In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Ghost.
The entirety of today’s Gospel is summed up in its last verse, the last Words from Jesus: “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.” There is a slight translation and understanding issue here, however. When we hear the word “keep” we get into a sort of works righteousness mindset and hear “God will bless me only if I obey His Word.” While there’s certainly nothing wrong with making your goal obeying the Word of God, the Greek word here translated in almost every English version as “keep” doesn’t necessarily carry that meaning. A better translation is “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and guard it,” in the sense of holding it sacred, gladly hearing and learning it, as Luther taught us in the explanation of the Third Commandment. Those who center their lives in Word and Sacrament are blessed by God. Why? Not because of anything they do, but because they live in constant reception of the Means by which God comes to them, to forgive them, to strengthen them, and to keep them steadfast in the faith to life everlasting.
Sermons from Mount Olive
Mount Olive follows the historic one-year lectionary (series of readings).