How Much More?

Luke 11: 1 – 13
Genesis 18: 20 – 33
Colossians 2: 6 – 15

How Much More?


My brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord gathers us together offering much more than we dare ask or expect.  Each Sunday He calls us to sit at His feet, encouraging us to rejoice that our names are written in the Book of Life that is in heaven, exhorting us, heirs of eternal life, to go and give His unmerited mercy, His steadfast love, His dearly paid for forgiveness to those fallen upon by the evil one, beaten and stripped and left half dead, and to receive Him into both our hearts and homes where He gives us the one thing needful – Himself – the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.


Today, He calls us to boldly ask, to unhesitatingly seek and to faithfully knock where justice and mercy are found.  Abraham was an imprudent friend who beat on the heart of God, shamelessly petitioned God to be true to His Name and not destroy the holy ones with the profane ones, boldly negotiated for the better deal by confessing God’s nature is just and merciful, unhesitatingly reminded God of the holiness of His name that must be kept holy, and faithfully acknowledged and praised God’s steadfast love and unmerited mercies.  Abraham’s shameless petitions for justice and mercy were successful for God promised not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if there were fifty, then forty-five, forty, thirty, twenty, ten righteous among the wicked.  God mercifully spared Lot and his family from the divine justice that fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah – His holy ones were not destroyed with the wicked.  Do you and I grasp how much more God did than what Abraham petitioned?


Now Jesus shows us “how much more” God gives than we are inclined or able to ask of Him.  At that moment Jesus was moving steadfastly and intentionally toward His death in Jerusalem, faithfully praying to His Father, steadfastly doing His Father’s will, and tirelessly preaching, teaching and healing those imprisoned in the darkness of sin, death and the power of the devil.  On that day a disciple came and asked Jesus to teach them to pray like John taught His disciples.  Like the seventy-two that returned exuberant over their work of healing and casting out demons and the scribe who sought to test Jesus with the question of inherit eternal life” this disciple asks a question that also falls short of the mark, seeking to put the disciples on a level with John’s and completely oblivious to the fact that He knocked on He who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Up to this point they have thought of God as the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of the fatherless (Psalm 68: 5), and the Father of the Messiah (Psalm 89: 26).  Jesus responds with much more – just as God’s response to Abraham’s petition so Jesus’ to the disciple’s request.  Jesus reveals that God the Father calls all mankind into an intimate, a familial, and a Baptismal relationship to Himself through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.  The God of creation beckons His holy ones to call Him – Abba – Father – for He owns you and me as His own children for Jesus’ sake.  The Teacher does not allow any ambiguity to enter His prayer but clearly identifies our heavenly Father as He who reigns over all creation.  From whose hand every living creature receives its sustenance, strength, protection, contentment, and salvation.  The Messiah further drives home the fact that our heavenly Father is the Holy One whose name the Jews dared not speak but now Jesus boldly instructs us to call our heavenly Father, raising us up as His brothers and sisters.  Yet, much more it is also the name of Jesus.  It is also the name of the Holy Spirit.  It is the name with which you and I were baptized.  It was the name God has placed on all His children, you and me.  Jesus unites heaven and earth in Himself for He, the exact radiance of God, knows and accomplished the will of God by taking upon Himself your sins and my sins and the sins of every man, woman and child that has lived, is living today, and will live until He comes again as He hung upon the cross and paid for them once and for all – completely and fully.  Our heavenly Father’s will was to validate Jesus’ salvific death by raising Him on the third day and seating Him at His right Hand, both guaranteeing us that He completely and eternally cancelled the record of our debt AND that having joined us to Jesus in a death like His He will surely raise us up to eternal life just as He did for Christ Jesus.  Jesus, true God and true man, ensures we believe, teach and confess we are both mortal and immortal creatures with our cry to our heavenly Father for our daily bread for both the body and the spirit, richly providing our food that we eat at our tables for physical strength and health and the true manna from heaven and His life-giving blood at this altar that gives us true and eternal life, salvation, forgiveness of our sins, and freedom from the power of sin, death and the devil.  The Lamb of God calls us to exercise our forgiveness from our sinful thoughts, words, and deeds by humbly, joyfully, and immediately extending our forgiveness to anyone who has sinned against us in thought, word and deed.  The Suffering Servant then reminds us that our faith and the new creature in Christ must be strengthened and safeguarded through daily testing as He leads us on the upward Path of Life to our heavenly Father’s home even as the evil one schemes and plots to tempt us to question God’s steadfast love, unfailing truthfulness, unmerited mercy and unwavering faithfulness as revealed in Holy Scriptures,  to seek paths that gratify the flesh and lead through the many deceptive entrances into unrepentant sin, death and the slavery of the devil.  How much more is His prayer over John the Baptizer’ or any other person’s.


My brothers and sisters in Christ, God has heard our cries this week and answered our prayers according to His will and with His means.  He has seen our struggles against the many dark and profane forces that sought to enshroud and blind us and shined the light of His justice and mercy into our hearts that we would see clearly with the eyes of faith.  He who teaches us to pray calls us to see, believe and embrace how much more God gives above and beyond our requests or expectation.  He does not teach us to pray as John’s disciples to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but as His brothers and sisters to our heavenly Father.  He does not teach us distant prayers to the Holy God but boldly, confidently and unashamedly brings us into the very throne room of God.  He does not give us old and tired formulas and matrixes as “helps” to pray but gives us the Holy Spirit who “helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8: 26)  If we, who are evil, know how to pray for good things, how much more God the Son knows how to teach us to pray to God the Father, giving you and me His prayer that by the power of the Holy Spirit we would pray for every good thing for body and spirit. 


Amen and Amen