Mark 7:14-23 – You’re Unclean Because You’re Unclean

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Mark 7:14-23

Sinful Tree Person14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”

17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

What is wrong with the world? We have seen our country celebrate a man mutilate himself in his desire to become a woman. The highest court in our land decided that homosexual relationships can be called ‘marriage.’ Last week, millions if not billions of hard-earned dollars were wiped out as the stock markets crumbled. We have viewed the horror of babies being ripped from their mothers’ wombs only to be torn apart, chopped up, and sold for their organs and tissue. On Wednesday, a reporter and her cameraman were shot to death in cold blood on live television. Shortly after the murders, the shooter released a video showing his first-person view of the horrifying scene. Friday night, a Houston police officer was shot execution-style after he had pumped gas into his patrol car. What is wrong with the world?

The world’s problem is not the transgenders, the homosexuals, the Supreme Court, or China. The world’s problem is not the Republicans, Democrats, the abortionists, criminals, or murderers. So what is wrong with the world? G. K. Chesterton hit the nail on the head several decades ago. Supposedly, the London Times once asked several writers and philosophers, “What is wrong with the world?” Chesterton replied in the briefest of letters. “Dear Sir, I am.”

The words of our Lord, “From within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within.”

The problem with the world is me. And I hope and pray that you, in all honesty, can say the same. The evil in the world is not something outside of us, something that we can hunt down and destroy. The evil in the world is what is inside of us. It is, in fact, us. Our hearts, our minds, our thoughts, our actions are the problem. I am, we are, “by nature sinful and unclean.” I have, we have, “sinned against [God] by thought, word, and deed” by the evil we have done and by the good we have left undone.

OuthouseNothing outside of you defiles you. Whatever goes into you goes out again. What you put into yourself passes through you and goes into the toilet. Yes, Jesus uses bathroom talk here. There is nothing you can put into yourself that makes you defiled. Nothing. So, why does God find fault with you, since nothing you have put into yourself makes you defiled? God finds fault with you and with me because we are sinners. You and I are sinners, but not because we do sinful things. You and I do sinful things because we are sinners. We are unclean because we are unclean – sinful from the time we are conceived.

The source of your problem is your heart. Your heart, my heart, is an idol factory. Your heart, my heart, is the source of sin. Because of our hearts, we are finally brought to a deserved death. Our hearts separate us from God and defile us.

So often today, the advice is given, “Follow your heart,” or you hear people say, “I just need to follow my heart.” That is the worst advice you can give and the worst thing you can do. “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick” (Jer. 17:9). The world is in the shape that it is in precisely because we have followed our hearts. We have done what it in us, and we reap the evil fruit of the wickedness we have sown. We are the problem. We are what is wrong with the world.

Praise be to God that Jesus has come into the world. In Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself. Jesus entered into the evil dominion we have made this world. He didn’t shy away from touching the unclean and defiled. He didn’t shrink back from those who were possessed with wickedness. He didn’t avoid evil and sin; instead, He became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21). In Christ, God entered into the world that we have defiled in order to redeem and to sanctify, to make holy, what we have made damnable.

When we see all the the things that are wrong with this world, we are tempted to ask God, “Why did You allow this evil?” God will simply not answer that question. His thoughts and ways are too far above us. Do not ask God, “Why did You allow evil to happen?” Instead when you see all the tings that are wrong with this world, ask, “God what are You going to do with that evil?” because that question is answered already.

Passion of Christ on the CrossGod has pierced that evil, that sin, and all the problems of this world in Jesus’ hands and feet. God has drowned our evil in the blood of Jesus and buried it in His tomb (Rev. Fiene). When we see the mess we have made of this world, God points us to Jesus on the cross and says, “Look. That evil you have made, that defilement you have brought to the world, that uncleanness you have within you, look. I am here defeating it.”

Jesus takes your defiled heart of stone and throws it in the trash where it belongs. He washes you clean in His blood and makes you a new creation. Then, He turns around and gives you a new heart, a heart of flesh. A heart that longs for the forgiveness, mercy, and righteousness that comes through God speaking to you and creating you anew. He runs to you and throws His loving arms around you. He makes a feast celebrating His own love and mercy for you. And He promises that you have a seat at His feast at the marriage supper of the Lamb who was slain, a seat in the eternal kingdom of His new creation. Amen.

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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Mark 7:1-13 – Externals (Revisited)

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Mark 7:1–13

1 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem,2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, uwashing her handsnwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,

but their heart is far from me;

7      in vain do they worship me,

teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

In the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Imagine that you got hired at a large company – let’s say Apple™. You show up for your first day. Your supervisor introduces you to your co-workers. You are given an orientation on the company. Your supervisor leads you to your desk, and you begin your first day on the job. Suddenly, you feel a hand on your shoulder and look up to see Tim Cook (the CEO of Apple). Of the thousands of co-workers he could be talking to, he talks to you. He welcomes you to the company and says, “The thing that I look at most is punctuality. I will not tolerate you being late. Do good work, but above all, be on time.”

What might you do? You have several options: You can make sure you leave your home every morning so that even if there is traffic, or you get a flat tire, you will still be clocking in on time. But then, you think to yourself, “What if my car breaks down completely? What if something outside of my control happens that makes me late. Tim Cook told me to be on time, so I need to be on time.” So you come up with a plan to simply live at your desk. You abandon your family and never see them. You miss all your kids’ soccer games, school plays, and birthdays. You never spend time with your spouse. You are consumed and haunted by the CEO’s words, “Be on time.”

So here you are living at work. You have to hide your blanket, pillow, and spare clothes because you don’t want people to know that you are so scared of disappointing the CEO that you are living at work. You dodge the security personal at night hoping that their flashlights won’t find you and reveal how consumed you are with making sure that you punch your time-card at the right time.

This analogy falls somewhat short of what is going on in our text, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what was going on in the Pharisees’ minds. God had given the Ten Commandments, and the Pharisees were terrified of breaking them. The Pharisees had a bunch of rules that they would teach in an effort to keep people from even getting close to breaking God’s Commandments.

But in doing so, the Pharisees went beyond what God’s Word says. For example: God gave the Third Commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” So the Pharisees determined how many steps you could take on the Sabbath. They made a rule about how much weight you could carry in your hand or pocket. The Pharisees even discussed what you would do if you were holding an apple with your hand out of your window when the Sabbath began. Could you bring your hand into the window? Well, that would be delivering food. Can you drop the apple? Well, that could be planting an apple tree. Apparently, they even had a debate about where you could spit on the Sabbath. If you spit on the dirt, you might be watering a plant, so the Pharisees determined that it was allowable to spit on rocks.

Small Catechism - Ten Commandments Cloud IconNow, we can laugh at these things, but these were serious debates. They understood that God was serious about His Commandments. He had come down on Mt. Sinai and written these rules in stone – twice. God had told them that He was, “A jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.” So what the leaders of the people did was to (and this is their words) “set a hedge” around the Law. God wanted them to keep the Sabbath holy, so they decided to make sure that they wouldn’t even get close to breaking His command.

People still do this type of thing today. Since the Bible tells us not to lust after someone who is not our spouse, some say we shouldn’t dance because dancing could lead to lustful thoughts and actions. They have come to believe this so strongly that they say all dancing is sin. There is even the joke, maybe you’ve heard it, that sex before marriage is bad because it could lead to dancing. They do the same with drinking alcohol. Since the Bible says that drunkenness is a sin, some say you should never drink alcohol even though the Bible never says that. In fact, the Bible says that wine is a gift from God to “gladden the hearts of man” (Ps. 104:15). But both of those are easy things to pick on.

The important thing is to realize that all of us do this. We make up our own rules and add to God’s perfect, complete Law in an effort to make God like us better. In all of this, we make ourselves to be God. We invent our own cultural rules and laws and begin to practically say, “Look at me God. I haven’t even gotten close to breaking that commandment. Look at me and love me because of it.” We become like the Pharisee in Lk. 18:10-15. We simply cannot stop ourselves.

Now, let me be clear, it is good to put ourselves in a position to refrain from breaking God’s Law. It is good for people who have a history of alcoholism in their family to refrain from drinking because we know alcoholism is often hereditary. But that doesn’t mean that your brothers and sisters who do not have that problem are less in God’s favor simply because they have a couple of beers or glasses of wine. And let me add this: kids, it is wrong for you to have alcohol if you are not 21 because you are to obey the laws of the land (Ro. 13:1-7).

Brothers and sisters, God’s Law is complete and perfect. By adding our little rules to keep us from breaking God’s Law, we are showing that we desire to be our own little-god. This is exactly what Eve did in the Garden. Eve said that God had commanded her not to “eat of the tree, neither shall you touch it, lest you die” (Gen. 3:3). God never said anything about it being wrong to touch the tree. But, with Eve and the Pharisees in our text, we see what adding to God’s Law does not stop us from sinning. We still break God’s commands. We still sin. We still, by our thoughts and actions, damn ourselves.

Crying to GodFor the Pharisees and for us, because of our sin, God’s Law doesn’t always do what God designed it to do. God’s Law always condemns us. If you think you can earn God’s love by following your little rules, you are adding sin to sin. Romans 4:15 says, “The law brings wrath” (cf. Ro. 7:10-25 and Gal. 3:10). God’s Law always “kills, reviles, accuses, judges, and condemns everything that is not in Christ” (Luther). You are always in a dangerous place when you look at God’s Law and think to yourself, “Well, at least I’m keeping that one pretty well.” You may fool others and you may even fool yourself, but you aren’t fooling God. His Law always convicts. God’s Law is intended to cut you open like a sword, so that you watch in horror “as [your] own blood spills out of [you]” (Rev. D. Matyas).

Jesus doesn’t give the Pharisees any Gospel in this text. The Pharisees don’t want mercy; they want to not need mercy.

So to you who are content with your relationship with God, God has nothing for you but His Law. God tells you that not only have you not done what He has commanded, but you have done the opposite. He sees that you are imperfect, yet He demands perfection. Christ demands, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48).

But to you who are convicted of your sin, God has another word. To you who know that you have sinned and offended God in all you say and do, God speaks His word of Gospel. He speaks His words of absolution over you. Blessings from the CrossBrothers and sisters, God has sent His own Son to be sin for you. Jesus took your sins and was run through with God’s sword of the Law. Jesus’ blood was spilt from His head, hands, feet, and side. God punished your sins upon Jesus as He died on the cross, and in return, God gives you the perfect, complete obedience of Christ. Because you are in Christ, because you have been united to Him in baptism, because you believe His words of forgiveness in the absolution, because you are joined to Jesus as you eat His body and drink His blood, God remembers your sins no more (Jer. 31:34). Your sins are separated from you as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12). Your sins have been smashed into nothingness under God’s foot and cast into the depths of the sea (Mic. 7:19).

Because of Jesus, God says to you, “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like a mist; return to Me, for I have redeemed you” (Is. 44:22). Amen.

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

John 6:51-69 – To Whom Shall We Go? To Jesus!

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John 6:51-69

51 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, Ascension of Jesusknowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

In The Silver Chair (one of C.S. Lewis’s books in The Chronicles of Narnia series) there is a scene with a girl named Jill. She finds a stream and is very thirsty. But she is terrified to drink because a huge Lion is in her way. The Lion speaks to her, “If you are thirsty, come and drink.” But she is still too scared, so she doesn’t move. “Are you not thirsty?” the Lion asks. “I’m dying of thirst,” she replies. “Then drink,” says the Lion.

Aslan Silver Chair“Will you promise not to – do anything to me, if I do come?” she asks. “I make no promise,” says the Lion. “Do you eat girls?” Jill asks. The Lion responds, “I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms.” Jill responds, “I daren’t come and drink.”

“Then you will die of thirst,” says the Lion. Giving up, Jill says, “Oh dear! I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.” The Lion says with finality, “There is no other stream,” If you are familiar with The Chronicles of Narnia, you know that the Lion is a picture of Jesus.

Today’s Gospel text brings us to the grand finale of the last five weeks’ Gospel readings. The crowds that were fed with the fish and the loaves want Jesus to be their bread king who will provide for their physical needs. They do not realize they need more than food to live. Jesus tells the crowds that unless you eat the true bread of His body and drink the true drink of His blood, then they have no life. Jesus’ claim to be the only source of life offended the ears of the crowds. They were so offended that thousands no longer followed Him. Instead, they leave Jesus to starve in the wilderness of sin while they go looking for another stream.

But according to Jesus, there is no other stream. Either drink Jesus’ blood and live, or don’t drink and die. Either eat Jesus’ body and live, or don’t eat and die. There is no other drink. There is no other food. Apart from Jesus, there is no other stream. Jesus tells the crowds, “You need Me – Me alone and nothing else. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. There is no other stream. Apart from Me there is no life.”

Yet, we, like the crowds, go looking and striving for life in all sorts of places where Jesus isn’t. Jesus has not promised to give life in the good gifts that God gives us. Our houses, no matter how comfortable, do not give us eternal life. Our careers, no matter how successful, do not give us eternal life. Our families, no matter how supportive, do not give us life. Our achievements, no matter how great, do not give us eternal life. Our commitments to God, no matter how grand, do not give us eternal life. They will all fade into nothingness.

Jesus says, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh is no help at all.” If these words do not offend you, you do not know how sinful you really are. You think you can drink from all sorts of other streams and find life, but there is no other stream. The only stream is Jesus. The only source of life is Jesus. Jesus says, “The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

Communion Cross with JesusJesus gave up His own body, His own flesh, on the cross for the life of the world. His life-giving blood was poured out from His pierced side. On the cross, Jesus has purchased and won your salvation. And, now, He delivers that salvation to you through His Word which is Spirit and life. He delivers that salvation to you in the waters of Baptism where He connects His life-giving Word to the water. Jesus delivers that salvation to you in the Spirit-filled words of the absolution. Jesus delivers that salvation to you as you come to His Supper where, through His Word of promise, He comes to you in body and blood in bread and wine.

Thousands of people left Jesus because of His words that day. They went looking for another stream. But they would find none. They would only find thirst in the desert of sin-parched land.

As they walk away, Jesus turns to the disciples and asks, “Do you want to go away as well?” Maybe they did. Maybe the disciples did want to look for another source of life, another stream. Yet, the Spirit used the Word of Jesus to bind the disciples to Jesus. Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You, and You alone, have the words of eternal life.”

To whom shall you go? Go to Jesus. Find Him where He has promised to be. Find Jesus in the waters of your baptism where God united you with Jesus’ death and resurrection (Ro. 6:3-11). Find Jesus in the words of absolution where He, not your simply your pastor but God Himself, declares you to be forgiven of all your sin (Jn. 20:23). Find Jesus in the preaching of His Word because without hearing the Word of God, you will not believe and you will not have life (Ro. 10:17). Find Jesus in His Supper where He gives you His body to eat and His blood to drink (Mt. 26:26-29). Go to Jesus and nowhere else. There is no other stream. There is no other life. But where Jesus is, there is life, life eternal. Amen.

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

John 6:22-35 – Take, Eat, & Hunger No More

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John 6:22-35

22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”

26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

Communion Cross with Jesus30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

You could sit down at lunch today and stuff your face until you have to be rolled away from the table in a wheelbarrow. But do you know what you will be tomorrow? Hungry. Your teeth, stomach, and intestines will have done their thing. The nutrients, vitamins, and calories will do to your body what God has designed them to do. And you will wake up in the morning and need to eat again.

These crowds who are coming to Jesus had eaten their fill. The five loaves and two fish had become a banquet that filled all their bellies. After eating, they wiped their mouths and decided to make Jesus their king – their bread king – by force (Jn. 6:15). With a king like Jesus, they would never face starvation or famine again. With a king like Jesus, they would never fear again. With a king like Jesus, there would be no more suffering in this earthly life. But Jesus won’t have it. Jesus did not come to be a bread king; He came to be a crucified King. So He dismissed the crowds and quietly walked across the sea to meet up with the disciples.

Our text begins the day after. The crowds have empty stomachs again, so they search for Jesus. Now, of course, it is good to seek Jesus when you are in any need. It is good to pray to God when you have a lack. But they are looking for Jesus to meet a particular type of lack, a very temporal lack. But Jesus refuses to give the crowds even one crumb. Yesterday, Jesus had compassion on the crowd – they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Mk. 6:34). He fed the crowd’s souls with the word of His teaching. And when the day grew late, Jesus, in His mercy, filled their stomachs with the bread and fish. But today, He refuses to give one measly morsel to munch on.

Had Jesus’ love and compassion for the people stopped? The crowd probably felt like It had. But of course Jesus still loved the people. But Jesus’ love is shown to be even greater today in His refusal to feed them. The people had failed to see the sign. They refused to believe that Jesus was truly the God in the flesh who provided manna for their fathers in the wilderness, and they refused to believe that Jesus was the God who wanted to feed their souls for eternity.

Jesus loves the people enough to disappoint them by telling them that He won’t be the bread king they want Him to be. He loves the people enough to speak the truth which would be hard for them to hear. Jesus says, “You want Me for a bread king. I could be that for you. But what good is feeding your stomach for a day or even a lifetime if you remain damned in your sin? I’m not going to fill your belly with bread while your souls are still malnourished and starving for God’s mercy. So do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you as a free gift.”

FranticWe all waste so much time and energy and worry about the things of this world that perish. All the food, clothes, house, home, and luxuries that God is providing – it all will perish. Do not work for the stuff that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life.

The work of God is not really a work at all. The work of God is that you believe in the One whom He has sent. Faith in Christ is everything. When you have faith that the death and resurrection of Christ is for you for the forgiveness of sins, everything else falls into place. You could own the whole world, but without Christ it would mean nothing. Jesus says He is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives eternal life to the world and whoever believes in Him will never hunger or thirst.

At this point, we know Jesus is not talking about normal food anymore. You could be in perfect health, you could never be hungry or thirsty, but you will still die. We know that the things of this creation can fill us up temporarily, but we will always want more if this is all there is. As they wandered in the wilderness, the people ate manna from heaven, and they all died. But Jesus claims that He is the true bread, and if you eat Him in faith, you will never hunger or thirst. The question is this: is Jesus enough? Can Jesus really satisfy all your needs? Jesus says that He is the bread of life, but is He enough?

The answer is, “Of course He is.” His death covers your sin. No action you have done is able to escape His forgiveness. Jesus’ word of forgiveness is for you. He invites you to eat His true Body and Blood. With His life-giving food within you, you will rise from the dead just as He rose from the dead. There is nothing else you need. His body is broken, Jesus says, for you. His blood is shed, Jesus says, for you. It is all for the forgiveness of your sins. Even the sin of working and worrying for the food that perishes. Even the sin of thinking that you need something more than simple faith in Jesus. Even for the sin of thinking that you have to do something to earn it.

Body of Christ CommunionIn this supper, here is Jesus. Here is your Savior. Here is His gift to you. Come and receive – it is free. Everything is provided. Here is the food that will sustain you until the day when you take your place at the marriage supper of the Lamb in the kingdom that has no end. Amen.

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.