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Gospel of John - Chapter 6 - Lesson 3

Posted on March 21, 2016 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

BREAD OF LIFE

 

John 6:25 (ESV) When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”

 

The crowd of people who got into boats to follow the disciples landed and found Jesus on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. They addressed Jesus as Rabbi (Teacher) and asked when He had arrived in Capernaum. The people were really asking, “HOW did you make it here before we did?” They did not see Jesus get into a boat, so they were wondering how he had arrived before they did.

 

John 6:26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.

 

Jesus told them they were tracking Him down because they were physically hungry, not because they believed the signs were God the Father’s proof he was the Messiah. They were still interested in what Jesus could provide materially rather than what He wanted to give them spiritually.

 

John 6:27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

 

God’s stamp of approval was clearly seen on Jesus through the signs He was performing. Therefore, He admonishes them to seek spiritual food that leads to eternal life, food that only He can feed them. Jesus tells them to stop working for things that are not everlasting. As He offered the woman at the well living water so she would thirst no more, He offers to permanently quench their spiritual hunger. He offers them “living” bread.

 

John 6:28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”

 

The people expected Jesus to tell them to obey the commandments, the law or instructions, to do some penance or some noteworthy good deeds. They still thought they could earn this eternal life. The crowd was focused on being “human doers” instead of “human beings.” The Lord does not require us to do certain tasks to earn Heaven. Instead He wants us to be His children by trusting Him as the One who has already done everything required by dying on the cross in our place. Our part is simply to surrender our own lives in order to receive adoption into the family of God, a position we did not and could not earn but were freely given.

 

John 6:29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

 

The only work required is belief in “him whom he has sent.” In other words, trust and reliance on Jesus is the only requirement for eternal life, complete satisfaction of spiritual hunger.

 

John 6:30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

 

The people who had just eaten until they were full (maybe till their bellies ached) from miraculously provided food, wanted to see a sign. What more did they need? They give the example of Moses and the children of Israel being provided manna in the wilderness. Their logic is that Moses fed the entire nation of Israel, so they wanted to see a miracle of that magnitude from Jesus. They still cannot see that Jesus is greater than Moses. Why would the people want something that their ancestors ultimately complained about? They had asked to be fed and then did not have gratitude for what the Lord provided. Ultimately, because of their unbelief at Kadesh-Barnea, the Israelites were given an adult-sized time out, i.e. forty years of wandering in the wilderness. But even then, the Lord made sure their clothes and shoes did not wear out! He still exercised mercy and compassion even though they were cantankerous, spoiled, unbelieving, and rebellious. The people of Jesus’ day were much like their forefathers. The apples did not fall far from the trees.

 

John 6:32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

 

Reformation Study Bible:

6:32 the true bread from heaven. The word “true” has a special meaning. Jesus refers to what is everlasting, as opposed to something merely representative. The bread God provided through Moses (Ex. 16; Num. 11) was only material and temporary, not spiritual and eternal.

 

Jesus points out that it was God, not Moses, who provided manna but that more importantly, God is now sending the true (non-perishable) bread in the person of the Son. This Bread (Jesus) provides eternal life to all who believe. Jesus is saying, “I AM the authentic Bread that sustains those who believe forever.” The incarnate Son of God is the True Bread.

 

John 6:34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

 

They still don’t get it. They want Him to turn on the heavenly ovens and bake them bread every day. They are still focused on the material and natural rather than the spiritual. The Bread is right there in front of their faces, but they are not taking it in. In the next couple of lessons, Jesus continues to clarify the Bread of Life.

 

Q – Are you seeking God only for the material blessings He can provide in the here and now? Do you view the Lord as a “cosmic bellhop” or “supernatural Santa Claus?” Or do you understand the meaning of the Westminster Confession when it states, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Are you living your life in such a way as to bring glory to God? If so, I believe you will have much joy whether you are rich or poor in material goods.

 

Gospel of John - Chapter 1 - Lesson 1

Posted on February 19, 2016 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

John 1 (ESV) 1 In the beginning was the Word3056, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.


3056 – lŏgŏs – from 3004: something said (incl. the thought), by impl. A topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extens. A computation: spec. (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ): - account, cause, communication, x concerning, doctrine, fame, x have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say (-ing), shew, speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible


The term logos was familiar to both Jews and Greeks and therefore would resonate with both cultures. According to the John MacArthur Study Bible, the Greeks used the term as “signifying the rational principle of ‘divine reason,’ ‘mind,’ or even ‘wisdom.’” For the Jews, creation occurred due to God’s spoken word. John specifically used it to refer to the person of Jesus Christ. The Voice Bible translates the word logos as “The Voice.” Jesus was God’s Voice on the earth.

 

Hebrews 11:3 (ESV) “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

 

By stating that the Word was with God in the beginning, John was asserting that the pre-incarnate Jesus existed with God the Father prior to the creation of the world. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have ALL always been. Jesus was not created BY God; He IS God. The Word, Jesus, was with God and WAS God. The Trinity is such a difficult concept for our minds to grasp, the idea that three distinct persons can be one God. I’ve seen several analogies but none of them fully explain it (the egg, the apple, water-steam-ice for example). Even though the word trinity does not appear in the Bible, the fact that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is clearly expressed in many passages such as Matt. 28:19, 2 Cor. 13:14, Eph. 4:4-7, and Jude 20-21.


John 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.


From the cosmos to the seas, from mankind to fleas, Jesus created it all, even the amoebas! This is expressed elsewhere in the Bible as well:


Colossians 1:16-17 “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”


Hebrews 1:2 “…but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”


As a child, I always thought of God the Father as the creator. You know, the elderly gentleman with the white beard. Maybe I had Him confused with Charlton Heston’s portrayal of Moses. But Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus, the Son, was the one through whom the world came into being. Even as Jesus created the world, He and the Father already knew that He would become the sacrifice for His created ones. In God’s economy it was considered “done” at that moment even though it did not happen in “time” until centuries later.


Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

Q – Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus and the Father created us even though they knew we would rebel?

 

John 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


Just had to check this one out in the Amplified Version:


John 1:4-5 (AMP) In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it].


Jesus was life in Himself. Life was not given to Him but instead emanated from Him. The idea of Jesus being Life and Light is a recurring theme in the book of John. Watch for it in the weeks to come. The footnotes in the Amplified Version define “darkness” as “the world immersed in sin: all that stands in opposition to God and biblical truth.” The darkness cannot overwhelm the Light. If you light a single candle in a darkened room, the darkness does not hide the candle. The darkness cannot overpower or overtake the Light. Some days it seems this world is out of control and all is doom and gloom. But Susan and I have read the end of the story, and the Light WILL triumph. Take heart, the Light of the World, Jesus, cannot and will not be extinguished.

 

Q – In what or whom do you trust? Are you trusting in the only true source of light in a darkened world?