Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Tuesday after the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on July 9, 2024 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Mark 16:14-18 (NKJV)
16:14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Rebuke is a strong word, occurring seven times in St. Mark’s Gospel. Jesus rebuked demons (1:25, 9:25) and the wind (4:39). He was greatly displeased when the disciples rebuked those bringing little children to Him (10:13-14). When Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that He would suffer, die, and rise again, Jesus turned around and rebuked Peter (8:32-33). The content of the Gospel message is definitely of such great importance that there needed to be a scolding. The redemptive work of Jesus Christ cannot be denied without a loss of salvation.
In St. Mark’s post-resurrection account, Jesus rebukes the apostles. This time it was not a denial of the content of the Gospel, but for their initial unbelief when their fellow believers bore witness to Christ’s resurrection. In other words, God’s appointed means had been denied. The women at the tomb (16:1-8), Mary Magdalene (16:9-11), and the Emmaus disciples (16:12-13) had all told them. It’s one thing not to have expected the resurrection, but it’s quite another to refuse to believe your fellow Christians because of stiffness of heart.
Similarly, it is inevitable that we will discover times that we have sinned. However, do not be hardhearted and refuse to repent of your sins when the Law reveals it. Instead, repent and believe in the apostolic message of Christ’s forgiveness.
Collect: Lord of all power and might, Who art the Author and Giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of Thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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