Radio Broadcast Tuesday 05/28/2019

      Tuesday May 28 2019

Classic Christianity – Book of John Part 26 (05-28-19)

Bob George TeachingBob George continues now in the book of John where we read about different miracles Jesus performed. The major theme Bob shared is to keep our focus on Christ rather than our circumstances. He is bigger than our circumstances for he is God. Peter and the disciples were beginning to see that through the miracles that Jesus did, that Jesus is God. When God says for the people to sit down then have the people sit down. Jesus fed over five thousand people that day with two fish and five barley loaves. If God tells you to walk on water, then keep your focus on Christ. For when you don’t, you sink. Yet God in his grace picks us up and tells us, “Oh, you of little faith. Why did you doubt?” God knows all men and knows our tendency to not believe truth when we hear it. Why did God perform miracles through Jesus? What does God want us to know?

We learned previously that Jesus only does what His Father tells him to do. Why was Jesus doing the miracles he was doing? The Father was telling him to do miracles. Why was the Father telling him to do these miracles? It is because the Father knows us. Jesus knows what is in a man, as in the case of the Pharisees, whom Jesus asked, “If you do not believe what Moses wrote, how are you going to believe me?” We can believe lies so easily. Truth is so much harder for us. God knows that. The reason God is doing this is to show people who he is, that he is God. Why did he want people to know he is God? Because God is going to do something for us in the future that only God can do. Only God can do what Jesus was headed to do. Jesus went to die on a cross to take away the cause of death, which is sin, to become sin for us and die in our place, in order that he could give new life to man, the Holy Spirit to dwell in man, after ascending back to his Father, having been raised from the dead. What Jesus did is the only hope for man.

John 5:45
45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

Jesus was saying to the Pharisees, and to the people who were critical to what he was teaching, “Do not say that I will accuse you before my Father”. Accuse you of what? The testimony of not believing the testimony of God concerning himself.

There is a focus every one of us has in life. What we focus on determines how we live out our lives. To focus on something means to amplify or magnify. When you focus on something it becomes larger in your being. What you focus on is what you will ultimately become.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

A popular hymn titled, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” by Helen Howarth Lemmel, 1922 has these words:

“So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.”

Keep you eyes on Jesus. Focus on Christ. Christ is the focus of everything we do and say in this life. Jesus came to tell people this truth. Their focus was on something else, on religious teachings of Moses and the person of Moses. They said they are a follower of Moses on whom their hopes are set. Your accuser is Moses, the person your focus is on, so Moses is the one who will accuse you. Their hope, their focus was set, on the teachings of Moses, not on Christ Jesus. If you believed in Moses you would believe me for he wrote about me. Jesus nailed them in what they said.

John 5:47
47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

We are in a belief system. Whatever you believe will affect the totality of your life.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

If you believe God created everything in life then that is going to be different than if you believe you came through evolution. Your philosophy of life is predicated on that one premise, whether you believe in creation or evolution. God created man. We did not come from some other way, some other being, an embryo, or a frog or anything else man comes up with. God created Adam alive bodily, soulishly and spiritually, in the very image of God. When we believe that, everything in life and in our philosophy is grounded on that foundation.

If your premise is off then your findings are off. The findings of experimentation are no more accurate than the original premise. If you start with a false premise then all findings are off. If you go to the doctor and he says you have tuberculosis when in fact you don’t then he probably will prescribe you with medicine. When the premise is off, the prescriptions are off. Many have died in hospitals because of this.

Our focal point that God called us out. The point he has said to us, to focus on me, not on Moses, not on Abraham, but on Jesus as that the center of our focal point. When we focus on something, it becomes larger. Christ is the object of our focus.

John 6:1-2
1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick.

Bob asked, “Why were the crowds following Jesus?” They saw the miraculous signs on the sick. They saw him healing the sick. They were following him because he is a miracle worker. Do people do that today? Yes. People follow people to see a miracle, or so-called miracle, like going to a magic show, to get deceived. Jesus really did perform a miracle but they did not come to follow Jesus but to see a magic show.

In Matthew, we read about the same event, written by a different person. If you see an accident standing on one side, someone else seeing it on the other side, and a third person seeing the accident of a window you get three different perspectives or views of the same accident. You have three accounts, all saying the same thing but looked at from a different vantage point.

Bob shares the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand with two small fish and five barely loaves from John 6:1-15 and Matthew 14:13-21.

Matthew 14:13
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.

They followed him because of the miracles he was doing.

Matthew 14:13-21
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.
14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said.
19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Bob George also read from John 6 where Jesus feeds the five thousand from just two fish and five loaves.

After Jesus performs this miracle, we read about the response of the people.

John 6:14
14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

Here is a picture of a situation that from us would be impossible. You have five loaves and two fish and he fed at least 5000 men and do not know how many women. If you were confronted with a situation like that, what would you focus on? The fact you only have five loaves and two fish or that Jesus is in our presence. If Jesus says have them sit down, then have them sit down. The more we study on the life of Christ, the more we see this man is who he claims to be. And if he is who he claims to be, God, then if God says something, listen to him and do what he says. We begin to focus our attention on him instead of our circumstances which are never real when it comes to the things of God.

We saw a terrific miracle of feeding five thousand. So probably a good ten thousand people including women and children were fed from two small fish and five barley loaves. That is a miracle. God is in the miracle making business. We face trials and tribulations in this life today, with uncertainties, mysteries, not understanding of what to do or not to do in a circumstance. The key to all of this is to turn your eyes upon Jesus. Where is your focus? On the circumstances of Jesus? On people? On Jesus?

Another story that amplifies this is John 6:16-24, where Jesus walks on water, and Peter also, but only when his focus was on Jesus. The account is also told in Matthew 14:22-36.

Matthew 26-33
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

If you have ever been on the sea of Galilee, you can be out there when it is calm as it could be, but in a New York minute, it can turn into raging waters. It was dark, with turbulent waters, and on top of that, the disciples see Jesus walking on the water. Here is rambunctious Peter. He says to Jesus, “If it is you, tell me to come to you. But when he saw wind he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out to Jesus to save him.

Focus. Peter and the apostles are rowing in a boat, in a violent storm, and it dark. They looked up and see Jesus walking on the water. They already saw him feed five thousand with hardly nothing. They have already seen the miracle at the wedding in Cana where water was turned into wine. They have already seen him healing sick. They were beginning to see that this man Jesus must be the one prophesied in the Old Testament. They are well over 90% sure by now he is the one.

When Peter got out of the boat, who was he looking at? Jesus. While he was focused on Jesus, he was able to walk on water. Immediately he got his eyes on the waves, the circumstances. He is in a storm with waves, a storm that could drown him. He gets his focus off Jesus and onto circumstances and begins to sink. How many times have we got our focus off Jesus and onto circumstances and sink? All of us could testify. What does Jesus do? He knows us. He made us. He does not need the testimony of man. He did not need a testimony from Freud.

Because it is natural for us to do that, then Jesus comes and picks us up and says to us, “You of little faith”. He did not say, “How come you are so stupid?” He said as long as you have focus on me you can do anything I am telling you to do. When Jesus walked on the water, and fed the five thousand, who told him to do that? The Father did. Did not Jesus say, “I do not do anything unless the Father tells me to do it. I do not say anything unless the Father tells me what to say and how to say it.” Who told Jesus to tell Peter to walk on water? His Father did. Jesus was walking in total dependence on his Father so everything you saw him do and say was a direct reflection of what His Father told him to do and say. What he is telling us is this, “When I tell you to do something, I will give you what is necessary to do something”. So he was giving Peter the ability to do something as long as he kept his focus on the one who told him to do so. Peter got his eyes off the source and onto the waves and sank. When he did, Jesus immediately caught him and said, “Why did you doubt?”

Matthew 14:32-33
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Belief was finally taking place, out of the realm of theory, and into personal experience. The disciples said, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:34-35
34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

Jesus has arrived on the shore with his disciples. All who touched Jesus were healed. Jesus was drawing a terrific crowd of people, drawing a lot of attention to himself.

Let’s look at this from this perspective. Why was Jesus doing the miracles he was doing? The Father was telling him to. Why was the Father telling him to do these miracles? Because the Father knows us. Jesus knows what is in a man, as in the case of the Pharisees, whom Jesus said, “If you do not believe what Moses wrote, how are you going to believe me?” We can believe lies so easily. Truth is so much harder for us. God knows that. The reason God is doing this is to show people who he is, that he is God. Why did he want people to know he is God? Because God is going to do something for for us in the future that only God can do. Only God can do what Jesus was headed to do. Moses could not do it. Abraham could not do it.

When you follow Jesus, you have to follow him to where he is going and where he went, on that side of the cross. Reading about this man Jesus, at the end of all these books he is at the cross. He is doing something for you and me at the cross we could not do for ourselves. Jesus went to die on a cross to take away the cause of death, which is sin, to become sin for us and die in our place, in order that he could give new life to man, the Holy Spirit to dwell in man, after ascending back to his Father, having been raised from the dead.

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