Sermon – April 28, 2019
Jesus is presented in John 6 as the provision of God for us. But this provision is not just to give us life as we might conceive of it. Rather, to understand what the symbolism means we must understand the picture that it is derived from: the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites. If the picture that Jesus intends to place in our mind is of the exodus from Egypt, what does that symbolism mean for us? While it is true that it is an old picture, it is still relevant for us today. Let us consider the importance of Jesus being the bread of life from these six small verses of John today. These verses help us understand
1. Our location
As we consider these words from Jesus, we must also consider the historical precedent for them. Having spoken of Moses and manna, we are immediately reminded of the fact that the manna was given to the Israelites while they roamed in the harsh wilderness, where there was no food and the only water they often got was drawn miraculously from rocks. The manna was sent because there was no other food. We now, having been given Jesus, have indeed been given him because we ourselves are in a wasteland, where we have no real food. The world offers many things that are to give life – but only Jesus can truly give life. Let us see the world for what it is, and cling tightly in belief to Jesus, who alone can give us life.
2. Our likeness
If this is the historical precedent that we are to think through, it seems that those who come to Christ and believe are being compared in likeness to Israel. Jesus says flatly that many there have seen him and not believed – implying strongly that they haven’t because God hasn’t given them to the Son. Just as Israel is elect – so now are believer’s in Christ. This doctrine is precious, for it means that we are Christ’s precious possession, never to be lost or cast out of his grasp.
3. Our license
We might expect that the great reason why Jesus will never cast us out has to do with his love, mercy, or sacrifice. No doubt, in the grand picture these things are true, these are not the reason Jesus gives. Rather, Jesus won’t lose us or cast us out because it is not the Father’s will. Friend, if Jesus, very God of very God does no other than his Father’s will here on the earth, should we not do the same? Why worry about all of the things that we are not told directly, instead of working hard at that which God has told us clearly and plainly? Our license before God is to do his will; let us strive to be Christlike in our devotion to our Father’s will!
4. Our life
Lastly, as Jesus promises to raise up those who believe on the last day, so we should also look forward to that day. We will suffer, and many or most of us will die, if the Lord tarries. Yet, even the depth of the grave and the power of death can not keep us from our great Lord! Praise be to Christ, who gives us new life and the power of the resurrection!