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Denying Eyes | Sermon for March 18, 2020

Denying Eyes | Sermon for March 18, 2020

Sermon for Lent Midweek 3

Rev. Gregory Mech | March 18, 2020 | Immanuel Lutheran Church – Joplin, MO

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Eyes on Jesus: Denying Eyes

This Lent, we will use the metaphor of eyesight to examine how the various people in Mark’s Gospel viewed Jesus during His Passion. In most cases, they misunderstood who He was and what He was doing; then again, sometimes by faith people did recognize Him correctly.

We have these forty days of Lent in which we may look within ourselves as people of faith in our day. How are we like or unlike the people who saw Jesus in the flesh? Most important, as we gather for worship, we will see what Jesus has done to save us from our sins by His holy, precious blood and innocent sufferings and death.

At first, Peter and the other disciples cannot see how they could ever fall away from Jesus. Then, when Peter is spotted by a servant girl and realizes that his own neck is on the line, he sees fit to deny Jesus, which leads to his weeping in remorse. What does it take for us to move beyond our own remorse to the discipleship we and our Lord desire?

© 2019 Concordia Publishing House. Scripture: ESV®

Our sermon text is Mark 14:26–31, 66–72.

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.

Peter Denies Jesus

66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


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 In times of uncertainty, we will cling to Christ! God is with us.

Lent 2020 Worship Series

O come, let us fix our EYES ON JESUS, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

(Gradual for Lent, based on Hebrews 12:2)

Eyes On Jesus

When the characters in the Passion narrative look at Jesus, what do they see? In most cases, people misunderstood who He is and what He was doing. In some cases, by faith, people recognized Him aright. Our Lenten series this year, based on the Gospel according to St. Mark, will examine how the various people around Jesus viewed Him—and how we should view Him. We will “fix our eyes” on what Jesus has done to save us from our sins by His holy, precious blood and innocent sufferings and death, and celebrate what God sees on account of His work: our justification for His sake.

  • Ash Wednesday, February 26 | Misjudging Eyes | Mark 14:1–9
  • Midweek 1, March 4 | Betraying Eyes | Mark 14:10–21, 32, 41–46
  • Midweek 2, March 11 | Sleepy Eyes | Mark 14:32–42
  • Midweek 3, March 18 | Denying Eyes | Mark 14:26–31, 66–72
  • Midweek 4, March 25 | Murderous Eyes | Mark 14:1–2, 53–65
  • Midweek 5, April 9 | Worldly Eyes | Mark 15:1–20
  • Holy Thursday, April 10 | More Than Meets the Eye | Mark 14:22–25
  • Good Friday, April 11 | God’s Eyes | Mark 15:21–39
  • Easter Vigil, April 12 | Resting Eyes | Mark 15:40–16:1
  • Easter Sunday, April 13 | Angel Eyes | Mark 16:1–8

Eyes on Jesus will continuously focus our eyes on Jesus Christ and Him crucified, buried, and risen for our justification. This is a vision that will never disappoint, for by trusting in Jesus, He promises that we will gaze upon His beautiful face now by faith and forever in heaven!

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