Includes Sermon Audio
THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Jesus said, “It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” John 6:63
Collect of the day
Ever living God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the church is governed and sanctified, hear the prayers we offer for all your faithful people, that in the ministry to which you have called them each may serve you in holiness and truth, through our lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.
A thought to ponder upon – John 6: 56 – 69
The flesh (i.e. human nature including emotions, will, and intellect) is completely incapable of producing genuine spiritual life. For this can only be done by the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit works powerfully in and through the words that Jesus speaks, and those words are Spirit and life in the sense that they work in the unseen spiritual realm and awaken genuine spiritual life.
This is the first reference to the Twelve in the Gospel. Their existence and appointments are assumed from the Synoptics (c.f. the reference to Andrew as “Simon Peter’s brother” in 1: 40). “To whom shall we go” rightly implies that there is no other teacher who can lead people to eternal life and to true fellowship with God himself.
“We have believed” implies that Jesus disciples at this point had genuine, saving faith that (though they would still have much to learn, much more about Jesus’s death and resurrection and the meaning of these things for them). Peter’s confession of Jesus as “the Holy One of God” anticipates later references to Jesus being consecrated, or set apart for service to God. In the OT God was called “The holy one of Israel” (Psalms 71: 22, Isaiah 43: 3, 54: 5). See the similar confessions of Jesus as the Christ by Peter in the Synoptics (Matthew 16: 16, Mark 8: 29, Luke 9: 20).
The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches on John 6; from verse 56 after the gospel reading.