Fourth Week in Epiphany – Tuesday
He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me. – Luke 10:16.
Besides the apostles the Lord Jesus appointed other disciples, seventy in number, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place whither He Himself would come. And He said unto them: “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth laborers into His harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves” (Luke 10:2-3).
And, furthermore, He instructed them not to be concerned about their food, but to let those provide for them who would receive them and their message. But if the people of a city would not receive them, then they were to say publicly: “Even the very dust of your city which cleaveth on us we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you” (v. 11). And lastly Jesus said: “He that heareth you heareth Me, and he that despiseth you despiseth Me, and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me” (v. 16).
This Word of the Lord applies to all preachers of His Word at all times, that is, to those who preach His Word right and pure throughout. Observe that well! If your preacher, be he eloquent or not, preaches the Word of Jesus, then you must hear him as if you heard Jesus Himself. You must listen to the Word, not to the person. Do you understand? If, however, you despise such a preacher, then in reality, you despise Jesus; and if you despise Jesus, you despise God the Father that sent Him to redeem the world.
PRAYER. – Lord God, Heavenly Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast given us Thy Word and hast also appointed the holy ministry. I pray Thee, in the name of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and at His command, to send forth faithful laborers into Thy vineyard, and to grant that those whom Thou hast sent may abide in the true doctrine and lead a Christian life unto their earthly end. Give to me and to all Christians a rich measure of Thy Holy Spirit working through Thy Word, that at all times we may gladly receive that Word which Thy faithful ministers preach, diligently follow its teachings, and in the end obtain eternal life by Thy grace alone, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, our Lord. Amen.
Oh, grant that in Thy Holy Word
We here may live and die, dear Lord;
And when our journey endeth here,
Receive us into glory there.
Hymn 292, v. 9 (TLH)