Summary: True discipleship is all about personal committment that affects you every day and all day.
Bread of heaven John 6:51-65
Some people thirst after riches and some thirst after fame but there’s one thing the whole world thirsts after, and that’s salted peanuts.
We have in this passage and account of a whole multitude of people who had the wrong goals in life. For the most part they were probably poor people who would never appear on the show lifestyles of the rich and famous. They were the poor and unknown. And even though they lived a hand to mouth existence they got really exited about the person of Jesus.
After all, He was a fantastic teacher, a miracle worker and one who after a short prayer could feed five thousand men plus women and children with five little loaves and two fish. Now, a meal of sardines and tea biscuits isn’t exactly like the luncheon buffet at one of the larger hotels in Moncton but it was free and that probably made it taste a little bit better.
But, this was their problem. They had come to Jesus for all the wrong reasons. As I said last day, they had only come for the free food and all they wanted was more free food. They weren’t in the least bit interested in who He was or their need of salvation. They were simply there for all the wrong reasons. And in the conversation that follows Jesus tries to get their minds off their stomachs and unto their souls.
This is an unusual chapter in John’s book. It’s one of the longest in the N.T. and I think that’s because those who determined where the chapter divisions would be took into account that everything here is connected to one main point. It begins with the public miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000, then we have the private miracles of His walking on the water, calming the storm and bringing His disciples immediately to their destination. The miracles are then followed by His teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum where He declares Himself to be the bread of life. The rest of the chapter focuses on the reaction to who He claims to be by the three groups that make up the crowd who were gathered at the synagogue. The central message of the chapter is this, "Jesus Christ is God." He demonstrates this by His miracles, He declares it in His teaching and the crowd doesn’t argue with Him they either walk away because of their lack of commitment or they declare themselves to be His disciples.
We’ve been looking at the groups within the crowd. First, we saw how Jesus challenged those who were just there for the free food when He told them to look for something more out of life than just filling their stomachs. These people remind me of those who will join any organization no matter what it is as long as there’s food, fun and fellowship. As soon as there’s work to be done, bills to be paid or offices to fill they lose interest and quietly disappear.
Next, we saw how Jesus told the religious leaders that they needed something more than just religion if they were going to have eternal life. They needed a relationship with Him and that meant they would have to believe in Him and trust in His sacrificial death to pay for their sin. Religion may make a person appear good but it doesn’t do anything to actually change his heart.
There are people in this town who are religious and good living but for whatever reason they’ve never come to accept the Lord as their personal saviour. They might make great neighbours and good citizens but if they’ve never repented of sin and received Jesus as their personal saviour they’ll receive His word of rejection and condemnation. We see this in Matthew 7:21-27. "Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name cast out devils? And in your name done many wonderful works ? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."