Summary: At times believers to Whom will we go? Our text reminds us our sinful flesh is no help. Only the Holy Spirit can help. The Lord God gives us life.
“LORD, TO WHOM WILL WE GO?” (Outline)
September 6, 2020 - Pentecost 14 - JOHN 6:60-69
INTRO.: Our human curiosity causes us to continue to learn. We live to learn. To understand what we once did not understand. It is the same with our faith-life. We start with God’s simple truths. We continue with God’s true facts to explain the more difficult teachings. We want to understand. There will always be some divine teachings that remain as mysteries on this side of heaven. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Yes, he has also put eternity in their hearts, yet it is not possible for man to understand the work that God has done from beginning to end” (ECCLESIASTES 3:11). We do not understand everything of God from the beginning to the end.
“LORD, TO WHOM WILL GO?” I. Our flesh is no help. II. The Spirit gives life.
I. OUR FLESH IS NO HELP
A. Jesus fed the 5,000+. Crowds followed for more bread. Jesus taught: “I am the Bread of Life.”
1. Verse 60. Disciples thought this was “a hard teaching!” “Who can listen to it?” Mystery.
2. Crowd was thinking only about physical needs. Jesus teaching about spiritual necessities.
B. Verse 61. Disciples grumbling. Jesus asked if they would stumble in faith. Truth offend them?
1. Verse 62. What will happen when they see Jesus ascend into heaven? Truth offend them?
2. Verse 63a. “The flesh does not help at all.” Do not trust in sinful flesh. Think spiritually.
C. Verse 64. Jesus knew some would not believe. That was their bad choice.
1. Jesus even knew his betrayer. Judas, one of the twelve, would betray Jesus.
2. Even knowing this Jesus went to Jerusalem. Suffered. Crucified. Buried. Rose again.
D. The people of Jesus’ day struggled with the teaching that Jesus was the Bread of Life. They were stuck in the past. Moses. Manna. Both seemed more believable. Such mistaken beliefs take place when we put our trust in our human flesh. We cannot depend on ourselves. We are all sinful from the moment of our conception. We dare not put confidence in our own wisdom. Or the world’s wisdom. Worldly wisdom is continually changing. Not dependable at all. Our human strength fades as the years go by. And it fails. "This is what the LORD says. Cursed is anyone who trusts in mankind, who seeks his strength from human flesh, and who turns his heart away from the LORD" (JEREMIAH 17:5). Turning to ourselves or worldly wisdom turns our hearts away from the Lord.
E. Be thankful for the faith that asks the question: “Lord, to whom will we go?” This is a question of faith. Our world is no longer looking to the Lord God of Armies for guidance. Or wisdom. Or strength. The dark forces of this world are running and ruining the lives of all too many today. There is an abundance of darkness. Blindness. This fact is not new. Our society is ignorant concerning God’s truth revealed in his Word. "They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardness of their hearts” (EPHESIANS 4:18). “Lord, to whom will we go?” We turn away from darkness. Christ is our Light. We are his children.
F. Our sinful flesh is no help. No help at all for our eternal welfare. Our sinfulness is in a constant conflict with God’s sinlessness. Righteousness. Holiness. We might think we are not so bad. At least we are not as bad as some other worse sinners. The truth is that we are all sinners. One sin makes us guilty of breaking all of God’s commandments. “Just as it is written: There is no one who is righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands. There is no one who searches for God” (ROMANS 3:10, 11). We are unrighteous. Our flesh cannot save us. Our flesh will not even search out God.
“LORD, TO WHOM WILL WE GO?” Our sinful flesh is powerless to help us. Or save us.
II. THE SPIRIT GIVES LIFE
A. Verse 63. Jesus is very clear: “The Spirit is the one who gives life….The words…are spirit…life.”
1. Jesus wanted the crowd to have eternal life. Wanted them to believe the truth.
2. Verse 65. Reminded them flesh was nothing. Only the Father empowered their faith.
B. Verse 66. A hard teaching. Who can listen? The crowd turned away. Left. Truth divided.
1. Literally hundreds (if not thousands) went their own way. No longer followed Jesus.
2. Verse 67. To the twelve: Do you want to leave also? What did their faith believe?
C. Verse 68. Peter’s confession question: “Lord, to whom will we go?” Also a conviction answer.