Summary: Oftentimes instead of believing, we have murmurmed and complained against God failing to realize that we are a chosen generation and royal priesthood.
Reading from John ch.6:
41. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
42. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
43. Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
44. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
46. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
47. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
48. I am that bread of life.
49. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Two weeks ago we started out on John chapter 6. We learned about what it means to place ourselves in “Gods holy hands”. We also learned of the miracle of feeding more than 5000 people who in the end did not believe. They wanted Jesus to show them another sign. Jesus then suggested that he is the bread of life and that the people should labor for food that endures to everlasting life instead of pursuing things that do not endure. Jesus went on to say that he was the bread that came down from heaven and today’s reading tells us that the people did not buy that idea.
The scriptures say that they murmured against him – (Vs.41 ) “The Jews complained (murmured) about him because he said “I am the bread of life that came down from heaven”. Simply stated, they did not believe. I am not sure if it is any different today. We have many who fill the pews of Churches all over but not all of them truly believe.
There is a story about this sweet little old Christian lady who had to do a lot of traveling by air for her business. But flying made her quite nervous so she always took her Bible along with her to read since it helped her to relax.
One time she was sitting next to a man who saw her pull out her Bible. He gave a little chuckle and then went back to his Hustler magazine. After awhile he turned to her and asked: "You don’t really believe all that stuff in there do you?"
The lady replied: "Of course I do, it is the Bible." He smiled: "Well what about that guy that was swallowed by that whale?" She replied: "Oh, Jonah. Yes, I believe that -- it is in the Bible.
He asked: "Well, how do you suppose he survived all that time he spent inside the whale?" The lady said: "Well, I don’t really know. I guess when I get to heaven, I will ask him." "What if he isn’t in heaven?" the man smiled, sarcastically. The little old lady smiled back: "In that case, you will be able to ask him."
The bible teaches us that there is a definite destiny for those who believe and those who do not. Jesus opens his heart and invites anyone who hears him to come and believe in him. To those who believe, he promised eternal life. We are invited to come, but our coming itself is not entirely our doing. We can never come without help; we need a push, we need someone to edge us along and that someone is the Father who is continually working hard to move us towards his son. In verse 44 Jesus says “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him or her” – and yet we often think that belief itself is entirely a human decision. Oftentimes we have overemphasized our capacity “to come to Jesus”. You hear of many who say “I decided to accept Christ” which in a certain sense means that salvation is “our business” – it is our doing and God simply watches in a position of helplessness because the power to make such a decision rests with us. But the fact is that God already made that decision when Jesus died for the sins of the whole world – every single person has been chosen and our response is really limited to the willingness to walk that sacred journey that is often fought with trials and tribulations.