Sunteți pe pagina 1din 2

Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Trinity (1880)

Matthew 9:18-26 The word "faith" belongs among words that are incomprehensible to unbelievers. There is scoffing at this word. It is indeed among the greatest mysteries of the Christian religion, how Scripture speaks of faith. Their salvation or damnation hinges on faith or unbelief.1 It makes faith virtually omnipotent and attributes to it the overcoming of the devil, the world and all hardships.2 The Lord says to the woman with a flow of blood in today's Gospel: "Your faith has saved you" and to the ruler Jairus according to Mark 5:26: "Do not fear, only believe." How can faith do such great things? 1. Because it has completely despaired at its own and all creatures help. Faith does not do great things because it would be such a strong work of men in itself, because, as it were, all power and virtue of men crowds together in it, but on the contrary, because faith requires a despair of all works of men. The man who believes, a. recognizes his desperate evil condition, b. sticks out from this, to seek help within himself or any other creature. The woman's miserable condition lies before our eyes. She is twelve years sick, has appealed the help of many doctors and consumed her estate because of it. But all in vain. It was only worse with her.3 Jairus sees his only twelve year old daughter breathing her last4, quickly receives the message that life had just fled.5 Both no longer seek human aid. So many depend upon help of men, their cause has been lost. The woman gives up, still further to appeal to human doctors, because she knows that it was all in vain. Jairus also no longer goes to men for help because it is a foregone conclusion to him that no power lies in men to raise the dead. Both do not want to lose more effort and time to look out for and seek false help. Application to the spiritual. a. The believer recognizes his miserable state in which he finds himself by original sin and all actual sins.6 b. The believer has given up trying to help himself and to wait for help from other people. He sees that it would be only the longer, the worse with him through the help of men.7 2. Because he has recourse only in the help of God, and acquires it.

1 2

John 3:18, 36. Mark 16:16. Hebrews 11:6. Ephesians 6:16; 1 Peter 5:9; 1 John 5:4; Matthew 8:13; 15:28; Hebrews 11. 3 Mark 5:26. 4 Luke 8:42. 5 Matthew 9:18; Luke 8:49. 6 Genesis 8:21; Romans 3:10-18; Ephesians 2:1-3; Galatians 3:10; Romans 6:23. 7 Philippians 3:8; Psalm 49: 8-9; Romans 9:30-33; Matthew 10:2-3. "This same faith is no merit or work against God's wrath, which would be a little feather against a whirlwind " (Ap AC IV:44 German).

a. The woman and Jairus take recourse in Christ because they have given up hope in all help from men. Christ was promised in the Old Testament as a liberator from bodily illness.8 In his appearance in the flesh, He is manifested as such and He was known as such among all people.9 So the woman and Jairus gain the confidence that even Christ will help them and so they come to Him.10 b. Both gain what they ask in faith.11 As Jairus wants to be wavering in his confidence at the news of the death that has already occurred12, the Lord tells him to persevere in faith13 and does against the ridicule of the unbelieving multitude according to his desire.14 Faith must obtain what it desires. It is only the acceptance of the already existing and offered help. Application to the spiritual. a. The believer who has come to a complete despair of himself, takes his recourse in Christ alone because of the promises in which Christ undertakes as the Savior of sinners.15 b. The believer always obtains what he seeks. Righteousness and salvation is already purchased by Christ for the whole world, and is administered by him in Word and Sacrament for the purpose that it would be accepted in the faith.16 Christ has overcome the world and the devil, and presents the victory gained by faith.17 Faith thus overcomes sin, devil, and world. It is as impossible that faith does not obtain all spiritual things and triumphs over all spiritual enemies, as it is impossible that the true God will be untruthful in His promises. Luther: "Faith is a great thing. The Psalter finely indicates this. I know that my faith is like a fur on his sleeves if it should be about my works. But it stands firm there on the Word of God, however weak it is; this is certain and is not lacking."18 Luther: "Therefore God bestows faith to the end that it should deal not with ordinary things, but with things no human being can master as death, sin, the world and Satan.... Is there now not something almighty and inexpressible about faith that it can withstand all our powerful enemies and gain the victory?" 19 Franz Pieper

8 9

Isaiah 35:5. Matthew 4:23-24. 10 Matthew 9:20-21, 18. 11 The woman in verse 22 and Jairus in verse 19. 12 Mark 5:35. 13 Mark 5:36. 14 Matthew 9:23-25. 15 Matthew 11:28; John 3:17; Isaiah 55:1-3. KELG 230:1-2. 16 2 Corinthians 5:18ff. 17 John 16:33; Matthew 12:31, 16:11. 18 Erlangen Ausgabe 58:372. 19 Church Postil for Epiphany 4.