Biblical Text: Mark 1:40-54
Full Text of Sermon
Bonhoeffer called it cheap grace. A taking of the cleaning, the grace of Christ, without also taking on discipleship or the Lordship of Christ.
If you read this biblical text, you can’t help but think that cheap grace has been around for a long time. The leper is cleansed. But Jesus gives him two instructions. One we know he didn’t follow, and the second we get no report about. That second stern warning Jesus issued was, “offer what Moses commanded, for a witness to them.” We Lutherans would call that the 3rd use of the law. The law can’t save. What Moses commanded leads first to our death, but the law of Moses is still how God intended us to live. The moral law is God’s understanding of how to live a truly human life. And that is as far from cheap grace as possible. It is living that tough life, trying to live a clean life, that is a strong witness. And this is what Jesus sternly warns the healed to do.
The cleansing is grace. It is free. Christ has restored you. Do you settle for the cheap grace, or do take on the yoke of the disciple, the Lordship of the Christ who has made you clean?