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The Most Dangerous Condition


John 8:31-32

I would ask you to look at vs. 31 again. In this verse Jesus speaks to “those Jews who had believed in Him.”

At some point they were convinced that what Jesus said and taught was true; perhaps they had heard Him teach in the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles.

In fact, the Hebrew writer in Heb. 6 starting in vs. 4 expresses just how dangerous this situation is. He says: For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age (miracles) to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.

Speaking to these “Jews who had believed” Jesus says: “If you abide (remain, continue, endure) in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You shall become free’?”

Jesus says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” and these Jews say, “We have never been enslaved to anyone!”

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly (important), I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

35 “And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 36 “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

Do they need what Jesus can do for them?

Look at vs. 37. Jesus concedes their claim to be Abraham’s descendants. But are they doing what Abraham’s descendants should do. Look at what He says:

37 “I know that you are Abraham’s offspring (Abraham was a man of faith; a man who trusted God. But look at what these Jews are doing); yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 “I speak the things which I have seen with My Father (What Jesus says and does reflects who His Father is. And, what they say and do is a reflection of who their real father is also. Look at what He says); therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”

  39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 “But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do (Abraham would never do what they are doing).

41 “You are doing the deeds of your father.”

They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.”

For these Jews or anyone else to get to this point there has to be a powerful spiritual force behind them. And Jesus is going to tell us who it is.  Look starting in vs. 42:

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies. 45 “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 “Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” 

Look at what Jesus says in Matt 12:43-45. This is a pretty good explanation of what is happening I John 8.

“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 “Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.  45 “Then it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” 

To come to Christ, and then to reject Him, is the most dangerous spiritual situation to find oneself in.

Now, look at John 8:48. The Jews are really upset now. Look what they say:

The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

This is true today. This is often the way people respond when you tell them the truth about Christ and their need for Christ.

49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 “But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” 

52 The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he shall never taste of death.’ 53 “Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?”

Now vs. 54:  Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you (that is pretty straight forward isn’t it), but I do know Him, and keep His word. 56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”  57 The Jews therefore said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”  59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus was hidden, and went out of the temple.

So, what does all of this mean to us?

Once you or I reject Christ and deny the truth then who do we  turn to?

Second, if you or I decide to kick Jesus out; if we decide to kick out the truth we can be sure that the devil will slither right into the void and our spiritual state becomes worse than if we had never known the truth at all.

Finally, John wrote this gospel so that “we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing we might have life in His name.”



John 8:12-20

Here in the first 11 verses of John 8 you find the story of the “Woman Caught In Adultery” and the familiar line, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

There is nothing in the story that is un-Christ like, and there nothing in the story that is unlike the behavior of the religious leaders; but apparently the story was added later.

Furthermore, it interrupts the story that began in chapter 7 and continues here in chapter 8:12.

Now, as we look at this passage that was read I want to be careful about being too negative; and yet, this passage is a portrait of what Jesus faced and what we see in many people today. This passage of scripture contains a somewhat lengthy conversation between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders.

Look at vs. 12. Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying,I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” 

What a tremendous message of hope and assurance! But the Jewish rulers don’t like it and they don’t want others to hear it. So look what they do in vs. 13:

The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You are bearing witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.”

So, in vs. 14 Jesus tries to explain why His witness about Himself is legitimate. In vs. 14 He says, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true; for I know where I came from, and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from, or where I am going. 15 “You people judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. 16 “But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and He who sent Me. 17 “Even in your law it has been written, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 “I am He who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.” 

“Where is Your Father?”

Look at vs. 21: He said therefore again to them, “I go away, and you shall seek Me, and shall die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” 

22 Therefore the Jews were saying, “Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?”

Look at vs. 23: And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 “I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.”

Now look at vs. 25: And so they were saying to Him, “Who are You?”

And look at Jesus’ response. They ask, “Who are You?” and Jesus says, “What have I been saying to you from the beginning?

26 “I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.” 

And look at vs. 27 They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father.

When it comes to Christ, when it comes to God; when it comes to salvation and what Jesus commands for salvation; some people are so busy arguing and disputing that they can’t or won’t hear what they are told.

These Jews, these Pharisees already had their mind made up; they had already dug in and even the truth could not budge them.

And I suspect that many of you have encountered someone just like this: you have tried to teach them about Christ; you have tried to teach them what the Lord commands; you have tried to explain to them the plan of salvation and the more you try to tell them the more they counter with “how about this or how about that”; they counter with some hypothetical question; or they just simply refuse to believe.

For example: You may have tried to teach someone about their need to be baptized and one of the more common questions to dispute baptism is: “If a man is headed to be baptized and he is killed in a car wreck, is he lost?”

Often these kinds of questions are asked, not to learn, but to dispute and to reject Christ and what He teaches; and that is what these Jewish leaders do in this passage.

So, vs. 27 says, “They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father.”

Well, look at vs. 28. They may claim not to know that Jesus is speaking of the Father; but they will! Vs. 28:

Jesus therefore said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. 29 “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”

Notice, Jesus says, “When you lift up…”

Unbelief never has enough proof.

So, it is easy to quit trying; just give up; they are not going to listen anyway.

Well, look at vs. 30: As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.

Now, I want to take you back to vs. 12: Jesus says:  “I am the light of the world;

And when He says, “I am the light of the world” that is a metaphor.

And look at the second part of the verse: “…he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness,

 but shall have the light of life.”

Some will argue with that until the cows come home. But remember what Jesus says in vs. 24: Unless you believe in Him; and follow Him; you will die in your sins.

A Dire Warning


John 7:25-36

A present day concept that many people have is “God is a loving and good God therefore; everyone who is also good is going to go to heaven.”

And that is what a lot of people thought here in the passage that was read. Many of them thought they were a good person.

Even the regular citizens considered themselves to be “good people.” They kept the Sabbath; they participated in the required feasts; here in this passage they are spending the week in temporary shelters like they were required to do; and in this passage they are in the temple (we might say they were in church) listening to the teachers (vs. 14); so basically, they considered themselves individually to be a good person; just like most people do today.

But I want you to notice vs. 34. Speaking to these “good people”, to these “religious” people Jesus says, “You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

What is this statement that He said, ‘You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?” 

What does Jesus mean here when He says this? These “good people” wanted to know and it is something we need to know and understand ourselves.

Well, let’s break this passage down to help us understand what Jesus is saying.

So, when He arrives in Jerusalem He goes to the temple and begins teaching (v. 14).

And in vs. 15 the people “marvel” at what He has to say.

Now, look at vs. 25: Therefore some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? 26 “And look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they?

These people don’t know what to think. They are confused. They knew that the Jewish leaders were seeking to kill Jesus and yet, Jesus is speaking publicly and the leaders aren’t saying anything!

So the people ask themselves, “Could it be that the rulers know that this Man is really the Christ?”

But wait a minute! The thought of Jesus being the Christ goes away in a hurry. Look at vs. 27:   “However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.”

That wasn’t true! “No one knows where He is from!?

The truth is, what they say in vs. 27 was simply an excuse for rejecting Jesus.

These people didn’t want to accept Jesus because to accept Jesus meant you had to accept His teachings and His claims.

And this has not changed today. Accepting Jesus, following Jesus requires some sacrifices that many people don’t want to make.

So, to justify their rejection of Jesus they said, “We know where He came from; we know His family; we know His town; therefore He cannot be the Christ!”

Now, look at vs. 28:  Jesus therefore cried out (loud shout) in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.

What Jesus is saying here is, “Yes you know me; and yes you know where I am from; but I am not here on my own accord. I am here because I have been sent and you do not know the One who sent Me!

Listen, to know a few minor details about Jesus; to know a few external things, to know a little bit of His history, and to know a few stories about Him is really to know nothing about Him at all.

Today people wear crosses around their neck and claim to know Jesus and yet they have children by a woman they are not married to; and some of the children don’t have the same mother.

And look at the end of vs. 28. Jesus says, “He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.”

Why don’t people know? Why don’t they know what God is like; what He commands?

So, the people claim to know Jesus and Jesus basically says in vs. 29;  “If you knew Me (like you claim) you would know that God has sent Me.”

They were seeking therefore to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.

31 But many of the multitude believed in Him; and they were saying, “When the Christ shall come, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?”

32 The Pharisees heard the multitude muttering these things about Him; and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him.

So, the Pharisees see the crowd moving in the direction of believing in Jesus and they send “officers”; or temple police to seize Jesus. And now look at vs. 33:

Jesus therefore said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me.

Jesus may have said this to everyone; He may have just said this to the “officers” who were sent to arrest Him; He may have said this to the Pharisees and Jewish leaders; it is hard to know.

And this brings us to vs. 34. Jesus says:

“You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me;

What Jesus is saying is, “Because of your rejection there will come a time when you will seek Me; you will want and need what I can give you and do for you; and you will not fine Me.”

And then He says: “ …and where I am, you cannot come.”

 Why? Because they have rejected Him; because they don’t know Him; and because they don’t know God!

What you have here in vs. 33-34 is a warning:  A warning about the consequences of rejecting Jesus; a warning about the consequences of riding the fence about Jesus; a warning about being indecisive about Jesus.

So, here are some additional truths that are learned from this passage;

Hell is itself truth discovered too late.

Hell is suffering for sin.

Hell is eternal regret without remedy.

Hell is everlasting remorse without hope.

Hell is not where Christ is forgotten. It is where Christ is unavailable.

Good people; even religious people go to hell; faithful people go to heaven.

So, here it is again: Vs. 33  “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 “You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

But, now the rest of the story: Jesus cries out this dire warning; but then He closes with an invitation. Look at vs. 37: Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.'”

What Do You Say About Him?


John 7:14-24

When you study the gospel of John you can’t improve on the subject because every page and virtually every verse is about Jesus!

What did distinguish Jesus from all others was His claims; His claims were astonishing; they were shocking; they were beyond bold!

His claims were beyond comprehension; therefore, the Jewish leaders judged Him to be a deceiver and sought to kill Him; 7:1.

But on the other hand, in spite of all of His claims some simply said that he was a “good man” and nothing more; vs. 12.

So, in an effort to try to get them to believe who He is, in vs. 14 in spite of the danger Jesus arrives in Jerusalem during the “Feast of the Booths” and He goes to the temple and He begins to teach; and no doubt He draws a crowd.

And in vs. 15 the Jews, those who opposed Jesus, were “marveling, saying, “How has this man become so learned, having never been educated?”

So, let’s look at what Jesus says starting vs. 16. They ask, “How has this man become so learned, having never been educated?” Now vs. 16:

Jesus therefore answered them, and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.

Every day in the temple there were a lot of rabbis teaching there; men who studied at the feet of the most prominent rabbis.

But that is not what Jesus did. He didn’t quote other rabbis.

So, how do you discredit Him? They couldn’t attack His teaching!

But regardless of their attacks on His character, His hometown, or His education, they couldn’t discredit HIs teaching because His teaching was not His, it was from God!

Now, look at vs. 17. Look what He says:  If any man is willing to do His (God’s) will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself.

Do you see why the Jews would not accept the teachings of Jesus; why they refused to accept Him?

If any man is willing to do His (God’s) will….

Today people might be willing to do part of it His will: the part they like; the part that allows them to do what they want; but to “willing do God’s will…?”

Let me ask you, how does anyone know the “will of God?”

Today, there are several teachings on what it takes to be saved; some say they are saved by doing good works; some say by paying penance; some say by saying a prayer; others say by taking communion; and some say that you must be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins.

And that is why the Jews, and why people today do not believe the claims of Jesus; that is why people refuse to come to Jesus, because they are not “willing to do God’s will.”

Now, look at vs. 18.

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

False teachers, charlatans, frauds, fakes, hypocrites, phony messiahs are all in it for personal gain; they do it for money; for power; for prominence.

The reason these Jewish leaders refused to accept Jesus’ claims, the reason why people today refuse to put their faith in Jesus is because they are not seeking the glory of God. They are seeking their own glory; the glory of one another; they are more interested in the praise of men than the praise of God!

Jesus only sought the glory of God.

Now look at vs. 19. Jesus says,  “Did not Moses give you the Law…

…and yet none of you (none of you, none of you) carries out the Law?

If you do then “Why do you seek to kill Me?” (they were so self-righteous)

The Law of Moses was never intended to save anyone; it was intended to condemn and drive sinners to an overwhelming fear of divine judgment that would cause them to repent, and cry out to God for mercy and grace.

Jesus is the only hope that these Jews had; and He is the only hope that we have; and what did they want to do? Kill Him.

And now look at vs. 21. Jesus says, “I did one deed, and you all marvel.

But the Jews, those in opposition to Christ, they couldn’t see the good in what Jesus did; they couldn’t be happy for the man who was healed because Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath.

Now look at vs. 22:  “On this account Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man.

23 “If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath that the Law of Moses may not be broken,

Since that is true, look at what Jesus says next:  Are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath?

Vs. 24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

I am afraid that I often do that too.

So, the Jews said He was a deceiver; others said He was simply a “good man.” His brothers didn’t believe in Him.

If you sincerely believe that He is the Son of God, the Messiah, if you are willing to do what God wants you to do and be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of you sins…come.

Resurrection Sunday


John 20:1-10

Today has been declared by the Christian world to be Easter or Resurrection Sunday or the Paschal.

You may already know this but the date for Easter is determined every year by a complex set of calculations that take into account the lunar cycle, the date of the Jewish Passover, the Jewish ancient calendar, the Gregorian Calendar, the Julian Calendar, and the vernal equinox or the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator marking the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Now, I may be wrong, but I believe that those who determine through their complex calculations what day of the year Easter or Resurrection Sunday is to be celebrated, that they have completely missed the point.

What took place on the original Resurrection Sunday is without a doubt the most amazing, the most incredible, astonishing event to ever take place in human history; especially in the history of human redemption.

The original Resurrection Sunday is not just a feature of Christianity, it is the main event!

The resurrection of Christ is the main event! When God raised Jesus from the dead He simultaneously secured our resurrection to an eternal glory.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

And it is important that we believe this. Remember what the apostle Paul said in Romans 10:9-10?

Paul said, “If you confess Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Look at this found in 1 Cor. 15 starting in vs. 1. The apostle Paul says: Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel (good news) which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand (abide; your foundation, don’t move off of it) , 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

But God doesn’t want us to do that. God intends for us to stand solidly on the resurrection of Jesus and that is why we do not assemble on Friday, the day He was placed in the tomb,  or on Saturday, the day the tomb was sealed, but on Sunday, the first day of the week, the day of His resurrection; Rev. 1:9 John calls it “the Lord’s Day.”

So we assemble on Sunday to celebrate His resurrection: we talk about it; we sing about it; but what is interesting is no on saw it!

But it’s not something that needed to be seen.

There is no doubt that, in spite of the best efforts of the Jewish leaders, and the Pharisees, and the Roman governor to keep Jesus in the tomb (Matt. 27:62-66)…

Now, as I mentioned before,  all 4 gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record the actual history of the resurrection, but none of them try to explain the physiology of it; or the pathology of it.

What we do know is it happened; it was a supernatural miracle like all the other miracles that our Lord performed.

The main event is not trying to figure out the date to celebrate His resurrection from all of these complicated calculations.

But then there is another reason why God raised Jesus from the dead. Look at this found in Acts 17.

Now, look at vs. 30. In vs. 30 the apostle Paul calls these individual to repent; to repent of their ignorant, pagan ways.

The resurrection of Jesus calls, pleads for everyone, including those who are “very religious” to repent; to turn away from their ignorance, their worship of false gods, to turn away from their lives of disobedience and sin and seek after God.

Every Sunday, every first day of the week is a reminder of the original Resurrection Sunday.

Feast of Booths


John 7:1-9

Starting here in John 7 the hostility of the Jews toward Jesus steadily grows. In fact, in vs. 1 John tells us that the Jews were seeking to kill Him and this hostility will eventually lead to Jesus being crucified.

But this may seem a little strange but what I would like to do this morning is focus on vs. 2 and the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of the Ingathering.

The Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles is a pilgrimage feast meaning it was required of Jewish males living within a certain distance to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast.

Did you pick up on that: Jesus has brothers!

The Feast of Booths is a fall festival intended to honor God and for celebrating the final harvest of the year; it was celebrated in the 7th month starting on the 15th day of the Jewish calendar or for us it would be about mid -September.

Not only was it a celebration of the final harvest of the year but it also commemorated the 40 years that the Jews wandered in the wilderness after the Exodus.

Lev 23:39-44 ‘’On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day.

40’Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.

Now, vs. 41: ‘You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42’You shall live in booths (tabernacles, tents, temporary shelters)  for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43 so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’ ” 

So, the Feast of Booths was to celebrate God’s blessing them with a good harvest, but it was also a reminder that God had the people live in “booths when God brought them out of Egypt.”

Now, why did God have them “live in booths when He brought them out from the land of Egypt?”

When God brought His people out of Egypt it should not have taken anywhere close to 40 years for them to get to the “promised land.”

These people had been living in Egypt for over 400 years and they had been influenced by the Egyptian culture; perhaps picked up on some Egyptian ideas and practices.

So God, through Moses had a lot to convey to the people.

So, for over a year God, through Moses, taught and prepared these people and finally, on the 20th day of the 2nd month (Num. 10:11) and the 2nd year after they left Egypt they broke camp and set out for Canaan.

And after a period of about 50 days they reached the wilderness of Paran and God instructed Moses to send spies into the land of Canaan to see what it was like.

And that is how the Feast of Booths came to be. The people were to live in booths, small tabernacles, small rudimentary shelters perhaps made of tree branches (Lev. 23), as they wandered in the wilderness.

Now why would God require them to remember those 38 years? Why would He require them to remember all those days and weeks and years of wandering in the wilderness?

First of all, I think God wants them to remember the fact that we bring so much unnecessary hardships, problems, and turmoil into our lives through our simple unwillingness to trust and obey the LORD.

How much grief, and pain, and turmoil do people, perhaps even some of us, bring into our lives because we refuse to trust in and obey the Lord?

And the grief and pain and turmoil often lasts and lasts for years and years.

And for those who were younger than 20 years old, and even the few that were faithful to the Lord (Joshua and Caleb and their families) for 40 they still suffered the consequences of those who refused to trust God before God finally led them into the Promised Land; Numbers 14:26-35.

And the tragedy is they were so close to the Promised land!

And that is what God wanted these people to remember when they celebrated the Feast of Booths.

And there is another reason why God wanted them to commemorate the Feast of Booths and that was even in their unbelief, God remained faithful.

Look at what the apostle Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:13: If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.

God doesn’t just act faithful; He is faithful; even when we aren’t.

God will keep His promise! His word is trustworthy! If He says that your unforgiven sins will condemn you to die eternally…you know the will.

But like these people, if we refuse to trust in God then we too will eventually die in the wilderness.

The tragedy is, we don’t have to.

You need to add a widget, row, or prebuilt layout before you’ll see anything here. 🙂

True Bread

John 6:30-33

I would like to do a little survey to begin. In our culture and society bread is considered to be a staple. At almost every meal bread is offered.

Now, you are probably wondering what this has to do with our lesson this morning. Well, perhaps more than you might realize.

Here in John 6 Jesus has performed this massive miracle of feeding the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.

So, Jesus left the crowd behind because He will not obligate Himself to man on man’s terms.

So, He leaves the crowd behind and in the middle of the night and He walks across the sea of Galilee, and gets in the boat with His disciples.

When the crowd that Jesus has fed with the loaves and fish realize that Jesus has left they make their way back to Capernaum and they, along with some of the Jews who opposed Jesus (vs. 57), find Him in the synagogue (vs. 59).

And the people come to Him and say, “Rabbi, not Messiah, not Lord, but Rabbi, when did you get here?” (They didn’t learn anything from the miracles)

And in vs. 27 Jesus tells them to “Don’t work or strive for food that perishes.”

So Jesus says in the second half of verse 27: “Work or strive for the food which endures to eternal life.”

There are several examples in the scriptures where kings held great feasts or banquets and yet no one found salvation because they got their bellies full.

So at the end of vs. 27 Jesus tells them where they can get “this food that endures to eternal life.” Jesus says that He is the One who gives the food that endures to eternal life, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal.”

Yes, Jesus could fix them some breakfast; He could feed them again and again and satisfy their hunger; but He has so much more to give; something so much more important to give but they weren’t interested.

Now, look at vs. 28. Jesus has told them to “work for the food which endures to eternal life” and they ask, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

These people were Jews and when they are told to “work for the food that endures to eternal life” they have grown up with the idea of “justification by works” all of their life and so they want to know, “What works can we do to gain salvation?”

And that is what so many people today believe. They believe they can do enough of the right things that they can save themselves.

But look at vs. 29: Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

You cannot get eternal life from anyone else or in any other thing.  

Now, Jesus has said in vs. 27 that He is the One who gives the food for eternal life.

They said therefore to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?

  “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.'”

What they are expecting is a sign greater than Moses! If Jesus is really the Messiah, the Son of God as He claims, if He can give “eternal life” which is possibly the greatest miracle because it involves forgiving sin, He should be able to do something greater than Moses did!

Now, here is where the bread comparison comes in.

Now, look at Jesus’ response in vs. 32: Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven…

And notice the second thing that Jesus says here in the second part of this verse. He says that, “the bread the Jews were given by God in the wilderness was not “the true bread of heaven.”

For instance, the manna that God provided for them in the wilderness didn’t last.

In comparison the “true bread out of heaven” lasts forever! Remember what Jesus said in vs. 27: it endures to eternal life!

And the manna that the Jews received in the wilderness didn’t satisfy their hunger.

What about the “true bread out of heaven?” Look at vs. 35: “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

And the people in the wilderness who ate “the bread out of heaven”; they all died; vs. 49.  It couldn’t save them.

But the true bread out of heaven? Look at vs. 33: For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

But only to those who eat of it; and truthfully it is not “it”; it is Him. Look at vs. 35:

John 6:35  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

So now, what is your favorite bread?

Bread is a staple in our daily diet, will you make Him a staple in your daily diet and obtain eternal life?

You need to add a widget, row, or prebuilt layout before you’ll see anything here. 🙂

True Or False


John 6:22-27

Every one of us has at some time taken a “true or false test.” Is that true or false?

First question: The letter H is between the letters G and J on a keyboard? True

I stuck this last question in because most people think He is or at least they treat Him like He is a genie in the bottle.  And let me tell you why.

Remember why John wrote this gospel? John 20:30-31:  Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

But, that is not the way most people feel about the miracles. For most people the miracles draw them to Christ, but for all the wrong reasons.

In vs. 22 it says that “the next day”, that is the day after Jesus fed 20 to 25 thousand people who had followed Him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

John tells us. They are still there because “there was no other small boat there, except one. And Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone.”

 If you remember, and you can read about it in the first 15 verses of this chapter, but Jesus had performed this massive miracle and fed everyone, and then He told His disciples to “get in the boat and go” and they did because that is what disciples do. They obey Christ.

And the crowd knows that Jesus didn’t leave with His disciples.

But they wake up the next morning after the miracle the night before and Jesus is not there!

So, why are there more people there?

Now, look at vs. 24:  When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

 Vs. 25:  And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?”

So, they ask this question and Jesus never answers it. He ignores it.

So, they ask Jesus, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” and instead of answering their question Jesus gets right to the point. Look at vs. 26:

 John 6:26  Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, (Here is the truth! Jesus is making a critical statement here) I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs (not because you saw the miraculous feeding and healing that took place and those things have convinced you that I am the Son of God. You are not here because you followed the signs that pointed to Me as Savior and Messiah and Lord).

You are here; vs. 26:  because you ate of the loaves, and were filled.

Out of all of these people apparently no one learned what the miracles were intended to teach them; that He is the Son of God and that by believing you can have life in His name.

I am sure that most of you have experienced this. And I don’t mean to be negative or critical about people. We often try to help people with the hope that they will come to know Christ but unfortunately the help we try to give them is not what they want.

I can’t tell you the number of times that someone has come to the office during the week and they want help; they need gas or food or help with their rent; or they need some place to stay.

But we know that they will probably never come to our services? Once in a great while you will have someone who will come once or twice. But it is rare for someone to consistently attend.

We have conducted a food pantry, a clothing room, and given money to Helping Hands and as far as I know we have not garnered anyone from those efforts.

I am not against youth groups, or clothing rooms, or food pantries, or Bible camps, or other acts of fellowship and evangelism.

Here in this passage this huge crowd of people didn’t come to Christ for the right reason. They came just to have their needs satisfied.

And one thing we need to realize about this passage. Jesus knew what was really in their hearts and minds.

So, Jesus knows what is in their hearts and minds; the only reason they are seeking Him is because they “ate the loaves, and were filled.”

Now, look at vs. 27:  “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal.”

 Now, don’t misunderstand. Jesus is not saying here that we shouldn’t “work for our food.”

But just as Jesus has said, “If a man will not work, let him not work” Jesus also said, “That man shall not live by bread alone” and that is Jesus’ point here.

Now, look at vs. 27 again:  “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life…

 Well, look at the rest of the verse: Which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal.”

 And this isn’t a hollow declaration. This isn’t a false claim. God has “set His seal” or authenticated Jesus as the source of this food that endures to eternal life.

And if you look at vs. 35 Jesus tells you what that food is;  vs. 35 Jesus says, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

But, if you don’t have Christ you have no hope and that is what these people were doing; they were ignoring who Christ was and the eternal salvation that was in Him, all for a few fish and crackers.

So, let me give you one more true or false question: True or False: Jesus is Lord and not you or I.

These people in John 6 thought they were Lords. They wanted Jesus to do what they; wanted and they were willing to settle for physical food.

Heads Up

Heads Up

John 6:16-21

When someone gives you a “heads up”, what are they doing?

When we were baptized, according to Acts 2:38, our sins were forgiven.

But, in John 6 and Mark 6 and Matthew 14 Jesus gives us a “heads up” when it comes to being a disciple which may cause some to think twice before following Christ.

If you remember from last week Jesus has just performed a massive miracle when He fed a huge crowd from 5 loaves and 2 fish.

But the reality is Jesus comes to no man on man’s terms.

So, Jesus withdrew to the mountain away from this crowd that wants to force Him to be king.

 Now, in Matthew’s and Mark’s account of this they both say that Jesus “made” His disciples get in the boat!

Apparently there were some things that Jesus wanted His disciples to learn about being a disciple.

Listen, up to this point Jesus’ disciples have not personally experienced much in the way of difficulties; they have experienced some hardships while traveling with Jesus; some sore feet from walking; and in Matthew 10 when Jesus sent them out “to preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand” He warned them that they would be rejected, and be hated, and perhaps even be persecuted.

But, telling is much different than showing.

And they do. They get in the boat! And that is what Jesus wants us to learn: disciples obey even when they don’t fully understand.

Jesus “makes His disciples” get in the boat, it is dark, and “the sea began to be stirred because a strong wind was blowing.”

Look at vs. 19: When therefore they had rowed about 3 or 4 miles…

 47 And when it was evening, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and He (Jesus) was alone on the land. 48 And seeing them straining (tormenting; painfully struggling) at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them,

Being a disciple of Christ, obeying Christ can lead us into some pretty scary circumstances; seemingly overwhelming circumstances, some discouraging circumstances all because you are doing what the Lord told you to do.

There will always be “waves” to toss us; and batter us; and threaten us. (Doctrine; fads; opinions).

For these disciples it was a struggle and it will be for us too.

So, the disciples are out on the sea, they are straining against the wind and the waves and in Mark 6:48 Mark tells us that “Jesus could see them straining at the oars.”

Look at this in Psalm 33:18. The writer says the “Lord’s eyes are on those who fear Him and whose hope is in His unfailing love.”

And look at vs. 19 again in John 6. Jesus sees them struggling and look what He does.

When therefore they had rowed about three or four miles, they beheld Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened.

And the same is true for you and I.

Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20:  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. “

In Hebrews 13:5 the Lord said: “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

So Jesus sees them struggling; and He comes to them; and notice how He comes: Walking on the sea!

Do you remember what Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 right before He sent these same disciples out in what we call the “Great Commission?”

And the first thing you and I need to recognize as a disciple is when we find ourselves in a difficult situation because we are obeying what Christ has commanded is Who has dominion; Who is Sovereign over the circumstances that we are facing.

And then we must do what they did. Jesus walks on the sea; He draws near to the boat; they are frightened (Mark says they thought He was a ghost) and they cried out; and in vs. 20 He speaks to them and says, “It is I; do not be afraid.”

 I don’t know if it is pride or stubbornness or something else but far too often we face a difficult situation and we fail to let Jesus come into the boat. (Marriage; parenting; job; life)

And look at the end of vs. 21. They receive Jesus into the boat; and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

Now, John leaves out one of the most interesting parts of this story. In Matthew’s account found in chapter 14 starting in vs. 25 Matthew says:

25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were frightened, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  32 And when they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”

The Hebrew writer says in Heb 10:35:  Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

So, these are all things we learn in disciple school.

Feeding of the Five Thousand


John 6:1-14

The verses that were read are commonly referred to as the “Feeding of the Five Thousand” and this is one of the most familiar stories in the Bible.

Well it is. This is another sermon on the feeding of the 5000. But this story is important for several reasons.

And this miracle that Jesus performs is massive because of the sheer number of people who were participants of this miracle.

This miracle has never been denied until more modern times when critics have decided that it really wasn’t a miracle at all. They say that what happened is a little boy gave up his lunch and said, “Wow, let’s all share.” And so everybody reached into their knapsacks and pulled out whatever they had and you had this great experience of sharing. (Mark 6:38)

All four gospel writers use this miracle of feeding of the 5 thousand to show and prove that Jesus is who He claimed to be.

Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

So this is a very familiar story; it is a massive miracle; it is an undeniable miracle; it is a very important story because is proves who Jesus is;

Now, in vs. 1, Jesus is no longer in Jerusalem like He was in chapter 5. He is now in Galilee and in this story He has gone to the “other side of the Sea of Galilee.”

One, He is very much aware that the Jewish leaders back in Jerusalem want to kill Him; He is also aware that John the Baptist has been executed (Matthew 14:13) so to avoid an untimely death He leaves Jerusalem and comes to Galilee.

And when they get there vs. 3 tells us that Jesus went up on the mountain and there sat with His disciples.”

 And John says in vs. 4 that “the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.”

But, then in vs. 2, we are told that Jesus was being followed by a great multitude.

Notice in vs. 2 why these people are following Jesus: because they were seeing the signs which He was performing on those who were sick.

So, if someone came along who could heal all their diseases; and then feed them too…

So, that is what these people do.

Now, look at vs. 5:   Jesus therefore lifting up His eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?”

  6 And this He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.

 Look at vs. 8:  One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?”

So, in vs. 10 Jesus tells His disciples to have the people sit down. (In Matthew, Mark and Luke’s accounts the disciples wanted to send the people away.)

Then In vs. 11 Jesus takes the loaves and fish, gives thanks for them, then He distributed the fish and loaves to those who were seated; and they all had as much as they wanted.

And crackers that were never baked; 5 crackers in which the grain had never been crushed.

And in vs. 12, when the people were filled, Jesus told the disciples to “Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost.”

This is a stunning miracle! How in the world could any of these people possibly exhibit any lack of faith in Jesus? He had healed their sick; He had fed them all; this was a massive miracle!

In fact, look at vs. 14: When therefore the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is of a truth  the Son of God, the Savior of the world.”

 No, they said, “This is of a truth God in human form; teach us and we will obey!”

 Look at what it says: When therefore the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is of a truth the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

And look at vs. 15: Jesus therefore perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force, to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.

Here in this story Jesus demonstrates His power to show that He is deity hoping these people would listen to and obey His word; but it seems that no one did?

Perhaps years later when some of these people saw this man who had fed them from 5 loaves and 2 fishes being crucified and then 3 days later be raised from the dead; maybe then they realized who He really is. I hope so. But it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t.