Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pentecost 12 - Proper 15

Almighty God, whom to know is everlasting life; grant us to know Your Son Jesus to be the way, the truth and the life that we may steadfastly follow His steps in the way that leads to life eternal;

Do you live to ear or eat to live? That all depends on your age, and your metabolism. While miss manners may offer advice of the proper answer, the unique spiritual answer to this question in light of today’s Gospel is that you need both. With eagerness, we receive all that God gives. Through His working in our life, we have real life in Christ.

  1. People often undervalue God’s gifts.

A.      The gifts seem too simple (Vv.41- 42, 52) “They were therefore grumbling about Jesus because He had said, I am the bread that came down from heaven. And they were saying, is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He say, “I am the bread of life?” And the leaders of the people continued to argue saying, how can this man give us His flesh to eat?

1.       How could Jesus come from heaven? The crowd knew His family. They were familiar with His father and mother. He was no different from them. He most certainly   could not have come from heaven. They had no idea; standing before them was the Lord of life. [illustration spotting Yoko Ono in NYC]
2.       The world wants a Jesus they can claim to be their own. If they have control, over which Jesus they will trust in they can tell us everything of which He is about. Unfortunately, this Jesus is often the invention of their own sinful imagination and will.  And the Jesus the world falls in love with is by no means a man from God.

B.      The gifts are often thought to be worthless (V.58) “This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

1.       People value too highly their own works.

2.       Believing seems too simple to have any real value.

People living in ignorance and blindness have no clue whatsoever who Jesus is, where He has come from let alone His mission. Through the proclamation of the clear Word of the Lord people are brought into a right understanding of Jesus the Savior of the world

  1.  Christ offers the life and death gifts to God’s people.

A.      God the Father calls us. (v.44) “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

1.       The Father is always pleading and calling us.

2.       He uses those means, which draws us as. This is what He has always done. This is what He will always do.

B.      He sustains us through this life (V. 51) “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

1.       The Scriptures reveal the Gospel.

2.       The Sacraments bring the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation, as they are the means by which the Gospel flows from the Father’s hand into the believer’s heart.

C.      Christ gave His flesh and blood a payment of sin and for the life of the world.

1.       This is why the Son was sent to destroy the works of the Devil.

2.       As Jesus made His trip to the cross, we see those deliberate acts, which He performed to draw you to Himself.  His miracles, His sufferings, He trip to the cross were not random acts of Jesus kindness. They all a part of the Father’s plan to win for you salvation.

God’s mercy has provided a way that we will always know where the next meal is coming from. Believing, we trust and find contentment in His merciful sustain feeding hand.  

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