Not Some, But All. Trinity 10. August 24, 2014.
St. Peter Lutheran Church
St. Luke 19:41-48
August 24, 2014
“Not some, but All”
God is not satisfied with some. He wants all.
The crowd of disciples has just finished greeting Jesus with shouts, making a carpet of their clothes on which the donkey walks.
One day, at the name of Jesus every knee will bow. But at His first entry into Jerusalem, there is only a small crowd hailing Him as king.
The whole city of Jerusalem should be out to greet Him. All of creation is straining toward Him to cry out in joy. If the little crowd hadn’t opened their mouths to shout “Hosanna!”, then the rocks and stones would have burst out with the praise men did not give.
But most of Jerusalem is silent. They go about their daily business as usual.
God is not satisfied with business as usual. He is not satisfied when most of the city called by His name does not acknowledge His King.
He will make an end of the city of Jerusalem for proudly despising His only Son. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.
And Jesus, the rejected king, weeps for those who despise Him.
God is not satisfied with some. He wants all. The leaders of the Jews didn’t think it would hurt if there was a little trade going on inside the temple precincts. After all, people had to get animals for their sacrifices somewhere. But the Lord will not have some of the attention of His people in His house, splitting the difference with the parasites who hang around the temple to pursue their own objectives. His house will be a house of prayer, not a house of trade, not a den of thieves, no matter how they clothe their business in religiosity.
So Jesus, incensed, takes a whip and chases all the salesmen out of His Father’s house. Jesus is not satisfied that some honor should be given to His Father’s name. He wants all. And what Jesus now does with a whip He will later do with the legions of the Roman emperor, who will burn the temple to the ground and not leave one stone on another. He would not tolerate a temple to the Lord, the Triune God, which would not honor God when He came to visit it.
God is not satisfied with some. He wants all. God is not satisfied today when only a portion of this holy congregation is here to greet Jesus with Hosannas when He comes to visit us in His body and blood. He is not satisfied with some. He wants all. And just as judgment certainly came on Jerusalem when the majority of the city did not believe in Christ, so it will be everywhere Christ’s word is despised or rejected. Just so it will be here.
God will certainly judge St. Peter and prune away the branches that bear no fruit. He may perhaps take the fruitful branches from St. Peter and bring them to another congregation while leaving St. Peter to those who are under His wrath. If He did it to Jerusalem, why wouldn’t He do it here?
God is not satisfied with some of our hearts, some of our time, some of our money, some of our energy. He wants all. Often we look at our church’s difficulties—all the members who don’t come, the difficulties we have among those of us who do come—and we say, “What more can we do?”
But that is not the way Jesus acts. When He can’t do any more for Jerusalem, He still weeps for them. He can’t take it easy as long as there are people in the city who are alienated from God.
And not only that, but he picks up a whip and scourges and chastens those who are polluting His Father’s house.
What more can we do? We can ask God to show us where our own hearts are divided—where we have held back our time, money, love and praise from the Lord.
We can ask God for tears for our brothers who do not come out to greet Jesus.
We can warn and chasten our fellow baptized. We can ask God to show us where in our midst we have traditions that are not in keeping with the Word of God and work to reform them.
Above all, we must present our bodies and our hearts to the Lord Jesus and ask Him to have all of them.
God is not satisfied with some. He wants all. Because He knew that we would not, could not, give ourselves to Him, He gave Himself completely for us.
Jesus’ tears are proof that God is all for you. Even if you are hardened and refuse to come out to greet Him as your Lord and King, He sheds tears for you.
And not only that. He also comes to you.
He came to Jerusalem, a city that considered itself too good for Him. He came to them even though they dishonored Him. He taught them, up to His final hours, that they might repent and be saved. He wept over them as He prayed alone in the garden of Gethsemane and even as they nailed Him, their king, to the cross.
He comes to you, too, personally, in His Word. He shows how He shed tears and blood for you on the cross, how He gave you all of His heart, all of His strength, all of His life. God wants not some of you, but all. So Jesus took all of your sin and bore it to the nails and the wood of the cross. God wants not some of you, but all. So Jesus took all your shame before God and your despair, hell, and agony, and cried out “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
God wants all of you, so Jesus took your corruption that leads to death and was buried in the tomb.
God wants all of you, so Jesus was raised from the dead and raised you up with Him, a new creation. He brought your flesh and blood to the right hand of the Father, where He reigns and lives each day to intercede for you.
God wants all of you, so Jesus will return on the last day to redeem your bodies so that they will be like His glorious body, so that they will no longer be in bondage to death and corruption and sin, but will be all for the Lord, and the Lord for your body.
God wants all of you, so Jesus went to the cross and rose from the dead. And now He comes to you and gives you not some, but all righteousness. Because Jesus did not fulfill some of the law, but all of it. In your baptism, in the absolution, in the word of the Gospel, Jesus gives you all righteousness. He justifies you. He does not take away your sinful flesh so that you can see and feel for yourself that you are righteous before God with no sin. He says that He counts you righteous, and whoever believes these words has what they say.
God wants all of you, so He gives you all of His word. He’s not satisfied if you have an abridged Gospel or if we cut out parts of the Law. He wants you to have the whole counsel of God’s word, including the parts that our flesh and the world consider unnecessary or unattractive. And He will not be satisfied until His Word and only His Word has the supremacy in this congregation over every tradition of men.
He will not be satisfied until every member of this church is all His.
God wants all of you, so He comes to you and gives you all of His Son. We sing with the crowds on Palm Sunday, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” And He gives us His body and blood, given on Calvary to ransom us to God. By this salutary gift we go and bear witness to Jesus, not wringing our hands and saying, “What more can we do?” but “what more of me would you have?”
We do this not by ourselves, but by receiving all of Jesus in His Word and Sacraments. And receiving all of Jesus, the Lord receives all of us.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Soli Deo Gloria