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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


Tenth Sunday After Pentecost
Series B

Option #1: "Instant Replay"
John 6:1-15
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.

Introduction: It was a strange thing over which to be ejected from a baseball game. A close call at 2nd base prompted the usual argument. Most umpires will let a player speak his mind, but every umpire has a trigger you’d better not touch. Say that one magic word and you’re gone! With former major league umpire Ken Kaiser, the magic word that got a player an early shower was INSTANT REPLAY. Kaiser ejected two players in a single game because they asked him to check his call on the INSTANT REPLAY.

Instant replays have become such a part of our lives that attending a game at a field without one of those million dollar scoreboards leaves you looking in vain for the INSTANT REPLAY. The feeding of the five-thousand is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. Jesus gives us AN INSTANT REPLAY:

I. Of man’s miscalculations

A. v.7: man’s answer to Jesus’ test--a good calculation, but lacking in faith (Luther)

B. As also in Matt 8:27, Mk 15:31-32, John 20:25

C. As J.B. Philips wrote in his book Your God is Too Small

II. Of God’s providence--vv10-11

A. Jesus did in an instant replay a display of how God cares for His creation

1. As in Ps 145:16

2. As in Deut 10:18

3. As in Acts 14:17

B. He gives us an instant reply of His promises to sustain life:

1. Physical life, as in Gen. 8:22

2. Spiritual life, as in John 6:35

III. Of man’s need to manage God’s gifts--v12

A. As it is written in Prov. 21:20

B. As will be noted on the Day of Judgment--Matt. 25:42

The New Commentary on the Whole Bible reflects upon this great miracle of the Lord:

10-13 Make the men sit down--Without a word of rebuke to his doubting disciples, Christ ordered the waiting throng to sit on the grass in orderly groups (cf Mark 6:39, 40; Luke 9:14), and then the inexhaustible supply of loaves and fishes was distributed to the hungry people. When everyone had eaten abundantly, Christ ordered the leftovers (fragments) collected, for even our infinite God never wastes any of his resources. As in most biblical miracles, the basic human need at hand was abundantly met without waste or gaudy showmanship.

14 This is...the prophet that should come into the world--The well-fed throng recognized the authenticity of Christ’s miracle, so they correctly identified Jesus as the predicted "Prophet" of Deuteronomy 18:15-18 and rushed to acclaim Jesus as their miracle-working King.

15 he departed again into a mountain himself alone--Tragically, they missed completely the true redemptive purpose of the Prophet in their presence, and Christ was forced to withdraw into seclusion and prayer. What a calamity to acknowledge Christ as a "great Prophet" but reject him as the Savior of our souls!

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The Message for Children--John 6:1-15

It won’t be long and school will start again. You may not want to hear that, but you can hardly miss it with all the ads in the newspaper about BACK TO SCHOOL SALES. (Show ads)

I’d like you to think back about your favorite teacher. I don’t need to know that teacher’s name; I just want you to have that teacher’s face in your mind right now. Suppose your teacher is preparing you to take a test. Your teacher is doing a "review." Your teacher repeats something several times. What does that tell you?

Right! It tells you that what the teacher repeated will be on the test that you will be taking soon. It also tells you that your teacher doesn’t want you to forget that even after the test is over.

Today’s Bible Story is the Feeding of the 5,000. It is the only story in the New Testament that is told by all 4 Gospel writers. Now that should tell us something. It should tell us that, just as your teacher in school repeats something, so we are to remember what Jesus teaches us here. Let’s make a short list:

 

1) It’s so easy to say that something is impossible. The disciples knew that it would take about 8 months of a man’s wages to give at least one bite per man.

2) But they were forgetting FAITH. They forgot who was with them there. They forgot that Jesus is God and man in one person and that He can do all things.

3) They also forgot his love. They forgot that God feeds billions of people everyday. What He did here was to speed things up a little.

4) Let us never forget to trust God for what we need, for this life and for eternal life. While we’re at it, let’s make sure we don’t waste God’s gifts. After this great miracle, Jesus told them to pick up the leftovers: "Let nothing be wasted," He said. 

So, when you get back to school, don’t throw that sandwich in the garbage, okay?

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Option #2: "Won to be One to Win!"
Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
 
Point: We are built up to build up.
 
Problem: We oftentimes tear down others, neglecting our gifts, infant-like in understanding.
 
Promise: God "tore down" Jesus on the cross and, through the Spirit, grows us up into Himself and joins us together in His Body so that we in turn are used to incorporate others into it.
 
1. The idea of unity in Ephesians is not about a huddled unity which keeps itself safe, but about an expansive and open unity. This is so because its understanding of God is like that. God is clearly personal, but also able to be thought of as being like a fluid which flows through all the universe. A positive relationship with God opens us to all of life. It is not about withdrawal or escape. As we shall see, Christ's body becomes an image for dreaming about the goodness of God filling the whole world. It is like Christ is a large body which keeps expanding as it incorporates more and more of reality and brings more and more of it into unity (both with the body and with all other reality). (William Loader)
 
2.God never commands us to create unity among believers. He has created it by His Spirit...This is a spiritual unity, not necessarily a structural or denominational unity. It is evident in the quick fellowship possible among Christians of different races, nationalities, languages, and economic classes. (David Guzik)
 
3.Divisions in churches never begin with those full of love to the Savior. (Charles Spurgeon)

 

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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 01:00:25 PM