Sermon for Lent Midweek 4
Rev. Gregory Mech | March 25, 2020 | Immanuel Lutheran Church – Joplin, MO
Eyes on Jesus: Murderous 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.
Today, we take a look at the chief priests and scribes, who saw Jesus as an obstacle to be rid of by violence. Yet, during the Passover festival, they would unwittingly bring about the sacrifice of the ultimate Passover Lamb. How, then, should we view those who oppose the Gospel in our day? And how might these insights guide our prayers?
© 2019 Concordia Publishing House. Scripture: ESV®
Our sermon text is from Jesus’ Passion Narrative found in Mark 14:1, 53–65
This Lent, we are looking at the events of our Lord’s Passion through the eyes of some of the people who witnessed it. Today, we read the words of the people who unwittingly called for Jesus’ death, the sacrifice for all sin. The Passion of Our Lord according to St. Mark, the 14th chapter.
It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest [Jesus] by stealth and kill Him. . . .
And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. And Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against Him, saying,
We heard Him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.”
Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have You no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against You?” But He remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.
And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard His blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned Him as deserving death. And some began to spit on Him and to cover His face and to strike Him, saying to Him,
And the guards received Him with blows.
O Lord, have mercy on us. Thanks be to God.
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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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!