Are you enthusiastic about Jesus?
Why are you following him?
This is what is presented to us today- not only reinforcing what has gone on before – in him was life, Master of joy, new life, true satisfaction in life; soul satisfaction; wholeness- mind body soul.
But in our passage today we are challenging and confronting why people are eagerly following Jesus- determined to find him.
Look for the enthusiasm; the confronting words; the grumbling and the walking away.
In the sign of feeding the 5,000, Jesus purposefully arranges the opportunity to have a critical conversation with his followers (not with Jerusalem Jews of chp 5 who oppose him) but people eager to be with him and follow him…disciples. People who wear “Team Jesus” T shirts and “I follow Jesus” bumper stickers. He needs to have a very important and confronting word with them.
This confronting conversation reveals where many of them are really at with being a disciple of Jesus
We see a massive swing in chapter 6: Great enthusiasm at the beginning which builds… then Jesus has the talk, they grumble, and at the end of chapter 6, the enthusiasm has evapourated and many walk away from him, never to return.
The enthusiasm is clear- “He’s the prophet…make him king”; people are following him even when they can’t find they don’t head home, but diligently search for him. John reveals their purpose, their goal in vs. 2, they follow because they saw signs- spectacular miracles,. Then in vs. 26, they no longer see signs but follow because you had a free feed. They follow because of the good things Jesus has provided. They’re enjoying it. Jesus should be happy… he’s popular. He needs to have the talk. He challenges them them.
In vs. 27, are you eating the right kind of food? John 6 is all about eating right the food. Food, eating, bread, these food words appear throughout this chapter like no other in John. The right food is about what is critical for eternal life. The essence of this chapter is believing and accepting that Jesus is the source -true food for life- eternal life.
In vs. 27 we see them striving in their pursuit of Jesus but in danger of missing the point. Jesus is challenging them to not stop short of what he is about! I’m more than barley loaves and fish; I give eternal life. Get the right food. But they are misguided. Focus is on the lesser- the material, short-term. Jesus is saying, don’t neglect the critical, look to eternal life.
Focus on the wrong things; good things distract us from what is the most important
Jesus is the real meal we must eat to have life. Strange language?? Food is critical for life.
Be careful what you eat- Jesus is critical for eternal life.
True food is eternal I am the bread of life x2- Jesus alone is the source of eternal life “unless you eat of the Son of Man drink his blood, you have no life in you” v53
The one who speaks these words is eternal- the Word in the beginning- life he gives is eternal. Seal
Eternal life is about relationship with God to know Him, but emphasis incl life beyond death. Life that is literally eternally living in the presence of God.
“Whoever does eat and drink has eternal life and I will raise them up at last day” x4
True food that never fails-
Fully satisfying “never go hungry, never go thirsty” v35
“I will never drive away…” v37
Keep you. Faithfulness of Christ.
“I shall lose none …” vs 39 Mighty Power of Christ over anything that would come between us.
Security, confidence, safety in Christ.
True food for anyone- “Whoever comes to me…” v35;
“anyone may eat and not die” v50
“give life to the world…” v33
[NB not all people receive it, all people are invited]
Anyone- whatever background, lifestyle, previous beliefs- Believe- faith in Him.
But many reject him as the true food
True food is rejected-
Our response to Jesus
We can swing from enthusiasm to grumbling and turning away- turning point hinges: Jesus it’s me
Jews “always gives us this bread” – sounds great, enthusiasm… “It’s me”
I am the bread that you need, I’ve come down from heaven. Not from God like manna. It is God incarnate- the eternal Word, equal with the Father… became human. I am the bread of life.
Not rejoicing!! Grumble about him in unbelief; seen me yet do not believe-
Son of Joseph- we know his background- too ordinary- cannot see beyond the son of J+M
Want the gifts,from Jesus… not Jesus himself. Mechanic, lawyer, tax accountant.
It’s me- you need to come to me , believe me, eat my flesh drink my blood to have life
Disciples say this is [hard] offensive -walk away- disciples walk away- never to return again
True food requires God pursuing us to run to Christ. How will anyone turn to Jesus??
Whoever comes to me… “No one can come to me unless Father draws them” v44
Draws = dragged person before council, haul in net of fish Hound of heaven pursuing us to give
“Everyone who has learned from the Father comes to me” v45
Or “All those the Father gives me will come to me…” v37 If simply our choice, we would not go.
True food for life- Requires Sacrifice
I am bread of life, the living bread to live forever;
More precise: v51b This bread is my flesh which I give [in death] for the life of the world
Eat his flesh and drink his blood- Jesus the sacrifice, the Lamb of God
Through his death Jesus give life to the dead, that they may life forever.
My flesh is real food and my blood real drink” He is the real meal.
Jesus turns to the 12 “What about you- leave as well?” Tempting? Many were leaving.
Are you thinking of leaving Jesus? Trying different cuisine.
Why? Is your enthusiasm for him waning, taken a real hit? Based on what? Not answering your prayers as you expect. Where else can you go? Who else can give you eternal life…raise you up at the last day, who will never drive you away, not lose you. Who else sacrificed their life for you as Jesus has.
Response of Peter “Lord, to whom shall we go- you have the words of eternal life, we know you.”