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Johann Gerhard on John 6:1-15 (Lent 4)

by pastorjuhl ~ March 6th, 2013

In the “our Father” [the Lord’s Prayer], we not only pray for the forgiveness of sins, but also for daily bread and food. Thus, we confess with this that we cannot only not make payment for our sin before God the Lord, but that we are also unable to earn our daily bread. Instead, we have to bed and petition God’s mercy for both the forgiveness of sins and daily bread. We find such grace and mercy from God only in and through Christ. So then, just as we ask for and obtain forgiveness of sins through Christ, so also we obtain our daily bread and food through Him.

This is presented to us with precision in this Gospel lesson as the Lord Christ taught the people and healed their sick all day long, and as the disciples step before Him and remind Him that He should dismiss the people so that they might go purchase some food. In essence the disciples want to say: Lord, You now have accomplished Your ministry and work; let them go away so that they may fend for themselves. But, Christ answered them: Not so! We must give consideration to feeding them. It’s as if he means to say: Not only does my feeding them with God’s Word for eternal life belong to My office of being Mediator; instead, I must also care for the feeding of their bodies. They have to also receive their daily bread from the hands of their only Mediator.

Take not that this miracle of Christ first of all points to the fact that He herewith wants to show Himself as the almighty Word of God through which the grain has to multiply itself annually in the same way as the bread does here. He also wished to demonstrate with this that He is the ordained Mediator from whose hands we not only have to receive the spiritual, divine blessings, but also the daily bread. This, then, is one of the thing to which Christ directs us with this miracle.

– Postilla 1:257-258

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