Today’s Reading: John 6:1-15
Daily Lectionary: Genesis 41:28-57; Mark 11:20-33
Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. (John 6:10)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Ever heard a song, watched a movie, or read a book, and afterwards thought, “That sounds familiar; where have I heard that before?” Sometimes we call that feeling deja vu, the feeling that you’ve been there or heard something before.
There’s something of a deja vu moment happening in today’s reading from John 6. Consider some of the details of the feeding of the 5000 here in John’s Gospel. There’s a crowd following Jesus. They’re in the wilderness near a mountain. It’s close to the time of the Passover. The crowds are hungry. Jesus has the crowds sit down on the green pastures. He gives thanks. Jesus miraculously feeds over 5000; there are even leftovers. And to top it all off, Jesus is called the Prophet who is coming into the world.
That all sounds rather familiar doesn’t it? Like we’ve heard that story before. Indeed we have, in Exodus and Psalm 23. John’s account of the feeding of the 5000 comes out of God’s cookbook in the Old Testament Exodus. John reveals that Jesus is Moses 2.0, not a new lawgiver, but the Prophet who was foretold. The Prophet who would be like Moses and come after him and turn the hearts of the people to God.
Coincidence? Of course not. The good things that God called Moses to do, and accomplished through Moses, point forward to the Prophet of God come in human flesh: Jesus. But of course we know that Jesus is a prophet–He speaks and teaches and foretells God’s Word. But unlike any other prophet, Jesus is the one Prophet who not only speaks for God, but IS God. He not only declares God’s Word, He is the Word made flesh.
Jesus’ words give life. Jesus’ Body and Blood are our true Bread from heaven come down to save, forgive, and heal. Jesus is truly the Prophet who has come into the world to save you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your mercies are new every morning; and though we deserve only punishment, You receive us as Your children and provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Lent)
-Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz is pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Milton, WA.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.