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Trinity 7 – Mark 8:1-9

by pastorjuhl ~ July 24th, 2009

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit

Today’s Collect calls God’s providence “never-failing”. God never fails to provide for His creation. Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount that our Father in heaven makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. A difference between the just person and the unjust person is that the just person knows who provides sunshine and rain. The just person thanks God for everything he has and trusts Him to provide everything to support this body and life.

You would think the disciples would know that Jesus knows our every need and provides every good thing for us according to His will. The Gospels record two different occasions where Jesus feeds a large number of men, not including women and children, with a small amount of food. Saint Mark writes about Jesus feeding four thousand men with seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. Instead of asking the disciples to feed the multitude as He did in the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus states the facts of the situation in the wilderness. I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar. The disciples respond in a similar way. How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?

Under normal circumstances, this is an excellent question. However, the disciples are in the presence of Jesus Christ, God’s only-begotten Son. God’s providence is never-failing. Jesus will do something about the hunger of four thousand men, but the disciples don’t think it’s possible. Their question sounds rhetorical but it isn’t. They know they cannot satisfy four thousand men with bread in the middle of nowhere. That’s the first step in trusting God above all things. Nevertheless, their question is a problem only Jesus can resolve.

Jesus knows your every weakness, be it hunger, health, habitation, or holiness. Jesus also knows you will take your eyes off Him. Your eyes will wander around looking for another provider. You look at your own self and know you do all you can, but it is never enough. You wait on the Lord to provide daily bread just as the Lord’s Prayer teaches, but it seems sometimes the Lord is slack concerning His promises.

The Lord was not slack to Adam concerning His promise. The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. Adam had everything he needed given to Him by a loving and generous God. Adam took His eyes off God and His promises. He suffered the sad consequence of having to provide for His family through hard work. Though the work was hard, God never forgot Adam. The Lord God provided for Adam in spite of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.

The Lord is not slack to you concerning His promise. Consider Blessed Martin Luther’s explanation of the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer. God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. The Lord God leads you to realize He gives daily bread, but you won’t listen sometimes. You see other people’s daily bread and wish it were yours. The Lord God also leads you to receive daily bread with thanksgiving, but you take your eyes off Him and thank another god for daily bread.

The four thousand men in the wilderness were there for another kind of bread. They sat and listened to Jesus preach and teach for three days. Their food stuffs were depleted. They could not make a long journey home in a state of fasting. Jesus is able to feed them, but the disciples aren’t able to believe that Jesus is able to feed four thousand men in the wilderness. In spite of the disciples’ foolish wondering, Jesus takes the bread and fish, blesses them, and sets them before the multitude. They ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.

Jesus feeds you the same way He feeds four thousand men and five thousand men: with living bread and daily bread. Jesus feeds you with living bread that comes down from heaven. This living bread is His holy Word preached and taught in this holy house. Living bread always satisfies. There is always enough living bread. There is always more living bread than there are eaters of living bread. Living bread does more than satisfy a hungry body. Living bread satisfies a hungry heart and soul pining for a right relationship with God. Consider the hymn stanza we’ll sing in a little while:

You gave me all I wanted;

This food can death destroy.

And You have freely granted

The cup of endless joy.

My Lord, I do not merit

The favor You have shown,

And all my soul and spirit

Bow down before Your throne.

(Lutheran Service Book 642:3)

You can look inside yourself for righteousness that satisfies God’s burning anger against sin. There will never be enough righteousness to satisfy Him. Jesus’ blood and righteousness is enough. His death is the perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world. Consider Saint Paul’s words in today’s Epistle: For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus feeds you with daily bread that often is overlooked. Small talk always seems to include comments about the weather. Good weather is daily bread. We go to a store to buy sundry items that we cannot live without. Those little sundry things are daily bread. Everything God entrusts to you as a steward is daily bread. God leads you to realize this in His Word and to receive daily bread with thanksgiving. God has every right to cut off the flow of daily bread to your house. He keeps giving all that you need according to His gracious will.

Nine thousand men ate bread and fish from the Lord’s Hands and were satisfied. If Jesus can feed two large multitudes in the middle of nowhere with next to nothing, then how much more does He feed you with the living bread of His Word and Sacraments as well as the daily bread of our daily needs? You are not worthy of everything God provides. His compassion for you knows no end. The Lord God provides you with good things now, and provides you with Holy Things in His holy Church until He returns to take you Home to a place greater than the Garden of Eden. The New Jerusalem above has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Rejoice, beloved! Your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life with Christ’s own blood for ink. Rejoice in the Lord God Who provides both living bread and daily bread in the wilderness of life.

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit

Today’s Collect calls God’s providence “never-failing”. God never fails to provide for His creation. Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount that our Father in heaven makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. A difference between the just person and the unjust person is that the just person knows who provides sunshine and rain. The just person thanks God for everything he has and trusts Him to provide everything to support this body and life.

You would think the disciples would know that Jesus knows our every need and provides every good thing for us according to His will. The Gospels record two different occasions where Jesus feeds a large number of men, not including women and children, with a small amount of food. Saint Mark writes about Jesus feeding four thousand men with seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. Instead of asking the disciples to feed the multitude as He did in the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus states the facts of the situation in the wilderness. I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar. The disciples respond in a similar way. How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?

Under normal circumstances, this is an excellent question. However, the disciples are in the presence of Jesus Christ, God’s only-begotten Son. God’s providence is never-failing. Jesus will do something about the hunger of four thousand men, but the disciples don’t think it’s possible. Their question sounds rhetorical but it isn’t. They know they cannot satisfy four thousand men with bread in the middle of nowhere. That’s the first step in trusting God above all things. Nevertheless, their question is a problem only Jesus can resolve.

Jesus knows your every weakness, be it hunger, health, habitation, or holiness. Jesus also knows you will take your eyes off Him. Your eyes will wander around looking for another provider. You look at your own self and know you do all you can, but it is never enough. You wait on the Lord to provide daily bread just as the Lord’s Prayer teaches, but it seems sometimes the Lord is slack concerning His promises.

The Lord was not slack to Adam concerning His promise. The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. Adam had everything he needed given to Him by a loving and generous God. Adam took His eyes off God and His promises. He suffered the sad consequence of having to provide for His family through hard work. Though the work was hard, God never forgot Adam. The Lord God provided for Adam in spite of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.

The Lord is not slack to you concerning His promise. Consider Blessed Martin Luther’s explanation of the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer. God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. The Lord God leads you to realize He gives daily bread, but you won’t listen sometimes. You see other people’s daily bread and wish it were yours. The Lord God also leads you to receive daily bread with thanksgiving, but you take your eyes off Him and thank another god for daily bread.

The four thousand men in the wilderness were there for another kind of bread. They sat and listened to Jesus preach and teach for three days. Their food stuffs were depleted. They could not make a long journey home in a state of fasting. Jesus is able to feed them, but the disciples aren’t able to believe that Jesus is able to feed four thousand men in the wilderness. In spite of the disciples’ foolish wondering, Jesus takes the bread and fish, blesses them, and sets them before the multitude. They ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.

Jesus feeds you the same way He feeds four thousand men and five thousand men: with living bread and daily bread. Jesus feeds you with living bread that comes down from heaven. This living bread is His holy Word preached and taught in this holy house. Living bread always satisfies. There is always enough living bread. There is always more living bread than there are eaters of living bread. Living bread does more than satisfy a hungry body. Living bread satisfies a hungry heart and soul pining for a right relationship with God. Consider the hymn stanza we’ll sing in a little while:

You gave me all I wanted;

This food can death destroy.

And You have freely granted

The cup of endless joy.

My Lord, I do not merit

The favor You have shown,

And all my soul and spirit

Bow down before Your throne.

(Lutheran Service Book 642:3)

You can look inside yourself for righteousness that satisfies God’s burning anger against sin. There will never be enough righteousness to satisfy Him. Jesus’ blood and righteousness is enough. His death is the perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world. Consider Saint Paul’s words in today’s Epistle: For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus feeds you with daily bread that often is overlooked. Small talk always seems to include comments about the weather. Good weather is daily bread. We go to a store to buy sundry items that we cannot live without. Those little sundry things are daily bread. Everything God entrusts to you as a steward is daily bread. God leads you to realize this in His Word and to receive daily bread with thanksgiving. God has every right to cut off the flow of daily bread to your house. He keeps giving all that you need according to His gracious will.

Nine thousand men ate bread and fish from the Lord’s Hands and were satisfied. If Jesus can feed two large multitudes in the middle of nowhere with next to nothing, then how much more does He feed you with the living bread of His Word and Sacraments as well as the daily bread of our daily needs? You are not worthy of everything God provides. His compassion for you knows no end. The Lord God provides you with good things now, and provides you with Holy Things in His holy Church until He returns to take you Home to a place greater than the Garden of Eden. The New Jerusalem above has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Rejoice, beloved! Your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life with Christ’s own blood for ink. Rejoice in the Lord God Who provides both living bread and daily bread in the wilderness of life.

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit

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