Tuesday, March 6, 2012

John 6:30-40

When Jesus told the crowd that the work of God is to believe in Him, they apparently didn’t like this answer, because they made a different demand:

So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” (John 6:30-31)

They had already seen Him feed the five thousand the day before, so it wasn’t that they had not seen His power. But, because they were probably hungry after following Him over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, and because they were looking for material not spiritual satisfaction, they wanted more food! “Do it again! That was cool! And if you do it THIS time, we’ll believe!” When what we’re seeking is temporal, we will never have enough! They wanted to see a “Moses” kind of miracle!

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.” (vs. 32-34)

This is so much like the encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. Just as Jesus told her He could give her Living Water so that she would never thirst again, He is telling these hungry people that He can satisfy them so that they will never hunger again. And just like the woman, they say, “Bring it on!” However, the similarity ends there, for their response to Jesus’ next declaration is grumbling, not belief:

Then Jesus declared, “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. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (vs. 35-40)

This declaration of Jesus is one of the “I AM’s” of John’s gospel. It should have immediately taken the Jewish listeners back to Moses’ encounter with God. When Moses asked God His name (Exodus 3:14), God answered, “I AM.” It speaks of His self-existent, eternal nature. Jon Courson points out that Moses may have thought, “You are WHAT?” And Courson reminds us that Jesus is the answer to that question. Just before His crucifixion, when Jesus was praying in the garden, He says to the Father, “I have made you known to them.” (John 17:26)

To those who hunger and thirst, Jesus is the Bread of Life and the Living Water, Who completely satisfies all spiritual needs. He fills the emptiness with the fullness of Himself. (Ephesians 1:23) And you can’t get any fuller than that!

Did you notice the wonderful promise tucked away in this passage? “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away... I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” (vs.37,39) That’s how secure our eternal future is in Him! He will hold onto us and not lose one of us who come to Him believing He is the Son of God and God the Son.

I love the many verses that speak to our eternal security! In every other religion you are left wondering if you will make it to Heaven or Nirvana or whatever. You never really know if you will measure up. But because, for believers in Christ, our eternal life depends solely on Who Jesus is and what He has accomplished, we can KNOW for a certainty that when we die we will be with Him forever. This is our blessed HOPE! (Eph 1:18)

Are you one who is constantly searching for that one thing that will fill up your emptiness? You thought it would be your spouse, then maybe your children, or maybe the house, the new car, or the promotion at work... yet after the initial happiness that those things bring, there is the eventual gnawing again. You are hungry for something, but you don’t know what it is! Jesus promises that, as the Bread of Life, He will complete you and fill you to the fullest measure - to overflowing! The life He promises is abundant! Too bad this crowd couldn’t see it!


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