Tuesday of Easter 4

1To you, | O LORD,*
         I lift | up my soul.

2O my God, in you I trust; let me not be | put to shame;*
         let not my enemies exult | over me.

3Indeed, none who wait for you shall be | put to shame;*
         they shall be ashamed who
are wantonly | treacherous.

4Make me to know your ways, | O LORD;*
         teach me | your paths.

5Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my sal- | vation;*
         for you I wait all the | day long.

6Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your | steadfast love,*
         for they have been | from of old.

7Remember not the sins of my youth or my trans- | gressions;*
         according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, | O LORD!

8Good and upright | is the LORD;*
         therefore he instructs sinners | in
the way.

9He leads the humble in | what is right,*
         and teaches the humble | his way.

10All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and | faithfulness,*
         for those who keep his covenant and
his testi- | monies.
         —Psalm 25:1–10

Additional Psalm: Psalm 141

Old Testament Reading:
Leviticus 10:1–20
The Death of Nadab and Abihu

1Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. 2And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. 3Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said, ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.

4And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Come near; carry your brothers away from the front of the sanctuary and out of the camp.” 5So they came near and carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said. 6And Moses said to Aaron and to Eleazar and Ithamar his sons, “Do not let the hair of your heads hang loose, and do not tear your clothes, lest you die, and wrath come upon all the congregation; but let your brothers, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning that the LORD has kindled. 7And do not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting, lest you die, for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you.” And they did according to the word of Moses.

8And the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying, 9“Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. 10You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, 11and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the LORD has spoken to them by Moses.”

12Moses spoke to Aaron and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his surviving sons: “Take the grain offering that is left of the LORD’s food offerings, and eat it unleavened beside the altar, for it is most holy. 13You shall eat it in a holy place, because it is your due and your sons’ due, from the LORD’s food offerings, for so I am commanded. 14But the breast that is waved and the thigh that is contributed you shall eat in a clean place, you and your sons and your daughters with you, for they are given as your due and your sons’ due from the sacrifices of the peace offerings of the people of Israel. 15The thigh that is contributed and the breast that is waved they shall bring with the food offerings of the fat pieces to wave for a wave offering before the LORD, and it shall be yours and your sons’ with you as a due forever, as the LORD has commanded.”

16Now Moses diligently inquired about the goat of the sin offering, and behold, it was burned up! And he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the surviving sons of Aaron, saying, 17“Why have you not eaten the sin offering in the place of the sanctuary, since it is a thing most holy and has been given to you that you may bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD? 18Behold, its blood was not brought into the inner part of the sanctuary. You certainly ought to have eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded.” 19And Aaron said to Moses, “Behold, today they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD, and yet such things as these have happened to me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, would the LORD have approved?” 20And when Moses heard that, he approved.

Additional Reading: Leviticus 11:1–15:33

New Testament Reading: Luke 9:37–62
Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit

37On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. 38And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. 40And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” 41Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

Jesus Again Foretells His Death

But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44“Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Who Is the Greatest?

46An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

Anyone Not Against Us Is For Us

49John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

A Samaritan Village Rejects Jesus

51When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But he turned and rebuked them. 56And they went on to another village.

The Cost of Following Jesus

57As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Christ says: Remember, children, of what spirit you are, namely, of the Holy Spirit, who is a Spirit of peace, not of division. Peter forgot this in the garden, and was rebuked when Christ said to him: Put the sword into the sheath. The Christian Church does not require fighting, but suffering. The Holy Spirit permits it now, and maintains his silence that Christ is thus crucified and abominably dealt with. Because we have the pure doctrine, it happens also to us that everything that is great in the world uses power and might against this doctrine. But God alone upholds His doctrine, else it would have been destroyed long ago. … But since they vilify the doctrine and defend their godless estate, we cannot hold silence, but must speak against them. In this we are like John and James, and in our heart desire revenge upon the godless tyrants… Here everyone should repent thoroughly and pray God that He would keep us from such murderous thoughts. We should not desire revenge, but have compassion, and remember why the Son of Man is come, namely, that we should not desire judgment and revenge upon the sinners.
         —Martin Luther

Who is sweeter than Christ Jesus?
         No good thing in Him I lack!
Hand to plow, at peace I follow
         Where He leads me … why look back?
         —All for Christ I Have Forsaken
(LSB 753:2)

Prayer of the Day
Lord of all power and might, author and giver of all good things, graft into our hearts the love of Your name and nourish us with all goodness that we may love and serve our neighbor; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (C66)

Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Solid Declaration of the Formula
of Concord VIII 7–15

By Rev. Michael Mayer

Lutheran Pastor of two small Lutheran Churches in rural SW Ontario.