This is the sermon for Wednesday March 12th, 2008.
JOHN PART 25
Results of partaking in the bread of life.
Jesus is talking about eating, or partaking of Him as the bread of life. In this teaching, we are going to be looking at some results found in this passage.
There is a statement that says, “you are what you eat”. Looking at me, I’m sure you can see that this statement is a reality. You can probably tell I’m not much of a fruit and vegetable eater. In fact, I love meat, Ice cream, chips, basically anything that is not good for you. Unfortunately, I’ve worked hard to look like this. And if I want to get healthy, I’ve got to work hard to lose all this…eating right, exercise, the works.
So far in Chapter 6 of John, Jesus has revealed Himself as the bread of life, the true bread of God that has come down from heaven. He revealed this first off in the multiplication of the bread and the fish. People were fine with that. In fact, they wanted to make Him King because of this sign. But now Jesus begins to reveal in word who He is, and these Jewish followers of his are having a difficult time with this.
I wonder, before you came to Christ, did you have a hard time with the claims of Jesus Christ? When coming to Christ, what made the difference? Well according to John 6:44 the difference is made by the Father drawing you to Jesus.
Tonight, we are going to look at the results of partaking in Christ found in our passage of study.
1. The first result – we have life in ourselves which is God’s life living in us here and now.
John 6:52-53 TNIV – 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
A. Earlier in this chapter, the Jews were arguing about how Jesus could be the bread that came down from heaven.
After all, they knew Jesus’ parents and family, so how could He come down from heaven.
B. Then the argument changes to another one – How can this man give us His flesh to eat?
Throughout the book of John, Jesus uses a lot of metaphoric language to explain spiritual realities. Examples are: Nicodemus (3:4); The Samaritan Woman (4:11); This Jewish crowd; The disciples (11:11). All of these metaphors pointed to the realities of who Jesus is, and the work that God has sent Him to accomplish. The crowd of followers weren’t seeing the spiritual aspect of what Jesus was saying, so His sayings are really throwing them for a loop. I mean think about it, is Jesus asking them to become cannibals, to literally eat His flesh and drink His blood? Of course not, but you could see with their carnal way of thinking how this could really throw them off.
C. What I feel that Jesus means by eating His flesh is He is pointing to the reality of His death.
No one could receive His life until the giver of life – Jesus – died by the tearing of His body (flesh) and the giving of His blood. Jesus is using this language of eating and drinking here to illustrate the intimacy of the union between Christ and His followers. It is in this union, this eating and drinking, this partaking, this consuming that Christ imparts new life to us. Now the Greek Grammar is rather interesting here. It is Aorist Active Subjunctive, which means in Greek this is a present active participle. This basically means that this eating and drinking is describing a beginning act, and is followed by a continuing act. So what the Greek is saying is this partaking of Christ is not a one time thing. It begins at being born-again, but it continues in the life of the believer. This is why it is so critical to move people beyond just saying a “sinner’s prayer,” but moving them into actively following after Christ Jesus. I will go a step further – those who have said some type of sinner’s prayer but have not continued on in Christ I don’t feel are truly saved.
D. Let’s look for a few moments at the life that Jesus gives to those who partake of Him.
The Greek word doesn’t refer to ordinary life. The word is “ZOE.” It means, “The state of one who is possessed of vitality or is inanimate; The absolute fullness of life; Life both essential and ethical; a life which belongs and comes from God alone.” So this is not a life that we automatically possess. It comes from only one source – Jesus Christ.
2. The second result – conquering death and being resurrected.
John 6:54 TNIV – Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
A. According to the Free Written Commentary, eating His flesh and drinking His blood was a Jewish metaphorical phrase describing the whole person.
In other words, consuming Jesus totally – receiving all of Him and what His sacrifice represented completely.
B. While it is appointed for everyone to die, death will not have the final victory for the Christ-follower.
We will be resurrected by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself on the last day.
3. The third result – companionship and fellowship with Jesus Christ Himself.
John 6:55-56 TNIV – 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.
A. What does Jesus mean in v. 55?
While the importance of earthly food is only temporary, the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ is real, everlasting value. His sacrifice is true food for the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.
B. Jesus goes in v. 56 talking about whoever partakes of Him remains in Him.
In the life application commentary, here is their commentary notes concerning this verse, “This is the first mention in John’s Gospel of mutual indwelling (that is, a simultaneous indwelling of two persons in each other, also known as coinherence. When we receive Jesus, we remain in Him and He remains in us.” Nothing could be more real and intimate than what this verse describes. It is talking about a pure, constant companionship with Jesus Christ. What a privilege we believers have. A constant fellowship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
4. The fourth result – the life we now live is because of Christ.
John 6:57 TNIV – Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
A. The earthly life that Jesus lived was because of the Father.
The Father sent Him and Jesus lives through Him. Which means that the purpose and meaning of His life is established and governed by the Father.
B. It is the same with us.
When we partake, eat, or consume Jesus and become His follower, we live our earthly lives through Him and because of Him. Which means that our purpose and meaning for this life is established, governed, and protected by the one who called us – Jesus Christ Himself.
5. The fifth result – this life does not come from earth, but from heaven.
John 6:58 TNIV – This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.
A. The bread (manna) that these Jews ancestors ate didn’t save them spiritually.
It was only a temporary thing, while they were in the wilderness. And though they ate this bread that fell each morning, they all died.
B. Jesus, being the living bread, brings eternal life to those who consume Him, partake of Him, believe and receive Him as their life.
This verse is basically summarizing all Jesus said earlier in this passage. He is the bread that came down from heaven. And if life comes from Him, then our ZOE life comes from heaven and is not of this earth.
• Know this, as a Christ-follower, this life we receive and now live, doesn’t come from this earth, but from Jesus Christ Himself.
• This life doesn’t come only one time, but it is continuous, and we are expected to walk in it daily.
• Because of this life, we have constant companionship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
• Rejoice that you can approach the Father through Jesus Christ anytime, day or night and this fellowship never ceases.