S-1369-4SAP/C 6/16/2013 Hymns: (O) #324 vv. 1-4; (S) #242; (C) #324 vv. 5-8
Texts: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:10, 13-14; Galatians 2:15-21; 3:10-14; Luke 7:36-8:3
Theme: “It Takes A Man!” (2 Samuel 12:13a)
Question: “Which man would you like to emulate?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for the fourth Sunday after Pentecost is from the O. T. lesson: “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord’” (2 Samuel 12:13a).
INTRODUCTION: In Nomine Iesu.
Saints in Christ, today we observe and celebrate Father’s Day. But what is it that makes a man, “A MAN”? In our twisted and warped world, many men get the wrong view of manhood. They think that if you really want to be a man, you should climb over anyone and everyone, mount the ladder of success, accumulate great wealth, drive the fancy car and have a big house. To be a man, means you have the right job, live in the right neighborhood and wear the right clothes. But that is the wrong view of manhood.
Sadly, many men are getting the wrong message. Often on TV and in movies fathers are always portrayed in a negative or stupid way. If you observe our culture and compare it to the Scriptures you will notice one important fact, we have lost the Biblical view of “manhood”. Many men have lost the responsibility to be the spiritual leaders in their homes. But when the Man-God Jesus Christ walked this earth He taught us saying, “You will recognize them by their fruits” (Mt. 7:16). Certainly you will know them by their fruits. PAUSE.
You have heard this statement. “Anyone can be a father but it takes a Real Man to be a dad.” Today, in the Old Testament lesson, we read of an encounter between the prophet Nathan (whose name means God gave), and King David about his improper behavior of seducing Bathsheba and killing her husband Uriah.
The Lord sent His prophet Nathan to stand before the king and tell him, what he has done was an abomination in God’s sight. Nathan knowing full well if he tells the king about his sin, he is putting his life on the line. None-the-less, he was inspired to be courageous, compassionate, and Christ-centered. In Christ never have we had a more courageous person.
David having been killed by the Law the Holy Spirit leads him to confess his sins to God. If you know Scripture well, you know that the sin that David committed as an adulterer and a murderer brought heavy pain to his heart. Sorrowing over what he had done, he was moved to write Psalm 51, a Psalm of confession of sins.
What we have in this encounter is a godly example of what a real man is—one who doesn’t pass the buck but owns up to his sins and says, “I have sinned! I have brought shame and dishonor upon my God! I am the one who disobeyed God and His Word! I am sorry!!!” That’s the kind of father our children needs. They need to know that we are not perfect, but sinners who have been made perfect through Christ our Savior.
Yes, we father’s are not perfect. So let us stop pretending we are. Let us stop pretending to be something we are not. Instead, in humility, may we be honest and declare that we sin often against our Savior, and we hurt our families and loved ones greatly. PAUSE.
Some of you here carry the wounds of abusive fathers: fathers who through verbal or emotional, maybe even physical abuse inflicted wounds that to this day you carry around, adversely affecting all your relationships. Perhaps even to this day you’re still trying to live up to his expectations, striving to please him, hoping that one day you’ll be the favored child that you never could be growing up.
Deep wounds come from many places—fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and even close friends. Some of you know what it is like to be wounded by your pastor. Good years were spent working together in ministry, building lives together, building the Lord’s church together, but you feel betrayed. Some of you are carrying around deep wounds that you’ve never gotten over. All it takes is for a name to come up and you get all knotted up inside. It may be some other spiritual leader. A brother or sister in the church shoots off at the mouth something that you offered in confidence, and your trust is broken.
As children of God we are taught to practice forgiveness—to forgive them and love them. It cannot be said more plainly than that. Regardless of how badly you’ve been hurt, and regardless of who has inflicted that hurt, our privilege and joy is to forgive them and love them.
I’m not suggesting that it is easy. It takes a big man to forgive someone, or perhaps I should say it takes a big person to forgive someone. Little people carry grudges. Little people allow themselves to be eaten away with bitterness, but the true giants in God’s eyes are those who can follow the example of Christ who spoke to those who pierced and crucified Him on Calvary’s cross, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing” (Luke 23:34).
We, all, have much to learn from our Savior, the Man-God who forgives us our sins daily. Because we have tasted His love and forgiveness firsthand, we learn from Him and imitate His actions. It takes a man to forgive. It takes a man to humble himself before the Lord Almighty. But it takes a big man to acknowledge he has sinned and done evil in the sight of the Lord. PAUSE.
Indeed it takes a man not to pass the buck or blame someone else. In today’s text we heard of David, the king of Israel, that he had sinned against God. Once the Word of the Lord brought his sin to light, he confessed his sins. And Nathan, God’s mouth-piece spoke words of absolution and healing to that sinner. As soon as David confessed his sins, God forgave him and filled him with grace and peace.
It is important for us to know the value of confessing our sins. We learn much from this text in that God despises sin and will deal with sin. To be sure, there are temporal consequences for all of our sins; just as it was in David’s case. The son that Bathsheba was carrying died. But there are NO eternal consequences for sin. Christ has taken care of that. He is the Man who humbled Himself to the point of death—a death on a cross.
Real manhood is rooted in the Man Jesus Christ Paul tells us in 1 Tim. 2:5-6. His love moves us to be courageous and confess our sins. It moves us to lay down our lives for others. His love moves us to be compassionate. The Good Samaritan was courageous and compassionate. Christ is our Savior but also our Example par excellent in what a real man looks like. In the garden Adam had a failure in manhood as well as in faith and love.
God the Father sent His Son into the world so that we would see what a man is supposed to look like. And the Word became flesh… and the Word became a true man… let this mindset be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Christ’s love moves us to be real men and women of faith rooted and grounded in His Word. Paul speaks as a father in Christ. Every man may not be a biological father but we are all to grow into the full manhood of Christ. PAUSE.
There is a new slang today that says, “Man up!” Be a man. Micah 6:8 says: “What does God require of you O man, (hint—man up) but to walk humbly, show loving kindness, and compassion.” If any man is in Christ they are a real man as well as a new creature. The world says, “Man up!” and drink the right kind of beer drive the right kind of car, and dress outwardly the right kind of way. The Bible says, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” In Him Peter, James, John, and others became real men. They were around Jesus.
In John 19:5 we hear the words of the earthly king accusing and condemning Jesus saying, “Behold the Man!” Yes, behold Him led to the slaughter for you. Behold Him going the way of suffering and pain for you. Behold Him stripped naked for you. Behold Him hanging on the cross for you. Behold Him dying for you. And yes, behold Him rising from the grave for you. Because He who is King eternal was willing to be the Man God wanted Him to be, you and I receive grace upon grace, mercy and forgiveness is poured upon us. For sure it takes A Man—the Man Christ Jesus to save us and make us His people forever. Amen.
Now the peace…
SOLI DEO GLORIA.