O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever (1 Chr 16:34). Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church - Winnipeg, MB
Seeing with your Ears
Seeing with your Ears
Based on Eph. 2:19-22 and John 14:1-14
Preached on May 01, 2016
Click on the Play button
to listen to the Sermon.
Fellow baptized saints and citizens of God's heavenly Jerusalem, we're back in that Upper Room again. Where Jesus spent His last hours with His disciples before His arrest. It's been like this for much of the Easter season. Like we are trying to catch up. Always trying to catch up with the precious promises that Jesus is speaking to us. About His death and resurrection. And what they mean.
His disciples are worried. They are confused. Afraid. Sad. Yes, they sit there at table with Jesus. And He is promising them a place in His Father's house. But their hearts are troubled. They don't know what to expect. So they do what most people do when they experience the uncertain. They go into survival mode. They grasp for something they think they can lean on. Something they can see. "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Yeah, your words are good Jesus - but can't you just show us? I'm sure of it, show me and then I'll believe you. Then I'll calm down. Is that so? (pause)
We have such a high view of what we can physically see - don't we? We feel in control when we can see things. We feel we're on top. Like we are above everything involved and can make our own judgment. (pause) Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, a delight to the eyes. Well, that didn't turn out so well. Seeing didn't strengthen Eve's faith in God's Word. If anything it worked against her faith. As much as we would like it to be, our seeing and our judgments cannot be our salvation. They led to our damnation. But that's not something that sinks in very easily, is it? Not even with Jesus sitting right in front of you.
Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, Philip and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father'?
What are you expecting to see gentlemen? Were you expecting something else? Something more? Here's where Jesus reveals the truth about our eyesight. We are expecting to see more. We are expecting to see more because we don't know what we are looking for. Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" We expect to see, but we don't know what to look for! No wonder our hearts are troubled. We just figure we can trust our eyes. We tell ourselves we'll know it when we see it. But why do we tell ourselves that? Who has taught us to know God this way?
You can almost hear Jesus use that expression: You expect to see the Father with your physical eyes? Boys, you wouldn't know it if it was staring you in the face. Look no farther. Instead, hear and believe.
I am the way to the Father. I am the truth of the Father. I am the life - of the Father. You have seen the Father. I know, I'm taking you way beyond seeing, but I am the Word of the Father. His event. My words are what the Father is doing. There won't be anything else.
I mean, if you want to look at something, look at the bulletin cover. The Father holds out One thing for you to see. I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.
Beloved, God is not counting on your eyes. He is not counting on your feelings. He is counting on your ears. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. The words that I say to you - I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Jesus said, I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Believe my words.
Jesus takes us from fearfully looking around to peacefully hearing His precious promises. His words restore to us what Adam lost when he followed his eyes instead of God's Word. He speaks comfort to our troubled hearts. Certainty to our not knowing. And rest in the truth that this is His doing. His death and resurrection. His Father's house He prepares for us.
A House being prepared. That is what we are. God's city. Being built together in Christ into a dwelling place for God - God lives where His Word lives - I am the life of the Father - Jesus said - this is what God is building - hearers - trusters - a beautiful temple of believers who see by hearing - who see God by hearing Christ -waiting for the day when all His Words will be realized in their eyes… Do you remember Job? Who lived upwards of two thousand years before Christ? In His sorrow He cried this:
"Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! Oh that with an iron pen and lead they were engraved in the rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.[b] and after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in[c] my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!"
Two thousand years before Christ. My words engraved in rock forever! My Redeemer lives! My eyes shall behold Him.
The Father's house has many rooms, because He has been building His household with the same promise for all of history. And thanks be to God - He has a room picked out for you. His special hearer. You. The one who trusts the gracious words of His Son. The one who doesn't need to see right now, because you have been promised you will see at the last. Indeed, my heart faints within me.
Until our Lord returns, until the boomerang comes again to take us to Himself, we are with the disciples in the Upper Room. Catching up to His precious promises. Hearing Him tell us again and again what our ears needs to hear, as we wait for the day when His Words meet our eyes. He could not have said it any better: Let not your hearts be troubled. I go to prepare a place - for you. In the Name of Jesus', Amen.
Rev. Cameron Schnarr