Summary: Hearing the good news of Jesus demands a response.. will it be to put your trust in Him?
What will you do with Jesus?
Trust in Him John 6:25-29
Focus: Hearing the good news of Jesus demands a response…will it be to trust in him?
Function: To call hearers to make a decision to put their faith in Jesus.
Let me tell you about a couple of people I know …
Samantha—When the couple from church knocked on Samantha’s door to invite her to their church’s gospel meeting, something about the couple struck her. She wasn’t particularly interested in church, but for some reason that day she just needed somebody to talk to… and so she let them in. That began a relationship that would grow over the next several weeks as this couple returned to study the Bible with her. They learned about Samantha through this period as well. She had grown up in rough circumstances. Her father had left the family when she was just a child and she never knew him. Her mother had remarried and it was only after overcoming her fears that she years later told her mother that her stepfather had abused her as a child. Maybe that’s why she had left home as a teenager—that and the fact that she had become pregnant. The father, himself a teenager wrapped up in himself and his school activities, urged her to have an abortion—which she did, and later came to regret. That set the stage, though, for a series of relationships with men; none of them lasting very long and each leaving her more scarred and battered- emotionally. Two had left her with children to take care of on her own. The last relationship had actually left her physically battered. She didn’t know where he had gotten to—she heard he was in jail somewhere, but all she knew was that there was no child support in sight. And so, when this Christian couple came knocking, she saw an opportunity maybe for some hope. What she got, was the Word of God and something inside clicked! Her heart was pricked by the good news story… a story she had only rudimentary knowledge of from her childhood as fading memories of a grandmother telling her about Jesus were all but gone. And she was convicted and one night around her small kitchen table studying from the shiny new Bible this couple had given her (the only Bible she’d ever owned). She broke down in tears… all of a sudden she could see hope emerge from her hopelessness and she asked them, “What can I do?”
Richard—Richard grew up in about as opposite a setting as you could get. His was the ‘Beaver Cleaver’ family, so he always thought. His father had worked very hard to take care of the family, which meant that he was gone much of the time. But it also meant that Richard had everything he ever wanted plus some! Private school; the trendiest clothes; his was a life of privilege, if not extravagance. He went to the finest university and then grad school. After that it was on to Wall Street where he was determined to parlay his education, experience and money into more. He did and by age thirty he was a partner in the firm in which he worked and on his way to becoming a multi-millionaire. Along the way, he had managed to fall in love, married and had two beautiful children. But it didn’t take long before the hours at the office grew longer, the tension in his job increased and his home life began to suffer. He really wasn’t surprised, then, when one night he came home to an empty house. The wife and kids were gone; there was a note. But it was probably the emptiness he felt in his heart that drove him to church that Sunday for the first time in years. The sermon for the morning: “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus!’ As he listened to the words of the preacher, his mind reflected back upon his life… how he had always put things, stuff and money before anything or anybody else; even his kids. It was the image of his kids that pricked his heart, maybe more than the sermon that morning; the image of his kids growing up with everything money could buy… except a father. He knew what that was like. After the service he introduced himself to the preacher, told him a little of his story and in desperation asked, “What can I do?”
What would you tell them? If you were that couple studying the Bible with Samantha, what would you tell her? If you were that preacher talking with Richard, what would you tell him? Knowing their stories, what would you say?
I love what Jesus said to the crowd who asked him a similar question in the text that was read a moment ago. Jesus had just earlier amazed the crowd not only with his teaching, but also with his miraculous feeding of the 5,000! Then, seemingly wanting to get away with his disciples, they leave. The disciples head out across the lake and John 16:16-ff records another amazing miracle… Jesus walking on water out to meet them. But, when the crowd realizes (the next morning) that Jesus is gone, they head off in search of him. When they find him on the other side of the lake he almost scolds them. “Don’t follow me for the amazing miracles I’ve done; that is, for multiplying the bread. Seek for the food that endures to eternal life!” That’s when they say, “Tell us what we must do to do the works God requires?” vs. 28. He replies, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”