The Nativity Set used in Pastor David Tinker’s childhood home. Photo by D. Tinker, 2016
Bible Readings and Devotion for May 9, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for May 9, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
In yesterday’s devotion we saw that Jesus’ own family did not originally accept his teachings. Today we have a related scene in which the Jewish leaders, noted often as “the Jews,” resist accepting Jesus’ teachings.
The leaders dismiss him because he did not have the accepted education that they either had or expected of their teachers. He counters their dismissal by stating essentially who he is and what he has come to do. Here is a bit of their interaction in John 7:15-16: “The Jews were astonished at it, saying, “How does this man have such learning, when he has never been taught?” Then Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine but his who sent me.””
The very essence, meaning, foundation, and fullness of Jesus Christ is that he is God with us and he is the Word of God for us. This is taught about in the prologue to the Gospel of John, found in chapter 1, verses 1-18. This Word of God is the creator of all. This Word of God is what teaches and lives out God’s will for the world. This is the “Living Word,” Jesus Christ.
There are four major expressions of the Word of God. This summary was taught to me by Dr. Harry Wendt, the founder of the Crossways International Bible Study program. I have combined some of my own notes with his presentation.
The Living Word – Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Message of God, the Will of God, who has taken on human flesh and lived among us. The ultimate expression of this Word is that he has suffered and died on the cross for us, and has been raised up to life forever more.
The Written Word – The Bible read, copied, taught, discussed, shared, heard, preached, etc.
The Adopting Word – The Sacrament of Holy Baptism. The Word of God announces that we are children of God. It announces that we are loved and forgiven of our sin by God himself. The water and the Word together bring the message of life, hope, love and forgiveness for us.
The Edible Word – the Sacrament of Holy Communion. We are united to God and one another by the bread and the wine, the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The Word tells us again and again that we are forgiven of our sin. The elements of bread and wine, together with the Word, remind us of what Jesus has done. In receiving the Adopting Word we are announcing that we believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, and that the risen Savior will come again as he has promised.
From what we can tell, Jesus did not have an advanced, formal education among his people, the Jewish community. He was literate, for we have scenes of him reading in public. Even more important, he is the Word of God, the Message of God, the Presence of God, all personified and in human flesh among us. As creator and the fullness of God among us, he is and was the founder and expression of what God wants us to know. Thankfully we have the Written Word of God, and these other expressions, which help us to know Jesus, the Living Word.
Blessed Lord God, you have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold fast to the hope of eternal life, which you have given us in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.