The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page
WWG1WGA

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Alec Satin, Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Laissez les bons livres rouler!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Fifth Sunday after Trinity, 2018. The Miraculous Catch of Fish.


The Fifth Sunday after Trinity, 2018

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The melodies are linked in the hymn name. 
The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.

The Hymn #  375 If Thy Beloved Son
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 # 649 Jesus Savior Pilot Me

To Hear the Word and Believe

The Communion Hymn #350      Jesus the Very Thought (St. Agnes)
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 #52          Almighty Father, Bless the Word

KJV 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

KJV Luke 5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Fifth Sunday After Trinity
O Jesus Christ, Thou Son of the living God, who hast given us Thy holy word, and hast bountifully provided for all our temporal wants, we confess that we are unworthy of all these mercies, and that we have rather deserved punishment: But we beseech Thee, forgive us our sins, and prosper and bless us in our several callings, that by Thy strength we may be sustained and defended, now and forever, and so praise and glorify Thee eternally, Thou who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


 By Norma A. Boeckler

To Hear the Word and Believe

KJV Luke 5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 

One of the constants in the Gospels is the growing faith of the crowds, who saw Jesus perform many miracles and heard Him teach the Word with authority, not like the Scribes and Pharisees.

We learn from the Scriptures that God acts through His Word. The first instance is God's Creation of the universe in Six Days. When researching the concept of Creation, we find many different concepts from various religions. Some experts would have us think that the variety means "Take your pick." And that also includes in the history of Christianity. 

So there are many wrong versions, one alone that is correct. The only way to counter that there is one correct version is claim a higher authority that will explain and clarify it for us. The Mormons use that argument and offer their writings as the final authority. The Church of Rome began that line of reasoning and said, "Only the bishops and pope can explain it." Those approaches come from and lead to human authority over the Word of God, which is really a return to paganism.

The blindness of man is so great today that the vast majority of official teachers in the Christian Church are the problem rather than the solution. These blind men would like to lead us though they have lost their way. They do not recognize or teach the efficacy of the Word.

My wife and I went to the Chicago conference on inerrancy. One person observed that the only thing they all agreed upon was inerrancy. It is a popular term and there is no reason to oppose it for being popular. However, it is inadequate in teaching about God's Word, as so many have proven.

The efficacy and power of the Word is such that God's will and His Word are the same thing. If He chooses to make something happen overnight, or in an instant, He does so. In Mark, it is the unique parable of the Seed Growing Secretly, as all farmers and gardeners know. We do our work with the land and suddenly, the new life rises up from the soil, while we were asleep. I waited months for the Hidden Lily to reveal itself - last year. This year I walked around the corner and there was a crop of the flowers rising from the ground, hidden no more.

Thus God may make us wait a long time for His moment, as He did with the Savior. He promised the Savior after Adam and Eve (real people, not icons or myths) were expelled. But the right moment for God becoming Man was 40 centuries away. Jesus did many things and taught many spiritual treasures that were many years in developing. A miracle healing was instant, but the effect developed and lasted far into the future as knots of Christians were formed, persecuted, scattered, and resettled in new areas.

"Modern Man" and His Reason
The great burden of this era comes from so many theological types, with degrees and positions, no longer believing in the efficacy of the Word. They can use many fine words about the Bible from inerrancy to infallibility to authority and norm, but if they disbelieve the foundational statement of Isaiah 55:10f, they necessarily deny the substance of the Bible.

When Christian teaching is detached from the efficacy of the Word, then everything taught is tainted with rationalism. In crude terms, the divinity of Christ is turned into admiration for Jesus. The disciples admired Jesus so much that they came to believe He was the Son of God. So a minister can teach about "the Easter faith of the disciples" when covertly denying the actual resurrection of Christ.

As I told one seminarian, two Roman Catholic doctoral students were disgusted that I believed in the actual Virgin Birth of Christ and His actual resurrection. (Note that I have to qualify terms because so many use the terms to mean something else.) One became the president of his Catholic college. The other taught in Catholic colleges until retirement. They spent their adult lives pretending to believe articles of faith that truly disgusted them. 

This is constantly on display among the Lutherans - and I do mean all Lutheran groups - when they pose as Biblical teachers but openly or quietly deny the efficacy of the Word.

This efficacy means that the Holy Spirit works only through the Word, that the two are never separated one from the other. Thus God always accomplishes His will through the Word.




  • Creation - the Holy Spirit through the Word
  • The Incarnation - the Holy Spirit through the Word
  • The Miracles - the Holy Spirit through the Word
  • Conversion - the Holy Spirit through the Word, Romans 10
  • Forgiveness - the Holy Spirit through the Word
  • Holy Baptism - the Holy Spirit through the Word
  • Consecration, Holy Communion - the Holy Spirit through the Word
  • Fruits of the Gospel - the Holy Spirit through the Word

Missing in the Bible: Entertainment, marketing, demographics, popcorn, soft drinks, man's reason or will.

Setting of the Miracle
The teaching and miracles of Jesus spread quickly in the population and large groups came to hear Him and see Him. So many were there by the shore that Jesus was hemmed in and could not speak beyond those closest to Him.

People were hungry to hear the Word of God, so they already had a rudimentary faith in Him and also a desire that came from always hearing the Law, mostly man's Law. When people work outside in a jungle environment, they wonder, "Why am I so hungry?" The heat and humidity burned up a lot of calories regulating body temperature, no less than keeping warm on a very cold day. My neighbor mowed the lawn and had his blood sugar drop to 60.

So Jesus addressed the mixed crowd in a way that included people He had already chosen.

2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

So Jesus used the natural effect of the water to provide Him with a megaphone. After all, He knew those laws of acoustics, since He was and remains the Creating Word. The fishermen were washing their nets, but not emptying their nets of fish. Jesus entered Simon's boat and asked to push out from the shore. Sitting there (the posture of a rabbi) He taught the large crowd.

Not to be missed - He spoke before the miracle. The Holy Spirit, working through the Word of God, began to work on Simon.

This miracle shows that Jesus not only cares about our spiritual condition, but also takes care of our daily needs.

Luther:
2. To faith he assures temporal and bodily help by giving to Peter and his partners so great a draught of fishes after they had vainly toiled all night and caught nothing, and now could have no expectation or hope of taking anything. But herein he adheres to the rule and order which he himself has given and taught in Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” He here acts according to this saying and shows its truth by example and experience, inasmuch as the people press upon him in crowds, first to hear his words, and to such an extent that, in order to preach to them, he sets out from land in one of the boats. But when he has taught them he proceeds further to provide for their bodily needs, inasmuch as they are in distress and want.

3. Although it is not indeed the purpose of Christ’s coming or preaching to foster and provide for the body, yet he is not unmindful of it when the first thing sought is his kingdom. He therefore takes upon himself the distress of these poor fishermen who, through all this night, and with all their efforts and toil, have caught nothing. However, as they have lent him their boat to preach, and have listened to him, he, without any thought on their part, and before they have uttered any prayer, provides for them a draught of fishes so great that they are thereby enabled fully to learn and clearly to understand that in him they have a Master who cares for them and will not forsake them, provided they abide in his Word and remain his disciples.


4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net

Once Jesus was done speaking, He said to Simon, "Now let's go fishing." The first part of Simon's response is what every church council member will say - "Based on experience, this is a complete waste of time." Many of us, starving for breakfast, would be a little more grouchy. Low blood sugar does not make someone happy and contented.

But Simon heard the Gospel from Jesus and that filled him with trust in the Word of Jesus. After explaining, Simon said, "At your Word I will let down the net."

Much of what we learn from the Word of God is subtraction rather than addition. We learn to forget the reason of man and trust in the wisdom of God. People say things, teach ideas, that are simply not Biblical. Our reason struggles against the Word, too. 

Most people can recite the verses about bearing the cross, but Old Adam never likes the cross. That is why Jesus called it the cross and not the summer vacation. Jesus Himself prayed that the cross be taken from Him, but added, "But Your will, not Mine."

Trust is not "making a decision" because that trust is a fruit of the Gospel. Trust is from God and that faith in His wisdom and mercy helps us let go of our natural, Old Adam resistance.

The more Gospel we read and hear, the more we are comforted and encouraged. This miracle shows us how God answers in abundance - before we ask.

6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

They did not end the sermon with, "One thing. We are hungry. Show us how to fish."

Instead, Jesus had them push out into the deep, where fish should be rare, and let them haul in the abundance, enough to begin tearing the nets, enough to begin sinking both ships. Thus this group of fishermen saw the divine power of Jesus with their own eyes - contrary to their experience and reason.

8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.

When God's Word reveals His power and mercy, taking away our trust in ourselves, we are staggered by what we glimpse. We can only glimpse because God is so far beyond our comprehension, yet He shows Himself in these displays of mercy and kindness, before we even ask.

Simon Peter knew he was before God Himself and felt the weight of his sins in the face of God's glory and omnipotence. We experience that in hearing the Gospel Word and reflecting upon the ways in which God has helped and protected us. One woman wrote in class that she reached the absolute bottom-most level in her life. Everything was wrong and she lost everything, and her family, and her freedom. Then she said, "I will read the most important book in the world - the Bible." Now she is enjoying a new life and earning a graduate degree.

We can think of accidents we survived and strange events that placed us exactly where we are. Anxieties of one moment were solved - beyond all hope - later. Like graduation, the wait seems endless. Looking back, they seem like moments in time.

Luther:
4. He would that his Church, or believing people, should be comforted by the fact that he provides for them, and that somewhere on earth they shall find bread and an abiding place, even though they are everywhere so persecuted and scattered, that their place and provision in the world must be uncertain. We find this set forth, not only in the present instance, and in others like it, but in many a beautiful passage, such as Psalm 34:10: “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger; but they that seek Jehovah shall not want any good thing.” And Psalm 33:18-19: “Behold, the eye of Jehovah is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his loving kindness; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.” And Proverbs 10:3: “Jehovah will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish,” etc.

5. By this example he especially shows how it goes with those upon whom he is to bestow his gifts and assistance, and how he is accustomed to bestow these favors. It goes with them as it went with those fishermen, who labored all the night, yet had nothing for all their trouble and labor, and had nothing to hope for from human counsel or aid. Manifold tribulations, miseries and distress are the daily experience of all Christendom. If Christ is to help, there must be trials, trouble and toil, and it must come to this, that we despair of all human counsel, comfort and ability. Then he comes with his help, and shows that he still has the means of comfort, counsel, protection and deliverance, and that he is able to bestow all this when everything else has failed us, and when all that we have done or suffered, and still may be able to do, is nothing and in yam; yea, that in such need and weakness he gives and helps in richer measure than could be done by all human power, skill and aid.

6. On the other hand, by saying to his disciples: “Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught,” Christ shows that he does not forbid work, or would have that neglected which we have been commanded to do.


Warning from Luther:
16. We see from daily experience what shameful and accursed vice covetousness is, and what harm it does, especially in high office, whether clerical or lay. If the money fiend has taken possession of a pastor’s or preacher’s heart, so that he, like the rest of the world, only aims at securing for himself great riches, then has he already, like Judas the traitor, fallen into the jaws of the devil, and is prepared, for a few pieces of silver, to betray Christ and his Word and his Church.


And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

They found the riches of the Kingdom and saw those treasures were more to be valued than anything on earth. Thus the apostles and earliest leaders considered it an honor to die as martyrs. That was repeated during the Reformation.

Now the greatest concern I hear is for the peace and security of the institutions. Nothing is worse that upsetting those entities created and maintained by man. Fashioned by man, the right man will do the correct things to establish outward riches and a fake peace.

Luther has much to say on this topic, because he experienced the trials, persecutions, the people falling away.

57. Owing to the great draught the nets began to break, and some of the fishes fell out. These are they who are not sincere, and do not abide in the Gospel, but cast themselves out of it, preferring to continue amid their free and wild waves rather than submit themselves to Christ. So there were many, especially among the Jews, who disobeyed and gainsaid the Gospel.

These, and all others who establish sects and factions of their own, may not and cannot continue with the true band of God’s people in the assembly of the Church, but make themselves manifest as being good for nothing.

Hence St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:19: “There must be also factions among you, that they who are approved may be made manifest among you.” These sects and factions must therefore fall away, while the others are gathered together out of the net and put into the two boats, where they are so kept, in the unity of the Church and of faith in Christ, that they do not fall away again. Otherwise they would be in danger of falling away at last, together with the factions by whom they had been seduced.

58. And as the net suffers through being let down into the water and becomes wet, so must the office of preaching suffer through all sorts of trials and persecutions in the world, even to the extent of being rent and torn. It cannot produce profitable or fruitful results in all men; yet great power and much fruit are found in those who remain steadfast and are kept to the end. It is our comfort, however, that Christ, through our preaching, will lead his own into the boat, and will keep them there, although we know that we cannot make devout men of all to whom we preach, and that we cannot escape persecution on account of our office; yea, though we know that many will fall away even among those of whom we felt sure that we had them in the net.