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Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

for Sunday, July 9, 2017

by Rick Stewart, CS, Dresden, Germany
(+49 351 312 4736)


One of the things visitors to a Christian Science church service may first notice is a large sign at the front of the church auditorium, “God Is Love.” Although not officially required it is seen in most Christian Science churches and it is certainly a firm declaration of the nature of the God we worship in Christian Science.

Since our church in Dresden meets in a community center our sign is one that we hang up before the service and take down and store afterwards. Hanging up that sign is a job I am very grateful to be able to do. The Christian Scientists here were not always allowed to do this. Well, in fact they were not even allowed to have a worship service. You see there were two periods here in Dresden when it was forbidden to have Christian Science Church Services. One time was during World War II when the NAZI government forbid Christian Science services, seized the church building and even persecuted members of the church. Another time was the 40 year long forbidden time during the East German government. Several of our church members were here during those times and remember well not being able to publicly practice Christian Science! The church was not allowed to meet and there was no Sunday School allowed. Being forbidden to worship in public makes one very appreciative of having that right. So when church services were allowed again shortly before the end of the East German government the Christian Scientists in Dresden were very, very grateful.

Last Sunday gratitude and prayers also filled my thought as at 6 a.m. I was enjoying preparing our church rooms for the Sunday worship service.. We hold our Sunday School and Church services in a community center, The Johannstaedter Kulturtreff. I knew that this particular Sunday our usual room was not going to be large enough. We had received a call that a tour group of 26 Christian Scientist was going to visit us for the church service. What a joy! But we needed more room and so I was taking everything to a large upper room. (Sounds a little Biblical, right?) One of the items to move was our large, “Gott ist Liebe,” sign. Just like many Christian Science churches that is what the congregation sees at the front of the church, “God Is Love.”

It was that sign that inspired my prayers and this week’s CedarS Camps Bible Lesson newsletter. As we worship God as students of Christian Science we celebrate a glorious fact, our God is Love. As the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, in Science and Health, “The Christian Science God is universal, eternal, divine Love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death.” SH 140:25-27

After our worship service together many eyes were filled with tears of joyful gratitude. (And I am sure as Noah, Johann, Alma, and I arrive this coming weekend at CedarS and have the chance to worship back “home” there, that our two-week session bring even more tears of joy.)

What a glorious joy it will be to share CedarS being filled even fuller than that upper room in Dresden was with those who are completely free to worship God as this week’s Bible Lesson states with a quote from the “New King James Version,”

Golden Text: John 4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Or as we read in the J.B. Phillips New Testament, PHIL – “God is Spirit, and those who worship him can only worship in spirit and in reality.”

As Christian Scientists we begin our worship with daily study of the Bible Lesson.

The Responsive Reading is from Psalms 95:1, 2, 6; Micah 6:6, 7 (to 1st ?), 8; Psalms 51:1 (to :), 6 (to :), 10–12, 15–17 It begins to investigate old thoughts about worship such as sacrifice and offerings and then begins to approach what we are thinking. What are our motivations, our innermost desires in seeking God. Micah is led to explain what God wants from us: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Here is a sampling of various translations that certainly illuminate that verse:

Micah 6: 8 NLT – No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

NRSV – He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

NIRV – The LORD has shown you what is good. He has told you what he requires of you. You must treat people fairly. You must love others faithfully. And you must be very careful to live the way your God wants you to.

CEB – He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.

MSG – But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously.

Section 1: Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, eternal and unlimited.

Have you ever wondered where your next meal might come from? Or have you ever looked at the little you have in resources and wondered how you will be able to take care of your family? Or have you ever read reports of those in great danger in a war zone or in a region of famine and asked God, “How can I help? What can I do?”

Those questions have an answer. In citation B3 we read the account of the time when Jesus fed 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two small fish and a whole lot of gratitude and spiritual understanding. (John 6:4-51) Something interesting is that this account along with the account of Jesus’ resurrection are the only experiences of Jesus shared in all four of the Gospels. There must be a significant reason for that!

Jesus begins with a question, Where can we buy bread that these can eat? Philip answers Jesus that 200 pennyworth of bread would not be enough! That is almost a year’s salary in those days. Lots of money, but still not enough. But isn’t it interesting that then Andrew starts with a statement about what they have. Even though it might seem so little, he tells Jesus that there is a boy with five loaves of bread and two little fish. Now that is not much for 5,000, but at least Andrew is talking about what is already there. A good lesson for us all. Acknowledgement and appreciation for what is present, even small though it may be. But in Jesus’ hands? In the hands of the Christ, the meagerness of materiality becomes the sufficiency of Spirit. Here we have a real worship event. Worshipping in the spirit and reality.

We all know how this wonderful event concluded. Jesus took what was at hand, gave thanks, and then “distributed” to the disciples and the disciples to the people. The people had more than enough to eat, there were basketsful leftover that demonstrated there was more than enough. And the Master cherished and treasured what was there. This event has always touched me as an inclusive act on Jesus part. He did not act as some flamboyant showman, “Everyone look at what I can do. Voila!” After all it was not a magic act, it was the Christ demonstrating the sufficiency of spiritual reality to meet the human need. So he gave to the disciples, the disciples gave to the multitude, and all were fed, no exceptions. A form of worship in a whole new reality, spirit and truth.

When people followed Jesus after the event he had this to say, “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were fillled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: “ (B3 and PS#1)

Mary Baker Eddy writes about making this teaching practical:

“This is life eternal,” says Jesus, — is, not shall be; and then he defines everlasting life as a present knowledge of his Father and of himself, — the knowledge of Love, Truth, and Life. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” The Scriptures say, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” showing that Truth is the actual life of man; but mankind objects to making this teaching practical.” (S3, 410:4)

“Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love — be it song, sermon, or Science — blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty.” (S4, 234:4)

As we think about our worship we might ask, “How can I make this new understanding of spiritual reality practical?”

Section 2: Eating and drinking with the Christ.

In citation B4, we realize that Jesus knew what lay before him, the crucifixion, and he told the twelve disciples what was coming. It occurs to me the great depth of Love this illustrates as you realize that Jesus knew what was coming but his deep understanding of Love inspired him to continue. As he joined the disciples for the Passover, he went from the traditional Jewish Passover observance to an experience of divine Love and Truth being manifest. “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;” (B5, Matt. 26: 26,27)

Mrs. Eddy explains:
“Among Jews it was an ancient custom for the master of a feast to pass each guest a cup of wine. The true sense is spiritually lost, if the sacrament is confined to the use of bread and wine. The disciples had eaten, yet Jesus prayed and gave them bread. This would have been foolish in a literal sense; but in its spiritual signification, it was natural and beautiful. The Passover, which Jesus ate with his disciples in the month Nisan on the night before his crucifixion, was a mournful occasion, a sad supper taken at the close of day, in the twilight of a glorious career with shadows fast falling around; and this supper closed forever Jesus’ ritualism or concessions to matter. His followers, sorrowful and silent, anticipating the hour of their Master’s betrayal, partook of the heavenly manna, which of old had fed in the wilderness the persecuted followers of Truth. Their bread indeed came down from heaven. It was the great truth of spiritual being, healing the sick and casting out error.” (S5, 32:6–8, 20–25, 28–8)

“For this truth of spiritual being, their Master was about to suffer violence and drain to the dregs his cup of sorrow. He must leave them. With the great glory of an everlasting victory overshadowing him, he gave thanks and said, “Drink ye all of it.” (S6, 33:13)

Jesus’ example has been an inspiration for thousands of years. The immensity of Love that knows what is coming, what is dark and threatening, and yet continuing in Love’s path to make a way for us all. Haven’t we all had an experience outside our comfort zone where we simply wished to be delivered or spared the experience, but that ended up being an incredible blessing?

My senior year of university I was serving as clerk on the Executive Board of my church. It was a special experience, especially with my mom also on the Board. There were many lessons and there was lots of work. Some of it I did well, some of it I could have been done better. At one Board meeting a fellow Board member lashed into me with great vigor about something he felt I had not done correctly. The attack seemed to endure an eternity. It was not pleasant to say the least. I remained silent, praying intensely, and I am grateful that my mom had the great wisdom to also remain silent. But the Chairwoman spoke up to concur with what was being said. After the rant was over, I simply stated that what this Board member was believing had not been done, had already been taken care of. I was sure grateful for that protection; there were other items he could have criticized that probably were not okay. And then just as calmly as possible I said that since church was a completely volunteer organization no one should ever have to endure such an attack. It was not a happy experience, but I survived relatively intact. And we went on to take care of our church business.

I actually loved and respected the man that had launched the attack. And our overall time as a Board was basically lots of fun. It just seemed to be one of those things that seem to occur on occasion in all churches. Basically isn’t it because the work in church is so truly significant to the establishment of Christ’s kingdom?

Well, a couple years later I was elected First Reader and the former Board Chairman was elected Second Reader. After one and a half years the Second Reader had to resign because of moving to another state. As we wrapped up our last church service together she told me she wanted to say something. She said she had never forgotten that experience in the Board meeting and wanted to apologize. She believed she had acted basically out of fear of the other Board member. She was so grateful for my approach especially because she had enjoyed our time reading together more than anything she had ever done in church.

It is possible that in our time working with others in church there might seem some moments of persecution that are not fun, seldom as intense as a crucifixion. But our Master’s Love stands before us as an example for how we can continue to Love just as he did. Loving and worshipping in the spirit of Truth and Love.

Section 3: Serving, loving, giving, and washing feet.

This section begins with the holy event of our Master washing the disciples feet. [Three foot-washings were simultaneously reenacted this morning in a Practitioner Talk by Christie Hanzlik, CS on CedarS stage. You can hear it at this link.

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In love and humility our Master bowed and washed, as a servant might do. As My Bible Lesson, from The Mother Church, explains the Greek word lention, translated in the Bible as “towel” refers to a particular kind of linen cloth or apron that a servant would put on when working. So our Master not only washed the feet, he demonstrated that in humility we serve and we are blessed.

Jesus teaches us, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” The humble love of a servant, the unselfed love of giving and doing.

As Science and Health further explains:
“We walk in the footsteps of Truth and Love by following the example of our Master in the understanding of divine metaphysics. Christianity is the basis of true healing. Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power.” (S9, 192:27)

“The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love. Without this, the letter is but the dead body of Science, — pulseless, cold, inanimate.” (S10, 113:5)

I received the following report a couple days ago of two friends that are clearly living this unselfed, servant activity of the Christ in their prison ministry. They have been loving this way for some time. I always chuckle when I get an email telling me they are going to try to “get in jail today.”

“We went to the Jail today to see an inmate with more than one problem that they put into a high security psychiatric solitary cell. They stripped him, but gave him a blanket and a 1 inch pad with plastic frame. He slept on that. The cell had a toilet, but that's about it. Couldn't have any books or magazines. The door to his cell was high-security steel with a bullet-proof small, thick plastic panel at the bottom. We met with him through that. He and my wife sat on the floor to read the lesson (Christian Science Bible Lesson). I got a plastic chair. What a mess! I've seen worse occasionally, but still, yuk! This is like what you might see in the media for some 3rd world place.

Can you believe it though, he was much better, and we all felt blessed! He's a be back but we're looking at him as God's man, not the material picture. We're going back next week.”

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

Section 4: Follow Jesus and do, it requires the best from you.

In the Acts of the Apostles is the following, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.” (B8, Acts 10:38–41)

Science and Health states and predicts “If all who ever partook of the sacrament had really commemorated the sufferings of Jesus and drunk of his cup, they would have revolutionized the world. If all who seek his commemoration through material symbols will take up the cross, heal the sick, cast out evils, and preach Christ, or Truth, to the poor, — the receptive thought, — they will bring in the millennium.”

This powerful section makes it clear that we have work to do in our readiness to serve, follow, heal, give, and do in the spirit of the Christ.

Some weeks ago a visitor stopped by the Reading Room here in Dresden. She said she had ridden her bike by for weeks and not been able to stop because of trying to get to work on time. She was a nurse working at a nearby senior home. And today she had vacation and one of her first stops was the Reading Room. We had a great talk about her wish to bring more spirituality to her work. I loaned her a copy of Science and Health which she took with her.

We had a Christian Science lecture recently in the Reading Room and the day before the lecture this lady stopped by to say she wished she could come to the lecture, but since her family was leaving on vacation she would not be able to do so. And then she explained that she had been reading Science and Health daily and trying to put what she read into practice in her work. She could not wait to stop by again and share some of her experiences. “This is what I have always been looking for! I am a different person.”

This practical application is worship of the highest nature. There could be no higher commemoration of our Master’s life and sacrifice.

She reminded me of an experience from years ago. While lecturing in Michigan I had the privilege of meeting another nurse who had discovered Christian Science. She began to read the textbook and tried as successfully as possible to put what she was reading into practice. She was an operating room nurse and the doctors in her hospital had begun to ask for her by name when they had to operate. They had observed that with her on duty the atmosphere in the operating room was so calm and peaceful and that when she was working everything was successful. She smiled and said that at first the local Christian Scientists were a little skeptical of her sincerity, “After all I was not what they normally expected as a Christian Scientist, a Polish Catholic medical nurse!”

But she certainly was what the Master delighted in encountering, a sincere seeker and doer.

Section 5: Success, not failure in fishing and Life.

Although the crucifixion did not first appear as a victory for the Christ, just a few days later and things looked a lot different.

“Now when Jesus was risen early the firrst day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” (B12, Mark 16:9, 14)

Although Mary readily recognized her risen Master, it took some convincing with the disciples, didn’t it? I sometimes play a game with myself, would I be more like Mary or like the disciples? Try challenging your own willingness and receptitvity as you shatter skepticism and doubt.

The disciples heads were probably hanging pretty low as Jesus lit into them about their “unbelief and hardness of heart.”

But there was something special about Jesus and his gentleness, prodding, encouraging, and demanding. He even pursued his guys down at the beach where they had fled. [See B13 and W's PS#2] Seven disciples went fishing. Grieving, suffering, the picture of failure and shattered hope. And there the Master called them. “Are you catching anything? No. Try the right side of the ship! The net was full.” Then they came to shore and found fish already cooking on the coals. “Come on guys, dig in. Join me.” Imagine how they must have felt. We used to say back home, “Hunger is the best sauce.” In this case grilled fish and bread had to be the best meal these seven followers of Jesus had ever had, all of their hopes had been restored as they recognized their Master.

Mrs. Eddy writes, “What a contrast between our Lord’s last supper and his last spiritual breakfast with his disciples in the bright morning hours at the joyful meeting on the shore of the Galilean Sea! His gloom had passed into glory, and his disciples’ grief into repentance, — hearts chastened and pride rebuked. Convinced of the fruitlessness of their toil in the dark and wakened by their Master’s voice, they changed their methods, turned away from material things, and cast their net on the right side. Discerning Christ, Truth, anew on the shore of time, they were enabled to rise somewhat from mortal sensuousness, or the burial of mind in matter, into newness of life as Spirit. This spiritual meeting with our Lord in the dawn of a new light is the morning meal which Christian Scientists commemorate. They bow before Christ, Truth, to receive more of his reappearing and silently to commune with the divine Principle, Love.” (S20, 34:29–14)

What is it that counters grief, belief of failure, selfishness, loneliness, hopelessness? Simiply gratitude, respect, appreciation.

When my dad passed away just a few days before my return from a lecture tour in Latin America I was heart broken. I was so ready to see him when I got home. I missed him greatly. Prayer and family helped a great deal. But then I found myself dipping into sentiments like the disciples, disappointment, grief, a belief in failure. I prayed, but still struggled with a deadened sense of existence. Then one Sunday afternoon it clearly came to thought that I was not honoring my dad with my grief. I found myself led to magnify all the wonderful qualities my dad had expressed and that only in appreciating and being grateful for that would I find the peace and joy I needed. Through that I suddenly found myself rightfully appreciating the great success my dad’s life had been. And I felt so much closer from that time on.

As citation S22 states “The nature of Christianity is peaceful and blessed, but in order to enter into the kingdom, the anchor of hope must be cast beyond the veil of matter into the Shekinah into which Jesus has passed before us; and this advance beyond matter must come through the joys and triumphs of the righteous as well as through their sorrows and afflictions. Like our Master, we must depart from material sense into the spiritual sense of being.” (S22, 40:31)

Section 6: Good stewards serving faithfully.

It pays to do a good job even as a servant. Jesus taught us to give, to serve, and to Feed his sheep. As he washed the disciples feet he encouraged their willingness to be good servants. He encouraged Simon Peter, “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. Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (B14)

Citation B16 continues “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (I Peter 4:10)

I have sometimes told my kids that there is great honor in serving. After all the Stewart’s royal line was founded from the reward that came from being a faithful “Steward.”

The days of service are not over. They are just beginning. Are we as Christians believing in defeat, death, decline, or have we accepted the triumph of the risen Saviour as our triumph?

Jesus said, These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, KJV)

Mrs. Eddy writes, “May the Christians of to-day take up the more practical import of that career! It is possible, — yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, — to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness.” (S25, 37:20–25)

I remember attending an international youth meeting in 1974 at the Mother Church. There was a talk given, “I thought I was the only one.” The speaker, Valerie Starr, told of her arrival at university and desire for college organization activity. But she explained she knew of no other Christian Scientists campus. But not discouraged she started an org. And guess what, Christian Scientists came out of the woodwork. That is a saying we have in the States, that suddenly where you thought there was no one else, they just showed up. I have never forgotten the title, the talk, or the lesson.

Or as the wonderful line from the movie, “Field of Dreams,” puts it, “If you build it, they will come.”

If you keep that sign in front of your church, “God Is Love,” and build that spirit in your heart, do not worry you will not be alone and you will not be without work, those who are hungry will find their way to your table. And your grateful Wayshower, Christ Jesus will know that you are his by the love that you have for one another!

[Warren's PS of Cobbey Crisler insights on select Bible citations.]

[W’s PS#1 on citation B3, John 6: 5-51
“John Chapter 6. We come to the one major "miracle," semeion, one major sign that is recorded by all four gospel writers, the only one. That is the loaves and fishes, the feeding of the so-called five thousand. Why I say so-called is they weren't counting the women and children, You know how much women and children can eat when you give them half a chance. So the miracle from that viewpoint is much greater. Notice the testing that's going on here. This happens to be placed by most gospels near Bethsaida in the northeastern section of the sea. One of the confirmations of this, in John. I think that puts it fairly beyond doubt,

In John 6:5. "Jesus, seeing a great company come to him in this area, says to Philip. "Do you remember where Philip was from? John 1:44 told us earlier where Philip was from. His native town was Bethsaida. If it's Bethsaida, why would he come to Philip and say, “Where can we buy bread, that these may eat?" He's a local boy. He knows the grocery stores. He knows where he can get these things.

John 6:6. John tells us that what "Jesus is saying is not for Jesus benefit but to test." So, let's see what he's doing. He says to Philip, "Where can we buy bread that all these people may eat?" Jesus really doesn't need the answer to that question himself. He wants Philip to get to the "altitude of concept" where he could answer that question on the same level that Jesus is about to answer it.

What is heaven? A solution to a problem. Isn't that the way we almost regard heaven when a problem hitherto unsolved becomes solved? How do we feel? Doesn't it pretty much coincide with the feeling that we've often attached to "heaven"?

Here's a problem, an economic problem. "Philip," in other words, "Here’s your opportunity." It's just like Peter wanted to walk on the water and Jesus said, "Come ahead," and supported him for awhile. "Philip, where are we going to feed these people?" Here's an economic problem. It's one that hasn’t disappeared from the world today. Too many mouths. Too little to feed. What are we going to do?

John 6:7. Philip says, "Ugh, Two hundred pennyworth of bread, impossible."

That sounds like an economist's point of view. Not too much above the average human outlook on such a problem. Notice that Philip, "even begrudged the fact that if they bought that much, they could even take a little, each one.”

You'd have a mob scene. Like when we had shortages and the supermarket opened for two hours. Human nature goes even lower. It resembles more animal nature, people clawing and fighting to get to the front of the line. This is what happened at Bethesda at the Pool waiting for water to stir.

So, is the Son of Man standing in line, never making it? Have we often felt that the fellow ahead of us is the one who's the millionth customer and gets the year's supply of groceries? If only we could have been there. The second-fiddle complex. Jacob had it. The second born. He didn't face it for twenty years. Then he had to face it. It's the same threat of having to stand in line before we can get an answer to a problem.

That irritation which comes about doesn't belong to the Son of Man, at least as Jesus saw the Son of Man. He never felt like a second born, nor was he threatened by waiting for an answer.

John 6:9. Jesus tends to build on the thought that's there. The thought to build on this major event (which occurs in all four gospels), is a young boy. That young boy is the only one, in the thousands there, to whom it occurred that he might pack a lunch box. He wanted to enjoy what this man would say and he'd be out there past his dinner hour. Whether this is the logical explanation or not, it could go back to his mother who packed his lunch box for him.

The Greek uses a double diminutive here, “there is a lad here.”

In the Old Testament, supply in the presence of lack is indicated by asking, "what do you have in the house?" It was a question of finding out what was there. Here's something, right here present: a child's thought. Out of that child's preparatory thought, ''five loaves, and two fishes."

"But what are they among so many?” Again, an economic question.

John 6 10, "Jesus said, Make the men sit down." (I guess the women had to remain standing.) It says, "There was much grass in the place," which would indicate the confluence of two bodies of water, the Jordan and the Galilee Sea. Today in the Spring, you just see the flourishing grass in that area. It's still a wilderness.

"Five thousand men at least sit down.”

John 6:11, "Jesus gives thanks, "notice. That "giving thanks" is the Greek word that our word "Eucharist" comes from. Eucharist, which often refers to the sacrament, is literally "thanksgiving." The idea of a thanksgiving service long precedes the Pilgrim ceremony on our shores.

"When he'd given thanks, he distributed." Distribution is another economic principle. "He distributed to the disciples, the disciples to those that were sitting. "

John 6:12. "And everyone is filled."

John 6:13. When they go around collecting what's left over, there are twelve baskets, and that's how many disciples there are. Each disciple had his role in the demonstration. Jesus has everyone involved in working out the solution on earth. As he sees it, it doesn't really need to be worked out in heaven. As Sons of Men become aware what Sons of God are capable of doing, can you imagine what happens?

In John 6:14, the people say, “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. "What prophet? The one that Moses spoke of. What makes the people think of that? We know they expected a prophet. Why, suddenly, sitting out here in this lonely deserted place with all the grass? Because the prophecy had said what? The prophet would be like unto Moses. Had anything occurred in their history since the Manna incident that was of this magnitude? Did this miracle remind them of something that Moses had done? This shows how the understanding of prophecy is a key to Scripture. Because you know why the people said, "this is of a truth that prophet should come into the world.” Part of the prophetic description is "that prophet" is he who would remind them of Moses, and here the loaves and fishes were shared.

Do you ever think of looking at this whole incident from the standpoint of the little boy who had his lunch box taken away from him? That childlike thought as participation is receptivity. He was working with a childlike thought that far out­ranked adult accessibility to God. Not because God determined that the accessibility of that little child was greater, but because there were fewer obstacles in the way. The child was tuned in.

John 6:15. They want to make him a king right away. That means, "they wanted him to be the Messiah, to try to force him to be the human Messiah, the king that they were expecting. Instead, Jesus leaves them. "

John 6:16, “The disciples go alone.”

John 6:17, "Over the sea toward Capernaum." That means they had to be on the other side of the sea which is Bethsaida.

John 6:18. The winds that come suddenly sweeping down from the east and the desert, or from the west and the Mediterranean, often stir the sea up without warning. They're having trouble negotiating their little boat. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.

John 6:19, "Jesus is having no trouble approaching them on the sea." This shows that he wasn't really walking on the surface of the sea at all. As my father once pointed out, if the sea were churned up, walking would be more laborious than being in the boat. Jesus, however, has a method that's revolutionary and less laborious. He must be walking above the sea, not in the peaks and valleys. And if he were, then it's walking on air. But what's the difference? They're both rather difficult to do from the human view of it. This sounds mighty logical to me.

John 6:20. When he gets near, he says, "It is I, · be not afraid."

John 6:21, “They willingly received him into the ship."

They then learn a lesson in transportation .on: Space and time, as obstacles, can, be overcome. "Immediately the ship, the disciples, everybody is beached. They’re right there at the destination." It's a wooden boat. No one says it ended up in fragments. No one was holding their heads and complaining that they hit their head up against a sonic boom or something.

In John 6:38 he says, "I came down from heaven." Those words should just stand right out to us. We've run into them before. In John 3:13, he said, "No man hath ascended up to heaven, save he that came down from heaven,”

So, where does Jesus see his nativity? "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will." That has a sense of humor about it, doesn’t it? He didn’t come from heaven, with all these miracles being ushered into human experience, just to do his own will. He came, his mission, his assignment is to do, “the will of him that sent me.”

[W’s PS#2, Cobbey Crisler on John 21: 1-15 (B13)“Cast your net on the right”, morning meal
“John 21, the last chapter of John, is considered by some scholars to be a later addition, but still, very possibly, by the same author.

John 21:1. We're told that Jesus appears at the Sea of Tiberias, which is Galilee.

John 21:2, "Already assembled there were seven disciples, all had left the profession of fishing, we thought: Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, the sons of Zebedee, unnamed here, James and John, and two other of his disciples."

John. 21:3. They apparently had nothing to do. Discipleship returns to the fishing boat. "Peter," with his fingers almost audibly drumming against the side of his boat, "says I have an idea. I’m going fishing." Nobody else had any better suggestion. "So they all go fishing. They spent that entire night fruitlessly. The very fishes avoided them.” Isn't it interesting that the Anchor Bible makes this comment on the disciples' profession, "It is notable that never in the gospels do the disciples catch a fish without Jesus’ help."

But notice the contrast between Verse 3 and Verse 4.
John 21:3, "That night they caught nothing."
John 21:4, "But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore."
What patience Jesus had with discipleship! Waiting for them to realize the importance of carrying on his work. But, once again, without that realization, "they did not even recognize Jesus humanly".
John 21:5. Jesus asked them an important question. You’ve spent the entire night out there. "Children, do you have any results? Do you have any meat? No is their answer. "
Now it is obvious when one is fishing using a net that there's very little difference between the right side and the left side. The factor then brought out in John 21:6 must be the obedience to Jesus' word, the concept that he has exhibited throughout in his approach to economics and supply. "Cast the net, "he says, "on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find." They are obedient. They do exactly what Jesus requests of them. Now, instantly, they find their net is filled with fishes. They could have saved themselves that entire night.
Then John 21:7 refers once again to "the disciple whom Jesus loved. He recognizes Jesus. It is the Lord, he says." He must have recognized that sign of dominion over all, that mastery that he introduced even into the profession of fishing but was attempting to elevate them from profession to practice of Christianity. What had happened to his invitation to them, and expectation of them, to become fishers of men?
Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950), U.S. poet and novelist, says this about the impetuous Peter, "O, Peter, gnarled branch of the vine." Peter throws his fisher's coat around him and plunges into the sea. We must remember that the Sea of Galilee has a shoreline that drops off quickly. So, he probably had to swim part of the way. Traditionally, sailors and fishermen aren’t the best swimmers. But, ignoring that, just as Peter had burst into the tomb to be there first, he casts himself into the sea.
John 21:8, "While the other disciples bring the ship ashore. It says they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits, that’s about a hundred yards, dragging the net with fishes."
John 21:9. Here's all that time they could have spared by giving priority to the lessons Jesus had already taught them. Jesus hadn't toiled all night He didn't even have to use the fish that they brought in. "For when they arrived there was a charcoal fire there." In fact, the Greek word is anthrakian which is the root of our word anthracite. "And .fish, already there, laid thereon, and bread " Toast and fish all ready.
John 21:10. But Jesus wanted them to participate in this, "and said, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. ''
John 21:11, "So, Simon Peter, who was already on shore, goes to the net personally, and pulls it to shore." Who but a fisherman would remember this detail? "There were one hundred fifty three fishes in that net. " Someone counted. It might be just the sign of the authenticity of authorship here by an eye witness. "And still, the net was not broken." Remember, back in Luke 5:6, at another incident, the net broke.
John 21:12, ''Jesus' invitation is to Come and dine. Now they know who he is.
John 21:13. "Jesus," in his characteristic gesture, "took bread, and gave them, and fish likewise.” This was indeed a breakfast, but how different from that last supper! This breakfast was celebrating his victory over death. Not looking forward to tragedy, death, and lack of comprehension by the disciples, the dawn was in the disciples thought as well as over the Sea of Galilee on that special morning.
Now we engage in a dialogue between Jesus and Peter. The dialogue as printed in the King James Version seems rather dull and repetitive indeed. In the original Greek, however, there is a depth of meaning.
John 21:15, "Jesus says to Peter, Do you love me more them these” It's obvious that Peter is being tested. We may ask, tested for what? That becomes clearer…”

“Book of John: A Walk with the Beloved Discipleby B. Cobbey Crisler
You can buy your own transcripts of most of Cobbey’s 28 talks at a
new website: Please email your order or inquiry to or directly to Janet Crisler at]


  1. $900 for new chain saws to replace older units that are no longer repairable after many years of frequent use to maintain miles of riverfront water ways and trails for safe float trips and trail rides. We will also gratefully accept used chain saws in safe working condition.
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