John 6:15-21 - Part 2 - A Material Savior
A Material Savior?
How Did the Multitude Respond?
The Response of the Multitude.
In Marks Gospel we know that the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things both what they had done and what they had taught (6:30). Jesus wanted to take them to a deserted place and rest for a while (6:31) but we read that the multitudes saw them departing, and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him (6:33). They followed Jesus. Why? Because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased (Jn.6:2). The tense of the verb would be more accurate if it were translated, “And a great multitude was following Him” and “because they were seeing His miracles.”
1. Before the Feeding of the Five Thousand.
a) Wrong & Selfish Motives—Because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased (Jn.6:2).
1) They came to be healed or to watch the healings. Many people today come to church to be entertained-to have their ears tickled (2Tim.4:3). Few come for what Jesus could do for them spiritually.
1. Today the gospel of Jesus is a watered down, feel good, be healthy & rich gospel, NOT SO!
2. The Gospel is Romans 1:16ff
3. The multitude came for what Jesus could give them; but their self-indulgent, unbelieving hearts prevented them from receiving His greatest gift of all. In fact after Jesus fed them they left physically filled but spiritually empty.
2) These peoples faith was founded on miracles—and a faith that if founded on miracles is never pleasing to God. The Bible Says that without faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb.11:6). Paul wrote in Romans 1:16-17 that the just shall live by faith.
3) The faith that is pleasing to God is that which is founded on His Word alone (Rom.10:17). God’s Word should not require miracles to verify it.
1. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead we read that they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also… (John 12:9-11). The multitude did not believe in Him in a saving way. They were not trusting Him as Lord, they were interested in His miracles & because He could make them well.
2. After the Feeding of the Five Thousand.
John Chapter 6 records a miraculous feeding of 5,000 men plus woman and children (Matt.14:21). This was an astonishing act & the people loved it & a man who could do that could do anything! They wanted Jesus to be their king!
a) They Believed To Be the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:15, 18—John 6:14 says, “Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” What prophet are they talking about? These people were referring to (Deuteronomy 18:15).
b) They Wanted To Make Him Their King—John 6:15 says that Jesus perceived that the multitude wanted to take Him by force to make Him king, He departed to a mountain again by Himself alone (John 6:15), to pray (Matt.14:23). The sad thing is that this was in light of Jesus providing for them materially, they wanted a material savior.
1) A King Is One Who Rules, Not One Who Is Ruled By Others.
(a) Luke 19:11-14—This is the message the world has for the Lord Jesus today. They rebelled against God and His Messiah; they did not want Him to rule over them so they nailed Him to the cross.
(b) At the beginning of His life, magi came to Herod, asking where they could find the King of the Jews (2:2). At the end of His life, Pilate asked Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He affirmed that He was (27:11–12), and Pilate approved His crucifixion on that basis (27:37).
(c) The Multitude Was Determined To Use Jesus But Had No Desire To Obey Him.
1. In John 6, Jesus had delivered a particularly hard message, & the Scripture tells us, “As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and walked with Him no more” (v. 66). As the crowds left, our Lord turned to His disciples and asked, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” (v. 67). Peter’s reply on behalf of the Twelve is significant: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life” (v. 68). That was the right response.
2. Peter’s response revealed the difference between true disciples and hangers-on: their hunger for the Word. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31, kjv). People seeking to be entertained or fed, curiosity-seekers, and people who just follow the crowd are by no means true disciples. It is those who love & obey the Word of God that are true followers of Christ. Jesus said why do you call Me Lord, Lord and do not do the things I tell you (Luke 6:46)
A Cathedral in Germany displays and engraving which says,
“Thus speaketh Christ our Lord to us:
‘You call me Master and obey me not. You call me light and see me not. You call me the way and walk me not. You call me life and don’t live with me. You call me wise and follow me not. You call me fair and love me not. You call me rich and ask me not. You call me eternal and seek me not. If I condemn you, blame me not.’”
1. It’s easy to say, ‘I love you Lord. He’s so good!” But how does you love for Him affect the way you live? Is Jesus going to say that to you? Are you building your life on sand or the Solid Rock?
2. When you stand before Jesus, is He going to be your Judge, or Savior? Condemn you, or welcome you? It’s your choice!
b) If Jesus Is My King What Difference Should This Make In My Life?
(1) A change in one’s allegiance. If Christ is the King, He deserves our honor, loyalty, and obedience. We put ourselves under His authority and power. Whatever He says, we determine to do.
(2) A change in one’s expectations. One of the difficulties people have with the idea of a kingdom is that it doesn’t appear to be in place yet. The world seems to grow farther away from God by the day. As a result, it’s easy to live for the here and now, as if this present life is all that matters. But the hope of the kingdom is that there is far more to life than what we see right now. Jesus made extraordinary promises in regard to a future kingdom, not only for Israel, but also for all who follow Him as King. The kingdom may not yet be fulfilled completely, but it has been established and will last forever (6:13).
(3) A change in one’s values. Kingdom people adopt the King’s values and make choices that reflect those values—in their jobs, families, and communities.
(4) A change in one’s priorities. The real test of people’s values is how they spend their time and money. Jesus challenged His followers to bring kingdom values into their day-to-day lives. “Seeking first the kingdom” (6:24-34) puts a Christlike perspective on one’s work and its outcomes.
(5) A change in one’s lifelong mission. Some people are driven to accomplish great tasks with their lives. Others live aimlessly from day to day, lacking purpose or direction. Either way, Jesus affects the outlook of a person’s life. He gives His followers purpose and a mission (Matt.28:18-20)
B. The Bread of Life Discourse (6:22-36)
Jesus, knowing their motives, slipped away. By the next day on the other side of the lake, where the Lord blessed the bread and they had eaten, crowds began gathering on the shore waiting to see Jesus, now, when the crowd saw that Jesus wasn’t there, nor His disciples, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for Him. When they found Him they said, “Teacher, when did You get here?” Jesus replied, “The truth is, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you saw the miraculous sign. 27 But you shouldn’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that I, the Son of Man, can give you. For God the Father has sent me for that very purpose.”
They began to ask Him many questions. He based His teaching on the miracle of the loaves, and presented Himself to the people as the “Bread of Life.”
1. The Material Savior (v.26)?
a) They Followed Him Because Of The Things Jesus Had Given Them.
Great multitudes of people praised Jesus and walked many miles along hot, dusty roads to see Him perform His amazing works; but they did not lastingly identify with Him or submit to Him.
q They were always astonished and sometimes afraid, but never committed. They were mere spectators; they came to Jesus out of curiosity and to be entertained.
q They came to Jesus only for free food! And because that is all they sought, that is all they received. Eventually they turned away from Him and then turned against Him, because there is no other course for those who will not have Him as Lord and Savior.
q Many people reject Jesus Christ because they say they cannot believe He is the Son of God. In reality, the demands that Christ makes for their loyalty and obedience is what they cant accept (John 3:19). So they protect themselves from the message by rejecting the messenger.
1) What About Job (Job 1:1,6-12,20-23)—In other words Satan was saying, the only reason Job is serving you is because of the things you have given him, if you take away his possessions he will curse you.
1. The First Response of Job (1:20-23)—after the first assault of Satan Job fell to the ground and worshiped the Lord, not sinning by charging God with any wrong (1:20-23).
2. The Second Response of Job (2:1-10)—in other words Job was saying, “My God is not just a material Savior but a spiritual one. He’s worth serving no matter what the circumstances.”
b) Jesus Offers Himself But They Reject Him (John 6:36,41-42,52,66)
Only 24 hours earlier the same people wanted to make Jesus king by force because of the multiplying of the loaves. But as soon as He began to talk about spiritual realities they rejected Him.
q In Matthew 27:15-17 says that it was customary to release to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished, Pilate said, “Whom do you want me to release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus?”
q Guys, Jesus offers Himself. He does not promise and easy life, but he does give life, peace and strength during hard and difficult times.
c) How To Get the Bread of Life.
Do Not Set Your Mind On The Material But The Spiritual (v.26-29).
Seek God wholeheartedly, the Lord said, “you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer.29:13)… Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart (Ps.119:2)… With my whole heart I have sought You (Ps.119:10)
Hunger and Thirst After Him, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matt.5:6). In other words we should hunger after Him the way a starving man hungers for bread and thirst after Him the way a dying man thirsts for water.
The Work That God Requires Of Us Is To Focus On Him And On His Son. Faith in Christ is to be the basis of all our works (v.57-58).
1. We receive spiritual bread the same way we receive physical bread, by taking it in!
2. On hearing the peoples reaction they turned away (v.60,66). What are you going to do today, receive Him or reject Him?
Conclusion: In history, in our personal lives, in our lives within the body of Christ, our Lord is constantly coming to us and saying, “I want to give you myself.” Sometimes He comes with great blessing as the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. Sometimes He comes with difficulties or trials. But in all of life no matter what the circumstances are He wants to give us Himself.
As we pursue our walk with the Lord & the calling He has on our life, how wonderful it is to know that God will always be with us no matter what the circumstances whether sunny days or stormy nights He is there.
Right now your life may be a sunny day, everything seems to be o.k. but realize there is a storm coming your way. Remember when Jesus sent the disciples across the sea to the other side, there was a storm on the way, but Jesus came and gave Himself, He gives us His peace. When there is a raging storm, the waves are crashing, lightning, and everything seems to be crashing in, if you go under the ocean abut 100 feet or so, it is as calm as can be. The same thing happens deep inside of us, He gives us that peace! Do you want Jesus or are you going to reject Him?
Jesus knew that the people’s intentions were not of God.
q In the same way as John said in 2:24 that Jesus did not commit Himself to them because He knew all men. Jesus also said in Revelation 2:23 that I am He who searches the minds and hearts.
q They wanted Jesus to be their king because they desired a Messiah who would meet their physical needs rather that their spiritual needs. They did not want a spiritual Savior who would save them from their sins.
q Jesus did not deny that He was able to give material blessings, but He explained in the Bread of Life conversation that He was a Savior who could give them unimagined spiritual gifts. How are those who are listening going to react to His loving but strong words?
c) They Received the Physical Bread but Not Willing To Receive the Living Bread (John 6:22ff).