Today we begin our walk through one of the most important passages in the Gospel. Here we find Jesus calling on those who would be His followers to “eat His flesh, and drink His blood.”
Discovering what this means will truly and eternally transform our lives.
So let us begin this journey of discovery together.
Good morning as we return to the Gospel of john Chapter # six, I apologize this morning for the way I look, having to see my eye, the way it is and this scruffy beard. But with the infection that’s going on, I I can’t, I can’t shave and my eyes too tender to have the patch on it. So just look past that or have your eyes closed, whatever. But we’re going to move to john chapter number six this morning and we had some video problems with the last few Uh sermons in John Chapter five, if any of you will miss those And uh, I want audio tracks of them, just let me know and uh, and we’ll give those to you. But John chapter # six and we’re just gonna introduce it this week And then come back and look at it probably in five or maybe six different sermons. But the 6th chapter of John is full of miracles. It tells that were full of wonders. It tells of a great miracle. It tells a great enthusiasm, there is within it, a great storm, then a great sermon, maybe the greatest of all and that sermon reveals a great hope. It also sadly reveals great apostasy. There is within this chapter, a great trial of faith and then there is a test Of the fidelity of the 12. The facts recorded by john in this chapter of his gospel um, needs to be comprehended under these four headings, The miracle in the Wilderness, the Storm on the lake, the sermon in the synagogue and then the subsequent sifting of christ’s disciples and we will look at those things in the coming weeks in in great detail, but this week merely the introduction in the transition from Chapter 5 to Chapter six, we must remember that Jesus has just taught that he is equal to God. He always acts in concert with God and he seeks to do God’s will. Not only does he seek to do God’s will, he accomplishes it perfectly every time he seeks to do God’s will and accomplishes it in his own will, in his works in miracles and in judgment. And as we proceed through this great chapter six, jesus reveals not only that he is equal to God, he always has been, my father is working until now and I am working that great passage of discord uh in chapter five, verse number 17. Now let’s pick up with verse number one After this, Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of galilee which is the Sea of Tiberius and a large cluck cluck crowd was following him because they saw the saw the signs he was doing among the sick and jesus went up on the mountain and they are set with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the jews was at hand lifting up his eyes then and seeing a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, where are we to buy bread that these people may eat? He said this to test him for he himself knew what he was going to do. And so we see here this this theme of testing of the disciples that’s going to follow all through this chapter, Jesus tries to teach Phillip a great truth through the testing of his understanding of Jesus’s identity and his mission and through his own remembering of these things, through remembrance, testing his understanding and testing his remembrance, Jesus later will put all the disciples to this test by walking on the water to them during a fearful storm. But now Philip Answers him verse # seven 200 Denarii worth of bread would not be enough even for each of them to get just a little. Now there is a boy here Who has five Barley loaves and two fish, but what are they amongst so many? And jesus said to him, have the people sit down now there was much grass in that place, so the men sit down About 5000 in number. Now that’s just the men, If you account for the women and Children who also would have been there, you’re probably talking 12, 13, 14, 16,000 people here and Philip in this, he forgets one of the most important things for a disciple always to remember. He makes an error that we must strive to avoid Philip makes his calculations without adding God to the sum the disciples likewise will make that same mistake. That’s the mistake that we must avoid to treat God in our lives as if he were a mere man, a great man, a mighty man, yet still a man let us know and let us always remember that God is and God is God. That seems very simple. But so often we forget it when a when a trial or a test or trouble comes into our lives, we we we tend to treat God as a man and we must know and we must believe and it must be so much a part of us that when these tests these trials, when this trouble or when opportunities are in front of us, right, we know and believe that he is God, but to think because we don’t see him working, he is not working. That is a failure of faith and will cause us to falter, which is what this whole chapter is about. It’s trying to teach us to remember God is God Pick up now with verse number 13, so they gathered them up and filled the baskets with the fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who would eat, jesus has them, put the people out in groups of 50 and 100 and then he begins to break the bread and everyone is filled, not not just that everyone eats, everyone is filled to satisfaction and then jesus sends out the the apostles to to the disciples, the apostles to pick up the fragments, the remains the leftovers. And then When the people saw the sign that he had done verse number 14, they said this indeed is a prophet who has come into the world profit really In Chapter five, the people received Jesus as a prophet. Now after he feeds the 5000 men, the 16,000, whatever overall the people now want more. As we’re going to see, they’re going to try to force him to be king. This indeed is a prophet who has come into the world, but the people want to make him more for selfish reasons and Jesus knows that this is about to happen, perceiving that they are about to come and take him by force and make him King Jesus moves away. He moved up the mountain to be by himself, verse 15, perceiving they were about to make uh to come and and take him by force and make him king Jesus withdrew to the mountain by himself. The people want to make him king for purely selfish reasons. They say he’s a prophet, oh he’s a prophet. But now after he has fed them, they say is a profit again. But they get this idea in their mind that they want him to be more. He can provide for them all that they need, he can provide for them military might remember most of the wars during that day were siege warfare. What was carried out through siege warfare, Whoever had the most resources wins. Not only can can can would his army never run out of food when any of them were slain, he could simply draw them back to life and keep fighting. It would be an unstoppable army. All you had to do was carry around a couple of fish sandwiches and some garlic bread and you have all the provisions you need. They want to make him king for selfish reasons. So Jesus removes himself from that situation. He withdraws from the people. And because of this action, the people take offense. It’s an action that is absolutely necessary to prevent their further damnation, but they become angry at it because they do not listen, nor do they understand neither have they remembered what he said. His mission is, jesus unselfishly refuses to be set apart as king. Rather he chooses, as we will see at the end of this gospel to be broken and distributed amongst the people. The people are so far from their truth that in their ignorance, they desire to fulfill one of the temptations of the devil intended designed to stop jesus from fulfilling the task of redemption and restoration. You remember the three uh temptations of the devil while jesus was in the wilderness, one was to take care of all physical needs. One was to stop all governmental corruption and one was to stop our religious corruption, make this world a utopia, but it would not have done anything for man spiritually in his communion with God and the people here unwittingly are wanting jesus to to fulfill the task that that that the that the devil tempted jesus to do, be the grand and glorious ruler of this earth. But the main problem of man and the main desire of God would never be met that men might be redeemed and then adopted by the father and brought into communion with him forever. Verse 18 The disciples now are moving across the sea and Jesus is up on the mountain alone and the sea becomes rough because the strong wind was blowing. Now remember we’re just looking at introduction today and when they had rowed about three or four miles they saw jesus walking on the sea coming near the boat and they were frightened, but he said to them, it is, I be not afraid then they were glad to take him into the boat and immediately the boat was at at the land to which they were going, I thought and thought about this, What does that mean? Jesus steps in the boat and all of a sudden the boats on the land, what what what is God trying to teach there? What is he trying to teach about about? By putting them in this storm and then walking to them telling them to be of good cheer. It is, I don’t be afraid and as soon as his feet enter into the boat, the boat is immediately at the land. What what what is God trying to teach there? I believe he is trying to teach the disciples and every single one of us, that jesus is the goal, Jesus is the destination for our lives now, for eternity, for our work, for our times of trouble and our times of triumph that that Jesus is the goal. Yeah, we can set goals as churches, we can set goals as individuals, but we must understand that the great goal, the great end, the great purpose of our salvation is to be with him, Jesus the goal and the destination of our salvation. Now skip forward to verse number 25 and they found him, the people, this is that have run around and they found him on the other side of the sea and they said to him, Rabbi, when did you come here? And jesus said to them truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me not because you saw the sign, but because you ate your field of the loads do not work for food that perishes, he says. But for the food that endures to eternal life which the son of man will give you for on him. God the father has set his seal. You see the people, they run around the lake, they work hard for jesus to provide them breakfast. You see they’re they’re they’re they’re wanting their physical needs met by christ, he says, he says you’re coming to me not because you saw the signs and you understand that that that I am the messiah, the one to reconnect you to God. Your God is your stomach. You you come around here to be filled again by me and then he says, then do not work for the food that perishes. And they worked hard. I mean, they ran all the way around the isthmus of the of the of the sea here to get to where jesus was. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life. He’s going to tell what that means in just a few moments that which the son of man will give you. That is his own flesh, his own blood, his own life for their good that they might know, understand and come into communion with God. Then they said verse number 28 to him. What must we do to be doing the works of God? And Jesus answered them, this is the work of God that you believe in him, whom he has sent. And they said to him, and what sign do you do that? We may see and believe you. What work do you perform? You say again? They’re trying to get something either a show or some physical provision from jesus. They do not understand the nature of their spiritual death. That’s cut them off from God. They do not understand the great gift. The great hope that jesus has come to bring them to bring them back to life spiritually connected to God perfectly as if they have never sinned. You see, they’re wanting to be entertained, that they’re wanting their physical uh needs met. Their only concern is this world, what work must we do? And he says, well you only believe and they said, well then what are you gonna do for us? Right, what sign are you going to show us? And then they say, are our fathers ate manna in the wilderness as it is written? He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Mhm. See they think they’re going to trick him here. Our fathers Ate eight men in the wilderness for years and years and years. What are you gonna do? And jesus said to them truly truly, I say to you it was not moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my father gives you the true bread from heaven. Now this connection back to moses is very important. Which we’re going to see in the next few weeks for the bread of God. Is he who came down from heaven and gives life in the world? You see the bread now, is not this? What is it you remember? That’s what mana means. What is it? I’m telling you what the what is it is, It’s me, I have come to give life to the world. And they said to him, sir, give us this bread always. And the jews acted just like the Israelites in the old testament Verse # 41. And so the jews grumbled about him because he said, I am the bread that has come down from heaven. And jesus answered them, Do not grumble amongst yourselves because I won’t give you your feel of bread. Do not grumble amongst yourselves. You see the greatest expression of the lack of worship of the people in the wilderness after being freed from Egypt was they grumbled and complained about what God gave them. That it was not enough. It was not what they wanted, it was not what they desired. It was not what they thought that they needed. They grumbled about God. And because of that, you remember what happened, snakes came out, but the people moses made a bronze snake, hung it on a pole, and anyone who looked at it and believed was saved. And you remember that Jesus said to Nicodemus, the same thing must happen for the son of man that he must be lifted up. But if he be lifted up, he’ll call all men to himself. You see, rather than spiritual wisdom, the people desired physical provision, they nearly fulfill the will of the devil by trying to force him to be the king of the earth rather than the, the, the the suffering servant. But they are protected by jesus, Jesus moves out of the way so they can’t force him to be king. And yet they despise his rejection calls. They do not have spiritual eyes to see or ears to hear, as jesus tells them I’m the manner that’s come down from heaven, You’re gonna have to eat my flesh and drink my blood. I didn’t come down, you know, Jesus has just said, in essence, I have not come down to change the world to change the government or to change the way you get food, I have come to change you verse 16 and many of the, of the disciples when they heard it, they said this is a hard saying who can listen to it, but jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this said to them, do you take offense at this? Do you not think that you need to be changed? Do you not think that the provision of God in me is enough? Do you take offense at this then? What if you were to see the son of man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. You see, he says, I didn’t come to change the world, the government or the way that you get food, I have come to change you and they say this is a hard saying, he continually called them and us to put heart and focus on spiritual realities, not material things and he tells them do not take offense that God doesn’t do what you think he should do, rejoice in that God has come up with a plan that is far better than than than than what moses provided in the wilderness or anything that you can imagine. He has sent me his son to be a proper sacrifice, not only for God, but one that will change and satisfy you forever, filling you with the spirit and with life, you must eat my flesh and drink my blood. Talk about that again later as it connects back to moses, But look at verse # 66. After this, many of the disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the 12, will you go away as well? And Simon Peter answered, Where are we going to go? You have the words of eternal life and we have believed and have come to know That you are the Holy one of God because Jesus would not do what men wanted him to do. Many of his disciples turned their back on him and walked away. How often does that that happened in our world? He looks at the 12 and he says, are you going to leave as well? And Peter says, where else we gonna go? You have the words of eternal life And we’ve come to know you’re the Holy one of God. We don’t understand everything you say, but we’ll put our trust in you, and Jesus answered them. Did I not choose you 12 and yet one of you is the devil, he spoke of Jesus, the son of Simon Iscariot, For he wanted the 12 was going to betray him the simple spiritual devotion of the disciples to jesus made the contrast of judases apostasy that much more horrible. The many walk away and some may even betray jesus, it should not change the faith of those who walk in true discipleship. Let me say that again, though many may walk away and though some may betray that should not change the faith or the walk of the true follower of jesus christ, you see in this overview of john we see hard, necessary, but glorious truth and these, these next few weeks are going to be just that hard and necessary, that glorious when understood what are some of these hard but glorious truths, God will not always give us what we desire, even when it’s obvious to us what is the right thing to do or the right thing that we need remember, it is our understanding that is limited, not his secondly, generally we think the fall from discipleship and commitment comes through one big instant action or event within reality, the fall from discipleship and commitment to God Comes from one step, one decision, one grumble, grumble one turning one refusal at a time, we tend to think that are waning commitment or lack of active worship in people lack of ministry will be temporary, We are mistaken. Every step away from God has dire consequences and we should not take them lightly. Let me ask you a question, why would God grant us what we desire? If he knows If he doesn’t, we will turn from him. You get that. Why would God grant us what we desire? If he knows if we don’t get it, we’re going to turn from him like a petulant child, this would be counter for our good and therefore a impossible for God to accomplish. Why doesn’t jesus provide breakfast for these people? Because it is not breakfast that they need, It is it is food that does not perish, it is the very words of God, that that that is our meal, that is our our sustenance, that is our satisfaction, as Jesus told the disciples in John Chapter four with the story of the woman at the well, you see, if we don’t get what we want from God, we were going to walk away, well then why would God give that to us? Right, because it wouldn’t be for our good because then we are controlling God rather than God controlling us or providing for us or leading us or saving us. You see the end of Chapter six, it seems as if the opponents of jesus have won the day, they leave with the vast majority of the people. But you see, jesus is preparing the disciples for another day, another day, that will seem like great defeat, judas will betray the disciples will scatter, No one will stand with him, the opponents will rejoice, but this will be the day of triumphant victory. You see Jesus in Chapter six is already preparing the disciples for that day on goggles, we come back at the end to the question that Jesus asked his disciples, will you also go away? Listen, once you have felt the touch of Almighty God, once you have walked in the light of his glory, once you have tasted his goodness and experienced his best, you will never be satisfied with substitution ins you will never be satisfied with imitations. Listen, you may have become a wanderer for a time, but you like the Prodigal must come to yourself and remember what the father’s house is like and that it is forever and always home, and when you do that he will welcome you with open arms and perfect restoration, Peter said to whom shall we go? Well, the question is, what do you value most? You will go after the person that at least promises to provide you what you desire most. And most of those promises cannot be fulfilled. But jesus can and does fulfill his, I will make it new. I will give you life and spirit and life abundant life eternal with God Almighty Himself as your father, I will give you that which satisfies you. In any circumstance, in any place in any time, under any trial or within any triumph, I will give you spiritual wisdom and spiritual life. Don’t trade the eternal for material provisions that are temporary. Mm hmm. Do you look to whom do you go to? Whom do you follow that reveals what we desire most? This introduction to John Chapter six. We’ll spend many, many weeks in it. But right here we see the invitation. We see the teaching in this whole chapter. To whom will we give our allegiance, father? I thank you, pressure.