Sermon – May 5, 2019
John 6:41-51 – An Answer for Grumbling (mp3)
Jesus is hard to present as just a normal guy. After all, he did wonderful acts, was brilliant in response, holy in spirit, and loving to all. For anyone who has spent any time dealing with people, or ourselves, we know that such qualities are rare indeed. Yet, Jesus is much more than just a good man – he is God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; the Great I Am. His presence as a man, no matter how great, makes such statements difficult to grasp. His countrymen had problems with this as well, and their grumbles were loud and clear. Yet, Jesus is undaunted. Grumble not! His hidden divinity is
1. Revealed by the Father
The grumbling of the people in the synagogue was unfounded, Jesus says, because it is the Father who draws all people to him. The Father will make known to you the glory and worthiness of Jesus. Passages like Hosea 2:14 and 2 Corinthians 3-4 make this clear. Let us rest on this, not only in our own lives, but as we await the work of the gospel in the lives of others. God, in his good time, will take the word that is sown and planted and give growth.
2. Revealed by Jesus
But it is not just the Father who gives clarity to who Jesus is; Jesus himself does so. We can only really have this knowledge of God from the one who is from God, namely Jesus himself. So, as Jesus has come to be with us, we are then taught the very word of God from the very Word of God. We do not need to rest on our own reason or experience to understand God – for such an understanding would be polluted with our own sinful desires and unable to tell us much more than what we want to be true. But Jesus can make our hearts burn as we see the truth of who he is from the Scripture (Luke 24:25-32). Grumble not, that God doesn’t look like you want him to look, or do what you want him to do, or approve what you want him to approve. But come to Jesus, and learn who your God is!
3. Revealed by faith
It is belief and trust that brings eternal life. This is what the Father’s drawing does for us – it brings us to understand Jesus, to trust in him, to believe in his atonement and justification of sinners. Here, belief is equated in some way to eating; we get the benefits of believing in his bodily sacrifice just like we get benefits from eating earthly bread. What a wonderful lead into the Lord’s Supper! Believe, and eat!