THE WEEK OF TRINITY XXIV – TUESDAY
LESSON: PSALM 145:8‒13
When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them. Matthew 9:36
In this Gospel (Matthew 9:18‒26), Christ is pictured to us as mingling with the people and drawing all men to Himself by His sweet doctrine. They could really have clung to Him with their whole hearts and entrusted themselves to His goodness with high hopes of receiving both spiritual and bodily blessings from Him. You do not see Him taking anything from those whom He has benefited. To be sure, He gets nothing but mockery and scorn. Blessings go out from Him; He receives mockery and scorn in return.
This is now preached and reported to the whole world so that men may learn to know this man aright, that we may know how to become Christians, not how to become pious and godly. Others, who teach outside the Gospel, bring men under various pressures to inculcate piety in them, such as the books of the heathen masters and the secular law books. The legends of the saints also urge men to live as the saints lived.
It is not the business of the Gospel to make men pious, but to make Christians of them. Being a Christian is far more than being pious. A man can be pious without being a Christian. A Christian has nothing to say about his piety; he finds in himself nothing good or pious. If he is to be pious, he must look elsewhere than in himself for true piety.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, as our helper, friend, Redeemer, and Savior, You are for us the treasure beyond all compare. The message in Your good news is altogether sweet and lovely. Abide with us so that we may enjoy You and Your blessings now and forevermore. 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, 5:326-343.