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The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost A

The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost A

Those who assumed their own authority challenged Jesus’ authority and put a question to him.  Jesus turned the situation around—that is, he put the question to them.  In their failure to answer, Jesus delegitimated their challenge to his authority.  Isn’t that just like Jesus!  Down through the generations, whenever those who think they have authority (especially authority over their own lives) attempt to challenge Jesus’ authority by putting the question to him, Jesus turns the situation around and puts the question back onto them.  The question Jesus puts to those who would challenge him and his authority can be summed up by the question which God put to Job, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2).  “Who are you?” Jesus demands, “You who come with your puny human reason, your deficient wisdom, and your mere finite knowledge.  Don’t you know that my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways, not your ways?” (cf. Is. 55:8 & 9).  Jesus Christ, the Word of God who brought creation into existence and rules it still, this creator Lord delegitimates all challenges to his authority by exposing you who would challenge him in your lack of authority.

Prayers from one whose lack of authority must be revealed to him time and time again…

Father in heaven, you have given all authority in heaven and on earth to your Son, Jesus Christ.  Grant that the authority of your Son preached to me by my pastor reveal to me my lack of authority and keep me in humility as I am brought to stand under your Word.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Father in heaven, you have given all authority in heaven and on earth to your Son, Jesus Christ.  As I come to stand under your Word, bring me to daily repentance—that is, take me from death to life and from unbelief to belief—so that I would walk in newness of life.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Father in heaven, you have given all authority in heaven and on earth to your Son, Jesus Christ.  As I walk in this newness of life, hold me in the confidence that your mercies are fresh every morning, ready to restore that newness of life should I become prideful of it or despair having it.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Father in heaven, you have given all authority in heaven and on earth to your Son, Jesus Christ.  Grant that my walk in the newness of life not become an occasion for my pride or my arrogance over and against my neighbors but keep my entire life to be one of repentance.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Father in heaven, you have given all authority in heaven and on earth to your Son, Jesus Christ.  Let that authority so work upon me that, whether from my newness of life or from the restraint of my sin, my neighbors receive usefulness from the work of my hands.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Father in heaven, you have given all authority in heaven and on earth to your Son, Jesus Christ. So bring the Institute of Lutheran Theology to stand under the authority of your Word that it would teach Jesus Christ, him crucified, and him alone. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Father in heaven, you have given all authority in heaven and on earth to your Son, Jesus Christ.  So hold me in the faith of Jesus Christ and his exercise of the authority given to him that I’m able to wait upon his promise to return and take me to where he is.   For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

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