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God's Ultimate Diet (John 6:16-71)
Message #10 of 'John: A Story to Believe' by Pastor Jeff MacLurg (Our Savior's Baptist Church, Federal Way, Wash.). My notes from the May 8, 2011, 10:45 am service. I pray they are helpful to you.
--- Before the Bread Talk (v. 1-21) ---
"What does it matter whether Jesus is God or not when I've got rent to pay next week and don't have the money to pay it?"
* Sign #4: Feeding the 5,000+ (first three - Water, Healing of the noble Man's son from a distance, healing of the invalid)
* Sign #5: Walking on the water
Why does John lay out these signs?
- To prove that He was who He claimed to be.
- To prepare them. (Jesus knew they would encounter the storm. Seeing Jesus walking on the water, they saw him in a new light. Should they let him in the boat or run away? Shortly after these two miracles, they will be a part of a conversation that will force them to chose.)
--- Looking for Bread: The Problem People Have (v. 22-26) ---
When they got to the other shore, the people there are surprised because Jesus is with them. But he chastises them - you're just looking for me because you're after cheap food and magic tricks. You don't get it. This isn't about welfare, this should be about worship.
* We put PHYSICAL "STUFF" ABOVE SPIRITUAL REALITIES.
Jesus says you need to see things differently. Matthew 6:33 - But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all those things will be given to you.
--- Eating Bread: The Call Christ Makes (v. 27-59) ---
Why do we put so much energy on the things of the now?
* Jesus offers a DIFFERENT KIND OF FOOD FOR A DIFFERENT KIND OF HUNGER.
"What must we _do_?"
"Believe in me."
When the crowd heard it, they said "Then prove it to us. Moses gave us food. You give us food."
"It wasn't Moses, it was God. And my father still wants to give you a new kind of bread (sustenance, the quenching of spiritual hunger)."
Similar to "Who's On First" with Abbot and Costello. The crowd is just lost and go round and round thinking Jesus is talking about physical food. Finally Jesus says "I am the bread of life. Those who come to me will never hunger or thirst.". (Question I haven't had a chance to ask - why doesn't Jesus dumb it down for them, then?)
* The Benefits of Believing
1. Eternal LIFE (v. 35a)
2. Eternal SATISFACTION (v. 35b)
3. Eternal SECURITY (v. 37)
Jesus didn't die on the cross because he knew you were going to fail. You don't get to heaven by being good, you don't get to heaven by staying good. You get there by believing in Jesus. From that believe will come a desire to be good(er). It will still be impossible, but we will desire to change. But the change will take a lifetime. But we can be secure in Jesus' love.
4. Eternal DESTINY (v. 40)
* The Meaning of Belief (v.52-59)
--- Slicing Bread: The Reactions People Give (v. 60-71) ---
"Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."
Is Jesus crazy? It probably sounded just about as crazy then as it does now - sort of. Keep in mind, at this time, the practice of animal sacrifice to God was commonplace - they would kill the animal, burn it on the altar and in some sacrifices, they then ate the meat of the animal. A way of being close to God.
The disciple's response: "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" <-- not who can 'understand' it? They understood.
There was a number who turned back. They couldn't accept the requirement to believe and change their lives.
* The reaction of REJECTION
"Lord, to whom shall we go?" They had already accepted him as the TRUTH.
* The reaction TOTAL ALLEGIANCE
* The reaction FALSE ALLEGIANCE (Judas)
--- Bread Life: The Response We Make ---
* It's about giving total COMMITMENT TO CHRIST
* It's about getting total SATISFACTION FROM CHRIST