Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

31 July 2011

Sermon: Proper 13 (Gospel)

Pentecost 7 — 31 July AD 2011

Sermon Theme: Fed in the Wilderness

5 Loaves and 2 FishSummary: Tired from His travels and the demands on His time and anguished over the death of John the Baptist, Jesus fled to the Wilderness for solitude. He was met, however, by crowds of people craving healing for themselves or for family and friends. In spite of his exhaustion, Jesus answered them and restored health to those who came to Him.

After a full day, the disciples expected Him to send the people away but Jesus surprised them by suggesting that they provide dinner for the crowd. When they confessed their inability and showed Him the paltry provisions they had found, Jesus worked a miracle of feeding. In this, He echoed the feeding of Israel during the Exodus. He proves that He is concerned with the whole person — body, mind and spirit. And He shows Himself ready to assume “all authority (Matthew 28:18)” over Creation when He rises from the dead.

He maintains this authority now and throughout time and generously provides us not only with the bare essentials of our existence but so much more. He also moves us to thank Him by exercising this same generosity toward those less fortunate by caring for their needs of body, mind, and spirit, even as He cares for us.

Text: Now when Jesus heard [about the death of John the Baptist], he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”

But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.”

And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Matthew 14:13-21

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear MP3 of Fed in the Wilderness, preached during the late service to the saints of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Marshall, Missouri.

Other Readings: Psalm 136:1-9; Isaiah 55:1-5; Romans 9:1-5

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