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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 63 and 64

Isaiah 63

63:1 The LORD in Judgment and Salvation

Who is this who comes from Edom,With dyed garments from Bozrah,This One who is glorious in His apparel,Traveling in the greatness of His strength? —
"I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save."
2 Why is Your apparel red,And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?
3 "I have trodden the winepress alone,And from the peoples no one was with Me.For I have trodden them in My anger,And trampled them in My fury;Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments,And I have stained all My robes. 4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart,And the year of My redeemed has come. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help,And I wondered That there was no one to uphold;Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me;And My own fury, it sustained Me. 6 I have trodden down the peoples in My anger,Made them drunk in My fury,And brought down their strength to the earth."
7 God's Mercy Remembered

I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORDAnd the praises of the LORD,According to all that the LORD has bestowed on us,And the great goodness toward the house of Israel,Which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies,According to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses. 8 For He said, "Surely they are My people,Children who will not lie."So He became their Savior. 9 In all their affliction He was afflicted,And the Angel of His Presence saved them;In His love and in His pity He redeemed them;And He bore them and carried them All the days of old. 10 But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit;So He turned Himself against them as an enemy,And He fought against them.
11 Then he remembered the days of old,Moses and his people, saying:"Where is He who brought them up out of the sea With the shepherd of His flock?Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them, 12 Who led them by the right hand of Moses,With His glorious arm,Dividing the water before them To make for Himself an everlasting name, 13 Who led them through the deep,As a horse in the wilderness,That they might not stumble?"
14 As a beast goes down into the valley,And the Spirit of the LORD causes him to rest,So You lead Your people,To make Yourself a glorious name.
15 A Prayer of Penitence

Look down from heaven,And see from Your habitation, holy and glorious.Where are Your zeal and Your strength,The yearning of Your heart and Your mercies toward me?Are they restrained? 16 Doubtless You are our Father,Though Abraham was ignorant of us,And Israel does not acknowledge us.You, O LORD, are our Father;Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name. 17 O LORD, why have You made us stray from Your ways,And hardened our heart from Your fear?Return for Your servants' sake,The tribes of Your inheritance. 18 Your holy people have possessed it but a little while;Our adversaries have trodden down Your sanctuary. 19 We have become like those of old, over whom You never ruled,Those who were never called by Your name.

Isaiah 64

64:1 A Prayer for Help

Oh, that You would rend the heavens!That You would come down!That the mountains might shake at Your presence — 2 As fire burns brushwood,As fire causes water to boil — To make Your name known to Your adversaries,That the nations may tremble at Your presence! 3 When You did awesome things for which we did not look,You came down,The mountains shook at Your presence. 4 For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,Who acts for the one who waits for Him. 5 You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,Who remembers You in Your ways.You are indeed angry, for we have sinned — In these ways we continue;And we need to be saved.
6 But we are all like an unclean thing,And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;We all fade as a leaf,And our iniquities, like the wind,Have taken us away. 7 And there is no one who calls on Your name,Who stirs himself up to take hold of You;For You have hidden Your face from us,And have consumed us because of our iniquities.
8 But now, O LORD,You are our Father;We are the clay, and You our potter;And all we are the work of Your hand. 9 Do not be furious, O LORD,Nor remember iniquity forever;Indeed, please look — we all are Your people! 10 Your holy cities are a wilderness,Zion is a wilderness,Jerusalem a desolation. 11 Our holy and beautiful temple,Where our fathers praised You,Is burned up with fire;And all our pleasant things are laid waste. 12 Will You restrain Yourself because of these things, O LORD?Will You hold Your peace, and afflict us very severely?

Second Reading: John Chapter 6

John 6

6:1 Feeding the Five Thousand
(Matt 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17)

After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
7 Philip answered Him,"Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little."
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, 9 "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"
10 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. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."
15 Jesus Walks on the Sea
(Matt 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52)

Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
22 The Bread from Heaven

On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone — 23 however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks — 24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 And 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 and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"
29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
30 Therefore they said to Him,"What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
32 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give 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 Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always."
35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
41 Rejected by His Own

The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." 42 And they said,"Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?"
43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"
53 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, 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 eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats 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 he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven — not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
60 Many Disciples Turn Away

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"
61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
70 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.

Bible Background



Part 1 of 3

The name Jesus means savior. Jesus is a form of the Hebrew word "Joshua." Christ means anointed and is a title rather than a name. The Hebrew equivalent is "messiah." So the meaning of His name is "The Anointed Savior."

Jesus is called son of man and son of God. The record of his conception and birth in Matthew and Luke identify his father as God and his mother Mary:

Matthew 2:18-20 (NIV) This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:32,34-35 (NIV) He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." 34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."

Jesus was not just a man. He was literally the son of God. However, his lineage through David was important in the purpose of God and in the fulfillment of prophecy. We are told in Hebrews 1 that Jesus "reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature..." Yet we are also told that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are tempted, yet without sin (Hebrews 4). God, however, cannot be tempted with evil nor does he tempt anyone according to James 1. So we must understand that although he is the Son of God, he is also the son of Mary. Jesus, himself said: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself..." and "By myself I can do nothing..." (John 5).


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