Deliver Us From Evil - the Much Belated post from March 28th

Deliver Us From Evil - the Much Belated post from March 28th

So how hard is it to get things posted?  Apparently too hard to get this up in a timely manner.  For those of you who had been waiting with baited breath for the conclusion of our series on the Lord's Prayer - here it is.  I hope you will understand that Holy Week and a Funeral have kept me a little bit busier than usual.  As always I can never guarantee that what is written here is what got said on that Wed night.  But enjoy and God Bless. 

And BTW - HE IS RISEN, HE IS RISEN INDEED!

Luke 4: 1 - 13
4Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. 3The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.’ 4Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.” ’
5Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. 7If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ 8Jesus answered him, ‘It is written,
“Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.” ’
9Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you,
to protect you”,
11and
“On their hands they will bear youup,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’
12Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’ 13When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

And Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one

The reason I have “The Evil One” in your bulletin tonight is simple: the New Testament is written in Greek, and this word which we translate at EVIL can mean just evil or the one that does evil. We are used to hearing deliver us from evil because along the way translators had to make a choice, and deliver us from evil became a tradition. I don’t think that “Delver us from Evil” is wrong – but I think it is important to understand that maybe, just maybe our Lord Jesus was using a word that can have a double meaning. We know there is evil in the world, we know there are people who do evil in this world, we also know that there is The Evil One – the one that we hear our Lord Jesus Christ defeated in the desert. Here in this prayer, we are asking our Lord God to protect us from all of them. To make sure than evil, those who do evil, and the devil himself will not be able to afflict us. We are asking for God’s protection and that his hand will stay over us and keep us from harm.

So we start tonight with our Lord Jesus in the wilderness. He has been there for 40 days, he hasn’t been eating, he has been out there just him and God. Remember this is right after his baptism, right before he is starting his active ministry which will lead him to the cross. There in the desert Satan shows up, this in itself should show us something – Satan would not take the time to tempt if it wasn’t important. Satan tries from the very beginning to get Jesus off track – to turn him from the plan which God has for him. Because if Satan can get Jesus to stumble that will mean that Satan will win. If there is no mission for Jesus there will be no cross. If there is no cross there will be no defeat of Satan and evil and death. Strategically this is pretty smart of Satan, he is trying to save his evil self – knowing that if he cannot – the Lord of heaven and earth will defeat him forever.

And how does evil, how does Satan try and tempt our Lord. The same way evil tries to tempt us. It tries to get us to rationalize, to turn from our principles, to take this one little step – knowing that if we compromise just one little bit it will be easier for us to get started down the slippery slope towards our destruction.

Think about what Satan is saying. Jesus is hungry – surely it won’t hurt anything to make a little bread and get Jesus to serve himself right? The problem is that Jesus Christ didn’t come to serve himself, he came to carry out the will of God and to serve this world, to give and sacrifice himself for our sake, not to use his power to feed himself in the desert.

Listening to the devil would make Jesus compromise and turn from what he was meant to do – which was to save us not himself.

Then the devil promises Jesus all the kingdoms of the world all Jesus would have to do it worship Satan. First of all, Jesus is no fool. Jesus is the Lord of the Heavenly Kingdom and the Eternal Kingdom. Why would Jesus trade his place in heaven, for an earthly kingdom which is passing away. That is a lesson to us everybody. Jesus is showing and reminding us that what we receive in him is much more than the things this world calls riches. In Christ, in him and in his Kingdom we receive eternal life. All too often we are tempted to bow down to this world – thinking it is what will give us safety – when our true and only safety and life is in our Heavenly Father and in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Then we hear Satan challenge Jesus to prove who he is, throwing himself off the temple and saying that God will protect him. But we know that Jesus didn’t come here to be protected, he came here to die. Jesus doesn’t have to prove who he is the full demonstration of his power will come on the cross – and with this Jesus Christ our Lord says – “Do not put your Lord to the Test” which I think is a warning to Satan as much as a reminder to us.
Jesus has defeated the devil and has cast evil out. And you might hear than and say “Well Good Job for Jesus”. It is great that Jesus can defeat the devil but what about me. I get tempted, I am tried, I am attacked by sin and evil desires, what am I supposed to do about it.

Well that would be a fitting argument if you were alone. If you had to face evil and temptation all by yourself – you could argue what does this story about Jesus have to do with me. But the reality is that Jesus Christ is with you. The same Jesus who demonstrated to us in the desert that the devil has no power over him is with you. The same Jesus who died on the cross, and in that defeated evil, and sin, and death forever – that same Jesus Son of God and Son of Man is with you ALL THE TIME.

WHEN YOU STRUGGLE WITH SIN – IT ISN’T JUST YOU THAT IS IN THE FIGHT. God Almighty is in the struggle with you, Jesus Christ is standing beside you, the Holy Spirit is walking with you and guiding you. You are not alone – because your Lord and Savior is with you and never abandons you.

You see when we say Deliver us from Evil and the Evil One – we are claiming what the Lord is trying to do in our lives. Jesus stands with us. I am not alone. I can only be delivered, if someone is there to take me through, get me past and help me stand up against the temptations of evil – and that someone is Jesus who is with me and never lets me Go. That someone is the one who in the desert and on the cross proved who the real power is – it is the one who came to us – Jesus Christ Our Lord

We have had a journey this Lenten Season as we have walked through the Prayer which Jesus Taught us.
We claimed that Our Father is the one who is in heaven, and his is the one who makes us children of God.

We prayed for his Kingdom, that this world would be what it is destined to be – the place where God rules and God reigns and evil and sin and death are destroyed forever

We thanked our Lord that he gives us our daily bread, that he is our source of life and he is the one that carries and get us through our trials.

We recognized that as we are sinners we are in desperate need of God to forgive us our sins, and that our Heavenly Father does this when we turn to him.

And we celebrate that Jesus Christ the ultimate Lord of all is our shield against the evils of this world. That Jesus walks with us and helps us turn from darkness and turn towards his light

This is a prayer that calls us to ask for God’s grace and mercy, but also, celebrates what our Lord and Savior does for us.

Thanks Be To God.

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