Sermon Notes and Audio
Scripture Focus- John 6:22-59
Everyone is looking for satisfaction in life. People look for it through people, possessions, pleasure, power, and position. The problem is, chasing after earthly things, even things that are good, can never full satisfy.
I read/watched a testimony from Stephen Baldwin the actor on the “I Am Second” website. He said he had it all but there came a point in his life when he realized what he was missing was satisfaction. He was focused on making money and was self absorbed. Through the witness of a friend, he came to know Jesus Christ and he said he realized that loving Jesus is what is most important in life.
The Bread of Life is eternal food.
In this text, many of the people whom Jesus had fed with the bread and the fish, came to Capernaum seeking Jesus. The day after the miracle they could not find Jesus. They knew He had not gotten into the boat with the disciples to go across to the other side. Some boats from Tiberias had come to where they were and many of the people got into the boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they got to the other side they asked Jesus, Rabbi, when did You get here?
Jesus confronted them because He knew they were seeking Him wrongly. Jesus said, I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. They wanted a political Messiah to bring peace and prosperity. They were looking for material comfort and security and what they needed was eternal life. They missed the true significance of the miracle Jesus performed. If they had understood the significance of the bread and the fish, they would have sincerely turned to Jesus as their Messiah. Instead of seeing in the bread the sign, they had seen in the sign only the bread.
When we seek Jesus, we need to seek Him for the right reasons.
V27 Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. . .
Focus- Temporal vs. Eternal; Material vs. Spiritual
All that we have comes from God, yet the Bible commends and promotes hard work and responsibility. This is interesting because the Son of Man gives the food to us, yet He tells us to work not for the food that perishes, but for the food that lasts for eternal life. He is focusing on pursuing the things of God, after they have been given to us by God.
V27b God the Father has set His seal of approval on Jesus.
D. A. Carson- The idea is that God has certified the Son as His own agent, authorizing Him as the One who alone can bestow this food.
The Bread of Life is received by faith.
A question followed from Jesus’ remarks.
V28 What can we do to perform the works of God? They asked.
Jesus replied- v29 This is the work of God- that you believe in the One He has sent.
Jesus in no way indicates that faith is a work that earns the favor of God. Jesus is picking up on their question about works and saying- The only ‘work’ you can do is not to work, but to believe!! Faith does not offer anything to God. Faith comes to God to receive from Him.
All the religions of the world except Christianity, teach works. Or at least faith plus works= salvation. If this were the case, how many works would one have to perform to be saved?
Romans 4:4-5 Now to the one who works, pay is not considered as a gift, but as something owed. But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who declares the ungodly to be righteous, his faith is credited for righteousness.
The Bread of Life satisfies spiritual hunger.
They asked Jesus the question- v3- What sign then are You going to do so we may see and believe You?
The Jews just one day before had eaten from the miraculous provision of Jesus. Now they were asking for another miracle.
V31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Behind the Jewish request for a sign was the Jewish expectation that when the Messiah came He would renew the miracle of the manna in the wilderness. Nevermind that Jesus had fed 15-20,000 people. They wanted more.
From their perspective, Jesus fed a large crowd, but Moses fed an entire nation. Jesus did it once, Moses did it for 40 years. Jesus provided ordinary bread. Moses gave them bread from Heaven. Their attitude was, you gave us a small sign, why don’t you give us a big one?!
So Jesus corrected them. V32-33 Jesus said to them, I assure you: Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. The bread they received in the wilderness wanderings didn’t come from Moses, it came from God! The bread they received was not the real bread because it was earthly in nature.
They said to Jesus, v34 Sir, give us this bread always!
V35 I am the bread of life, Jesus told them. No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.
This is the first of 7 “I am” statements in John.
This is amazing! Jesus is the source of eternal life and the sustainer of life for all who come to Him.
The Bread of Life is often rejected.
Even though they saw Jesus, they did not believe in Him.
V36 As I told you, you’ve seen Me, and yet you do not believe.
Even some who professed to be His followers would stumble later on. Sometimes, because of the hardness of their hearts, people will reject even the best reasons to believe.
John 3:19-21 This then is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.
Skeptics often have the attitude- just show me a miracle and I will believe. Jesus says, that’s not so.
The Bread of Life will be accepted by many.
V37 Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.
This is one of the strongest statements in the Bible regarding the Sovereignty of God in salvation. Left to our own will, none of us would choose Jesus.
V2 You have given Him authority over all flesh, so He may give eternal life to all You have given Him.
V6 I have revealed Your name, to the men You gave Me from the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me.
V9 I pray for them, I am not praying for the world but for those You have given Me, because they are Yours.
V24 Father, I desire those You have given Me to be with Me where I am. Then they will see My glory, which You have given Me.
God opens the hearts of people, under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, so they will believe in Jesus and accept Him as the Bread of Life.
John Bunyan (of Pilgrim’s Progress fame) wrote a book on John 6:37. “Jesus statement is unconditional. It will happen without exception because it depends on the will of God which He will accomplish.”
So what is in view here is the number of the elect of God. All whom the Father has given will be saved. There have always been differing views on how the elect are determined. They are determined in the counsel of God. Furthermore, the number of the elect is set and unchanging from God’s perspective. Whether one views it more strongly according to the foreknowledge of God, or Divine election, the number does not change.
God is Sovereign. People are responsible. There is no contradiction here.
The Bible teacher Donald Grey Barnhouse (1895–1960) often used an illustration to help people make sense of election. He asked them to imagine a cross like the one on which Jesus died, only so large that it had a door in it. Over the door were these words from Revelation: “Whosoever will may come.” These words represent the free and universal offer of the gospel. By God’s grace, the message of salvation is for everyone. Every man, woman, and child who will come to the cross is invited to believe in Jesus Christ and enter eternal life.
On the other side of the door a happy surprise awaits the one who believes and enters. From the inside, anyone glancing back can see these words from Ephesians written above the door: “Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.” Election is best understood in hindsight, for it is only after coming to Christ that one can know whether one has been chosen in Christ. Those who make a decision for Christ find that God made a decision for them in eternity past.
Jesus says those who come, He will never cast out. Then He says- v38 For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day.
Assurance of Salvation- Salvation comes to us as a gift when we believe. The God who saves us by His grace is the same God who keeps us by His power. Jesus will never cast out those who come to Him.
“Cast out” refers to something that is already in. The next three verses confirm this because He emphasizes He will keep eternally all the Father has given Him.
Jesus came to do the Father’s will. The success of the mission, and the certainty of your salvation, does not depend on you; it depends on the will of God. Jesus will lose nothing but will raise it up on the last day.
“The last day” occurs only in John. Jesus will keep us until we are in Heaven.
Your assurance is not based on your feeble strength to hold on to Jesus, but on His firm grip on you! You say but what about those who turn away? They were never truly saved to begin with.
In the last section, the Jews started complaining among themselves because of what Jesus was saying. Jesus told them to stop it and reaffirms what He had just said. V46 is another strong testimony to the Deity of Jesus.
Do you have the Bread of Life?
Look at v47 I assure you: Anyone who believes has eternal life. V48 I am the bread of life.
Jesus outlines essentially in vv49-59 how He would give Himself sacrificially for sinners. He gave His life as the price of redemption.