The Glory Has Departed


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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Laetare Sunday, The Fourth Sunday in Lent, 2016. John 6:1-15
The Feeding of the Mulititude



Laetare Sunday, The Fourth Sunday in Lent, 2016

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn #9           O Day of Rest and Gladness 
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual 
The Gospel 
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #316    O Living Bread from Heaven 

Bread from Heaven

The Communion Hymn #508    Thou Whose Almighty Word
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn # 50             Lord Dismiss Us 

KJV Galatians 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

KJV John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. 15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Fourth Sunday In Lent
Lord God, heavenly Father, who by Thy Son didst feed five thousand men in the desert with five loaves and two fishes: We beseech Thee to abide graciously also with us in the fullness of Thy blessing. Preserve us from avarice and the cares of this life, that we may seek first Thy kingdom and Thy righteousness, and in all things perceive Thy fatherly goodness, through Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God world without end. Amen.



Dabblers and Believers - God Feeds Them

KJV John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

This miracle is important in many ways, including that Jesus fed the entire crowd, including those disciples who would leave forever because of His teaching about the Bread of Life. The current crowd was following Him because of His healing miracles.

In Old Testament class we are dealing with the topic of disappointment, when the Israelites came back from the Babylonian Captivity and tried to rebuild their land. They had to fight off all the enemies while rebuilding and probably dreamt of a new paradise awaiting them. Although that was good for them and an example for us, it was not appreciated at the time. The enormous crowd following Jesus had their own expectations and these hopes were not met. 

This miracle shows how the Son of God could perform a miracle in front of their eyes and still offend them.

3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

The date is important because John shows Jesus having a three-year ministry. that is common knowledge in all the basic lives of Jesus, but a detail shown only in John. The other three show a one year trip to Jerusalem, but that was clearly an example of stories upon which the Apostles preached. The Gospel of John supplements, fills in what we ought to know. 

Jesus saw the great crowd coming and asked Philip, to test him, about what they would feed all these people. That was like asking how to make the sky orange and yellow and pink, then back to blue - impossible - except by the Word of God.

6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 

The rationalist replies, "Even if we had a lot of money, which we don't, we could not obtain enough food for this enormous crowd."

They saw many other miracles, including the Wedding at Cana, which revealed how Jesus could created wonderful wine by His Word. But the disciples were being trained in steps, as we all are, and they were about to learn anew what the Son of God was capable of doing.

In this they developed a keen grasp of the Two Natures of Christ. They saw and heard a man most of the time, but the divinity was revealed at special times, so they came to understand the divine and human were both natures in Him.

When someone is new at a job, it is so important for a boss to be able to remember to the newbie and relate to that person both as a boss and as a former 
newbie. One boss at the store was asked by my friend, "Where is this product?" She said, "Find it yourself." I found people who would always help without making me feel foolish or lazy. A kindly nature makes others want to ask questions and get help.

Far more than this, Jesus presented this kindly nature, but He also showed them the authority and power of God. Thus the disciples learned the true nature of God from seeing and hearing Jesus and watching His Work with others.

8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 

The other rationalist said, "We have food but not enough." In both cases the disciples looked at what they had and based their conclusions on the material world and its rules. But "we walk by faith and not by sight." Sight does not tell us what God can do with so little, or even nothing. That is revealed in the Word, and all this fits together when we consider Creation by the Word. God created and designed - from nothing. The Creating Word of Genesis 1 is described by John 1 as Jesus the Logos, the Word.

By starting with so little, Jesus foreshadowed Holy Communion, where the sceptics asked, "How can this be done, century after century, if you believe in the Real Presence?" Likewise, how can Jesus feed the multitude with so little. If one never happened, the other never happened.

10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 

Here we have the important detail of the oasis. A lot of grass was growing there, so a fresh water source was nearby. That shows us that water was not an issue, but food was. Try fooling an empty stomach with water, lots and lots of water. It only mocks the hunger. So there was an enormous crowd with enough food for one boy.

11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 

This is not supposed to be Holy Communion, but it is related to the Lord's Supper. Jesus gave thanks and for future celebrations, gave this authority to the disciples to consecrate the elements with the Word and distribute the visible Word as a Means of Grace, given for you for the forgiveness of sin. He did not institute the Lord's Supper here but showed how miraculous abundance is not an issue with God - only with man.

The Feeding of the Multitude was for everyone, including those who would walk away forever. Holy Communion is for believers. God has given man all he needs for a prosperous and peaceful, well fed life, but man squanders the food and mineral resources and ends up starving. 

With so little to start, everyone was completely filled.



12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 

Luther:
4. Again, that he tells them so faithfully to gather up the fragments, teaches us to be frugal and to preserve and use his gifts, in order that we may not tempt God. For just as it is God’s will that we should believe when we have nothing and be assured that he will provide; so he does not desire to be tempted, nor to allow the blessings he has bestowed to be despised, or lie unused and spoil, while we expect other blessings from heaven by means of miracles. Whatever he gives, we should receive and use, and what he does not give, we should believe and expect he will bestow.

No detail is insignificant in the Scriptures. If we tend to skip over it, we should go back and ask why it is there, as Luther did. The common human attitude is, "If I have this in abundance, I can waste it." Many people do that. If something comes easily to them, they take their talents for granted and fail to develop them, or use them up in riotous living. Eventually the bill comes due to pay.

America once had an abundance of liturgical Lutheran churches, almost immune to the fads and fallacies of the wacky denominations. At my home parish the high school kids walked to the next Augustana church when we did not want to endure another class of exhibited for their confirmation day - about 60 at a time. A short walk and  we were at a slightly larger Augustana church with sermons, creeds, liturgy, and hymns. Nobody cried and said, "I want rock." That was on AM radio. But it was all taken for granted and is now quite rare, with the fads and fallacies taking over, from coveting the Pentecostals and the cults.

The greatest treasure is having a family. People think work or hobbies are their treasure and act accordingly. One DP said, "I let my wife raise the kids. I was too busy doing church work." That is why many PKs are apostates because the parents were married to church work and neglected them for the glory of getting ahead in their careers.

13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. 15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

The leftovers were greater than the original amount, an abundance we see in Creation and we take for granted. When gardeners have a sharing area, everyone has too much seed at first, and later they have too much produce. I relied on that for an endless supply of zucchini squash.

The bystanders liked a king who would feed them equally well, but the time had not come yet for Jesus to reveal Himself as the Savior and Messiah. Soon the same people would fall away when He spoke of faith in Him as forgiveness.

When Jesus was tempted in the desert (Matthew 4) He had no food for 40 days. God did not let Him starve. He lived by faith, not by performing miracles for Himself.

Likewise, we may seem to be in a desert but the Word of God feeds us before we make it to the grocery store with some shopping money. Everyone should have an empty fridge from time to time, to remember how that was changed into abundance by events--even those seemingly bad ones.