Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Lebanon, OR
Bethel Lutheran Church, Sweet Home, OR
3rd Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 6A) + June 18, 2017
Text: Matthew 9:35-10:8
The Lord’s care for His people by sending the elders with His Word
The message: “You are my treasured possession”/”The Kingdom of heaven is at hand…Heal the sick, cast out demons in my name”
The people are in a wilderness (the Israelites knew it because they could see it, people today don’t realize how desolate the world is and full of wolves)
Harassed and helpless – On the one hand, burdened by heavy Law and false religion, on the other hand ignorant and left to follow myths about God. Either way, without the pure Word of God, they were in grave spiritual danger.
In the Old Testament lesson, the context is Moses leading the children of Israel in the wilderness. God gives His Word to Moses, “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” You can hear in those words how precious the people are to God, that He ransomed them from Egyptian slavery with a strong arm, so that they would be His treasured possession. He wanted good and blessing for them.
In short, God was a father to them, and He showed compassion to them. He heard their cries from slavery and bore them up on eagles’ wings. He provided for all their material needs—bread from heaven, quail for meat, clothing and furnishings, health, He even promised them an everlasting inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey. But most important to them was that they hear God’s heart toward them while they walked through the wilderness. Without His Word and faith in it, they quickly fell into despair—“Was it because there were no grave in Egypt that you have brought us here to die?” “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”
God’s response is to send His Word and heal them (Ps. 107:20)
 Exodus 19:5-6
 Exodus 14:11, 17:3