Knysna Methodist Church

6 February 2022

Knysna Methodist Church – Lectionary Notes – 6.2.2022

Isaiah 6:1-8, 9-13
King Uzziah had reigned for 52 years. He had been a strong king for Israel following God and God had blessed him with many victories over those who came against the land. But in the end he disobeyed God and developed leprosy so he died alone. His death was a major event in the life of Israel and the people. The future was uncertain and Isaiah questioned where God was in all of this – and then he saw Him! The King of kings, still in control, sitting on a throne in heaven!

What a sight it was! The throne was raised up high. God was wearing a long train which was a recognised symbol of the authority of a king. Above the throne Isaiah could see angels which he called seraphim (burning ones). Each one had six wings – four to show their humility as they covered their face and their feet before the Living God in worship and acknowledgement of His glory, and two to fly so they could carry out the tasks God gave them. Their worship of God was an important role for them.

The seraphim do not speak to God but to one another as they worship Him. Some scholars explain the repeated use of the word holy to confirm the truth of the Trinity. In the Hebrew language, to repeat a word twice would give that word emphasis; to repeat it three times is to award it the highest importance. God is above all things; He is holy; and the whole earth is full of His glory, even if humanity cannot see it. The seraphim were mighty beings who exist to praise, worship and honour God. The voice of one shook the doorposts of God’s throne room. The smoke that filled the room is reminiscent of the cloud on the top of Mt Sinai when Moses was there (Exodus 19:18) and the cloud of God’s glory that filled the temple (1 Kings 8:10-12).

Isaiah felt small as he heard the praising seraphim and saw the glory of Almighty God. He recognised his own insignificance, for he was a sinner – a man of unclean lips – and he realised this was the same for all people. Isaiah was a righteous man as he followed God. Yet his righteousness was nothing in the throne room of God. One of the seraphim took a live coal out of the fire before the altar. He used this to purify Isaiah’s mouth. Isaiah does not speak of feeling any pain when this happened, perhaps because God removed any sense of pain or because, in the awe of his surroundings and the events happening around him, pain did not matter. The act burned Isaiah’s sin away.

God’s question as to whom He would send may seem strange. But God was looking for a willing heart to serve Him and do what He needed to be done. Anyone who answers such a call is sent by God. Now Isaiah willingly answers God’s question and steps forward to serve Him. However he does not rush off but waits for God to send him. And God sent him with a message to people who were reluctant to listen, would not see what was happening and would not turn back to God.

Isaiah asked how long he was to deliver this message. The response was not hopeful, for God told Isaiah to keep going until devastation occurred. There was hope for there would be a remnant of people who would hear and would return to God.

Psalm 138
David boldly declared that he would praise God with his whole heart. Scholars vary in their definition of the gods David was talking about, but it is clear that it is God and God alone that he is praising. Even when David was not in the Temple he would acknowledge it as the place of worship and sacrifice.
David gave reasons for this worship. God had shown him loving kindness; He had given His Word to people. David declared that God Himself holds His own Word in high esteem. In addition, God had responded to David on many occasions, giving him the strength and courage to cope. David knew that one day every king on earth will sing praise to God. God does not discount the ordinary people, although He does keep a distance between Himself and those who are proud. As David considered these things he knew that God would see him through any trouble he may face. David knew that God had a plan for him and would never forsake either him or any who follow Him.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Paul described the benefit of the gospel for people. The word gospel means good news. When the early Christ-followers first received the gospel they heard it and accepted it, and, at the time of writing, they still stood for its truth. Paul told them they needed to continue to stand firm in the truth of the gospel for to let go of that truth would mean that all their time spent following Christ would mean nothing. Paul stated that the gospel contained actual historical facts, which he briefly laid out again for the Corinthians. Whilst no one saw the actual resurrection, the risen Christ was seen by Peter, the twelve disciples, and many others. Finally, Paul says, he had seen Him too. Paul’s omission of the women meeting Jesus may have been because in his day a woman’s testimony would be rejected solely because they were women.

Paul knew that some would not consider his position as an apostle for he had only encountered Jesus sometime after His resurrection. He was not seeking glory amongst them but he was claiming membership amongst them. Paul gave the grace of God the credit for the change within him. The apostle was still working for God with all the energy the grace of God gave him. It did not matter whether they heard Paul or any of the other apostles the message they continually preached was true and could be believed.

Luke 5:1-11
Jesus’ preaching was so intriguing the crowds pressed around Him on the beach of the Sea of Galilee (Gennesaret). Jesus asked Simon if He could use His boat so people could hear and see Him. After He had finished preaching He told Simon to go out onto the Lake and cast his nets. Simon said they had been fishing all night, but agreed to do as Jesus asked. He recognised the authority and integrity of Jesus even at this early stage in their relationship. It may well be that Jesus was still in the boat as they did what He had asked.
Simon’s faith and obedience was rewarded with a huge catch. He knew he could not cope with the quantity of fish alone so he asked his partners to help him. In spite of the fact that Jesus had already healed Simon’s mother in law (Luke 4:38-39), this event made Simon fall on his knees and worship Jesus. The fisherman immediately recognised his own sinfulness. Jesus immediately told Peter not to be afraid. Jesus wanted a relationship with Simon (and all people) based on love, not fear, and He gave Simon the work Jesus wanted Him to do. Simon and his companions left everything and follow Jesus – including, it seems, the miraculous catch of fish.

Isaiah 6; Psalm 138; 1 Corinthians 15; luke-5

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