Summary: Christ's became man to present the good news to the world. One aspect of this was to affirm who He was and why He came. We too are to be Christ's presence and affirm what we believe.
1. This is the 4th message in a series. Peter says "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness
into his wonderful light." 1Pet 2:2,9. We "declare the praises" of Christ and follow the mandate of the great commission by being His presence in this world.
3. According to David Augsburger, there were 3 dimensions or aspects to Christ becoming a man that enabled Him to bring the message of salvation. These are:
4. As Christ was sent by Father to reveal the Father so we are sent to reveal Christ and His Father. Unless people know them and trust in them they are not saved. We also bring the message through Identification, Demonstration and Affirmation.
5. We have previously deal with Identification and Demonstration and now deal with Affirmation.
1. In first 4-5 chapters of John, Jesus identifies or sympathizes with man and his situation (turns water into wine because of need, feeds the 5,000) and demonstrates His love through healings and other miracles. As a result the crowds grow and they even want to make Him king.
2. Something happens. Everything seems the change. From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. (vs.66). The people (supposedly disciples) turn from Christ and soon will turn against Him.
3. We may find same situation to those to whom we bring Christ’s presence. They seem receptive but then they close their ears and hearts and/or walk away. That can be discouraging for us in our witness.
4. Our passage tells us why the crowds turned back and why we experience the same in our ministry.
a. Jesus made a claim which they could not accept. People accept our understanding and love for them but they have trouble with our Affirmation of the truth.
i. In verse 35 Jesus says "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." As a result the Jews begin to grumble (v.41) and argue (v.52) and the people began to question Him (v. 60).
ii.Today also, society in general and people individually reject the claim that Jesus is the only way to God. (John 14:6) The church can reach out in love to others but to make this claim is unacceptable to them. We are called arrogant and intolerant.
b. Christ tells them they must feed on Him. He is talking in symbolic language and points to the meaning of the Lord’s Supper which represents us taking Christ inside us spiritually. (believing)
i. He challenges their Jewish religion based on works and their own efforts to reach God will fail. Only He can atone for sins and restore us to the Father.
ii.This means people need to accept that they are basically bad and sinners and that they cannot be truly good on own. Only then do they put trust in Christ alone.
iii.This requires humbling (through cross) and a rejection of humanistic views extolling man’s goodness and wisdom.