THE WEEK OF TRINITY III – WEDNESDAY

LESSON: 2 CORINTHIANS 7:5-13

“I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7

In the example of Christ, we are shown how we are to conduct ourselves towards sinners. Inwardly, in our heart, we must be prepared to serve them; outwardly, with the tongue, we should also instruct them in all earnestness.

This is what God expects of us, and this is also what Jesus, the captain of our salvation, has demonstrated for us. St. Paul also makes this quite plan to us when he says in his Epistle to the Philippians, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:4-8).

Christ was absolutely perfect in all righteousness, and He could have simply condemned all of us. But He does not do this. What does he do? He gives Himself to us as our servant. His righteousness served our sins; His perfection made up for our frailty; His life conquered our death.

We see this also quite clearly in this Gospel from Christ’s friendly attitude towards sinners, which made the Pharisees murmur.

SL 11:1238 (13-14)

PRAYER: As Your disciples, Lord Jesus, the interests of others are our interests. It is Your clearly expressed will that we should always concern ourselves with the interests of others. May we apply this truth as Your disciples, Lord Jesus, especially in our efforts to help sinners to repentance and the forgiveness of their sins, for Your mercy and truth’s sake. 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.