By Rev. Ronald Stelzer
Caiaphas Continues the Impeachment Process
CAIAPHAS: Thus far this Lenten season we have brought four articles of impeachment against Jesus of Nazareth, the self-proclaimed “King of the Jews”. Each article is based on one of the commandments our God gave Moses on Mount Sinai. The first article was for Blasphemy: claiming for himself the honor that belongs to God alone. The second article was for repeatedly and flagrantly violating the Sabbath. The third was for Insubordination against Legitimate Authority, which includes our founding fathers and our current esteemed leaders. The fourth was for Murder, treasonous actions that cannot help but result in the fall of our nation and the suffering and death of many of our population.
But we are not finished. I now introduce The Fifth Article of Impeachment for Corrupting the Morals of Society. A fair trial includes witnesses. I invite Simon the Pharisee to bring this article of impeachment.
Simon The Pharisee Takes the Stand
You can tell a man’s character by the kind of people he hangs out with, and this man is clearly a friend of sinners. As for this man’s most intimate associates, not one of them is a scribe or a Pharisee or even a Sadducee or Herodian. With the possible exception of the one he entrusted to handle his group’s funds, none of his disciples are men of distinction or high reputation.
“Let Him who is without sin cast the first stone”
But that’s not the worst of it. He seems to gravitate to the dregs of society: tax collectors, prostitutes – all those our nation would be better off without. Let me give you a few specifics: Once we caught a woman in the very act of adultery. Now we all know this act is against the Law of Moses and requires the death penalty. We brought this wretched woman to Jesus to see if he would abide by our Law. He couldn’t answer. So, he changed the subject. He told all the innocent bystanders: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Thus, he let her off with some sort of light probation, saying. “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” What kind of justice is that?!
Jesus is Accused of Being Socially Irresponsible
In Samaria he was seen alone with another woman of ill repute at the town well of Sychar. A woman with whom even the other women of the town – the decent ones – wouldn’t be seen with in public. And he drank from the same cup she used without washing it. If this is his habit, who knows what diseases he is carrying and spreading. How unhealthy! How revolting! How socially irresponsible! Just as an aside, I would advise no eat with him or touch him or touch anything he has touched. In fact, I would keep at least 6 feet away from him, and if you accidently touch anything he has touched, was your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Furthermore, I advise no one to share a meal with him. You never know who’s going to come with him. As I said, he tends to attract the dregs of society. I once invited him to dinner – putting all our differences aside. Sure enough, another sinful woman, without knocking, just barged into my house uninvited, fell down at his feet, creating quite a scene. She opens an expensive bottle of perfume, weeping she begins washing his dirty feet with her tears, then wiping his feet with her hair, kissing them and anointing them with her perfume. First of all, that’s totally unsanitary, but more importantly, if he was truly a man of God, he would know who and what kind of woman this was who was touching him. SHE’S A SINNER, MY GOD!!
Your Faith Has Saved You
Did he stop her? NO! Did he apologize to me, his host? NO! He made excuses for her, saying she was showing a lot of love, and then he accused me, his host, of having bad manners! And to top it off, he acted like he was God, but did something God would never do. He said to her. “Your sins are forgiven.” Just like that. No punishment. No probation. Not giving her a rebuke or even a basic lesson in hygiene and etiquette. He even commended her, saying, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” So, he thinks he can dispense salvation on a woman of ill repute and boorish behavior just for having faith! Can you imagine the damage this man will do to the morals of the entire nation if he isn’t stopped, publicly censured, and impeached?
Jesus Comes for the Sick not the Healthy
And be sure, these are not isolated offenses, but a way of life for this fellow. We’ve been watching him closely for quite some time. He’s known for attracting and associating with tax collectors, prostitutes, and sinners of the worst kind. And then he tells his made-up stories – parables he calls them - where he exalts publicans and Samaritans and denounces priests, Levites and Pharisees – implying that we are unsaved and poor neighbors. He tries to justify his outrageous words and actions by saying that he is a doctor who has come for the sick, not the healthy. “Outrageous” doesn’t begin to describe this fellow. He must be held accountable. Impeach him and get rid of him. Immediately. That’s all I have to say.
Mary Magdalene Takes the Stand
I am Mary Magdalene. I guess I’m the kind of person you’ve been talking about. I had a very-bad reputation, and deservedly so. And I was frankly out of my mind. Tormented by demons. I was wretched and miserable and a social outcast. No one wanted my around. I don’t blame them.
Jesus is a Friend to Sinners
Then Jesus came along. He didn’t avoid me. He didn’t reprimand me. He had compassion on me. He healed me. He cast out the demons that were tormenting me. He loved me. Not in the way you’re probably thinking. He loved me purely, chastely. Jesus may be a friend of adulterers, but he is no adulterer. But yes, he loved me. He truly did. In fact, I believe he truly does. And always will.
Jesus Rises from the Dead!
After he was crucified, I was distraught. On the third day after his burial I was alone, crying. I answered, “Someone has moved the stone from the entrance to Jesus’ tomb. They’ve taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they put him.” He called my name; “Mary.” I recognized the voice. I turned around a saw him – JESUS! The rumor was true! He had risen for the dead! He looked so good! So beautiful! We were alone in the garden. I would have smothered him with kisses, but he didn’t let me cling to him. He told me to go back to his disciples and tell them He is risen. I know it was him! Later he appeared to all his disciples -several times – and once to 500 of us before we saw him ascend into heaven.
He is Always with Us
Before He left, He told us to tell the world about Him – who He was and what He had done and all He had taught us, and what it all meant. And that He would be with us always – until He would return for us. I believe He is with me. Always. I believe He is the Son of God. And yes, I know He loves me. And I love Him. Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me! But he is no adulterer. But He is a friend of sinners. That I can tell you. What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. HALLELUJAH!!
The Impeachment Continues
Read Article 6: Stealing
About The Author
Pastor: Rev. Ronald Stelzer is a 3rd generation minister in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and 2nd generation teacher and coach in Lutheran schools.
He was raised in a six-child family in Kansas and Indiana, graduated from St. Paul's Lutheran School and Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne, Davidson College in North Carolina and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and Fort Wayne.
He and wife Margaret of 35 years have six grown children and six grandchildren. He has served two years in sports ministry with Athletes in Action, a year in youth missions with Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ, four years as chaplain/teacher/coach at his high school alma mater, and 35 years as pastor of Our Savior, where he helped found and lead Our Savior New American School 28 years ago.
8 & 10:30 AM: Worship Service
• Childcare Provided
• Children's Sunday School
(Pre K to 6th Grade)
• Confirmation Program
(7th & 8th Grade)
• Adult Bible Study
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Communion Service Every Sunday
Pastor: Rev. Ronald W. Stelzer
Assistant to the Pastor: Gary D’Aquino, LCMS Deacon
Director of Parish Music: Ray Knehnetski
Secretary: Robin Reade