Sermon for 081521
“The Word and Wisdom of God”
Pentecost 12 (Proper 15), August 15, 2021
*Text:* John 6:51–69
*Theme: *The Word and Wisdom of God
1. *In the Name of the Father…Amen.*
*B. The Gospel lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.*
*C. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:*
Open our eyes, Lord,
we want to see Jesus,
to reach out and touch him,
and say that we love him.
Open our ears, Lord,
and help us to listen.
Open our eyes, Lord,
we want to see Jesus. Amen.
*D. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God the Father through our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. *
1. *Where can true wisdom and the way of life be found?*
1. Only by faith in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
2. What we have here in John 6 is an invitation from Jesus through
1. To repent and believe in what Jesus says.
2. To come and partake of the Sacrament of the Altar, the very
body and blood of Jesus our Lord.
* I. No one is offended by wisdom and life in the abstract.*
A. *Everyone signs on with wisdom in Proverbs 9 as a better idea than
• *Wisdom has built her house. She has carved out her seven pillars.
(3) She has sent out her servant girls. She calls from the highest
places in the city, (6) Stop being gullible and live. Start traveling
the road to understanding (verses 1, 3, 6) *
B. Who wouldn’t be for that! Just fill in the blanks as to what you
think “wisdom” entails:
• good judge of human character,
• political savvy,
• clever in the world of business.
• Whatever. It’s a good concept.
C. Most people will even buy an abstract “fear of the Lord” (cf
Proverbs 9:10) if it leads to abstract wisdom.
A. Our cultural religion generally still likes to say, “We’re a God-fearing
*B. Everyone wants life in general.*
1. The crowds in John 6 certainly wanted to live, which is why they were
glad to have all the free barley loaves Jesus would give them.
2. Many a celebrant will respond to “Happy birthday!” with:
1. “Well, it’s better than the alternative.”
2. We all want to live.
*II. But when wisdom and life are concrete—that is a person!—then people
A. *“Wisdom” in Proverbs 9—and elsewhere in the Book of Proverbs—has
been seen by many as a reference to the eternal Son of God.*
1. After all, he alone has “knowledge of the Holy One” (Proverbs 9:10).
1. He’s the one who teaches the “fear of the Lord.”
1. This fear is not to be in terror, but to honor God’s divine
2. The Son is the author and giver of life (Jn 1:4), who gives his
Word of Spirit and life (6:63).
3. The Son lives in, with, and from the Father eternally (v 57; also
John 1:1, 2, 14), in love for his Father and for the whole
4. But now you’ll get plenty of argument about wisdom; lots of folks
will claim to be wise without crediting God or his eternal Son.
*B. And now get down to real flesh and blood—Jesus as the life!*
1. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven,” Jesus says. “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” (verse 51).
2. “This a hard saying!” the crowd responds, and many of them take
offense! Many “turned back and no longer walked with” Jesus (verses 60, 66).
3. *Illustration:* Lot and his wife fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah. She
“turned back” in apostasy and died, turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis
4. That is what happens if God’s Word is rejected and refused; if other
words and the world’s wisdom are heeded (Ephesians 5:6; Psalm 34:16).
a. Do not harden your heart in this way!
b. Do not grumble against God’s Word!
1. Hold it sacred, gladly hear and learn it (Small Catechism, Third
5. If that’s offensive, how about this for wisdom and life: the cross (1
a. The crowds knew that for Jesus to give his flesh to eat, he would
have to die—and a bloody death at that. Gross! Unacceptable!
b. The cross is often seen as bad PR today. Not just because it’s an
ugly downer, but because it shows we’re in need of dramatic saving! As in,
*really* sinful! That’s unacceptable!
*III. Yet you know this wisdom and the life, Christ Jesus.*
A. Peter got this one right: “You have the words of eternal life” (Jn
6:68). Jesus is God’s wise plan for our life, *the* life of the whole world.
1. He lives in, with, and from the living Father (v 57).
2. He has come down from heaven to you, to give his flesh for you, to
shed his blood for you.
a. The cross *is* a scandal, but it is not the way of
death as it often seems and feels (Ps 34:19).
b. The cross seems like folly, but it is the way of *the*
life and the true wisdom of God.
3. Jesus died to give his flesh and blood *to you* as meat and drink
indeed, that you may live and abide in and with him forever (Jn 6:55–57).
4. *Illustration:* “Christ alone our souls will feed; He is our meat and
drink indeed; Faith lives upon no other! Alleluia!” (*LSB* 458:7).
*B. You, too, have faith to know the life in Christ, the “many days,”
that you so much desire (Ps 34:12).*
1. By his Word that he preaches to you (Prov 9:7–10), which is Spirit,
truth, and life (Jn 6:63).
2. By your Baptism into his cross and resurrection.
3. By his Supper, feeding you on his flesh and blood so you abide in him
and he in you (v 56).
*C. Here, too, in Christ Jesus, you have the wisdom that you also
1. He has built his house, the Holy Christian Church on earth (Prov
2. He has hewn out his seven pillars, the manifold gifts of the Holy
Spirit (Prov 9:1b; 1 Cor 12:4–10).
3. He has prepared his food for you by the slaughter of himself (Prov
4. He has mixed his wine with the blood and water from his riven side
(Prov 9:2b, 5; Jn 19:34; see 6:54–58).
5. He has prepared his table for you (Prov 9:2c).
*IV. Continue to walk, therefore, in the wisdom and life of Christ
*A. Be on guard against temptations and not deceived by empty words that
might cause you, like so many in the crowd, to turn away and no longer walk
with Jesus (Prov 9:6–8; Eph 5:6).*
1. Be on guard because it is possible for a disciple of Christ to
stumble and fall.
2. Be on guard of turning away from him and leaving, to follow him no
longer even to the point of death.
*B. Rather, continue to walk in the wisdom of Christ, which is the way
of life and light and love (Prov 9:6; Eph 5:8).*
1. Live and walk in faith toward God.
2. Live in fervent love for your neighbor, especially your brothers and
sisters in Christ.
3. This is true wisdom, misunderstood by the simple (Prov 9:4).
*C. Walking in Christ’s wisdom and life sacrifices for and submits to
your neighbor (Ephesians 5:21).*
1. Speak words that are good and right and true, making the best use of
the time (Eph 5:9, 16).
2. “Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph
5:19), letting the melody of the Spirit ring forth in your heart in a song
of peace in Christ to your neighbor.
3. This is how you live as a Christian. It is difficult because it is
the way of the cross in which you walk as one who is wise (Eph 5:15).
*D. Walking in the wisdom and life of Christ means calling out from the
highest place in town as Wisdom once called you, by his Father, inviting
you into his house and to his table (Prov 9:3; Jn 6:65).*
1. “Come, eat my flesh, which is true food.”
2. “Drink my blood, which is true drink” (cf v 55).
1. *You do not wish to go away, do you? *Here is eternal life in the
Word made flesh. Forsake your folly. Be not unwise, but wise. Do not take
offense at this, but continue to walk in the way of understanding, in the
way of true wisdom and real life in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Eat, drink, and
live by the wisdom of God in Christ. In the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
B. Behold, O sleeper, awake, arise, for the light of Christ shines upon
you. Here, upon the eastern shore of his Church, shines forth the light of
his resurrection. Do you see it? Leave your simple ways and live. Lift up
your hearts and heads and hands, for he who is the light and the life, who
bestows the Spirit from the Father, brings the glistening golden kernel of
his body risen from the dead. This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Here is his peace. The word of his life. “Whoever feeds on this bread will
live forever” (Jn 6:58).
C. Let us pray:
*696 O God, My Faithful God*
1 O God, my faithful God,
True fountain ever flowing,
Without whom nothing is,
All perfect gifts bestowing:
Give me a healthy frame,
And may I have within
A conscience free from blame,
A soul unstained by sin.
3 Keep me from saying words
That later need recalling;
Guard me lest idle speech
May from my lips be falling;
But when within my place
I must and ought to speak,
Then to my words give grace
Lest I offend the weak.
*D. 2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of
God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.*
*E. The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and
minds in Christ Jesus. Amen. *
* F. In the Name of the Father…Amen.*