Monday after Jubilate
Scripture: St. John 6:60-71 (NKJV)
60 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.
Luther says, “Christ does not want to give you the right to run to and fro in search of the Spirit, to say: ‘I have this by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.’…He binds us solely to His Word. He does not want to see the Holy Spirit divorced from His Word.…Christ does not bind you to anything but His mouth and His Word. He does not want to leave you wandering aimlessly about; He wants you to hear His Word. He declares: ‘The words which I speak are spiritual. Therefore if you want to obtain the Holy Spirit, you must adhere to My words; for they are spirit and life.'”
This is why our dear Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Office of the Holy Ministry, so that men might feed His people through the pure preaching of the Word of God and the right administration of the blessed Sacraments for the enlightenment of all those who receive them in faith. It is through these means that the Holy Ghost works to create and sustain faith, and therefore life eternal, in those who receive them. The Holy Ghost works through means to bring us into the Church.
As Luther says, to separate the Holy Ghost from the Word of God is a dangerous thing, for then our salvation is left up to our emotions, or our own interpretation of how the Lord God is acting in our lives. Such things lead us away from Christ, to Whom the Holy Scriptures continuously point us. When we remain in the Word of God, the Holy Ghost continues to point us to our Lord Christ, and thereby strengthens our faith in Him and His promises of forgiveness, life, and salvation.