6 60-71 Two Choices, Faithfulness Or Failure
liberty bible church 6/15/08 a.M.
By Tom Zobrist
“two choices: faithfulness or failure”
Illus. of “Cheaper By the Dozen” clip. All of us make choices that will have profound effects on our world around us. The end product of our choices can sometimes dictate whether or not we will experience success or failure. Then again, as we saw in the clip, how one defines success is open to interpretation. However, if you want to raise a Godly remnant, then you must pursue success as God defines it. Cf. Josh. 1:8 indicates that success with God is knowing His Word and being careful to obey it. We call that faithfulness. Today, we want to examine two choices that we all have. One is faithfulness, the other is failure. You will see that there is only one that can be chosen that will bring success in the home or any other area of life. Which one will we choose: faithfulness or failure?
OPEN to the passage.
Prop. In this passage, we see two choices that every aspiring follower of Jesus has.
Open in PRAYER.
PREVIEW the passage. Once again, Jesus is in the midst of a long discourse. He is using bread as a metaphor for satisfying spiritual hunger and acquiring eternal life. He has shown that as we are exposed to Jesus and His Word, we are drawn to God and then must choose whether or not we will believe and trust in Jesus for salvation. Cf. V 35, 40, 41-47 All the flesh eating and blood drinking represents spiritual nourishment that comes when we trust in Jesus. We partake of Him in a spiritual sense. But, that was hard to believe for these Jews. That’s where some make a bad choice and that is…
i. failure to believe vs. 60-66
Illus. of you’ve heard the story about the guy who was both a taxidermist and a veterinarian. He had a sign on his door that said, “Either way, you get your dog back.” Here’s a man that had a plan if his first attempts failed. If I was the dog, I wouldn’t be too comfortable with that vet. Any failure in life can be overcome, except one and that is the failure to believe in Jesus. That’s where these people are failing.
a. They fail to be offended (Offended? Is this something we want to be?)
V 60a 1. In this context, disciples is not just the 12, but all who had become His followers because of their needs being met.
V 60b 2. “hard” here means difficult in the sense that they were beginning to understand, but they were not going to accept it. It was unacceptable. It was at this point that Jesus’ popularity began to wane. He was not the Messiah they wanted. They wanted someone to deliver them from Rome. Jesus was offering something else that seemed harsh to them and many were not ready to accept Him in this way.
V 61a 3. Here we go with the grumbling again. It was not outward, but Jesus knew what they were complaining about. So, He asks them this question?
V 61b 4. “offend” here means to make one stumble. That what offending someone is. It makes them stumble. It causes them consternation. Paul said that Jesus was a stumbling block to the Jews. Cf. 1 Cor. 1:23 To offend someone many times is wrong. But many times, it is what someone needs to hear. That is the case here. Jesus is presenting them with the Gospel, the way of salvation and they are grumbling against Him. They don’t like God’s plan. Here’s God’s perspective on that…Too bad!!! That is the plan. To believe in Jesus. But, many rebel against that.
V 62 5. If the Gospel is an offense, then certainly the ascension will be. This is where Jesus was vindicated. He was seen in all His glory by the disciples. At this point though, these people had to believe in someone that they thought had earthly origins. He was asking them to believe that His origin was Heavenly. Many refused to believe.
V 63a 6. Jesus has just shown them the distinction between the flesh and the Spirit. The HS is who gives eternal life and the ability to understand Jesus and believe in Him. The flesh brings death and a lack of understanding.
V 63b 7. Jesus is speaking in the spirit and it is these words that bring life. These people find His teachings, hard or unacceptable. Therefore…
b. They fail to respond to God’s call in belief
V 64 1. Some do not believe. And Jesus knew it from the very beginning. We need to note here that even though we can fool other people, we cannot fool God. He knows whether or not we are of the faithful who actually believe.
V 65 2. We saw back in verses 37 and 44 that we needed divine enablement to be able to receive Jesus. But, that doesn’t take away the personal accountability of free will. Don’t struggle with Jesus because of hard teachings about election. That’s what this crowd was doing. What we take away from this is that we should not be surprised when there is apostasy in the church. There will be those that choose to walk away from Jesus. Our task is to remain faithful to God’s Word.
V 66 3. As we said already, Jesus’ popularity now wanes. They can’t handle the Truth! The truth about Him not being King yet, about needing personal faith in Him, about atonement through His blood, about the fact that the flesh saves no one…we must believe in Him, the Bread of Heaven. This was unacceptable to many and so they walked away.
Trans. If they remained in this state, the FAILURE TO BELIEVE was the worst mistake of their eternal lives because they are still paying for it today. Thousands die everyday and enter a Christ less eternity because these teachings are too hard. They would rather worship idols, in our day the main idol is the idol of self. It doesn’t matter what keeps us from believing. It is a colossal failure. Here’s our other option and certainly the latter is the best.
ii. faithfulness to jesus vs. 67-71
Illus. of the 5 year old girl in the 60’s who told her liberal mother that she wanted to be a nurse. The mother, wanting her daughter to expand her dreams, told her that she could be anything she wanted; a lawyer, banker, surgeon, or even President of the United States. She could be anything she wanted to be. The little girl responded, “Really? Anything?” She thought about it for a while and then her face lit up with ambition. “All right then, I want to be a horse.” Sometimes what we want is not possible. For those that desire eternal life, to not believe in Jesus is not an option. Faithfulness is the only option that works here.
a. Confirmation of faith
V 67 1. Why would Jesus ask this question. It reminds me of Illus. of the time Jess got taken from the dinner table for some discipline. I came back with her crying and asked Samantha if she wanted one. I said that in anger. Jesus’ reasoning here is different. He gives them an opportunity to confirm their faith…and they do.
V 68 2. Peter, as he often did, spoke for the group. Even though they did not yet fully believe all that Jesus taught and couldn’t until after the resurrection and receiving of the HS, confesses that they believe that Jesus has the words of eternal life.
V 69 3. They have come to believe that Jesus is not only the Messiah, but He is also the Son of God. The Greek grammar here indicates that they had come to believe this and were continuing to believe this. Peter was confirming their faith, in spite of the fact that many were walking away at this time. Unknown to this group was the fact that one of them had…
b. Reservations of faith (along with the masses)
V 70 1. Jesus had chosen the 12, but not all were to be saved. One is Satan, no definite article (a) in the Greek. He is destined for an eternity separated from God in the Lake of Fire. Of course Judas was not the devil, but he allowed to devil to work through him.
V 71 2. Jesus demonstrates His omnipotence in choosing Judas. The disciples would remember this later and be strengthened in their faith. Judas was chosen by God, yet is still accountable for his bad choices and failure to believe.
There are two choices we all have. We will either be a FAILURE if we don’t BELIEVE in Jesus or we will be a success if we are FAITHFUL TO JESUS. What are you choosing? Believe it or not, your lifestyle may indicate to the world around you what you are choosing. How is that? Since it’s Father’s Day, let’s uses fathers as an example. How can we be faithful to Jesus?
1. By believing in Him for salvation. In this process, we must be offended with our own sinfulness. GOSPEL
2. By following Christ and being obedient to His Word. That would include loving our wives no matter how unlovely they are. Caring for your children and disciplining them promptly and regularly. Submitting to your employer, your government, and your local church. Setting an example of regular church attendance and serving therein. These are the minimal aspects of faithfulness to Jesus. We could go on.
Illus. of Wingclip of Horton. Despite the impending dangers of the evil Vlad, Horton refuses to abandon the speck that is the world of the Whos because he promised to protect them.
We all need to be this faithful when it comes to Jesus; and Fathers, we need to be that committed to our families; faithful 100% of the time, not 99%, 100% of the time. Anything else is failure and that’s just not a choice we are willing to make.
“two choices: faithfulness or failure”
Today, we want to examine two choices that we all have. One is faithfulness, the other is failure. Which one will we choose?
i. failure to vs. 60-66
a. They fail to be _____________________________
Cf. 1 Cor. 1:23
b. They fail to…
ii. faithfulness to vs. 67-71
a. ________________________________ of faith
b. _________________________________ of faith
How can we be faithful?