Elder's Prayer - October 14, 2018
Please find below the notes from the Elder's Prayer this past Sunday.
At the beginning of John chapter 6, John records Jesus being pursued by a crowd of thousands. He had just spent the previous day teaching them and then fed them as much bread and fish as they wanted, so now they seek him out to see more signs, specifically more to eat.
Instead of feeding them again, Jesus begins to teach them – and what he teaches them they eventually find offensive.
He’ll say "I am the bread of life" and "I have come down from heaven". And then "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."
The crowd grumbles and disputes amongst themselves about what Jesus says. Rather than back off, Jesus presses the point even further.
"Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
Jesus has used a similar sentence earlier where he said that "everyone who looks on the son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day", so the crowd should have understood what he meant by eating his flesh and drinking his blood. Yet they still take offense at his words and continue to grumble.
By the end of the day, all that John tells us are left are the twelve. Jesus turns to them and asks "do you want to go away as well"?
Peter answers "Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the holy one of God."
It is the word of God that is the firm foundation of our faith. It is that word that tells us that we are all sinners and destined for eternal destruction. And it is that word that tells us that God does not leave us without hope.
Our ultimate hope is found only in Christ – in his words, in his sinless life, in his death where he glorified, and in his resurrection where he showed his power over death.
No matter how difficult life gets, our best hope – our only hope – is found when we put our faith in Jesus Christ.
Father, when the time came, you glorified your son so that your son glorified you. You gave your son authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all that you gave him. And that eternal life was to know that you are the only true God and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
Jesus glorified you by doing all the work that you gave him to do. You glorified him by raising him up on a cross, to pay the penalty in full for all those that you gave him. And you will glorify him again when he comes again to judge the world.
Remind us of the hope that we have in Christ. As part of accomplishing the work you gave him, he will preserve those that are his and will raise them up at the last day.
Remind us also that those who believe in Christ have Christ abiding in them, and because you abide in Christ, you also abide in them. When we recognize our unity as the body of Christ, we recognize that work that you are doing in us today.
Remind us of the hope that we find in your word, where you most clearly make yourself known to us – your character, your power/authority, your promises.
May our singing, our praying, and the preaching of your word glorify you.