Summary: Many followed Jesus for what they can get out of Him. Peter followed Him because He is the Son of God and He has the words of eternal life.
[RECAP last week’s sermon taken from Luke 9:57-62]
Jesus wants us to be His disciples, who understand the heart of our Father and are willing to commit to doing His will on earth.
• To do that well we need to be prepared for what we are getting ourselves into.
• Jesus gave advices to the 3 men who wished to follow Him.
(1) COUNT THE COST, be prepared to commit.
Luke 9:58 Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
(2) CONSIDER THE PRIORITY, some things carry values that last beyond this life.
Luke 9:60 – to the one who wants to bury his father, Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
(3) CLEAR THE DISTRACTIONS, stay focus
Luke 9:62 – to the one who wants to go back and say goodbye - Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God."
The Lord did not dissuade them nor did He reject them. It’s a choice they’ve to make.
• Jesus prepares them for success. It’s wise to heed these advices if we want to finish the race and finish it well.
Today I want to answer the question, WHY DO WE WANT TO COMMIT OURSELVES? Why do I want to be His disciples?
• If there is a cost to discipleship, if it requires commitment and my time, then why should I even consider being a follower of Jesus?
Let me say on the onset that no one is forced to follow Jesus.
• Jesus issues a call. It is always an invitation. You can choose to leave. Many did leave throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth.
• He asked to His disciples: “You do not want to leave too, do you?” (John 6:67)
John 6 begins with the feeding of the five thousand men, with a little boy’s lunch.
• That night Jesus left with the disciples and sailed across the lake. 6:24 says many of those that had been fed trailed Jesus.
• They were looking for more free meals. Jesus said in 6:26-27 “… you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”
They were driven by self-interest, by personal gains. They were motivated by what Jesus can do for them, what Jesus can give them.
• But they have to go beyond that. Their concern must be more than just the physical.
Jesus went on to deliver a discourse - the “spiritual” bread that they need to feed on.
• 6:27 “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”
• It was a call for them to put their trust in Him, to feed on this “bread”.
Verse 35 Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.”
Verse 41 “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
Verse 48 “I am the bread of life.”
Verse 51 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”
The crowd finds this difficult to accept. They see only the hear-and-now, the physical needs they have.
• It is the same today. Many people are caught up by the here-and-now, by the needs of the moment. They are unable to see beyond the present.
• We need to see the SPIRITUAL more than the PHYSICAL. The spiritual is more real than the physical, because the physical once did not exist. The world was created, out of nothing. The real thing is the spiritual.
• Pray that we will be able to see the spiritual in the physical. To see the presence of God and His work in our midst. To understand the will of God for our lives on earth.
Many find this irrelevant. John 6:66 “From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.” They were unable to see their spiritual need.
• It was at this point that Jesus turned to ask the Twelve: “You do not want to leave too, do you?” (John 6:67)
Peter’s answer was significant. It stood out from the rest.
• He might not have understood everything that Jesus was teaching, but he recognised Him – the Person! He saw WHO He is. He knew WHAT He has.
• Peter: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." (6:68-69)