Saturday, October 28, 2006

More on John 21

In the post, "Why Lutheran?" below, John 21 was utilized. There is another marvelous point that Jesus demonstrates for the life of the Church in this text. It again reflects upon who does the giving in the life of the Church.

When the disciples reached the shore with the catch of fish they saw that the Lord had already prepared the meal for them. Yet He told them to bring some of the fish that they had just caught. Why?

This was a gathering of Christ’s disciples. He was displaying for all time the basis for such gathering, or congregating. First He calls to His disciples in their daily activity. As He calls He shows that He has already provided for their every need of body and soul. As they respond to His words and guard them so as to follow them, they discover that the Lord has indeed provided for them.

Next the disciples demonstrate the natural response of those who hear the words of the Lord Jesus. First they recognize the voice as His voice. Then they come to their Lord where His voice is heard. Notice that nowhere in this does the Lord Jesus say, "Come here boys." He did not have to. What else would His disciples do once they recognized where He was?

Now back to the fish. Jesus already has the meal prepared, a complete meal. Nothing more is needed. Yet Jesus says, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught." Is this because the disciples needed more exercise?

It was a demonstration to them and to us regarding what we shall do with what He gives to us. First His gifts should remind us who our God is, our gracious and loving Father, who provides not only our daily bread, but our everlasting salvation as well. Secondly we should realize that His gifts have a purpose, His purpose. Thirdly we remember that His most earnest desire is the salvation of the world, and especially the elect. Then we understand the nature of the Sacraments. God has already supplied His grace, His forgiveness, His Word and promise. God has already supplied the water, the bread, and wine. His grace, forgiveness and Word have been supplied through Jesus. The water, bread, and wine have been given though our income or living so that we carry these elements to the Lord for Him to use to our benefit and the benefit of all who are brought before Him by the life of the Church. Moreover, by permitting us to bring these elements the Lord demonstrates that there is no part of our existence that He does not make holy through the merits of Jesus. We gather to the voice of Jesus and there we find Him ready to make all things new and holy for us.

Now this text still has volumes of wonder to be brought forth as treasures for us all. I wanted to share at least this. It is as the Lord Jesus declared in Matthew 13:52, "Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old." I find it truly fascinating that the Greek word for treasure is "Thesauros." Can there be any question as to what the Church’s true treasure is?

Peace to all in Christ Jesus, the Word of Life.

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