Classic Christianity – Book of John P21 (11-27-18)
Bob George continues sharing from the book of John about what the life of Jesus Christ is all about. He reiterates some points he spoke yesterday, comparing and contrasting the natural man with the the spiritual man. Bob shares about a strange-sounding teaching, eating flesh and drinking blood, that Jesus spoke. Very strange sounding stuff to the natural man. Bob closes out teaching from John 6 and then continues into John 7, introducing the Jewish feast of tabernacles, Jesus relationship with his physical brothers and sisters, who did not believe in Him. Bob explains what believing in Jesus really means, not an intellectual assent to facts, but really knowing Jesus personally as God in the flesh, whom you can come to know as a person to whom you can communicate with in spiritual understanding. The main point he emphasized was that all people should look to the word of God for truth, and if one has the proper attitude, to want to know God, rather than gain honor for himself, one can be led to come to Christ and receive eternal life. So the challenge is to read God’s word for yourself and ask the Spirit of God to lead you into all truth. A good start would be to recognize Jesus for who he really is, God in the flesh, just as Peter did.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Bob starts out by sharing that the natural man understands nothing but the the spiritual man knows all things. Both have desires, the natural man has fleshly desires to please the flesh, good or bad desires, but often obtained by improper means or improper way, the spiritual man has desires to please the Spirit living in him. Lust is a sin that is an abuse of God providing a soul mate, where one gives to each other in context of marriage. There are natural laws and there are spiritual laws. Both have consequences. In the Spiritual realm the cause of death is sin. So in John 6, in speaking of bread of life from heaven, eating flesh and drinking blood, Jesus is using a physical illustration to explain spiritual truth. Just as one needs food to feed a physical body, one needs spiritual food, bread from heaven, the words of God, to feed the Spirit. But man is dead and without the spirit of God. That is why Jesus uses term,s in the physical realm, the only realm a spiritually dead man knows, to explain spiritual truth. There are abuses of physical eating, such as anorexia and bulimia, that cause great harm to the body. So what kinds of spiritual abuses do people feed themselves, things not from God, such as Davinci Code and religious doctrines of men. All such things only starve a person and lead to death. Without the word of God coming alive in you, a man remains spiritually malnourished and dead. Until given spiritual food, people starve to death.
So in John 6, after many people followed Jesus not because they believed in Him but because they had their fill of physical food and came for more. So Jesus told them not to work for food that spoils while telling them that is the only reason they came looking for him. He told them to eat of the bread of life from heaven, a person, that one might have eternal life. For the food Jesus gives is spiritual food, and food that lasts and is not used up. The food Jesus gives wells up to eternal life as he explained to the woman at the well in a previous lesson. Jesus told her that the water he gives would allow her not to have to keep coming back to draw water.
So when Jesus spoke in John 6 about bread of life and eating flesh and drinking blood, many no longer followed him. It was a teaching they wold not accept. They were fine with Jesus meeting physical needs, doing miracles, healing the sick, or feeding the hungry, but they did not want to hear about spiritual things that made no sense to them. The teaching was too hard for them to accept. When Jesus spoke of his death, burial and resurrection, then they no longer would follow him. They wanted a physical leader who would kick out the Romans, even by making Jesus king by force. The religious leaders were so blind to their own sin, even wanting to kill Jesus, because he, in their mind, was a mere man claiming to be God. They would rather believe a lie than the miracles that testifies that Jesus is God, or the message of John the Baptist. And now, Jesus himself testifies that he is the bread from heaven. Since they would not accept Jesus as being God, then they could not accept anything he said in regards to spiritual things. Yet, Jesus is the only person who came from heaven, who can tell men about heaven, and what is necessary to be in heaven with him. But who would listen?
Even Jesus own brothers and sisters did not believe in Him. So do people believe in Him today. You can know a lot about Jesus yet not know him. Many know that Jesus died, was buried and rose again but they do not know Him. Those are just facts they have heard from some religion they were in or something their parents said. But knowing those facts means nothing to the,m. They do not know why he died, their condition in sin, or what is the big deal about a resurrection. They are spiritually blind to what those events accomplished for man, such as God’s wrath against sin completely satisfied by Jesus death on a cross or and how an offer of eternal life is made available by Jesus resurrection. Others do not even acknowledge Jesus as God and if they do have some understanding, it is distorted thinking, and is really God fashioned by their own imagination.
Now, if one knows that Jesus is the Holy one of God, then that is a good starting point. Simon Peter understood this and was willing to stay with Jesus to be fed spiritual truth, every word that comes from the mouth of God. Yet, who wold follow Jesus to where he was going, to the cross, to die, be buried and to rise again. Who could accept that teaching? For they were looking for an earthly king, a God of their own imagination, of whom they expected or wanted God to be? That is how natural man thinks, of this world, which is idolatry really – making God in your own image. Jesus even told his disciples about a day where the shepherd will be struck and all his disciples will be scattered. If he was of this world then his disciples wold have fought for his release. So God’s ways are not our ways and so it wold be wise to listen carefully to His words and follow His voice. His sheep know Him and follow Him. His sheep are those people today who have the Holy Spirit living in them so they can discern the things of God.
Nevertheless, if one knows Jesus is God, then one knows that whatever He says is true. So, you are not close from the kingdom of God when you know Jesus is God. But do not fail to come to Christ to have life! So the scriptures recorded down for us came by the Spirit of God moving through men, writing a message down on pages so that future generations like us today might know what God said. So when one knows God one will trust what He has written. We know it is true because Jesus said so. We now it is true because the word of God has been written down. I Jesus is God ,we believe Him. So when Jesus says he is the creator of the world, we believe him. Therefore, we will not believe in Evolution for that is in conflict what God said. Evolution is from the mind of the lost, who have rejected that there even is a God. We do not know everything for are from the earth, but Jesus knows everything for he is from heaven and created all there is. But the natural man is so desperate to believe anything, especially a scientist, who has been honored of men as one of great intellect. They may boast of their scientific observations but they have become fools. The evidence of the world around us testifies of a grand designer and anyone who is not proud will come to accept that only God could create the world. Romans 1 explains this depravity and descent of man into foolishness.
So then, where do you go to find answers to life? To whom do you turn? Are you willing to accept like Peter that Jesus really is God and He has the words of eternal life? Would you be willing to listen to Him? Read His word. Do you believe because some leader in your church told you? Do you accept the words of men over the word of God? Do you believe something because of what your church says or what the word of God says? If you were living in Jesus day, would you listen to the religious Pharisee and Sadducee or would you rather accept the words of God? How would you know if your church was telling you the truth? How would you know if Bob George was telling you the truth? Peter got it – he turned to Jesus to explain spiritual truth, for he is the only one who knows spiritual things, being God, having come from heaven. And we have the word of God today, what we are reading in the book of John. Do you have a belief system built solely on the word of God or is it built on Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic or whatever religious system. There may be things said that are true, such as Jesus really did die on a cross, but do you believe because man told you, your parents told you, or some religious guru told you, and what is the real substance of what you believe? Do you just have canned phrases echoed like a parrot but have no care what anything really means? Are you like the person who is challenged about some belief and you just merely say I believe that because that is what Presbyterians believe, but in reality you care less, and not even sure that what you spoke made sense or not? Have you ever internalized anything of such teachings as of great value? If so, how do you what you heard is truth from God? Would you be willing to test and see if what man said is so?
So, if a church told you that Mary remained a virgin all her life, do you believe that is true? Why or why not? Where would you look to find the answer? The pope or someone who knows spiritual truth from heaven, Jesus? What is recorded for us in scripture so we may know the truth?
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.
Bob introduces John 7, where Jesus goes secretly to the feast of tabernacles and did not make himself known until half way through the feast. It is at the end of the fruit harvest season, typically September or August, and is a celebration of their 40 years in the wilderness, living in shelters. So for 7 days, the Jews would live in shelters made of olive leaves or branches. So Jesus brothers did not even believe in Jesus and sarcastically told Jesus that if he wanted to become a public figure then show himself at the feast. So they mocked Jesus. “You ought to go to Judea so disciples can see the miracles you do” was said in sarcasm as if Jesus came to exalt himself, Jesus actually came to honor the one who sent Him, His Father in Heaven.
So then how come so many are unwilling to follow Jesus to where he was going? Why so many not willing to believe that Jesus is God? Why could they not believe the testimony of John the Baptist? The testimony of the miracles themselves? the testimony of Jesus Himself? Why is it people were deeply offended, even Jesus own brothers and sisters, seeing a perfect model before their very eyes? So then, is it true to reach people we need to go and be a model? Jesus certainly was! People need to hear the word of God. Only the word of God is spiritual food that can water a heart so one may come to Christ for eternal life? But many heard the truth? Well, men are not robots! They have a free will, to choose to listen to God or reject Him? So, is there a different attitude in those, like Peter, who were willing to listen?
Bob shared from verse 17 and explains two attitudes.
17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
What is the will of God but to believe in the one who was sent. There is certainly enough evidence?
So man can either choose to do God’s will or to gain honor for oneself. When one gains honor for oneself, what does that resemble to you? Is that not the same lie in the garden of Eden, that you can become God, deciding what is right and wrong? Is that not the same inherited nature in Adam, an attitude of independence and rebellion?
So then, how has the attitude of independence and rebellion worked for you? Have you found yourself like the prodigal son, in need, and willing to assess your situation and come to your senses? Have you stopped to think enough about spiritual things, life after death even, and sought such answers? Have you thought about how vain life is on this earth, how empty it is? Have you reached the pinnacle of what the world has to offer; fame and fortune, and then wondered what more there is to life? Have you consider Ecclesiastes, that life is meaningless until one comes to Christ for life? Have you found yourself causing havoc in your own life, going on a fling with another woman, and found yourself like the woman whom Jesus encountered who had five husbands and the man she is living with now is not her husband? Wherever you are, whatever sin you have done, is that life to you? Now, Jesus offers a different life, a spiritual life, in true liberty, and under grace, where your sins will not be counted against you and where you no longer even want sin anymore because that only brings shame and despair? Or have you thought of yourself as a pretty good person, going to church, feeding the poor, until you heard that even a small lie makes one guilty of breaking all the law, or you saw yourself hate the murderer on death row? Did you ever see how self conceited or self righteous you were until you saw yourself as a sinner in the eyes of a perfectly holy God? Is that enough for you to be willing for you to come to Christ for life? Would you be willing like Nicodemus, a man held in high esteem by the people of the world, but yet did not understand the need to be born again but nevertheless was willing to seek Jesus at night,even pondering that maybe he really does have words of eternal life, for no one can do the miracles he did unless God was with him. Has God met a need in your life that you know only God could do and that is enough for you to come to believe in Him to have eternal life?
Jesus came not to condemn but to save and gave his life as a ransom for all men. He lives now, having risen from the dead, calling all men everywhere to come to Him to have life in His name! Sadly, not all men will accept His offer of eternal life. I sure pray you do, if you are listening today, that you become born again with the Holy Spirit of God!
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