Reality Augmented by Sin


Date: Quinquagesima Text: Luke 18:31-43 If you would like to be on Kongsvinger’s e-mailing list to receive information on how to attend all of our ONLINE discipleship and fellowship opportunities, please email [email protected]. Being on the e-mailing list will also give you access to fellowship time on Sunday mornings as well as Sunday morning Bible study.


Welcome to the teaching ministry of Kungsvinger Lutheran Church. Kungsvinger is a beacon for the gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of northwestern
Minnesota. We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins in salvation by grace through faith alone.
And now, here's a message from Pastor Chris Roseborough. The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, the 18th chapter.
Taking the twelve, Jesus said to them, See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the
Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For He will be delivered over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.
And after flogging Him they will kill Him, and on the third day He will rise. But they understood none of these things.
This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said. As He drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside, begging.
And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.
And he cried out, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. And those who were in the front rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he cried out all the more, Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to Him.
And when he came near, he asked him, what do you want me to do for you? He said, Lord, let me recover my sight.
And Jesus said to him, recover your sight. Your faith has made you well. And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying
God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. This is the gospel of the
Lord, in the name of Jesus, amen. So this has been an interesting week in technology.
People have been receiving via UPS and FedEx, well, a new device,
Apple Vision Pro. And all the buzz is talking about augmented reality.
Looks like a pair of ski goggles put over someone's face. And what does it do? Well, it changes reality.
All of a sudden, you can see screens in places where there are no screens. And you can watch television in rooms where there is no television.
You can compute, and do things, and work, and do tasks, and put timers, and all this kind of stuff in augmented reality.
Which has to kind of beg the question, is augmented reality reality? And have you ever considered the impact that sin has had on our perception of reality?
I would note that sin has definitely augmented our perception of reality. And it becomes very clear in our gospel text that sight is kind of one of these things as major theme here.
The disciples, Jesus speaks plainly words about what's about to take place.
And it doesn't register with them at all. They are completely oblivious to what Jesus meant when he said, listen, boys, we're going up to Jerusalem.
Everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. He will be delivered over to the
Gentiles. He will be mocked, and shamefully treated, and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him.
On the third day, he will rise. And they're sitting there going, is this one of Jesus's parables?
Because we know what's going to happen to Jesus. We're on our way to Jerusalem, and he's the king.
He's going to be coronated. We're going to kick the Romans out. We're going to establish a glorious government that's going to just fill the earth with Jesus's teaching, his love, and his miracles.
And it's going to be fantastic. And how do I know this is the case? Well, cross -references help here.
In the Gospel of Matthew, this same journey that they're on towards Jerusalem, a stupid thing happens on the way to Jerusalem.
In fact, I thought about naming this sermon, A Stupid Thing Happened on the Way to Jerusalem. It didn't quite have the same kick to it.
But that being the case, let me read this to you. This is from Matthew 20. Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to Jesus with her sons, and kneeling before him, oh, how pious.
She asked him for something. And he said to her, what do you want? And she said to him, say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left in your kingdom.
This is the augmented reality thing going on here. They hear Jesus say words like, listen,
I'm going to be flogged, delivered over to the Gentiles, spit upon, killed, and on the third day rise.
And we look at this and we go, yeah, Jesus meant exactly what he said. He wasn't pulling any punches.
There's no deeper spiritual meaning here. He's explaining the exact series of events as they're going to go down in a compressed form.
And the disciples are sitting there going, Jesus, we know that you're going to set up your kingdom when you get to Jerusalem.
And so what do the Zebedee brothers do? They send mommy. Boy, talk about mommy issues here.
They send mommy to beg Jesus that her sons, one can sit on the right hand and one on the left, the most honored and powerful princely positions of power in the kingdom.
She wants them to have the cushiest, most powerful cabinet positions in Jesus's kingdom.
And they send their mom. It's like,
I want to point this out here. And that is, is that if this were not a true eyewitness account of what really happened, if this was some made up story, the disciples would not be putting in all of this embarrassing information into the gospel text.
We have a tendency as human beings to want to make ourselves the heroes, to kind of put aside the stuff that has the blemishes and stuff like that and make ourselves look good.
I love the fact the gospel here makes the Zebedee brothers look like complete, yeah.
But you'll note Jesus still being kind and loving, he says to the
Zebedee brother's mother, you don't know what you're asking. And so with all three of them there, he asks the question, are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?
And they don't know what's in this cup. So he said, yeah, we're able. All right, he said, all right, you will drink my cup.
But to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my father.
And we'll note here, Jesus is the only fellow there at this time that has a clear perception of reality.
They do not. They are taking Jesus' words that he's gonna be delivered over to the Gentiles and stuff like this and saying, yeah, well, yeah, that'll, whatever, but you're gonna be king and we're gonna be princes and we're all, it's gonna be glorious.
They're just completely ignoring all of this. Their eyes have been covered with sin and ambition and pride.
And their hopes and expectations are not properly grounded in what God's word says.
Jesus knows full well what's gonna happen to him. And you'll note, despite the fact that Christ knows exactly what will happen to him, he is dead set on going to Jerusalem.
He knows full well the pain and the suffering and the anguish that he's about to experience.
The scripture tells us that it's for the joy that was set before him that he endured the cross, despising its shame.
The joy that sat before him of saving you and I, of redeeming us, reconciling us to God.
You'll note that over and again scripture talks about the fact that we will experience joy when we finally see heaven, when we see the new earth, when we see the glory of God, we will experience joy.
But the scripture reveals that it was for the joy, that for that joy that was set before him that Christ endured the cross.
In other words, there's great joy in God, in the Trinity, in his lost children being reconciled and redeemed and set free from sin.
And that being the case, you'll note then, that when Jesus does come into his kingdom, he truly is coronated.
But he ain't coronated the way we do coronations here. Did you guys watch the coronation of King Charles last year?
It was interesting. It was really kind of interesting. And I had to sit there.
There's a lot of pomp and circumstance. But the big moment is when they took that hunk and crown and stuck it on his head, and he had the scepter and the others.
And you're sitting there going, this is a big deal. But you'll note what Christ in his coronation didn't choose to be crowned with a crown of gold, jewels.
Instead, he chose to be crowned in his coronation with a crown of thorns. And when he came into his kingdom, the two prime spots, one on his right and one on his left, that was reserved for those thieves that were beside him on his cross.
Christ didn't sit on a throne on the day of his coronation. He was nailed to a tree, bled, suffered, and died so that you and I can be forgiven, so that we can be reconciled.
And all of this, it is Christ's joy to do. This is why he endured it.
And knowing full well what he's about to experience, he didn't turn away. The disciples, even though Jesus was speaking to them plainly, they completely did not understand it.
And it wasn't until after the resurrection where they were kind of sitting around going, he actually meant that he was gonna rise bodily from the grave.
That's what he meant when he said, I will rise on the third day. Exactly. And you'll note then, one of the things we have to keep in mind as Christians is that sin blinds us, sin augments our perception of reality.
And as a result of it, our sinful nature doesn't want to believe plain and simple words of God.
Plain and simple stuff. You ask the average person nowadays, is it true that the earth was created in six days?
No, of course not. We know that it says six days, and yam is day, and all this kind of stuff.
But remember with the Lord, one day is as 1 ,000 years, so those six days could be a bazillion years, right?
Uh -huh, I'm pretty sure that it means what it says, and it says what it means.
Are you saying that anybody who believes in Christ, that all of their sins are forgiven?
Yep. Are you saying that when we received the Lord's Supper, we received the body and blood of Jesus Christ given and shed for the forgiveness of our sins?
Well, that's what Jesus said. Well, don't you think he meant something else? Nope, I don't believe that at all.
This is my body, he said. He didn't say this symbolizes my body, right?
This symbolizes my blood. He says this is my body, this is my blood. Well, and remember in John chapter six that people had that exact same response.
This is cannibalism, right? And what does Jesus say? He doubles down and says, yeah, unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you.
Are you saying that when Jesus returns, he's gonna return and he's gonna actually raise the dead from the grave?
You betcha, that's how this works. In fact, Jesus says, I make all things new.
I can't wait to be made new, cuz this 1968 model Caucasian's got a lot of miles on it, right?
You get the idea. So you'll note that many people bristle at these ideas.
They bristle at the words of God, and they try to discount them. They try to discredit them.
They do not understand what they mean. And because they don't understand according to the way they perceive reality, they try to change
God's word so it says something different. That's what the disciples did here. And we need to be aware that our sinful nature augments reality and we need to start taking the goggles off so that we can see the truth.
And to take the goggles off, open up the word of God and let it speak to you. And don't put the goggles back on and say, well, that's not reasonable.
That can't be that. Take them off. See it for what it is. And you'll note then in that same theme, we have an interesting fellow here,
Blind Bartimaeus. Now, it doesn't name him in our Luke text, but we know from other gospel accounts that this fellow is named
Bartimaeus. And that's a good thing to know. And one of the things we can say about Blind Bartimaeus is that he made a living doing what?
Begging, right? You'll note that in our way of thinking, a person is reduced to their lowest level when the only thing they can do in order to make ends meet is to beg.
And to rely on the charity and the kindness of others. Hmm, that sounds a lot like being a
Christian, right? And you'll note that we live in a world where people in the visible church bristle at the idea of being beggars, especially when it comes to God.
And like the disciples who were thinking about glory and power and positions and things like this, there are whole ranks within the visible church now who when you ask them about prayer, they say praying goes like this.
I decree and I declare and I command and I control. Cancer, you get out of this building and we're gonna get rid of all mental illness.
And are you struggling with poverty? I take poverty and I rebuke you, right?
That's how they talk. And you know what? They have the same augmented reality that the disciples had, thinking that they were going to Jerusalem for glory and power.
We're gonna have positions of power. We're gonna be able to give commands to write laws and pass policy and clean up this town, right?
But that's not what we're called to do as Christians. That is not prayer. Prayer is recognizing that you're a beggar and that we need to be about the business of petitioning, asking, begging
God for help in our time of need. And our time of need always comes.
Our time of need is even today. Does not Christ teach us in the petitions, in the
Lord's prayer, to pray for daily bread? If I'm having to ask
God for daily bread, then doesn't that mean that every meal that I eat is in fact a gift, a gracious gift from God, given to me out of his kindness, his mercy, and his love?
It is. And so we have a lot to learn from Brian Bartimaeus because here's the funny thing about this fellow.
His sin hasn't augmented his reality. And although he cannot see, he sees exactly who
Jesus is. Go figure, the blind man sees while the men with sight have to send mommy to blindly and to stupidly ask for positions of power that aren't even coming, right?
So as Jesus then drew near to Jericho, he's getting close to Jerusalem now. A blind man was sitting by the roadside begging right on.
And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him
Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. And he cried out, oh, this is a good prayer.
Son of David, have mercy on me. Wait a second, isn't that what we just prayed during the
Kyrie? In peace, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For the peace from above and for our salvation, let us pray to the
Lord. Lord, have mercy. We've learned how to pray like him. Have you ever considered the
Kyrie, a bunch of petitions begging God for the very things we need? In fact, it is.
So, son of David, have mercy on me. By the way, that's a pretty darn good prayer on another level.
He has a really good Christology here. He knows exactly who Jesus is. He knows that he's the son of David.
That means he knows he's the Messiah. And what happened? The people who were in front rebuked blind
Bartimaeus, telling him to be silent. Shut up, beggar. Be quiet.
Put a cork in it. Don't be so loud about that Messiah stuff. The Pharisees will get upset. Who knows what their motive was, but they were telling him to shut up.
Well, you know, if you're good at begging, and he was a beggar for a living, do you think somebody telling you to shut up is gonna sit there and go, well, maybe
I need to rethink my career choices here? No way. Blind Bartimaeus knows full well that sometimes persistence in begging gets you exactly what you want, right?
And so rather than being silent, he cried out all the more. He basically took his volume, cranked it up to 11, and let it out.
Son of David, have mercy on me. And those words just hit the atmosphere.
Had to use that because charismatics always use that word. Had to find a way to weave it into my sermon.
It hits the atmosphere, and Jesus stops. He hears his begging.
And so Jesus commanded. No, he's the commander here. Jesus commanded him to be brought to him.
You bring that blind man here to me. And so when he came near, he asked him, what do you want me to do for you?
He said, Lord, let me recover my sight. Now, that is quite a huge request, is it not?
But have you ever stopped to think that every time one of us falls ill and gets a diagnosis that is pretty negative, that each and every time that we're near death, when we lift up somebody before Christ, and in our prayer time beg that God would have mercy on them, and heal them, that are we not doing the same?
Indeed, we are. So you'll note that we can ask God for something as small as a meal, our daily bread, and as big as our physical recovery from a huge problem in our bodies.
Now, God being God has the prerogative to say yes, or to say no.
And sometimes God says no for our own good. Keep that in mind. And sometimes God says no because he has something better for you.
I remember praying for people that God would heal them, and they died. I consider that to be a better answer to prayer, because those people are now with Christ.
You gotta remember, my goal as a pastor is not to get you to cross some finished line of faith. Oh, we got the person to confess
Jesus and believe in them for the forgiveness of sin. We got that person baptized. My job's over, whew, okay?
No, my job here is to safely deliver you into the yard over there, in the faith.
Keep that in mind. That's a pretty grim task, right? You know, you're not safe until you're out of this world and in the arms of Christ.
And in this world, we have to what? Pray, beg.
And you'll note that that requires you to humble yourself. But again, you'll note blind
Bartimaeus didn't have any goggles over his face, augmenting reality that kept him from perceiving who
Jesus truly was. He knew exactly who he was, even though he couldn't see him. How'd he figure that out? Well, he stuck his eyes in his ears.
And his ears became very attuned to what the truth was that he was hearing, and as a result of it, he believed and trusted in Christ.
So, Lord, let me recover my sight. And Jesus said to him, recover your sight. Your faith has made you well.
Actually, the Greek's more like your faith has saved you. And when
Jesus commands, things happen. Immediately, he recovered his sight, and he followed
Jesus, glorifying God, and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. So, brothers and sisters, we are about to embark in Lent.
It is coming up. Wednesday night, it begins, with Ash Wednesday. And it is a 40 -day penitential season, a time for us to honestly look at our lives and to recognize the sin that we still struggle with and to beg
God for mercy and to cry out to the Holy Spirit to give us strength to mortify our sinful flesh.
You'll note the word mortification. It's a wonderful word, by the way. It means put your sinful nature to death.
Well, how often am I supposed to murder that fellow? Daily, hourly if necessary, minute by minute, second by second.
That's the point. You'll note that we are called by God to mortify our sinful flesh, to kill it, to not negotiate with it.
Sit there and go, well, listen, okay, if you give me a little bit of what I want, I'll give you a little bit of that sin that you want, right?
And come to terms with your sin and live in harmony with it. Nope. We are called by Scripture to mortify our sinful flesh.
And so we must recognize here that the reason why we are in the pickle that we're in, in the suffering that we're in, in the difficulty and the warfare that we find ourselves in is because of our sin and our participation in sin and the ways of the devil.
We have to recognize the impact of this is so devastating and so complex and so far -reaching that even
Jesus's closest disciples who spent three years with him were still blinded by the augmented reality that their sin put over their eyes.
And we are capable of that same problem too. And so this is a time for us to cry out to God and beg for mercy.
A time for us to consider what Christ has done and to consider this, that Jesus knew full well he was going to the cross and he didn't even flinch.
He went straight there to suffer for you and I so that we can be reconciled and that finally the augmented reality of sin would be lifted from our eyes and so we can see
God for who he really is. And we can see the truth and that the truth,
Jesus would set us free from slavery to sin, death, and the devil. So let us humble ourselves yet again daily.
Cry out to God for mercy and for strength to mortify our sinful flesh and let us ask this
Lenten tide for God to show us where reality truly is so that we no longer believe the augments of sin, trusting then that God, hearing our begging petitions, would answer us according to his grace.
In the name of Jesus, amen. If you would like to support the teaching ministry of Kungsvinger Lutheran Church, you can do so by sending a tax -free donation to Kungsvinger Lutheran Church, 15950 470th
Avenue Northwest, Oslo, Minnesota, 56744. And again, that address is
Kungsvinger Lutheran Church, 15950 470th Avenue Northwest, Oslo, Minnesota. We thank you for your support.
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