Saturday, February 14, 2009

“A New Leader” (Deut. 18:18)

S-1097 1/25/09 4SAE/3C Hymns: LSB #; (S) #583; #; #

Texts Deuteronomy 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28

Theme: “A New Leader” (Deut. 18:18)

Question: “Whom are you trusting?” SOLI DEO GLORIA

Trinity Lutheran, Orlando, FL

Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for our meditation is from the Old Testament lesson: “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him” (Deut. 18:18).

Saints in Christ, on January the 20th in Washington, DC., Barak Hussein Obama, became the 44th President of the United States of America, after taking the Oath of Office. President George W. Bush left with very low rating, and President Obama is coming into this new Office with high rating. As you listen to the media and their reporting it is evident that they think President Obama is the New Leader who will usher America into the land of plenty and prosperity, the land of peace and power. Many people on the street think that President Obama is the one who is going to turn this country around with the changes that he is proposing. They believe that this New Leader will solve all their problems, get the economy back on track, provide jobs for millions of people and restore our disgraced image with other countries. I am amazed at how many people believe President Obama is going to be their Savior—the One who will fix up every bad and evil thing Bush did.

Every good citizen should be thankful that President Obama articulated in his opening days that he hopes his presidency will be marked by rule of law and transparency.  Our prayer is that rule of law will be rule of moral law, the rule of genuine love—for the born as well as the unborn—for all people of every color and nationality; that he will support the rule of laws which are ageless and timeless in terms of core content. The Bible implores us to pray for our leaders (1 Tim 2:1-5) and that is no small matter. So we will pray for him and all our leaders that they will exhibit a good measure of true justice, true righteousness, true love, sound moral law, and not laws that are expedient or contrary to the wisdom of the ages revealed through Sacred Scripture.

In today’s text Moses the Prophet of God speaks with the Israelites concerning the One who will lead in the future. We see Israel standing on the plains of Moab, needing someone to lead them into the Promised Land. This spokesperson who has lead them for the last 40 years in the wilderness since they left Egypt, will not be able to do so because of his disobedience to the Lord’s command (Num. 20:12). So the Lord of Hosts promises another prophet who will lead His people by means of the divine Word.

It is interesting to note that people of every age have been looking for a leader, a Savior of a sort. People looked to Jim Jones, but he ended up killing over 800 people. In Germany people looked up to Hitler to lead them, but he dragged them to war and were destroyed. Karl Marx spoke of socialist society that will bring prosperity in Russia, but it brought poverty and death to many.

People today, are still seeking and searching for the one leader who will bring them happiness, peace and prosperity. People continue to look for the one who will make a difference in their lives. Even Christians are caught up with this mentality. Some are seeking a savior in material possessions, others seeking a Messiah in power or prestige and still others just any one who could relieve them from the burdens of daily routines. PAUSE.

Beloved in the Lord, it is not wrong to look for a leader who will make our lives better and more comfortable. It is not wrong to look for a leader who will honor God with his services. It is not wrong to long for a leader who will help us and give us hope for the future. But it is wrong to put our trust in humans who will disappoint us rather than in the God of help and hope and heaven.

I am very concerned that there is in many quarters a euphoria hysteria, an almost worldly kingdom of God on earth set of expectations for our new President to bring about. This is very dangerous whether anyone, Democrat or Republican, holds this high office. There is only one Messiah, one Savior, one King of kings, and Lord of Lords, Jesus the Christ.

Even if things improve economically, that’s not where the improvement needs to be made. This is not the kind of leader Moses was speaking about. This is not what we need in this society and in this country. For if we needed financial assistance God would have sent us an economist; if we needed help with wars, God would have sent us a general; if we needed help with running the country, God would have sent us a politician; if we needed help with the afflictions of the body, God would have sent us a physician. But we needed help with our sins lest we spend eternity in hell; and thus God sent us a Savior—His Son to lead us to the Promised Land.

The prophet from among your brothers that Moses was speaking about is none other than the Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the fulfillment of all of the prophets. Jesus is Israel’s final prophet who teaches “as one who had authority, and not as the scribes (Mk. 1:22). By means of this authoritative Word, Jesus leads His people out of the realm of death and into life eternal. Jesus the True Prophet is the One who will usher His people into the Promised Land of Heaven.

This is the One of whom Moses spoke about. Jesus, Israel’s true Leader is the One who will give peace that surpasses all understanding. Jesus, Israel’s true Prophet is the One who will cover our sins with His blood. Jesus, Israel’s true Messiah is the One who will destroy our enemies—sin, death and the grave. Jesus, Israel’s true Savior is the One who will save us from the punishment of hell.

Jesus, Israel’s true leader is unlike any leader of any country. The leaders of today walk around with security forces to protect their lives. The leaders of today are not easily accessible. The leaders of today live behind secured walls and palaces. But not our True Prophet. Jesus doesn’t walk around with security guards to protect His life. He doesn’t wear a bullet proof vest. Instead, Jesus walks among us and with us through His Word. Jesus wears a crown of thorns. Jesus hangs on a cross for the sins of all people. Jesus dies our death, and takes our punishment and instead gives us life and salvation.

This Leader—Jesus will not disappoint us ever. This Leader—Jesus, will always be available for us. This Leader—Jesus comforts us with His words of grace and forgiveness. And this Leader—Jesus gives us His body and blood to strengthen us on the journey to the Promised Land.

Few days ago, a New Leader took the helm in Washington, DC. President Barak Hussein Obama promises to do all things well. My prayers for Him as my president that he might be blessed in his presidency and all that the Lord will give him to do. But it is the True Leader—the Prophet Jesus who will give us more than we can ask for—life and salvation because of His great love for us.

Jesus the Messiah is the One who gives to us unworthy sinners’ guidance and directions through His Word and sacrament as we journey in this barren wilderness and leads us to the green pastures of His holy Word in heaven. May we continue to look up to this New Leader and trust Him with our whole heart, mind, body and soul in all that He does for us. Amen.

Now the peace…

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