Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Festival of the Baptism of our Lord

Posted on January 13, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. John 6:28-40 (NKJV)
6:28 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.”
“What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” That is the question that has been on the hearts of countless people throughout the centuries. Written on the hearts of men is God’s Law. Deep down people know they owe God.
“What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Basically, Jesus’ answer is this: “You can’t do God’s work.” Jesus then goes on to point out that God’s ultimate work is to bring people to faith in Him. The interesting thing in today’s reading is that Jesus tells them this truth, and the people want to see a sign right away. Why? So that they can do the work and believe.
Such is the stubbornness of sinful minds. It is not so much that some unbelievers do not want to believe. Rather, they are willing to believe in Jesus, but only on their own terms and conditions, thereby substituting their work for God’s work. Thankfully, God has not ceased doing His work of creating and sustaining faith. This is evident in your being baptized by Him and as He continually brings His Word of Law and Gospel to you. The Holy Spirit is at work in you daily to call you to repentance and faith in the work of Jesus: His suffering, death, and resurrection.
Prayer: O Lord, we beseech Thee mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy people who call upon Thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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