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Grace Dwells in the Word

Sunday, July 25, 2021                                                            Lectionary 17 B
Prayer for receiving the Word:  Lord and Savior, open now your saving word. Let it burn like fire within us. Speak until our hearts are stirred.  Lord, we thank you for the good news that you bring.  Amen.
 
Gospel:  (Scripture was written to be heard. Please, give it a voice. Read it aloud.)John 6:1–21
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.  2A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.  3Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples.  4Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near.  5When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?"  6He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.  7Philip answered him, "Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little."  8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him,  9There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?  10Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.  11Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.  12When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost."  13So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.  14When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world."
             15When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
             16When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,  17got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.  18The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.  19When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified.  20But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."  21Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.
 
  • What does the passage have to say about God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)? 
  • What is this passage saying about who I am?
  • What word does the passage speak about how we live in community together?
  • What does God want me to do?

 
Jakob’s Notes:  6:1-4 introduces chapter 6. Feeding of the five thousand (6:5-15) Jesus turns the ordinary into the extraordinary (see 2:1-11).Miracle preformed in front of the crowd and the disciples. Verse 11describes the actions of a host at a Jewish meal. Jesus distributes the food (see Matthew 14:19, Mark 6:41, Luke 9:16). Verse 12 recalls Exodus 16:19.Verse 14 recalls Mark 4:25 and Deuteronomy 18:15. Verse 15 echoes 1:49. Jesus’ answer to the desire for a king is written in18:36-38. Jesus walking on water (6:16-21) A miracle preformed in front of disciples alone.  The proper translation for verse 20 is “I am, do not be afraid.” I AM is the divine name. (see Isaiah 43:1,25; 44:2, 8; 51:12; 52:6) and “do not be afraid” is standard declaration at the revelation of the divine (see Gen 15:1; Matthew 28:1; Luke 2:10). The safe passage across the sea holds allusions to the Exodus (see Isaiah 43:2).  
 

Grace Dwells in the Word

Sunday, August 1, 2021                                             Lectionary 18 B
 
Prayer for receiving the Word:  Lord and Savior, open now your saving word. Let it burn like fire within us. Speak until our hearts are stirred.  Lord, we thank you for the good news that you bring.  Amen.
 
Gospel:  (Scripture was written to be heard. Please, give it a voice. Read it aloud.)
John 6:24–35  24So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
             25When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"  26Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.  27Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal."  28Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?"  29Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."  30So they said to him, "What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing?  31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"  32Then Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.  33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."  34They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."
             35Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
 
  • What does the passage have to say about God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)? 
  • What is this passage saying about who I am?
  • What word does the passage speak about how we live in community together?
  • What does God want me to do?
 
Jakob’s Notes:  This is the first of the five sections of chapter 6 that make up Jesus’ dialogue and discourse on the Bread of Life. Jesus says that the crowd does not see the miraculous feeding as a sign. This is unlike earlier signs (2:1-11; 4:46-54) which result in people believing in Jesus.  Verses 27-31, Jesus and the crowd use the same word with different meaning. In verse 28 the crowd misses Jesus’ grace by transforming work into a performance.  Then they shift the burden of faith to imply that they will do God’s work only if Jesus does God’s work first and performs a sign, further proof that they did not see the sign that has already been provided.  The quote in 6:31 could refer to Psalm78:24 or Exodus 16:4, 15. Verse 32, Jesus by reworking verse 31, telling the crowd that in the present true bread comes from God for them, tries to show the crowd that they have already received a sign. In 6:33 Jesus uses descriptors that have been used previously in John’s gospel (3:31 and 5:21). As such, the reader, can perceive that the dialogue is really about Jesus. 6:34 echoes 4:15, showing that the crowd only understands that the bread of which Jesus speaks is better than the bread given to their ancestors.

Grace Dwells in the Word

Sunday, August 8, 2021                                             Lectionary 19 B
 
Prayer for receiving the Word:  Lord and Savior, open now your saving word. Let it burn like fire within us. Speak until our hearts are stirred.  Lord, we thank you for the good news that you bring.  Amen.
 
Gospel:  (Scripture was written to be heard. Please, give it a voice. Read it aloud.)
John 6:35, 41–51
35Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  41Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven."  42They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?"  43Jesus answered them, "Do not complain among yourselves.  44No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day.  45It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.  46Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.  47Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life.  48I am the bread of life.  49Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.  50This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.  51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
 
  • What does the passage have to say about God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)? 
  • What is this passage saying about who I am?
  • What word does the passage speak about how we live in community together?
  • What does God want me to do?
 
Jakob’s Notes: ego eimi, “I am” is the divine name. In John it is used 4:26; 6:20; 8:25, 28, 58; 13:19; 18:5-7. 6:35 is the first of John’s “I am sayings” see also 6:41; 6:51; 8:12; 9:5; 10:7,9; 10:11,14; 11:25-26; 14:6; 15:1-5. In verse 41 the Jews are gogguzo “complaining” recalling the complainers in the wilderness (see Exodus16:1-36; Numbers 11:1-9 and 14: 26-30; John 6:31, 49). Elkuo translated “drawn” is used, also, in John 12:32; 18:10; 21:6; and 21:11.  Verse 45 quotes Isaiah 54:13a.  In addition to verse 47 John speaks about eternal life in 6:40, 47, 54 and 68. In each case the verb echo, “to have,” is in the present tense. John is talking about a life, a relationship with God that begins now and continues eternally. Verse 49 tells what God did for the ancestors. Verses 48, 50 and 51 speak about what God is doing NOW!
 
 

Grace Dwells in the Word

Sunday, August 15, 2012                                           Lectionary 20 B
 
Prayer for receiving the Word:  Lord and Savior, open now your saving word. Let it burn like fire within us. Speak until our hearts are stirred.  Lord, we thank you for the good news that you bring.  Amen.
 
Gospel:  (Scripture was written to be heard. Please, give it a voice. Read it aloud.)
John 6:51-58
51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
             52The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"  53So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  54Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day;  55for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.  56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.  57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.  58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever."
 
  • What does the passage have to say about God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)? 
  • What is this passage saying about who I am?
  • What word does the passage speak about how we live in community together?
  • What does God want me to do?
 
Jakob’s Notes:  ego eimi, “I am” is the divine name. In John it is used 4:26; 6:20; 8:25, 28, 58; 13:19; 18:5-7. 6:35 is the first of John’s “I am sayings” see also 6:41; 6:51; 8:12; 9:5; 10:7,9; 10:11,14; 11:25-26; 14:6; 15:1-5. 6:51-58 continues Jesus’ discourse on the bread of life.  Verse 51 recalls John 1:14. Verse 51 also ties back to 6:31-33.  Verses 53-58, Jesus speaks about the benefits of eating and drinking: 1) you have life in you (Now! present tense); 2) you have eternal life (Now! Present tense); 3) you will be raised by Jesus on the last day (future); 4) you will remain in, “abide” in Jesus and he in you (Now! Present tense); 5) you will live through Jesus (future); you will live forever (future).
**   “Eternal life” means being in relationship with God, the “living Father” (verse 57).  Eating “living bread” is the means by which this relationship is established.  Through Jesus the Father establishes relationship with us that gives to us eternal life.  It is through the Eucharist (Holy Communion) that the Father establishes this life giving relationship with us. Concerning flesh, blood, sacrifice, and ancestors read Numbers 11:13; Leviticus 17:10-14; Deuteronomy 12:16, 24. (“For the life of every creature is the blood of it.” Lev.17:14)
 
 

Grace Dwells in the Word

Sunday, August 22, 2021                                           Lectionary 21 B
 
Prayer for receiving the Word:  Lord and Savior, open now your saving word. Let it burn like fire within us. Speak until our hearts are stirred.  Lord, we thank you for the good news that you bring.  Amen.
 
Gospel:  (Scripture was written to be heard. Please, give it a voice. Read it aloud.)
John 6:56–69.
56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.  57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.  58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever."  59He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
             60When many of his disciples heard it, they said, "This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?"  61But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, "Does this offend you?  62Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?  63It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.  64But among you there are some who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him.  65And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father."
             66Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.  67So Jesus asked the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?"  68Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.  69We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
 
  • What does the passage have to say about God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)? 
  • What is this passage saying about who I am?
  • What word does the passage speak about how we live in community together?
  • What does God want me to do?
 
Jakob’s Notes:  In verse 56 the greek meno translated “to abide” speaks to the interrelationship of Jesus and the believer that is the source of the believers’ life (see 15:4)  Building on  5:21, 26-27, verse 57 God shares God’s life with Jesus…
Verse 61, gongyzo, “to grumble,” translated “complain” recalls verse 41.  Verse 62, suggests the context of Jesus’ teaching is his incarnation, to crucifixion, to resurrection, to ascension (see 1:51). Verse 63 clarifies that Jesus is not asking disciples to eat flesh and blood, but the spirit-filled flesh and blood of the Son of Man.  Verse 65 recalls 6:37, 39, 44; access to Jesus is impossible without God’s initiating act – “the Spirit.” After some make the human choice to reject what God has offered in Jesus (verse 66) Jesus asks the twelve if they will accept or reject (verse 67). Verses 68-69 recall Matthew 16:13-20 and Mark 8:27-30.  Verse 68 “words of eternal life” refers to 6:63, 40, 47, 51, 58. Verse 69 “Holy one of God” 3:34; 4:34; 5:24, 30, 36, 38; 6:38; 10:36). Verse 6:70 recalls verse 65, “Did I not choose you, the twelve?”
 

Grace Dwells in the Word

Sunday, August 29, 2021                                           Lectionary 22 B
 
Prayer for receiving the Word:  Lord and Savior, open now your saving word. Let it burn like fire within us. Speak until our hearts are stirred.  Lord, we thank you for the good news that you bring.  Amen.
 
Gospel:  (Scripture was written to be heard. Please, give it a voice. Read it aloud.)
Mark 7:1–8, 14–15, 21–23
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him,  2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.  3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders;  4and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.)  5So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?"  6He said to them, "Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;  7in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.'  8You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition."
             14Then he called the crowd again and said to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and understand:  15there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile."
             21For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder,  22adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly.  23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."
 
  • What does the passage have to say about God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)? 
  • What is this passage saying about who I am?
  • What word does the passage speak about how we live in community together?
  • What does God want me to do?

 
Jakob’s Notes: Verse 3 does not refer to washing off dirt, but rather to the ritual washing that makes common hands once again holy. See Exodus 30:17-21.  These purity practices had become a form of group boundary that defined who was in and who was out.  Verse 6, Jesus answers by quoting Isaiah 29:13. Verses 14-15; 21-23, the church confesses, “we are by nature sinful and unclean. We can not free ourselves.”  God comes to us in Word and Sacrament. Jesus sanctifies, makes holy, through his incarnation, death, resurrection.


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