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Jesus: “I AM the Bread”

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John 6:41-51 . Jesus: “I AM the Bread”. Safe Haven Worship Centre. Sunday June 30th, 2019. Sermon & Communion Message John 6:41-51 [41] So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." [42] They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" [43] Jesus answered them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. [44] No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. [45] It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me-- [46] not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.point. He is laying down another piece of the mosaic of Messianic character and office. [47] Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. [48] I am the bread of life. [49] Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. [50] This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. [51]I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." (ESV) Certified nutritionist Carolyn Pierini, CLS (ASCP), CNC said this in her book: “The Wheat Has Changed”: “Perhaps it is Man who has synthesized a toxin so virulent that the body has created a reaction to it to prevent us from ingesting dangerous quantities. I avoid all wheat because of the gluten, lectins and enzymes wreak havoc to my health. Don't open the Pandora's box of synthesized wheat, for it is no longer a "natural food." She then explains that: “modern commercial wheat bears little resemblance to the wheat that sustained our ancestors, which remained largely the same for 10,000 years... until recent years. In the past few decades, agricultural science has and continues to use extensive hybridization, introgression and crossbreeding, making “synthetic” wheat plants that are more resistant to drought and pathogens. This has been done because it greatly increased dough properties but, more importantly, yield and profit”. (http://www.cpmedical.net/articles/glutens-and-lectins-a-dangerous-dietary-duo) The presentation that Jesus gave of Himself bore little resemblance to the understanding that His audience had of the messiah. It is hardly surprising that the Jews were baffled by Jesus’ identification of himself as ‘the bread of life’. Even a full-blown conviction that he was the Messiah would have left them full of questions. So impenetrable was their incomprehension, however, that any sense of wonder they might have had at his miracles soon gave way to outrage that He should claim to have come down from heaven. Even among those who had come to attend on his ministry, he faced a stiffening opposition of the very kind that had already induced the Jewish leadership to plot his death. He faced the opposition because of His monumental claims. In John 6:32 He said: “Verily, verily I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven. But My Father gives you the true bread from heaven for the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven.” And in verses 34 … 35 He says, “I am that bread.” And that brings us to where we are today. Christ said to those Jews who were fed the day before, “You don’t need to worry about physical food,”. They had followed Him to Capernaum because their stomachs were growling and it was morning and time for breakfast. And He says, “Don’t work for that kind of food, you need to call to attention the fact that your souls are hungry and you need that food that satisfies the soul.” Then He says, “God sent that food and I am that food.” (MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.) In John 6:41-51 Jesus clearly states how He alone can truly satisfy our deepest needs and longings. He desires that we would come to Him and recognize that we will only find satisfaction in Him. To explain how He alone meets our greatest needs and longings He sows us how: 1) Our souls are hungry (John 6:41–44), 2) God sent us food (John 6:45–47), and in His words: 3) I am that food (John 6:48–51). Jesus here is equating Himself with God and the only satisfying, fulfilling eternal nourishment. To be fully nourished by Jesus we need to realize that: 1) Our Souls are Hungry (John 6:41–44) John 6:41-44 [41] So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." [42] They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" [43] Jesus answered them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. [44] No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (ESV) By this time Jesus had become wildly popular, and there was a crowd around him and the disciples that they were exhausted. Jesus sent the disciples across the lake to Bethsaida, where there was green grass, quiet, and the beautiful hope of relaxation. However, the crowds who were following him stormed after the disciples. They saw the direction the boat took, and sure enough, when Jesus got there the crowds were waiting for him. He responded by ministering all day, a day that culminated in the feeding of the 5,000. It also resulted in some very tired disciples. So that night he sent them across the lake in the boat. That was the night of the great storm when our Lord walked on the water. When the disciples finally arrived at the other side of the lake, it looked as if they had finally escaped the crowd—except the crowd had boats too. Sometime that next day men came to Jesus, saying, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” It was almost as if he did not have any business eluding them! Crowds wildly pursued Jesus because he had supplied them with the material things of life. They liked the idea of a fish maker and bread baker—someone who could give them the material things they wanted. They failed to take a step farther and realize that a man who could miraculously supply bread was also the One who could meet the deep spiritual needs of their lives. So (Jesus) lifted their sights and brought them to a place where he could bless them (Hughes, R. K. (1999). John: That you may believe. Preaching the Word (202–203). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.). Because their unbelief kept them from understanding, the Jews (this term has a negative connotation here as it frequently does in John’s gospel [cf. 1:19; 2:18–20; 5:10, 15–16, 18; 7:1; 8:48, 52, 57; 9:18, 22; 10:24, 31, 33; 19:7, 12, 14, 20, 21, 38; 20:19]) grumbled about Jesus (as their ancestors had grumbled against God; Ex. 16:2, 8–9; Num. 11:4–6). This is an IMPERFECT TENSE, which implies they started to grumble or grumbled again and again (Utley, R. J. (1999). Vol. Volume 4: The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John. Study Guide Commentary Series (64). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.) Specifically, they were disturbed by two things Jesus had said. The first was His claim to be the source of eternal life (v. 35). The verb translated grumbled (gogguzō) is an onomatopoetic word that both means and sounds like muttered complaints and whispers of displeasure. Hiss” is such a word. “Tinkle” is another; “buzz” is a third (Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: An expositional commentary (512). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.) “Grumbling” at God and His messengers was characteristic of the Jews in their wilderness wanderings. It is recorded that they grumbled about the water they had to drink (Exod 15:24), at their lack of bread (Exod 16:2) and water (Exod 17:3), at their hardships in the desert (Num 11:1), at the difficulties in occupying the promised land (Num 14:1–3), and even against the manna (Num 11:4–6) (Beasley-Murray, G. R. (2002). Vol. 36: John. Word Biblical Commentary (93). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.). The Jews were also outraged at Jesus` declaration that He came down from/out of heaven. This is a variation on the earlier theme that ‘A prophet has no honour in his own country’ (John 4:44). Those who rise to any kind of prominence always tend to be regarded as ‘too big for their boots’ by those who remember their humble beginnings—especially if the latter want to find a reason for rejecting them. If you claim to have come down from heaven, but have parents on earth that everybody knows, you can expect some serious questions! The irony, in Jesus’ case, is that had they really known Jesus’ parents and the incarnational significance of his parentage, they would have seen it as confirming his claims of a heavenly provenance! They could not, and would not, lift their eyes beyond the naked observation that Jesus had an earthly father and mother, just like everybody else (Keddie, G. J. (2001). A Study Commentary on John: Volume 1: John 1–12. EP Study Commentary (267). Darlington, England; Auburn, MA: Evangelical Press.). In verse 42, it records that they thought of Him merely on the human level, as a fellow Galilean, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother they knew (cf. 4:44; 7:27; Matt. 13:55–57). They also knew that He came from the despised town of Nazareth (cf. 1:46). And so, like the Jews in Judea (5:18), these Galileans hardened their hearts against their Messiah, who called for repentance and faith as a prerequisite to entering His kingdom (Matt. 4:17) and who outrageously, in their view, claimed equality with God. They do not stop to question their assumptions that because Jesus was lowly, and because he was well known to them, therefore he could not have been from heaven (Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (328). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.). Please turn to Matthew 13 Those who continually reject the truth may find that God will judicially harden their hearts by allowing them to believe their own delusion. For those who refused to believe His teaching, Jesus made the truth more obscure by means of parables. Those who will “not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10) will find that “God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false” (v. 11). This is how Jesus explained this process in Matthew 13: Matthew 13:10-15 [10] Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" [11] And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. [12] For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. [13] This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. [14] Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "'You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. [15]For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.' (ESV) (cf. Isa. 6:10; Jn. 12:37-40) • Be very careful with an attitude that says that there will always be time to respond to the truth of God. More often, what happens is that you become more and more hardened to the truth. There is a judgment of God to confirm a hard heart. In essence, to give those who reject God what they want. It has been said that God doesn’t send people to hell, they desire it by rejecting His loving offer of eternal life, and are remorseful about that choice for all eternity. Rather than answer their confusion, Jesus commanded the Jews in verse 43 to “Do not grumble among yourselves.” Jesus calls upon them to stop grumbling (v. 43), to not repeat the pattern of their ancestors but instead to respond in faith. It is, in effect, a call to repent. But the only way they could stop grumbling would be to become receptive of his teaching about himself (Whitacre, R. A. (1999). Vol. 4: John. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (164). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.). Jesus’ rebuke emphasizes their responsibility. Instead of receiving the truth of God from the Son of God, they immediately went into a huddle to discuss and dispute it, as if they were the arbiters of truth! Let them look at themselves and face the fact that willful unbelief, and not any lack of evidence, was their real problem! The more the Jews rejected the testimony of the Lord Jesus, the more difficult His teachings became. “Light rejected is light denied.” The more they spurned the gospel, the harder it became for them to accept the gospel. If the Lord told them simple things and they would not believe, then He would expound to them more difficult things and they would be thoroughly ignorant of what He was saying (MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments (A. Farstad, Ed.) (Jn 6:43). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.). He had said and done enough, if they had been open and willing. Thus, there was no point in responding to their muttering discontent and disrespect with a detailed defense. They had willfully hardened their hearts, and would have only rejected the truth of His heavenly origin had He elaborated on it. • For those who doubt the word of God, there is enough evidence from other historical sources to confirm its truth. The question is, does the prospect of eternal life or eternal judgment sound like reason enough to investigate these claims? • For those who have embraced the truth and discuss it with unbelieving friends and family members, there comes a time when enough evidence has been presented and a call of response is necessary. The evidence of course must first be presented in order to show the need of repentance but we must remember that our job is to not merely quote verses or provide facts, but call people to repent and believe what has been presented. In verse 44, Jesus uttered some very solemn words: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him,” emphasizing humanity’s helplessness and utter inability to respond to Him apart from God’s sovereign call. These words of Christ make manifest the depths of human depravity. They expose the entrenched stubbornness of the human will. They explain the “murmuring” of these Jews. In answering them thus, the obvious meaning of the Savior’s words was this: By your murmuring you make it evident that you have not come to Me, that you are not disposed to come to Me; and with your present self-righteousness, you never will come to Me (Pink, A. W. (1923-45). Exposition of the Gospel of John (336). Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot.). Unbelievers are unable to come to Jesus on their own initiative. Preachers of the word of God make a general call unto repentance and faith but God irresistibly and effectively” calls the elect to salvation (Gingrich, R. E. (1999). The Two Great Feasts of Jesus (12). Memphis, TN: Riverside Printing.). Putting it all together we see that this astonishing pronouncement is what is called a universal negative proposition. Jesus began with the words “No one,” which meant “No person” without exception. He then added the word “can.” This word has to do with ability, but since Jesus had already made clear that He was talking about something “no one” is able to do, He was speaking of an inability. He was about to declare that there was something no one was capable of doing. What was it? “Come to me.” In short, Jesus said no one, no human being, is naturally capable of coming to Him in faith. All people are infected with a moral inability as a result of their fallen condition. That doesn’t mean no one ever will come to Jesus. It can happen, but Jesus’ next word, “unless,” indicated a necessary condition, a sine qua non, something that must take place before the desired result can happen. What is this necessary condition? “… the Father who sent Me draws him.” Jesus said, “No one has the power or the ability to come to Me unless the Father draws Him.” The Bible indicates that fallen humanity is unable, of its own volition, to come to Jesus Christ. Unregenerate people are dead in sin (Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13), slaves to unrighteousness (John 8:34; Rom. 6:6, 17, 20), alienated from God (Col. 1:21), and hostile to Him (Rom. 5:10; 8:7). They are spiritually blind (2 Cor. 4:4) captives (2 Tim. 2:26) trapped in Satan’s kingdom (Col. 1:13), powerless to change their sinful natures (Jer. 13:23; Rom. 5:6), unable to please God (Rom. 8:8), and incapable of understanding spiritual truth (1 Cor. 2:14; cf. John 14:17). Although the human will is involved in coming to Christ (since no one is saved apart from believing the gospel—Mark 1:15; Acts 15:7; Rom. 1:16; 10:9–15; Eph. 1:13), sinners cannot come to Him of their own free will. (Sproul, R. C. (2009). John. St. Andrew's Expositional Commentary (130). Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing.) Once again, Jesus repeated the wonderful promise that all whom the Father chooses will be drawn, will come, will be received. This verb (Gr helkuō) is also translated drawn in the sense of “dragged” (Acts 16:19; 21:30). People cannot be saved at all unless God through the Holy Spirit draws them (KJV Bible Commentary. 1994 (E. E. Hindson & W. M. Kroll, Ed.) (2092). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.). Jesus concludes this section with the wonderful promise that He will raise them on the last day (vv. 39–40, 54). Everyone who comes to Christ will be kept by Him; there is no possibility that even one elect person given to Him by the Father will be lost. For those who believe, their resurrection on ‘the last day’ is the consummation of the eternal life they experience now (39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24), but for those who do not accept his word it is a day of reckoning (12:48). (Kruse, C. G. (2003). John: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 4, p. 173). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.) Illustration: The English poet Thomas Hardy was entertaining his friend T. E. Lawrence, the celebrated “Lawrence of Arabia.” Instead of exploiting his fame, Lawrence had enlisted in the Royal Air Force to lead a life of humble service. During Lawrence’s visit, the Mayoress of Dorchester arrived. Offended by the presence of an apparent commoner, the Mayoress whispered in French to Mrs. Hardy that never in all her life had she had to sit to tea with a mere private soldier. No one replied, until Lawrence said in perfect French: “I beg your pardon, Madame, but can I be of any use as an interpreter? Mrs. Hardy knows no French.” What a shock for the Mayoress of Dorchester! How much greater will be the shock of those who despise the manhood of Christ when he is revealed on the last day in all his heavenly glory! (Phillips, R. D. (2014). John. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (1st ed., Vol. 1, pp. 414–415). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.) To be fully nourished by Jesus we need to realize that: 2) God sent you food (John 6:45–47) John 6:45–47 [45] It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me-- [46] not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.point. He is laying down another piece of the mosaic of Messianic character and office. [47] Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. (ESV) In verse 45 the Lord paraphrased Isaiah 54:13 to emphasize that His teaching was consistent with the Old Testament. What was written in the prophets, “And they will/shall all be taught by/of God,” restates the truth of verse 44 in different terms. The lost sinner does not seek God (Rom. 3:11), so salvation must begin with God. How does God draw people to Christ? He uses the Word ((Rom. 10:14, 17; cf. 1 Peter 1:23–25).) (Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (227). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.). As a result, everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Christ. “As none can come to Me, He says, but as divinely drawn, so none thus drawn shall fail to come.” (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Jn 6:45). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) Jesus’ claim that everyone who has heard/listens and learned from the Father, comes to him is both a comfort and a challenge. It is comforting because it says no one who is really open to God will be left out. But it is also a challenge because it is another one of Jesus’ claims to unique, supreme authority. All revelation before or outside of Jesus leads one to come to him. Jesus’ statement was also a subtle rebuke of His Jewish opponents, who prided themselves on their knowledge of Scripture. But had they truly understood the Old Testament, they would have eagerly embraced Him (5:39). (Whitacre, R. A. (1999). Vol. 4: John. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series (165). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.) Please turn to 1 Peter 1 I want to correct one of the most common misconceptions of evangelism. Many people misunderstand the concept of “relational evangelism” to be the idea that if I am charitable and moral with people, they shall know I am a Christian, and it is this lifestyle that will draw them to faith. Although a faithful witness does include a life that conforms to and exemplifies truth, that truth must be spoken in words in order that the Holy Spirit use the word of God to change hearts and minds. To use the old notion of evangelize and if necessary use words is like saying, feed people and if necessary use food. “So Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”. (Rom. 10:17) Peter explains this in 1 Peter 1: 1 Peter 1:22 [22]Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, [23]since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; [24]for "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, [25]but the word of the Lord remains forever." And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (ESV) It is through the word of God, which who Jesus is, the only way to God (John 14:6), Jesus hastened to add in John 6:46 that no one has seen the Father (1:18; 5:37; Ex. 33:20; 1 Tim. 6:16) except he/the One who is from God. Because Jesus was eternally in heaven, one with the Father, and then sent to earth by the Father, the Son can speak authoritatively about the Father (cf. Heb. 1:2). No one else can rightly make such a claim. Thus, only the Son is qualified to speak firsthand about the expectations of the Father and the truth of salvation. While God (the Father) cannot be seen in the present time, the gift of everlasting life, is a relationship with the invisible God through faith in Christ (17:3), which is available. (Kruse, C. G. (2003). John: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 4, pp. 173–174). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.) Jesus’ solemn statement in verse 47: points how there is exactly one way to everlasting life. “Truly, truly/Most assuredly/amen amen which allows no misunderstanding of Jesus’ point, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life” (cf. v. 40; 3:15–16, 36; 5:24). This sums up the importance of trusting God’s self-revelation in Christ. Those who believe in Jesus not only have the hope of eternal life in the future, but also enjoy the possession of that life even now, as the present tense of pisteuō (believes) indicates. ‘Has’ (echei) is also a present active indicative—meaning that the believer is constitutionally in possession of eternal life, even on this side of eternity. Salvation is not locked up in some ‘sweet by-and-by, when we meet by the beautiful shore’. It is as really ‘now’, even if its consummation is ‘not yet’. Those who believe, in a context like this, cannot approach Jesus as if they are doing him a favour, or, worse, as if they know what is best for him (as in 6:14–15). They must believe—but they do so on his terms, and by his grace. And their immediate inheritance and possession is eternal/everlasting life (Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (p. 294). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.) Illustration: Several years ago there was a man who was coming to America. He had purchased passage on one of the great ocean liners. He did not have much money, so he decided to save on food by stocking up on crackers, cheese, and fruit before his departure. The ship sailed, and he began to eat his Spartan meals. This went fairly well for the first four or five days. But as the ship drew closer to New York the crackers became increasingly stale, the cheese became moldy, and the fruit spoiled. Finally there was nothing left that was fit to eat. The man decided that he would go to the dining room and have one last, good meal before the liner docked in Manhattan and he went ashore. Imagine his surprise to discover that nothing in the dining room cost anything and that all that he could ever have eaten had already been included in the price of his ticket before he left the British Isles! Unfortunately, this is the way in which thousands of men and women act toward the true bread of life that is offered to us without our paying a price through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is there for all. But the sad fact is that many would rather feed upon the dry crackers of human philosophy or the spoiled fruit of good works than come to him (Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: An expositional commentary (517–518). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.). • Your failure to respond now to the truth of God will come to your remembrance for eternity. The truth of God is presented in love that you may not have to eternally suffer that regret. To be fully nourished by Jesus we need to realize that, as Jesus clearly stated: 3) I Am that food (John 6:48–51) John 6:48-51 [48] I am the bread of life. [49] Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. [50] This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. [51]I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." (ESV) “Ushers: Would you please call the Youth & Young Adults in for communion” For all the rest of us, would you please turn to Hebrews The Lord concluded this portion of His sermon starting in verse 48 by restating the truth that He is the bread of life (cf. v. 35). He then contrasted Himself as the true bread of heaven (cf. v. 33) with the manna (cf. v. 31) that the Hebrew fathers ate … in the wilderness. Although it was miraculously provided by God to sustain the Israelites’ physical life, the manna could not impart eternal life, since the fathers who ate the manna … died. The religious leaders frequently asked Jesus to prove to them why he was better than the prophets they already had. Earlier in this chapter (John 6:30–31), they had used Moses and the supply of manna in the wilderness as a standard for measuring Jesus. Jesus refused their challenge. Manna was a physical and temporal bread. The people ate it and were sustained for a day. But they had to get more bread every day, and this bread could not keep them from dying. Without demeaning Moses’ role, Jesus is presenting himself as the spiritual bread from heaven that satisfies completely and leads to eternal life. Again, the personal effectiveness of this Bread comes not from seeing it or from recognizing its heavenly origin, but from taking it in—eating it. (Barton, B. B. (1993). John (p. 138). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.) The writer of Hebrews explains this: Hebrews 3:7-14 [7]Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear his voice, [8]do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, [9]where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. [10] Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.' [11]As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest.'"[12]Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. [13] But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. [14] For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. (ESV) (cf. Jude 5). The Jews ate the daily manna and eventually died; but when you receive Jesus Christ within, you live forever. When God gave the manna, He gave only a gift; but when Jesus came, He gave Himself. There was no cost to God in sending the manna each day, but He gave His Son at great cost. The Jews had to eat the manna every day, but the sinner who trusts Christ once is given eternal life. The manna was a mysterious thing to the Jews; in fact, the word manna means “What is it?” (see Ex. 16:15) Jesus was a mystery to those who saw Him. The manna came at night from heaven, and Jesus came to this earth when sinners were in moral and spiritual darkness. The manna was small (reflecting Christ’s humility), round (reflecting His eternality), and white (reflecting His purity). It was sweet to the taste (Ps. 34:8) and it met the needs of the people adequately. The manna was given to a rebellious people; it was the gracious gift of God. All they had to do was stoop and pick it up. If they failed to pick it up, (it did not nourish and sustain). The Lord is not far from any sinner. All the sinner has to do is humble themselves and take the gift that God offers (Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Jn 6:22). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.). As John 6:50 states, Jesus is the true bread that comes down out of heaven (vv. 33, 35), so that one may eat of it and not die. Eat refers metaphorically to believing savingly in Jesus, which alone rescues sinners from eternal death (cf. 3:16; 11:26). “Eat” is in the aorist tense, of the once-for-all action of receiving Christ. “Die” in the previous verse referred to physical death; here the same verb refers to spiritual death. Anyone who partakes of Christ has the life that is eternal (Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (330–331). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.). This did not mean that a believer will not die physically, but that …even if we die physically, our body will be raised at the last day, and believers will spend eternity with the Lord (MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments (A. Farstad, Ed.) (Jn 6:50). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.). Finally, For the fifth time in this discourse (cf. vv. 33, 35, 48, 50), Jesus claimes in verse 51 to be the living bread that came down from/out of heaven. “Came down” is in the aorist, pointing to the single act of the incarnation. He then added the promise that if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Here, as in verses 35 and 40, human responsibility to believe in Christ is in view (God’s sovereignty in salvation is taught in vv. 37, 39, 44, 65). Jesus used the simple example of bread to talk about himself and faith. How do you think faith might relate to eating? (Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John. The New International Commentary on the New Testament (331). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.). First, just as food is useless unless it is eaten, so also spiritual truth does no good if it is not internalized. Merely knowing the truth, without acting on it, both profits nothing (Heb. 4:2) and does not allow one to remain neutral (Luke 11:23). In fact, it will result in a more severe judgment (Luke 12:47–48; Heb. 10:29). Second, eating is prompted by hunger; those who are full are not interested in food. In the same way, sinners who are satiated with their sin have no hunger for spiritual things (cf. Luke 5:31–32; 6:21). When God awakens them to their lost condition, however, the hunger for forgiveness, deliverance, peace, love, hope, and joy drives them to the Bread of Life. Third, the food people eat becomes part of them through the operation of the body’s digestive system. So it is spiritually. People may admire Christ, be impressed with His teaching, and even bemoan His death on the cross as a great tragedy. But not until they appropriate Him by faith do they become one with Him (17:21; 1 Cor. 6:17; 2 Cor. 4:10; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 3:17). Fourth, eating involves trust. No one knowingly eats tainted or spoiled food; the very act of eating implies faith that the food is edible (cf. Mark 7:15). Thus, the metaphor of eating the Bread of Life implies believing in Jesus. Finally, eating is personal. No one can eat a meal for another; there is no such thing as eating by proxy. Nor is there salvation by proxy. In Psalm 49:7 the psalmist wrote, “No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him.” Sinners must appropriate the Bread of Life as individuals to receive salvation and live forever (vv. 50, 58; 3:16; 8:51; 11:26; Rom. 8:13). Salvation is by the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God (1:29). By His death, life came to the world. (Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 297). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.) The Lord further defined the bread of life as that He would voluntarily (10:18) give for the life of the world: His flesh (cf. 1:14). “I will give” — clearly indicates that the Lord is thinking of one, definite act; namely, his atoning sacrifice on the cross, which, in turn, represents and climaxes his humiliation during the entire earthly sojourn. The concept of Jesus giving Himself sacrificially for sinners is a repeated New Testament theme (e.g., Matt. 20:28; Gal. 1:4; 2:20; Eph. 5:2, 25; 1 Tim. 2:6; Titus 2:14). The Lord referred prophetically here to His death on the cross (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24), one of many such predictions recorded in the gospels (John 2:19–22; 12:24; Matt. 12:40; 16:21; 17:22; 20:18; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:33–34; Luke 9:22, 44; 18:31–33; 24:6–7). It is Jesus’ offering of His flesh that is the price of redemption. Had He merely come and proclaimed God’s standards, it would have left the human race in a hopeless predicament. Since no one can keep those standards, there would have been no way for sinners to have a relationship with God. But to make reconciliation between sinful man and holy God possible, “Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18; cf. 2:24; Isa. 53:4–6; Rom. 3:21–26; 2 Cor. 5:21). (Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953-2001). Vol. 1: Exposition of the Gospel According to John. New Testament Commentary (241). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.) Christ offered His flesh as a sacrifice not merely for Israel, but for the world (cf. 1:29; 4:42; 1 John 4:14). He died for people from all races, cultures, ethnic groups, and social strata (cf. Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11). The Lord also declared, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life” (John 3:14–15), and “I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself” (12:32). He is the only Savior for the world of lost sinners. “Elders would you please come forward” Participation in the Lord’s Supper is not an exercise in magic. The emblems of Communion are not “salvation pills” that must be taken weekly to ward off condemnation to hell. “Feeding on Jesus” (v. 57) equals believing in Jesus (Bryant, B. H., & Krause, M. S. (1998). John. The College Press NIV Commentary (Jn 6:49–51). Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.) • That is why there are severe restrictions for participation in the Lord’s supper. Scripture specifies (1 Cor. 11) only those who have repented of sin and trust in Christ alone for eternal life participate. The warning is to those who participate who are not believers that they eat and drink judgment to themselves, that why “some are sick and even die”. If you are not a believer I invite you now to repent and participate. If you are still unsure, then observe. (Silent reflection then distribute elements) (Format Note: Outline from MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You. Some base commentary from MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). John 1–11. MacArthur New Testament Commentary (240–255). Chicago: Moody Press.
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