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Have you ever wanted to be the proverbial fly on the wall in order to hear some conversation you weren’t privy to? I sure have. I mean can you imagine the discussion between Adam and Eve right after the Fall? “What’s this – the woman you gave me stuff?” What Lazarus said to his 2 sisters after Jesus raised him from the dead? Or what it was like when Mary first broke the news to Joseph that she was supernaturally pregnant? You might have needed a chainsaw to cut the air in that room.
One verse piques my interest that way today in John 6:22-71, which along with Ezekiel 28:25-31:18 and Jude 1-16 form today’s readings.
I’m Reid Ferguson. And this, is Through the Word in 2020.
If you are not paying attention, what might be overlooked as an off-handed observation in John 6:23 might just get by you. Referring back to vs. 11 when Jesus prayed before breaking the loaves and fishes and feeding the 5,000 – we see that Jesus’ prayer was a prayer of thanks. The text says “and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated.” No big deal – it seems. But then John makes a point of noting in vs. 23 not just that Jesus fed the crowd – which was miraculous and you would have thought was most important – but that He fed them “after the Lord had given thanks.”
What was so striking to John about the way Jesus gave thanks in that moment, that he felt he needed to include it here? We may never know. But it must have made quite the impression on John. Otherwise, why mention it at all? Wasn’t the miracle of multiplying the bread and the fish the main point? Apparently not. And apparently, we don’t need to know it. It is enough to know that He did give thanks.
And it is just here that I am reminded that the ongoing ministry of Jesus to His saints is not something we get to observe. But it is no less important because our eyes are veiled from it.
Romans 8:34 reminds us that Christ is the one who died – in our place. And more than that, He was raised and is right now at the right hand of God. And even more than that – He is there interceding, praying, for us. And while I wish I could be a fly on the wall of God’s Throne Room to hear those prayers, like in our passage – it is enough for us to know it is going on. What must those prayers and intercession be like?
Let me remind you today Christian that your Savior, the one who came and lived and died in your place on the Cross – His work didn’t stop in the miracle of His resurrection. It continues constantly in the Heavenlies. And if no one else in all the world knows your sorrow, your fears, your needs, cares and concerns, He does. And He prays for you. He talks to the Father about you. About everything that impacts you. About every detail of your life. And that just as He prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail in the troubled days ahead – so He prays for you.
You beloved, will reach the Celestial shore. And navigate all the stormy oceans between here and there. You’ll survive all of the savage attacks of the evil one, and will rise above your indwelling sin – because, and only because He prays for you. But know this well – He DOES pray for you. And if you could hear it, it would be as important to you as every other miraculous thing He has done on your behalf.
John wants us to know that even what we can’t hear – is worth remembering is nonetheless true.
What an amazing Christ we serve.
God willing, we’ll be back Monday.