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Summary: Men are always so busy doing things that we seldom stop to allow God to minister in our lives. This sermon encourages men to surrender themselves to Jesus so we may gain more than expected. This is a Men’s Day sermon I preached at my church.

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SIT DOWN AND BE COUNTED

JOHN 6: 1 -13

The gospel according to St. John is vastly different than all of the other gospels. While the other three are called the synoptic gospels, which simply means that they give a synopsis or summary of Jesus’ life, John is after something different. John encourages us to understand not only what Jesus did but who Jesus is. In fact, some of the most important language in the Christian faith is found in the gospel of St. John. For it is in John’s gospel that we find the words “for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that whosever believeth on him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” It is in John’s gospel that we are told “if you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples and you shall know the truth and the truth will make you free.” It is John’s gospel which tells us “this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”

In John’s gospel Jesus speaks directly to us about himself and who he is in relation us. “I am the light of the world ------I am the good shepherd ----------I am the living water--------I am the way the truth and the light no man comes to the father but by me.” While other writers devote themselves to telling us how Jesus sought to hide his identity or to inquire who did the people say he was, in the gospel according to St. John we are made to gain a deeper appreciation for who Jesus is.

This Men’s Day morning we are asked to consider a familiar passage of scripture, the miracle of the feeding of 5000 men. You should know that this is the only miracle that is recorded in all four gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Five thousand men----what a number. --- I heard the songwriter say “give me some men who are stout hearted men ------ who will fight for the right they adore. ------Start me with ten who are stouthearted me and I‘ll soon show you ten thousand more.” The Bible says that there were five thousand men out there in the countryside with Jesus. We don’t know how many women and children there were but you do understand that if there were five thousand men there, there had to be a whole lot of women and children somewhere close.

One of the areas in which we in the body of Christ have dropped the ball is in the area of men. For some reason Christian men are perceived to be weak. Young men who find themselves in the criminal justice system go off to prison and when they come back they tell us that they are not Christians, they are Muslims. The perception is that Christian men are not strong enough and that somehow the call to follow Jesus is a call to be a weak person.

But if you and I are to really make a difference as men and in the lives of men when so many especially but not exclusively African – American men are killing one another in the streets, becoming part of the prison system or confused about their sexual identity we are going to have to reach out to men. -------Many women come to church every Sunday who have husbands, sons, fathers, or brothers, nephews for whom they are praying to come to know Christ. ----------- Many men cannot understand why we need to come to church to listen to another man tell us what the Bible says.

In this miracle of Jesus that we encounter in the sixth chapter of John’s gospel Jesus has tried to take his disciples to a private place to get away from the crowd. How many people know you can’t run with the crowd all the time? Sometimes you have to tell the crowd y’all go on without me. But it looked like the more he tried to get away from the crowd the more the crowd wanted to get closer to Him.

Now Mark’s gospel tells us that it was at the end of the day and that it was Jesus’ disciples who looked out on the hungry crowd and realized they didn’t have enough food for all of those people and they came to Jesus and said look it is getting late and these people are hungry ------ send them away that they may buy food for themselves. Look at that for one moment Mark 6:36 “Send them away that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread, for they have nothing to eat.” Mark’s gospel really lifts up the challenge to the Christian church today with so many people hungry for what only Jesus can give in so many instances we have said send them away so they can figure it for themselves. Send them away so they can take care of themselves. Send them away so they can get a grip on life and how to make it in a world gone mad all by themselves. I don’t know about you today ---- but I’m so glad that when I came back to Jesus and said Jesus I don’t want to try to make it on my own any more that Jesus didn’t send me away. Those disciples of Jesus said send them away we can’t solve every body’s problems. Send them away we don’t have the answer to what they are going through. We don’t have the answer to the crisis of that person’s soul. Send them away and let them work it out for themselves.

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