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John 6:52-59 - The Results of Partaking of the Bread of Life

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Introduction 

A.     Food Indeed & Drink Indeed

Introduction: a man must receive and partake of the Bread of Life. When he does, he receives five wonderful things.

1.       The Confusion Of The Jews (v.52-53).

a)        The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves (v.52).  The Word “Quarreled”, Or “Strove” Means: To fight as in war or battle; to strive, to contend physically in a private quarrel. (Acts 7:26; Ex. 21:22; 2 Sam. 14:6)… also to strive or dispute with words (John 6:52; 2 Tim. 2:24; James 4:2).  To argue, fuss, debate. They were debating what Jesus meant when He said in (v.51). 

1)        Jesus Said “He Did Not Come To Bring Peace On Earth But A Sword” (Matt.10:34-36).

(a)      A sword divides and severs. As far as many human relationships are concerned, He did not come to bring peace on the earth, ... but a sword. 

(b)      As a result of His coming to earth, some children would be set against parents and a man’s enemies might be those within his own household:

I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled… Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”  (Luke 12:49-53)

(c)      This Is Because: Some Who Follow Christ Are Hated By Their Family Members.

1.         1) 8 year girl called pastor Chuck - 2) Dad liked daughter better when on drugs.

2.         This may be part of the cost of discipleship, for love of family should not be greater than love for the Lord.   

b)        How can this man give us His flesh to eat (v.52b)?

1)        The Misunderstanding Of A Spiritual Truth By Treating It Literally. 

(a)      The Jews knew the divine prohibition against eating human flesh or any kind of blood (Gen. 9:3-4; Lev. 17:10-16; 19:26).

(b)      “this is a hard saying, who can understand it” (v.60)?

(c)      “destroy this temple & in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19-21)

(d)      “how can a man be born again” (John 3:4).  All Jesus said was, “Just as you take food and drink within your body and it becomes a part of you, so you must receive Me within your innermost being so that I can give you life.”

2)        The Natural Man Does Not Receive The Things Of The Spirit (1Cor.2:14)

(a)      We are all born spiritually dead, separated from God (Eph.2:1-3).

(b)      And the gospel is veiled to those who are perishing because Satan has blinded their eyes (2Cor.4:3-4).  How does Satan do this?

c)         How Does Satan Blind A Person’s Mind?  By appealing to his flesh: by enticing him with the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-16).

1)        If Satan can get a person to focus his life upon himself and the world, the person will become enslaved to his flesh and the things of the world.  This is clearly seen in the enslaved habits of...

·      possessing more and more·      eating more and more·      lusting more and more·      seeking more and more ·      drinking more and more·      smoking more and more·      cursing more and more·      indulging more and more

(a)      The more evil a person sows, the more enslavement he reaps (Gal.6:7-8; Rom.8:5-8)

(b)      Satan is able to blind the person’s mind more and more by appealing to his flesh (sensual appetites) and hooking him on the pleasures of sin (James 1:14-16). And the more he becomes hooked, the harder his heart will become & the blinder he becomes to the gospel.  He is therefore held captive by Satan to do his will (2Tim.2:26).

2)        We need to pray that God would grant them repentance & that they would come to their senses (2Tim.24-26).  The word “captive” in  (2 Timothy 2:26) & the word “catch” in (Luke 5:10) are the same words in the Greek. 

(a)      They mean to catch or entrap. To take alive, to catch, as hunters or fishermen do their game, therefore applied spiritually to taking or catching men by the preaching of the gospel (Luke 5:10). To take captive, used only spiritually for the captives of the devil in a moral sense, to ensnare, seduce (2 Tim. 2:26).

(b)      The prodigal son finally came to his senses (Luke 15:17).

d)        Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you (v.53).

1)        Careful reference to verses 47 and 40 with verses 53 and 54 will show that believing on Christ is exactly the same thing as eating and drinking of his flesh and blood.

2)        “Eat” And “Drink” are in the Greek aorist tense, which means: a once-for-all act.

(a)      Jesus is simply saying that just as one must consume or partake of physical food to sustain physical life, so one must appropriate (spiritually lay hold of Christ by trusting Him for salvation by faith) Christ to have spiritual life.

3)        Flesh & Blood Point Us To The Work Of Christ On The Cross.

(a)      It was there that His flesh was nailed to the cross & His blood was shed to make man’s salvation possible.  By placing our faith in the crucified Christ, we appropriate Him and His work of salvation. 

4)        You have no life in you (v.53 see also 1 John 5:12; 1Tim.5:6)

Thought 1. Unless a man receives (eats and drinks) Christ, he has no life within him. He is a dead man spiritually and eternally. He is walking around as a dead man.

Þ  Physically he is in the process of aging and dying, of living in the realm of death and being doomed to die.

Þ  Spiritually he is already dead, having no life with God. He has no life, no real and true relationship with the true and living God. He is doomed to eternal death and separation from God.

2.       The First Result Of Receiving Christ Is Eternal Life (6:54).

a)        Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life (v.54)

1)        The Word For “Eat” (Trogon) Is Different.

(a)      It means to eat eagerly, to grasp at chunks, to eat with pleasure. It is the picture of hungering after Christ and eagerly wanting to feed and feast on Him.

(b)      It is “present tense”, which means continuous action. A person must continue to eat and to develop and grow into the habit of feasting upon Christ. Christian growth day by day is the picture.

b)        Life By Its Very Definition Is A Growth Process. That Which Is Alive Is Growing. For example:

1)        Seedlings grow to be trees, in some cases to heights of several hundred feet. Even when they reach their full height, they exhibit regular growth through the production of new leaves, branches, or fruit.

2)        The principle of growth also holds true in the spiritual realm. An essential, inherent characteristic for everyone in the Body of Christ is individual spiritual growth.

3)        Do Not Have A Lack Of Spiritual Maturity

(a)      Just as a baby crawls along the floor, putting anything it finds in its mouth, spiritual babies don’t know what is good for them and what isn’t & the result is they will believe error.   Immaturity and lack of discernment go together; they are virtually the same thing.

(b)      Paul repeatedly appealed to Christians to grow up spiritually (Ephesians 4:14–15).

(c)      Hebrews 5:12-6:1 — No Christian ever reaches complete maturity this side of heaven. “Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1Cor.13:12).  We must continually “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). We should hunger “for the pure milk of the word, that by it [we] may grow” (1 Peter 2:2).  As we mature, our senses are exercised to discern good and evil (Heb. 5:14).

Having The Daily Touch From the Master (Mark 8:22-26) - Quote From R.C. Sproul.  When we are born again and the light breaks in it is as if we see things we never saw before. Our whole outlook on life changes because of the touch of Jesus Christ. But it is as if we see people who look “like trees walking.” We see imperfectly until we receive another touch of Christ, and another, and another. With each touch our vision of Christ and of the presence of the kingdom of God becomes sharper and sharper.

Walking With Jesus Day By Day Means Staying In Contact With Him. We not only need the first touch, but the daily touch of the Master. That’s what you are doing now, isn’t it? As a result you are getting a sharper focus on the kingdom and a clearer understanding of your duties in it. Do not allow these daily devotions to become routine, but by the Spirit’s power devote yourself to prayer and Bible study.

c)         I will raise him up at the last day (v.54)

1)        Flesh And Blood Cannot Inherit The Kingdom Of God (1Cor.15:50)

(a)      Our bodies must be specially suited for the eternal state of existence.

(b)      Our present bodies will cease and the needs of it in the life to come.

(c)      Our bodies after the resurrection will retain human form

1.         John 20:19-28—the wounds were still visible—He could pass through walls

2.         Luke 24:36-43—He appeared out of no where—he ate real, earthly food

3.         Luke 25:41; Acts 1:9—He could ascend directly into heaven in bodily form

4.         Philippians 3:21—Our bodies will be like that—“Christ will transform our body that it may be conformed to His”

3.       The Second Result Of Receiving Christ Is True Satisfaction, Not False (v.55).

a)        My flesh is food indeed & My blood is drink indeed (v.55)

1)        The Word “Indeed” Means True As Opposed To False.  The Things Of The World Will Not Satisfy You it is like “cotton candy” (1 John 2:15-17).

2)        God Alone Can Give Fulfillment, Meaning & Satisfaction (Psalm 145:15-16).

(a)      The Only Genuine Satisfaction & Fulfillment You Will Experience In Life Is In This:

1.         Accepting God’s love—you will experience a deep-satisfaction that no matter what happens, God is present (Psalm 46:1)

2.         Receiving God’s forgiveness—you will be free from the weight of guilt and sin

3.         Living in God’s grace—you rest in the knowledge that God is in control of your life.

4.       The Third Result Is A Life-Transforming Union With Christ (v.56).

a)        He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him (v.56).

               Abide means: to continue, dwell, rest in or upon. It is being fixed and set and remaining there, continuing on and on. Such is the state and condition and being of the person who receives Christ. The person receives Christ into his being, and Christ enters the person’s life and abides within him.

1)        There Is A Close Relationship Believers Enjoy With Him As Being One Of Branches.

(a)      Jesus is the true vine (John 15:1), while the Father is the farmer who tills the land in order that the branches may bear fruit (John 15:1).

(b)      Church age believers are the branches that draw their life from the vine because they are “in Him” (John 15:4, 5).

(c)      The branches receive their life-giving nourishment in their attachment to the vine; as they remain in the vine, they are able to grow and bear fruit.

(d)      Christ’s exhortation to the church is to “abide in me.” “Abide” means essentially “to remain,” “stay,” or “live.” In this context it means to remain or continue in the realm in which one finds himself (John 1:39).

(e)      The exhortation to abide in Christ is an exhortation to continue believing in Him (1 John 2:22, 24, 28; 3:24; 4:15-16).

2)        The Purpose Of The Branches Abiding In The Vine Is To Produce Fruit.

(a)      Every branch that does not bear fruit he “lifts up” that it may bear fruit. The ones who continue with Christ will bear fruit (John 15:5).

(b)      To enhance the fruit-bearing process the branches are pruned that they may bear more fruit (John 15:2). “The figure of the vine thus demonstrates the vital relationship between the members of the church and Christ” (Galatians 2:20; Col.1:27

5.       The Fourth Result: A Life That Is Full Of Purpose And Meaning (v.57).

a)        I live because of the Father (v.57a).

1)        Jesus lived by the Father.  In close union & harmony with the Father that God was the center of His life.  The intimacy Jesus had with the Father is the intimacy He wants with His disciples   

2)        He Lived for The Father; that is, He lived to do the Father’s will. The Father “sent” Him to live on earth for a specific purpose. His life in all its purpose, meaning, and significance was lived for the Father: to fulfill the Father’s will and task.

b)        So he who feeds on Me will live because of Me (v.57b)

1)        The Man Who Receives Christ (“Feeds On Me”) Lives By Christ.

(a)      That is, we receive strength for the living of this life as we feed upon Him.

        Note: the tense is present, continuous action. A person must continue to partake, eat, and feast upon Christ to keep his sense of purpose and meaning, to really live & live abundantly.

(b)      When we continue to feed on Him, we begin to live life with the purpose & meaning that God has intended for us, for apart from Christ there is no life.

1.         Genuine meaning and purpose can only come out of a right relationship to the Creator.  A person without Christ has no spiritual value, no standing before God, and no meaning or purpose in the world.

2.         God’s supreme purpose is to make us like Christ (Romans 8:29).

3.         Our ultimate purpose as children of God will be to spend eternity worshiping and giving praise to our Savior, Jesus Christ.

        Illustration: Someone has aptly said, “Living without God’s plan for our life is like sewing with a needle without thread, or writing one’s biography with a pen empty of ink.”

 

2)        Give Maximum Effort—Strive To Win (1 Corinthians 9:19-27; 2 Timothy 4:2-5)

6.       The Fifth Result Of Receiving Christ Is Incorruptible Food Within Our Hearts (6:58-59).

a)        Not as your fathers ate the manna and are dead (v.58b)

Þ  The manna eaten by Israel in the Old Testament did come from the clouds above, but it did not give life to the people. They were all dead.

b)        He who eats this bread will live forever (v.58c).

c)         These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

Jesus’ Message Was To The Synagogue Crowd In Capernaum.

Many disciples and followers of His were present, but they had difficulty accepting what He had said. The words “hard saying”  mean rough and harsh. What Jesus had said was hard and difficult to accept, but His words were clearly understood. The people’s problem was not in their understanding, but in their hearts. Jesus knew this, so He covered some reasons why men are offended by Him.

When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?  And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?”  So they were offended at Him.

Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”

And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.

1)        Most Assuredly, Verily, Verily, I Tell You The Truth.

(a)      Your seeking Me for the wrong reasons (v.26)… My Father gives you the true bread (v.32)… He who believes in Me has everlasting life (v.47)… you have no life in you unless you eat His flesh & drink His blood (v.53). 

(b)      Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt.18:3-5)… Unless one is born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God (John.3:3)… Unless one’s sins are washed by His blood, you have no part with Him (John 13:8 cf. Rev.1:5)… Unless you abide in Him, you will bear no fruit (John 15:4)… Unless you repent you will perish (Luke 13:3,5).

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