May 17, 2020

May 17, 2020

If Not for Bread, Why Follow Him

John 6:41-51

For the past three weeks, we have been studying John 6 and discussing why people followed Jesus and His rebuke to some of them. There were three types that followed Jesus. Some followed because they had seen signs. Others followed because they had benefited from Jesus. These benefits may have been healings or being and fed. Finally. there were others who came because of who Jesus was.

Jesus has confronted all about their true motivations. Jesus discourages the crowd from putting their own priorities in place. We ought to follow Jesus because he is brought into the Convenantal family of God and Jesus will keep you in this family. We also need to follow Jesus because he will also care for us as individuals. Of course we still feel lack as well as enough, but this is how Jesus deals with us and perfects us.
So why did the multitudes not accept Jesus as he claimed. 

We know that these people valued their ancestors and their national history. This is why Jesus mentions manna and the time in the wilderness. Jesus knew these people, and they also knew him. In fact, at one time these same people wanted Jesus to be their king, but that was political. The reason that the people give for not accepting Jesus was they knew Him. 

The people had become too familiar with Jesus. Just like us, we lose our passion and become apathetic. We are so familiar with the scriptures they use their impact. The word becomes useless because we don't have the humility to accept the word. What was once awe inspiring and a mystery becomes plain and ordinary. Like so many other things, the newness wears off and we lose interest which takes away any value we once placed on the object of our interest.

What are the other motivating factors which compel us to follow Jesus? 

We come to follow a Lord who understands our lives.

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
John 6:26‭-‬27 ESV

Jesus was God made manifest in flesh. God has come among people. God had to come and live life as a human being so He can understand us at our level.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:1‭, ‬3 ESV

We come to follow a Lord who understands we are weak and fragile.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:15 ESV

Our Lord is not withdrawn from our difficulties. He was insulted, abandoned and lived through all our sufferings.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
1 John 2:1 ESV

Jesus is in Heaven and will endure us. Jesus understands us and he defends us. He can sympathize with us and will aid us. Even when we fall into sin and disgrace ourselves, Jesus is with us.

Another reason for us to follow Jesus is because He delights in our existence. Jesus draws us to Him because Jesus loved us and desired to select us. Our merits and efforts did not have anything to do with us being chosen or kept us. It is a privilege for us to be Christians.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
John 15:16 ESV

May we give thanks through our obedience. There is nothing that can keep us with Jesus or bring us to Jesus. Just like the children of Israel, we are rescued and provided for because God wants to. Jesus deals with us individually in the way that will sustain and perfect us. In all the good times and bad times, let us praise Jesus and give thanks to Jesus.

The final reason to follow Jesus is that he is giving His life for us.

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.”
John 6:51 ESV

May we follow Jesus for the right reasons and grow in His time under His direction.

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