1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. 12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. Acts 1:1-14
1. Who is the author of Acts of the Apostles? Why do we say so? Cf. Acts 1:1ff.; Luke 1:1ff. What ties these two books together?
2. What does the Bible tell us of Luke? See Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24. Who penned the largest part of the New Testament?
3. How are the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles like a two-volume set giving us the history of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection and a partial history of the work of the apostles after Jesus’ death and resurrection? How does this fit together with the epistles of the Apostle Paul and of James?
4. Who is Theophilus? What does the name mean? What does Luke’s address in his Gospel, “Most excellent Theophilus,” imply?
5. What does Luke say is covered in his first treatise? Where does he continue in the Book of Acts?
6. To whom did Jesus appear over a period of 40 days following His resurrection? Did Jesus provide undeniable proof of His resurrection? What are some examples? Why is this important? Cf. Mark 16 and 1 Corinthians 15; John 20 and 21; Luke 24, etc.
7. About what did Jesus speak to His chosen apostles during those 40 days? Why?
8. What command had Jesus given to His apostles? Why? What did He promise?
9. With what did John baptize? With what would Jesus baptize His apostles? Cf. Acts 2:38-39. How do we partake of this promise?
10. When pastors baptize with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, with what does Jesus baptize and cleanse our hearts and souls? Explain. Cf. John 3:3-6; Titus 3:3-7; Acts 22:16.
11. What did the apostles ask Jesus in verse 6? How did Jesus answer? Did they yet fully understand the Scriptures at this point? Cf. Luke 24:44ff. Did Jesus come to establish an earthly kingdom in Israel or a heavenly kingdom made up of believers from all over the earth? Cf. Daniel 2:34-35,44-45.
12. What did Jesus promise His apostles in verse 8? Compare this to Jesus’ great commission in Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-16; Luke 24:44-49; John 20:19-23. How were Jesus’ disciples to be witnesses? What did Jesus commission them to do? Who is called to carry on this work today? Cf. Ephesians 4:10-16.
13. In whose power were the apostles to carry out this great work? See verse 8. Cf. Matthew 10:19-20; Mark 13:11; John 14:26; 15:26-27.
14. What happened after Jesus had spoken these things to His apostles? See verse 9. Cf. Luke 24:50-53; Mark 16:19-20; Ephesians 1:15-23; Philippians 2:9-11.
15. Who appeared to Jesus’ disciples as they stood gazing up into heaven? What did they say? See verses 10-11. How will Jesus’ return? See Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 21:25-28; Mark 13:24-27; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10.
16. From which mountain did Jesus ascend? See verse 12. How far was this from Jerusalem? Cf. Joshua 3:4. What does the Bible say in Zechariah 14:4?
17. Where were the disciples staying in Jerusalem? Who was there in Jerusalem? See verse 13.
18. What does verse 14 tell us about the activity of the apostles between Jesus’s ascension on the 40th day after Easter and the Day of Pentecost, the 50th day after Jesus’ resurrection? Who all was participating in this? Cf. Acts 2:41ff. How did the church meet in Jerusalem?
Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church
Affiliated with ELDoNA
(Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America)
“Holding Forth the Word of Life”
2305 S. Dixieland Road/P.O. Box 2335
Rogers, AR 72757
Sunday After Ascension — Exaudi
May 16, 2021
Order of Matins
V. O LORD, open Thou my lips. And my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.
V. Make haste, O God, to deliver me. Make haste to help me, O Lord.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Hallelujah.
V. O come, let us worship the Lord. For He is our Maker.
O COME, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving: and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God: and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it: and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God: and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The Hymn: “If God Were Not Upon Our Side” by Martin Luther (1524)
1 If God were not upon our side
When round us foes are raging,
Were not Himself our help and guide
When bitter war they’re waging,
Were He not Israel’s mighty shield,
To whom their utmost craft must yield,
We surely must have perished.
2 But now no human wit or might
His chosen people frighteth,
God sitteth in the highest height,
And He their counsels blighteth;
When craftiest snares and nets they lay,
God goes to work another way,
And makes a path before us.
3 Against our souls they rage and mock,
Exciting great commotion:
As billows meet with angry shock
Out on the stormy ocean,
So they our lives with fury seek;
But God hath pity on the weak,
And Him they have forgotten.
4 They call us heretics, and aye
Their Christian name are flaunting;
They seek to spill our blood, while they
Their fear of God are vaunting.
Ah, God! that precious name of Thine
O’er many a wicked deed must shine,
But Thou wilt once avenge it.
5 They open wide their ravenous jaws,
And threaten to devour us,
But thanks to God, who rules our cause,
They shall not overpower us;
Their snares He yet will bring to naught,
And overthrow what they have taught;
God is too mighty for them.
6 How richly He consoleth those
Whom no one else befriendeth!
The door of grace doth never close;
Sense cannot comprehend it,
How this may be, and deems all lost,
When through this very cross a host
Of champions God is raising.
7 Our foes, O God, are in Thy hand,
Thou knowest their endeavor;
But only give us strength to stand,
And let us waver never,
Though reason strives with faith, and still
It fears to wholly trust Thy will,
And sees not Thy salvation.
8 But heaven and earth, O Lord, are Thine,
For Thou alone hast made them;
Thy light let on Thy people shine,
And in their sorrows aid them;
Kindle our hearts to love and faith
That shall be steadfast e’en to death,
Howe’er the world may murmur!
Epistle: 1 Peter 4:7-11
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Gospel: John 15:26 —16:4
26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. 1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
Sermon: “When the Comforter Comes” — John 15:26 — 16:4
Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
In Revelation 22:17, God’s Word says: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
The Holy Spirit, through the witness and testimony of Christ’s Bride, the Church, to the truth of God’s Word, calls upon all to repent of their sins and come and partake of Christ and the blessings of forgiveness of sins and life eternal which He won for us when He suffered and died upon the cross and made full atonement for the sins of the entire world.
Similarly, in Isaiah 55:1-3,6-7 it says, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. … Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
And so, in the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:26-27).
The Holy Spirit testifies of Christ, who He is and what He has done for fallen mankind; and, the apostles of the Lord Jesus, who were with Jesus throughout His ministry and were witnesses of His crucifixion and His resurrection, bear witness to the world concerning Jesus and what He has done for us.
And that commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature is still the task of Christ’s Church today. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come” (Rev. 22:17; cf. Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-48; John 3:14ff.). The Church, through its called ministers still calls upon all people in all places to repent of their sins and sinful ways and to look in faith to Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice upon the cross for the forgiveness of all their sins and for everlasting life.
But calling upon all to repent of their sinful ways and come to Christ for pardon and forgiveness will bring persecution. Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:12: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
And Jesus told His apostles in advance (John 16:1-4): “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.”
Therefore, we should not be surprised when the world and even those in the outward visible church in this world hate us, speak evil of us, excommunicate us or kill us for speaking the truth revealed to us by God’s Spirit in the Word. As Jesus explained in John 3:18-20, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
Dear brethren, we are lights in this dark and dying world when we trust in Christ and follow Him, and the people of this world, including many who count themselves Christians, would rather not have the light of God’s Word shine upon them, upon their doctrine or upon their lifestyles and reveal their wayward ways and sinfulness. Therefore, we can expect the world to try and snuff out the light and silence our witness to the truth. Why? Because they don’t know the Father (or the Son) or trust in Him.
But Jesus did not send His disciples out into the world alone and in their own strength; He told them to wait in Jerusalem until they were “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Jesus told His disciples: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). And consider the strength and boldness given to Jesus’ disciples on the day of Pentecost and afterward, as we read of their witness to Christ in the Book of Acts.
Nor does Jesus send us out into the world alone or in our own strength and power. He not only commissioned His church to disciple the nations (cf. Matt. 28:16ff.); he also promised, “lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20).
And, in our Baptisms, He gives us His Holy Spirit, who creates faith in our hearts, washes away our sins in Christ’s shed blood, and regenerates us that we might love God and seek to live for Him in accord with God’s Word (cf. John 3:3-6).
St. Paul wrote to Titus, chapter 3, verses 3ff.: “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Therefore, in the strength of the Holy Spirit, and using the witness of the Spirit and of the apostles and prophets recorded in God’s Word, we hold fast in faith to Christ Jesus as our Savior and we bear witness to the world of Jesus, who He is and what He has done for our salvation.
We know the world will hate us and persecute us. We need not be surprised. Even those within the outward pale of the visible church will persecute us and may excommunicate us because they don’t know the Father whom they claim to worship and serve because they don’t know and trust in the Christ of the Bible who died for them and rose again.
We hold fast to Christ our Savior, and in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit, we bear witness to Christ and the truth of His Word in this dark and dying world.
Grant unto us Thy Holy Spirit, O Lord, that we may hear and believe Thy Word, trust in Thee for pardon and bear witness to the truth to all around us. Amen.
The Canticle — Te Deum Laudamus
We praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord. All the earth doth worship Thee, the Father everlasting. To Thee all Angels cry aloud, the heavens, and all the powers therein. To Thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth; Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy Glory. The glorious company of the Apostles praise Thee. The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise Thee. The noble army of Martyrs praise Thee. The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge Thee; the Father of an infinite Majesty; Thine adorable, true and only Son; also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ. Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father. When Thou tookest upon Thee to deliver man, Thou didst humble Thyself to be born of a Virgin. When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father. We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge. We therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood. Make them to be numbered with Thy saints in glory everlasting. O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine heritage. Govern them and lift them up for ever. Day by day we magnify Thee; and we worship Thy Name ever, world without end. Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin. O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us. O Lord, let Thy mercy be upon us as our trust is in Thee. O Lord, in Thee have I trusted, let me never be confounded.
Our Father, Who art in heaven; Hallowed by Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven; Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect ALMIGHTY, everlasting God, make us to have always a devout will towards Thee, and to serve Thy Majesty with a pure heart; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for Grace
O LORD, our Heavenly Father, Almighty and Everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day: Defend us in the same with Thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings, being ordered by Thy governance, may be righteous in Thy sight; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
V. Bless we the Lord. R. Thanks be to God.
Benediction THE Grace of our Lord + Jesus Christ, and the Love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. +
[Scripture quoted from the KJV]
Members desiring the Lord’s Supper but not comfortable attending services during the COVID-19 pandemic may call Pastor Moll at 479-233-0081 or email him at email@example.com and he will arrange a time to bring the Sacrament to them.
Online Services will continue each week via Facebook Live and with recorded YouTube videos posted on the church website after the service when we are back in the church building. The bulletin is posted and made available online. In addition, devotionals and sermon summaries are also available on the church website: https://goodshepherdrogers.org.
Midweek Bible Study will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday via Google Meet. We will begin a study of the Book of Acts.
A Voter’s Assembly meeting will be held following our morning worship service on Sunday, May 23. In addition to other items, the congregation will consider adopting an amended Constitution and Bylaws.
Church Council will next meet via Google Meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18.
Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men …
1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Thursday, May 13, is Ascension Day, a Christian festival often forgotten by churches today. It is the day to remember Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the fact that He now rules over and fills all things (Eph. 1:17-23) and will soon return to judge the living and the dead and establish His everlasting kingdom. Today, we consider the words of the angels to Jesus’ disciples when Jesus was taken up into heaven.
This Word of God, which was spoken by angels to the disciples who had just witnessed Jesus’ ascension into heaven, teaches us that Jesus Christ will return visibly in the clouds of glory on the Last Day. The Bible also says this in Revelation 1:7: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
As Jesus ascended into heaven, so He shall also return on the Last Day, the Day of Judgment. He will come again in clouds of glory. Every eye will see Him! His return will be no secret rapture — both the believer and the unbeliever will see Him coming in glory!
In Matthew 24:29-31, we read: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
But, are you ready for His return and judgment? Are you prepared to meet Him?
Those who do not trust in Him for salvation will wail in sorrow at His return because they stand condemned for not trusting in the only begotten Son of God. In John 3:18, we read: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Mark 16:16 says: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
And, in 2 Thess. 1:7-10, God’s Word says: “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”
But those who do trust in Christ Jesus as their Savior — believing that they have pardon for their sins and peace with God for the sake of Christ’s innocent sufferings and death in their stead — will rejoice at His return because He comes to take them to be with Him forever in the mansions of heaven.
In John 14:1-3, Jesus says: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (Cf. Luke 21:27-28; Heb. 9:27-28; 1 Thess. 4:13-18.)
Do you acknowledge your sins and look to Christ and His cross for mercy and forgiveness? If not, the day of His return will be for you a day of sorrow and mourning as you face His eternal judgment and condemnation!
But, if you agree with God about your sins and trust in Christ and the atonement He made for the sins of the world when He died on the cross, that day will be a day of joy and gladness as you receive His mercy, His pardon, and life eternal in His glorious kingdom!
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, as You have ascended up into heaven to the right hand of God the Father, so come again and take us to be with You forever. Graciously keep us in the true faith so that, on that Day, we may greet You with joy and not with sorrow. Grant this to us for the sake of Your holy life and bitter sufferings and death upon the cross in our stead. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.]
“A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing” (The Lutheran Hymnal, No. 212)
1 A hymn of glory let us sing;
New songs thro’out the world shall ring:
Christ, by a road before untrod.
Ascendeth to the throne of God.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
2 The holy apostolic band
Upon the Mount of Olives stand;
And with His followers they see
Jesus’ resplendent majesty.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
3 To whom the angels, drawing nigh,
“Why stand and gaze upon the sky?
This is the Savior,” thus they say;
“This is His noble triumph-day.”
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
4 “Again shall ye behold Him so
As ye today have seen Him go.
In glorious pomp ascending high
Up to the portals of the sky.”
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
5 Oh, grant us thitherward to tend
And with unwearied hearts ascend,
Unto Thy kingdom’s throne, where Thou,
As is our faith, art seated now.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
6 Be Thou our Joy and strong Defense,
Who art our future Recompense:
So shall the light that springs from Thee
Be ours through all eternity.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
7 O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
All praise to Thee let earth accord,
Who art, while endless ages run,
With Father and with Spirit One.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Title: A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing
Latin Title: Hymnum canamus gloriae
Translator: Benjamin Webb (1854, alt.)
Author: The Venerable Bede, d. 735
Source: “Geistliche Kirchengesäng,” Cologne, 1623
KJV – Pure Cambridge
1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. 2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. 6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. 8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. 9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. 12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
1. Where is the Sea of Tiberias? Who was there at the Sea?
2. What did Peter say? Do we know why? How far out did they go? Did they catch any fish?
3. Who then appeared and stood on the shore? What did He say to those fishing in the boat?
4. What happened when they listened to Jesus and threw the net out on the right side of the boat?
5. How was what happened an indicator that it was Jesus on the shore? Cf. Luke 5:4ff.
6. What did the Apostle John (or the disciple whom Jesus loved) say to Peter when their net was filled?
7. What did Peter do when John told him that it was the Lord?
8. What did the disciples see when they came to shore? What did Jesus have cooking over the fire? What did He ask them to do? How was this also an indicator that it was Jesus? Cf. John 6:1ff.
9. How many fish did the disciples catch? What was amazing about them bringing ashore such a big catch?
10. Did the disciples need to ask Jesus who He was? Why?
11. What did Jesus do for His disciples?
12. How many times had Jesus now appeared to His disciples after His resurrection from the dead?
KJV – Pure Cambridge
15 ¶So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? 24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
13. After Jesus and the disciples had eaten, what did Jesus ask Peter? How many times? Why was Peter grieved by this? (Is Peter the son of Jonah or the son of John? TR has Jonas and WH/UBS has John.)
14. How did Peter answer Jesus? What did Jesus commission Peter to do?
15. Whose are the sheep and the lambs?
16. Is there a significant difference in the Greek words behind the words “love” in these verses? How about the difference between feeding and tending?
17. Why was it important that Jesus ask Peter this three times and recommission Peter three times? Cf. Luke 24:54-62.
18. What did Jesus say would happen to Peter for being a disciple and apostle of Jesus? Did Jesus’ words help in preparing Peter for what would happen to Him as a follower of Jesus?
19. What does Peter then ask Jesus? How did Jesus answer Peter? How did people understand these words? What does John say these words meant?
20. Should we worry about what others may or may not suffer for Christ or focus on following Jesus where He leads us?
21. What does John say in v. 24? Of what do these words assure us? Cf. John 19:35.
22. How does John conclude his gospel? Why did John write the things he did? Cf. John 20:30-31; 1 John 1:1-4.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5:
Message for the day –
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Dear fellow-redeemed sinners, ransomed by the shed blood of Christ Jesus, God’s Son and our Savior.
Who is this Jesus of Nazareth, that Babe born in Bethlehem but raised in Nazareth? We look to the Word of God, to the inspired testimony of the apostles who suffered all to faithfully follow Christ Jesus.
Today, we begin with the inspired testimony of the Apostle John, in his Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
The Word, spoken of here in the inspired Scriptures is Jesus, for John later writes, in verse 14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
In his first epistle, John writes (1 John 5:7): “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
This already tells us that Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God come into this world as a true man, that He had divine glory, and that He is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit (a Person of the Triune God).
The opening verses of John’s Gospel tell us that “in the beginning” – the same “in the beginning” when “God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1) – the pre-incarnate Jesus, the Son of God, already was. He was with God and He, in fact, was and is God.
While some cult religions of our day (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons) would try to reduce Jesus to being only “a son of God,” the Greek text leaves no doubt: “The Word was with the God, and God was the Word” (the Greek definite article and the placement of God at the beginning of the second part of the sentence emphasizing that Jesus, the Word, was not only with God; He is God Himself – a Person in the Triune Godhead).
Some so-called “Christian churches” would make Jesus, the Son of God, less than and inferior to God the Father. This too is a rejection of the truth God has revealed to us in His inspired Word. Not only was the pre-incarnate Christ there with God in the beginning before anything was created or made, He is the Creator God who made all things and gave all living things life and breath.
This is why the Christian Church has, for centuries confessed to believe “in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made. …” (Nicene Creed)
God tells us: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
Can it get any clearer than that? Jesus, before He took on human flesh and blood and became true man and was born of the Virgin Mary, created all things. Nothing made or created was made or created without Him.
Read Genesis one in that light. Creation was not just the work of God the Father; all was created by God the Son and nothing was made without Him (cf. Colossians 1:15ff.; Hebrews 1:1-3). The Holy Spirit was also actively engaged in this divine work, for the Scriptures tell us that “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be….” (Genesis 1:2ff.).
In Jesus was life. When “the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7), it was Jesus, the eternal Word, who gave him life and made him a “living soul.”
And, lest we forget that life was more than physical life but included spiritual life and the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), Jesus is the One who gave to Adam and Eve knowledge of God and a life in harmony and fellowship with their Maker. This life that Jesus gave was “the light of men.” They were spiritually alive, they knew God and His holy will, and they loved and honored Him and trusted in Him.
This was the life that mankind lost in the fall of Genesis three. Instead of loving God, trusting Him and seeking His honor, Adam and Eve rebelled against His commandment and then hid from His presence. And, even yet today, when this light shines into the darkness, the darkness does not comprehend it – it does not understand it or receive it.
People today – all of us as we are by nature – walk in darkness. We do not wish to accept the truth that Jesus is God the Son in human flesh, our Maker and our final Judge. Though the evidence is all around us, we do not wish to face up to the truth that we are sinners and guilty before God. We do not wish to hear of our sins and shortcoming and of the hellfires we so deserve. We would rather continue on in darkness, thinking that we are basically good and that God will not condemn us if only we do our best to be loving and caring people.
The light shines in the darkness, and we would continue on in darkness! We don’t want to give up our own selfish and sinful ways. We don’t want to return to fellowship with God because that would cramp our lifestyle! Instead, we would attempt to change God into a god who smiles at sin and disobedience and would punish no one. Of course, to form our own opinions of God instead of accepting what God tells us of Himself in the Bible is no different than making a graven image and inventing our own ways to serve it. It is idolatry!
What does God say? “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 1:5-2:2
In God – in Jesus Christ, the eternal Word – is light and life! If we claim to have fellowship with God but continue to hide and cover up our sins, pretending that all is well, we are lying and deceiving ourselves. God’s truth tells us that we are sinners, that we have failed to love God with all our heart, soul and strength or love our neighbor as God requires. God’s light reveals His holy will but also our failures to live in accord with His holy commandments.
But God’s light also reveals the way of salvation He has provided for lost mankind: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Jesus, God the Son in human flesh, lived a righteous and holy life in our stead and He suffered and died for our sins and rose again. He satisfied God’s wrath against our sins and the sins of the whole world. That is why: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Jesus is still the life and light of men. He redeemed sinful mankind by His innocent sufferings and death in our stead. He offers to all people forgiveness of sins and life eternal in fellowship with Him through faith in His name. His light shines into this dark and sinful world, revealing God’s holy will and man’s sinfulness but also offering forgiveness and life with Him in His eternal kingdom. When He, by the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit through His Word, convinces us of sin and conveys to us forgiveness through faith in Him – when He breathes into our nostrils the breath of life – we become living souls!
God graciously grant to each of you light and life in Christ Jesus, the eternal Word! Amen.
Psalm and Confession of Sins –
Psalm 32: Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. (A Psalm of David, Maschil.)
O Thou crucified Lord Jesus Christ, who, as the truly patient Lamb of God, didst suffer for me the most shameful death on the cross and with Thy precious blood didst redeem me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, I pray Thee, give me the assurance of this redemption through Thy Word, govern my heart with Thy Holy Spirit, preserve me with Thy divine love, and hide me this day, both soul and body, in Thy holy wounds. Wash me clean from all my sins, teach me to live a life of good works, and finally lead me from this world of sorrows to Thine eternal joy and glory, Thou most faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, mine only Comfort, Hope, and Life. Amen. (The Lutheran Hymnal, page 118)
The Apostles Creed: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into Hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; The Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; The forgiveness of sins; The resurrection of the body; And the life everlasting. Amen.
Prayers: O Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, the everlasting Son of God, shine upon my heart the light of Your truth, reveal my sinfulness and disobedience to Your holy will, but also comfort me with the knowledge of Your holy life and innocent sufferings and death for my sins that I may take courage, rejoice in Your forgiveness, and walk in the light of Your truth until You come again and take me to live with You forever in Your eternal kingdom. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Blessing: “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” Amen. (Numbers 6:24-27)
[Scripture quotations from the King James Version of the Bible]