and righteousness is praiseworthy. But in respect to origin, there is a comparison: even as sin and death have penetrated to all men through Adam, so, through Christ, righteousness and life have become available for all men.
So, in the Gospel, Christ compares the unrighteous man with the righteous man. As the unrighteous man acts shrewdly with his unrighteousness and villainy, so we should act wisely in matters of justice and piety. This is the point of the comparison, as Jesus Himself explains when He says, “The sons of this world are wiser in their own generation than the sons of light.” The “sons of light” should learn prudence from the “sons of darkness,” or the world. Even as they are clever in all their doings, so also should “the sons of light” be cleaver in their doings. That is also why Christ adds the words, “in their own generation.”
SL 11:1448 (6-7)
PRAYER: Lord God, heavenly Father, it is Your will that we should be just as wise and prudent in regard to what is good, as unbelieving men are in regard to what is evil. Establish us in everything that is good, that we always prove ourselves Your wise and prudent followers, through Jesus Christ, in whom You have given us all treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 4:291-301.