Worship Helps for Pentecost 19

Worship Theme: Sinners sin. We all sin. But we cannot excuse our sin because we act like others. Sin requires radical surgery. Jesus says: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off” (Mark 9:43). The good news is that Jesus was “cut off” from his own Father through his death on the cross, in order to reunite us with God and with one another. As his servants we are the “salt” of the earth, standing out as we show allegiance to Jesus and the gospel.

Old Testament: Numbers 11:16, 24-29 The LORD said to Moses: "Bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you. … 24 So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. 25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again. 26 However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." 28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses' aide since youth, spoke up and said, "Moses, my lord, stop them!" 29 But Moses replied, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!"

1. When Moses, exasperated, turned to God because the Israelites were complaining about having to eat manna all the time, how did God first respond? (See 11:16)

2. Why did a young man run and tell Moses about Eldad and Medad, who were still in the camp?

3. Why didn’t Moses want Eldad and Medad to stop?

Epistle: Philippians 1:12-18a Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. 15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

4. What had happened to Paul, which turned out, surprisingly, to advance the gospel’s spread?

5. How did Paul react when others preached Christ out of envy and rivalry?

Gospel: Mark 9:38-50 "Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us." 39 "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. 42 "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. 43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. 44  45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 46  47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where "'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.' 49 Everyone will be salted with fire. 50 "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

6. What prompted John to tattle to Jesus about a miracle worker that was not one of the twelve?

7. Summarize the obligations of disciples for one another according to Mark 9:42-50.



Answers:
1. Moses receives mercy in the leadership department: Now 70 men will help him lead the nation. But the people get their wish for meat, and a plague with it for grumbling against the LORD.

2. A young man ran and told Moses about Eldad and Medad because they were prophesying in the camp, instead of around the tent, like the other elders. Joshua told Moses to have them stop.

3. Moses didn’t want them to stop because he wished that all God’s people were prophets with the Spirit on them.

4. Paul was under house arrest in Rome for a long time.

5. Paul said, “The important thing is that in every way Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”

6. Perhaps John was jealous. John said the disciples stopped the man because he “was not one of us.” Do we look down on one other Christians who are not part of our church body? Jesus said, “Do not stop him…whoever is not against us is for us.” Likewise we confess in the Nicene Creed that we believe in one, holy Christian apostolic church.

7. A disciple will do everything possible to save the life of the soul. Participation in Christ’s Kingdom is worth any sacrifice. The hand will not grasp what God forbids. The foot will not go where God’s “No Trespassing” sign stands. The eye will not gaze on that which God hates. Keep your “saltiness” by living for the Gospel and Christ Jesus.

Putting your faith into action
When the Israelites grumbled, Moses felt the weight of it as if he were carrying the burden all alone. The Lord showed him in this Old Testament reading that he could place his Spirit upon many leaders, and even upon the “unauthorized.” Surprisingly effective service can be given by some from whom you least expect it. For not one of us has all of God’s gifts, but each of us should look for his God-given opportunities to serve while giving thanks for the gifts and services of others.


A reading from the Book of Concord for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost
It is forbidden to bring any disgrace upon our neighbor regarding his wife.  The sixth commandment takes aim at adultery, because among the Jewish people it was ordained and commanded that everyone must be married.  The young were engaged to be married early, and the virgin state was held in small esteem.  Yet neither were public prostitution and lewdness tolerated.  Therefore, adultery was the most common form of unchastity among them. 


But among us there is such a shameful mess and the very dregs of all vice and lewdness.  Therefore, this commandment is directed against all kinds of unchastity, whatever it may be called.  Not only is the outward act of adultery forbidden, but also every kind of cause, motive, and means of adultery.  Then the heart, the lips, and the whole body may be chaste and offer no opportunity, help, or persuasion toward inchastity. We must also resist temptation, offer protection, and rescue honor wherever there is danger and need.  We must give help and counsel, so as to maintain our neighbor’s honor.  For whenever you abandon this effort when you could resist unchastity, or whenever you overlook it as if it did not concern you, you are as truly guilty of adultery as the one doing the deed.  Everyone must live chastely himself and help his neighbor do the same.  By this commandment God wishes to protect every spouse so that no one trespasses against him or her. – Large Catechism, Ten Commandments, paragraphs 200-205

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