THE WEEK OF TRINITY III – TUESDAY

LESSON: MATTHEW 9:10-13

“This man receives sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:2

To help assist sinners in finding the true way out of their sins and to conquer sin are the really important and significant works in which we Christians should train ourselves. But not many are concerned about these works; most people by-pass them. The practice has died out and, to a large extent, become extinct. In preference, following the devil, one man goes to St. James; another builds a church; a third man establishes a mass. One man does this, another that. No one ever seems to think of making intercession for sinners. Hence, it is to be feared that the holiest of men are quite likely to end up in the very depths of hell and that heaven will be made up mostly of sinners.

It would be a real Christian work to interest yourself in some poor sinner; to go to the place where you pray to God in private and offer earnest prayer to Him, saying, “I hear that this poor sinner (naming him) has fallen and is held fast in sin. Help him up, dear God!” In this way you would be receiving a sinner with Jesus and serving him.

This is what Moses did when the Jews worshipped the molten calf. He became wrapped up in this sin and reproached them for it in all severity. Three thousand men were put to death when the avenging sword passed from gate to gate on this occasion (Exodus 32:27-28). But in the end Moses fell down before God and interceded with God to forgive them their sin or blot him out of the book of life (Exodus 32:32). This was a man who knew that God loved him and had written his name in His book of life. But Moses said, “Lord, I would prefer it if you condemned me and forgave the people their sin.” We have another example of this concern for sinners in the apostle Paul (Romans 9:3).

SL 11:1237 (8-9)

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Your readiness to receive sinners and to help them with Your grace and forgiveness has been made very plain to us in Your Gospel. Grant us such a clear understanding of Your Word and mission that we always manifest a similar concern for sinners and do our utmost to make known to them the help available in Your Gospel. In Your name we ask it. 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, 4:57-66.