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Fourth Sunday in Lent (1885)

Fourth Sunday in Lent (1885)

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Published by David Juhl
John 6:1-15.
John 6:1-15.

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Published by: David Juhl on Mar 25, 2014
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Fourth Sunday in Lent (1885

John 6:1-15 As Jesus Christ is the heart and soul of holy Scripture, He is also the center of all Christianity. He is the light of the world. He must therefore also be the light of every individual believer in all things and in all situations in life. The more a man knows from God's Word what he has in Christ his Savior, a more better, more content, more cheerful man - a more better Christian he will be. In the Roman Church Christ is preached as a stern judge; the result is that no one can be cheerfully certain in his salvation. Others perhaps hold Christ as the Savior of their soul, but they do not believe that He is their merciful helper here on earth; and the consequence is despondency, anxiety of food, impatience in times of need in this life. Still others look to Christ for only earthly benefits and advantages, but these are obviously deceived above all others because following Christ means cross and suffering. Therefore whoever wants to grow in righteousness in his Christianity must above all grow in the right knowledge of Christ; he must learn ever better that in Christ he has a perfect Savior Who attends to His own with most tender and most caring love in every need of body and soul, to Whom nothing is too small and low, this we do not trustfully express to Him in prayer, and thereby we are not likely to be quite certain of His almighty assistance of grace. For He is a Savior, how we poor sinners need Him in the vale of tears of this world Jesus Christ a Savior, how sinners need Him; for He is 1. a Savior of their souls, a. our Gospel testifies to Him as the Savior of souls. For according to the account of Matthew and Mark Christ withdrew with His disciples into the wilderness in order to rest. But when He saw the crowds streaming out from the mountain, He had compassion toward their spiritual need; because they were like sheep that have no shepherd, and He began a long sermon.1 What else will have been the content of His preaching than the sweet Gospel, that He had come to seek the lost, to save sinners? He will have preached to the languishing ones under the curse of the Law that they should find rest for their souls in Him, that He is the true Shepherd Who now wants to attend to His flock Himself. This comforting Gospel led the publicans and sinners for to him that Mary Magdalene at his feet, Zaccheus in the mulberry tree, only in order to have at least his comforting perspective, led a great part of the people to Him in the wilderness;


Mark 6:34.

b. the entire Old Testament testifies to Him as the Savior of souls; even the first promise about Him in Genesis 3:15, that He crushes the serpent's head, i.e. would destroy the devil's kingdom and works and redeem souls from it; therefore he is called Abraham's blessing because he takes the curse from sinners, and should make them again to the blessed ones of His Father; that is why Isaiah rejoices: "To us a Child is born" etc.; c. His life and His innocent death testifies to Him as the Savior of souls; because by his holy life He has fulfilled the Law for us and acquired righteousness that avails before God; through suffering and death He has expiated and taken away sin, guilt and punishment. That is why He sealed the word: "It is accomplished!" with His glorious resurrection and ascension, as well as through the outpouring of His Holy Spirit and establishing His Church in the entire world; for what else is the same but the community of those who are brought by faith in Him from the devil's kingdom into God's kingdom, become pardoned, blessed children of God and heirs of eternal life? Who is there now among us, who recognizes himself as a forlorn sinner, who would not take his refuge in this Savior? Once He redeems them, He calls them all to Himself, without distinction, young and old sinners, great and small, honest and immoral, a pious John on His breast and a thief on the cross to His right, a denying Peter and a bloodthirsty Saul. All who ever came to him, He has gathered as the true Savior, all gratefully boast: "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." Why will you not come to Him? As in no one else - salvation and blessedness is certain in Him for everyone. 2. also as Savior of their bodies; a. our Gospel testifies that He is also a Savior of the body; for after He fed the people spiritually with His Word, He then fed them physically and indeed α. before someone asks for it, β. by a miracle of His omnipotence, γ. bountifully, so that they are not merely fed, but are fed for the journey home. Is this not a Savior, as we need Him in the hardships of this life? b. all His miracles witness Him as such a Savior, when He makes the blind see, the mute speak, lepers cleansed, indeed, when He turns water into wine and with it remedies not merely a need, but only an embarrassment - everything is actually testimony to His faithful care for the body; c. His incarnation also testifies to this, because through it He has most highly honored the human body with His needs; He has thus experienced weaknesses and needs and hunger, thirst, fatigue and suffering that He now has compassion with our body and must have compassion on us as His own brothers.2 Yes, he also has intended our body for a future resurrection and heavenly glory and has redeemed by His body's

Jeremiah 31:20.

death, resurrection and ascension, so He can neither leave nor forsake it even here in His distresses. How, therefore, is Jesus not a Savior, how do sinners need Him? How pleased we should be, how comforted should we be, in all our earthly troubles, tribulations we should be certain of the fact that He looks down with pity on us, thinks of help, even before we ask Him, and when we ask, answers beyond supplication and understanding! O blessed is the man, the sinner that lets Jesus be his Savior in body and soul, in spiritual and physical distress, in life and death. Otto Hanser

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