Summary: What a wonder that God’s Son came from heaven to us! He alone brings us eternal life. Only through his word in the Scriptures and the Sacraments does the Father draw us to the Son.
Text: John 6:41-51
Theme: The Father Draws You to Eat the Living Bread
Season: Pentecost 12b
Date: August 23, 2009
Web page: www.caughtbyjesus.net/sermons/The-Father-Draws-You-to-Eat-the-Living-Bread-John6_41-51.html
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Word from God through which the Holy Spirit points us to Jesus John 6.
"Therefore, the Jews were grumbling about him [Jesus] because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." They were saying, "Isn’t this guy Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ’I have come down from heaven?"
"Jesus replied and said to them, "Stop grumbling among yourselves. No one is able to come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him, and I will raise him on the last day. It stands written in the prophets, ’And they all will be taught by God.’ Everyone who hears the Father and learns comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the one who is from the Father, he has seen the Father. Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in me has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the dessert and died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven in order that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread, he will live for eternity, and moreover the bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."" (John 6:41-51)
Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:
1) Agree/Disagree: It makes sense to believe in Jesus. Explain.
It just didn’t make sense to Naaman. The prophet hadn’t even come out to see him. He, Naaman, was commander of the armies of Aram, Israel’s powerful neighbor. He had traveled to Israel hoping to be healed of his leprous. He had brought hundreds of pounds of silver and gold and tens sets of clothing, a handsome payment. And that prophet Elisha only sent a messenger saying, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed" (2 Kings 5:10 NIV).
It didn’t make sense. Why didn’t the prophet come out and call on the Lord, the God of Israel? Why didn’t he wave his hand over the spot of leprosy? Why wash in the muddy Jordan? Weren’t the rivers back home better? It just didn’t make sense to Naaman.
So also to the people at Capernaum it didn’t make sense. Jesus was standing there in front of them, obviously a human being. Many of them had known his parents Mary and Joseph. How could he claim to have come down from heaven? They saw him grow up as child. How could his flesh bring eternal life? It didn’t make sense.
And what you believe, dear friends, doesn’t make any sense either. Sometimes we want to rely on our powers of observation and reasoning to make sense of it all. But prove to me that Jesus is true God, come down from heaven. And don’t think that quoting some Bible passages will prove it, because reason says you must first prove that the Bible is true, if you’re going to rely on it. But you can’t prove the Bible true to someone who doesn’t already believe that Jesus is their God and Savior.
Do you see the hopeless circle, like a dog chasing its tail, when faith is said to be a decision or choice? It can’t be a rational, reasonable choice since as we’ve seen natural, human reason can’t make sense of it. And if it’s an irrational choice, why not believe in one of the other religions out there. Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Islam, Scientology? You have plenty to choose from.
We believe, dear Christians, not because we reasoned things out and came to a decision for Christ. We believe not because we figured that Jesus was the best choice. Our fallen, natural reasoning and thinking couldn’t make any more sense of it than those people in Capernaum could make sense of Jesus coming down from heaven. Then we do we believe? Because the Father drew us to his Son. That’s what Jesus told his hearers in order to overcome the stumbling block of their natural reasoning. He said, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44 NIV). You, dear friend, you believe in Jesus only because the Father has drawn you to the Son. He has drawn you to eat the Bread of life. What a picture of faith in Jesus, who alone bring eternal life! The Father has drawn you to eat the Bread of Life, that is, to believe in Jesus. Take to heart that truth: The Father has drawn you to eat the Bread of life.