StudytheWord: (Introduction) JOB by Donald Smith

 

JOB

by

Donald Smith

 

Introduction

Human wisdom is inadequate to answer the inscrutable ways of God. This is especially true when pondering why people suffer. Some people reason that God is not all–good or He is not all–powerful. More problematic is finding a satisfactory explanation of why the righteous suffer. This pursuit for an answer is not just theological curiosity but theological practicality, especially when unexplainable hardship, disease, and adversity enter our lives or the lives of those we know and love. Equally disturbing is wondering why pain and heartache happen to good people, while it appears to escape the wicked.

This predicament is not without historical parallel. A man of ancient origin was unrivaled in piety and prosperity. He was a just man living by faith; yet one day his life was unexplainably, dramatically, and instantaneously devastated. He lost virtually everything he valued. He clung to his faith through pain, suffering, and doubt, but not without understandable tension and testing. He reasoned, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away: Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21)

Here was a man without an adequate explanation for his dilemma, but he did have an adequate view of God. His view of God comforted him when other people could not. He was resigned to live by faith in the goodness of God. “Shall we accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10). His three friends, the so–called “grief counselors,” only added to his consternation. They suggested the reason for his suffering could not be found in God, but in Job himself. He must have done some terrible thing, committed some horrible secret sin, or was self–deceived to think he was righteous in the eyes of God on the basis of faith. Heaven seemed silent as he scraped his wounds and bargained with God.

It was only when God spoke from a whirlwind that this man became silent. What can a man say to the One who spoke all things into existence and sustains them by His will? Who could challenge and question this God when He descended from heaven? He did not come to give explanations. He came to affirm His goodness and sovereign rule over all things, including human suffering.

For those seeking to know more about the “God of the Whirlwind,” join me for this study through Job. We will discover the greatness of God as well as our own frailty. We will find that there is a Mediator to plead our case with God. We will examine God’s immensity as well as immediacy. We shall be delighted to find Him seated on the throne. We shall be challenged to re–affirm in our own lives that “the just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17).

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAYintheWORD: "Matthew 4" -David Guzik

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Matthew 4 -

The Temptation of Jesus and His First Galilean Ministry

a. Jesus’ temptation.

1. (1-2) Jesus is led to the place of temptation.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.

a. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted: After identifying with sinners in His baptism, Jesus now identifies with them in severe temptation. This was a necessary part of His ministry, so He truly was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness.

i. Jesus did not need to be tempted to help Him "grow." Instead, He endured temptation both so He could identify with us (Hebrews 2:184:15), and to demonstrate His own holy, sinless character.

ii. The Holy Spirit cannot tempt us (James 1:13). But we may be led by the Holy Spirit to a place where we will be tempted. This is not to prove anything to God (who knows all things), but to prove something to us and to spiritual beings who watch us.

b. Tempted by the devil: Temptation is a certainty for everyone. Yet Jesus’ temptation was more severe. It was more severe because He was tempted directly by the devil himself, while we contend mainly with lesser demons. It was also more severe because there is a sense in which temptation is "relieved" by giving in, and Jesus never did. Therefore He bore levels of temptation we will never know by experience.

c. He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry: Matthew points out both the barren desert (the Judean wilderness was, and is, just that), and Jesus’ severe physical condition after such a long fast. It is said that when hunger pains return after such a fast (He was hungry), it indicates the subject is beginning to starve to death.

d. The period of forty days and forty nights is a familiar period of testing in the Bible, both in the days of Noah and for Israel in the wilderness. Jesus will succeed where Israel as a nation failed.

2. (3-4) The first temptation: an appeal to the lust of the flesh.

Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’"

a. When the tempter came: Notice that Matthew writes whenthe tempter came. In our lives, it is not a question of if the tempter will come, but when he will come. We will face temptation until we go to glory.

b. If You are the Son of God: The question asked by Satan is more literally "since You are the Son of God," instead of "ifYou are the Son of God." Satan is not questioning Jesus’ deity, he is challenging Him to prove it through miraculous works.

c. Command that these stones become bread: This is a temptation to use God’s gifts for selfish purposes. Satan wants Jesus to use His miraculous powers to provide food for Himself.

i. Who could fault Jesus for providing food? This wasn’t a temptation to miraculously create great riches or luxuries, only bread. The Bible has many accounts of miraculous provision, some at the hands of Jesus. Yet Jesus will notcommand that these stones become bread, especially at the instigation of Satan.

d. But He answered: Jesus didn’t silently disagree with Satan,He answered him - and He answered him from the Word of God. When Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3, Jesus shows thatevery word that proceeds from the mouth of God should be more precious to us that food itself.

i. What Satan suggested made sense - "Why starve yourself to death?" But what is written makes even more sense.

e. By relying on the power and truth of God’s Word, Jesus was willing to fight this battle as a man; He could have easily rebuked Satan into another galaxy, but resisted Him in a way that we can imitate and identify with.

i. Jesus used Scripture to battle Satan’s temptation, not some elaborate spiritual power inaccessible to us. Jesus fought this battle as a man in this battle, and He drew on no "special resources" unavailable to us.

ii. We effectively resist temptation in the same way Jesus did: by countering Satan’s seductive lies by shining the light of God’s truth upon them. If we are ignorant of God’s truth, we are poorly armed in the fight against temptation.

3. (5-7) The second temptation: an appeal to the pride of life.

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’" Jesus said to him, "It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’"

a. If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down: Satan is tempting Jesus to "force" the Father into a supernatural event. Satan appeals to the desire within every man to sense approval from God and to have that approval publicly demonstrated.

i. Set Him on the pinnacle of the temple: The pinnacle of the temple arose some 200 feet from the floor of the Kidron Valley. A leap from there, and the appearance of the promised angelic protection, would be quite a show!

ii. Jesus just had this kind of spectacular demonstration at His baptism (Matthew 3:17). But that must have seemed far away after forty days and nights of fasting in the wilderness.

b. For it is written: The devil can use this phrase also. He quotes Scripture, and we can trust that the devil has memorized the Bible himself, and is an expert at quoting it out of its context to confuse and defeat those he tempts. This time, the devil quoted Psalm 91:11-12, and took it out of its context to say, "Go ahead, Jesus; if You do this the Bible promises angels will rescue You, and it will be spectacular self-promotion."

i. Sadly, many are willing to believe anyone who quotes from the Bible today. A preacher can pretty much say whatever he wants if he quotes a few "proof-texts," and people will assume that he really speaks from the Bible.

ii. Jesus understood from His knowledge of the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) that Satan was "twisting" this passage from Psalm 91. Jesus knew how to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

c. It is written again, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God." Jesus replied with Scripture, but applied correctly. He knew that "forcing" or manipulating God the Father into such a demonstration would tempt God, which the Scriptures strictly forbid.

i. This warns us against demanding something "spectacular" from God to "prove" His love or concern for us. He has already given the ultimate demonstration of His love for us at the cross (Romans 5:8), and He can do nothing more "spectacular" than that.

4. (8-11) The third temptation: an appeal to the lust of the eyes.

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’" Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

a. All these things I will give You: Essentially, this vision invited Jesus to take a shortcut around the cross. Jesus came to win all the kingdoms of the world and their glory back from Satan’s domain, and Satan offers them to Jesus, if He will onlyfall down and worship him.

i. It again may seem a small thing; Jesus could lay claim toall the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and do so without enduring the cross. All He would have to do is give Satan what he has been longing for ever since he fell from glorious to profane: worship and recognition from God Himself.

ii. This is a revealing insight into Satan’s heart; worship and recognition are far more precious to him than the possession of the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He is still the one who said I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. (Isaiah 14:13-14)

b. Evidently, Satan has authority over this world and its governments. The temptation could not have been real unless there is some real sense that Satan does "possess" all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

i. Adam and his descendants gave the devil this authority. God gave Adam the earth as a stewardship (Genesis 1:28-30), and Adam willingly turned it over to Satan. After that, all Adam’s descendants cast their vote of approval by their personal sin.

ii. Of course, ultimately, all things belong to God; but God allows Satan to function as the god of this age(2 Corinthians 4:4) for a purpose. This is why the fallen world is in the mess it is.

c. Away with you, Satan! For it is written: Jesus replied with Scripture again, and commanded the devil to leave. In the same way we can resist the devil and he will flee from you(James 4:7). It worked for Jesus (Then the devil left Him) and it will work for us.

d. Behold, angels came and ministered to Him: God never forsakes those who endure through temptation. Even as angels came and ministered to Jesus, God will find a way to minister to us and meet our needs as we endure temptation.

e. Then the devil left Him means that Jesus won. He won because He recognized Satan’s mode of attack: lies and deception. Primarily, Satan is a deceiver, and for those who live in light of the cross, deception is his only tool, because demonic powers were disarmed at the cross of their "real" weapons and power (Colossians 2:15). But deception is extremely effective at leading us into sin, and at causing us to live lives of fear and unbelief.

i. Jesus showed the only effective counter to deception: God’s truth, not man’s wisdom. First, we must see temptation for what it is - a lie. Then, we must combat temptation with the word of God. Then, we must always build ourselves up in the truth, and have it in our heart.

ii. Each passage Jesus quoted back to Satan in this section comes from Deuteronomy chapters 6 and 8. Jesus was probably meditating on those very passages, and He fought Satan with the "fresh bread" He fed on. We should make sure we always have some "fresh bread" to answer Satan with.

b. The first Galilean ministry.

1. (12-16) In fulfillment of prophecy, Jesus brings light to the region of Galilee.

Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned."

a. He departed to Galilee: The region of Galilee was a fertile, progressive, highly populated region. According to figures from the Jewish historian Josephus, there were some 3 million people populating Galilee, an area smaller than the state of Connecticut.

i. In an area of about 60 by 30 miles, Josephus says that there were some 204 villages with none having less than 15,000 people. That gives a population of more than 3 million for the region.

ii. Galilee was predominately Gentile in its population, but with a large number of Jewish cities and citizens. Also, Galilee was known as an incredibly fertile region. Many successful farms took advantage of the good soil.

b. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet: As is his custom, Matthew sees Jesus’ ministry in Galilee as a fulfillment of prophecy. Light has come to this region, largely populated by Gentiles, and Isaiah 9:1-2 predicted this of the ministry of the Messiah.

2. (17) Jesus’ message: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

a. Repent: The gospel Jesus preached began the same place that the gospel John preached began - with a call to repentance(Matthew 3:2). In fact, since Jesus waited until John had been put in prison (Matthew 4:12), He probably saw Himself as picking up where John left off. But Jesus would go further than John ever did, because John announced the coming of the Messiah, and Jesus is the Messiah.

b. For the kingdom of heaven is at hand: Some people make elaborate distinctions between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God. There actually seems to be no difference at all, especially in light of the Jewish custom of often not even naming God directly, but referring to Him by the place where He lives heaven - a custom that Matthew, a Jew writing to Jews, often employs.

3. (18-22) Four men are called as disciples.

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." They immediately lefttheir nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

a. Saw two brothers: This was not the first time Jesus met these men, and other gospels describe previous encounters. But this is when Jesus called them to leave their professions and follow Him "full-time."

b. Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men: In that day, it was customary for a rabbi to have disciples; there was nothing "cult-like" about Jesus asking these men to be with Him constantly. In effect, He offers them scholarships in the best "seminary" imaginable.

i. This is a good way to teach someone ministry: in an "apprentice" fashion rather than through formal education and it was the customary method in Jesus’ day.

c. The immediately left their nets . . . And immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him: Theimmediate response of these disciples is a great example to us. Then the first disciples did what all disciples of Jesus should do: they followed Him.

4. (23-25) A description of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee.

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him; from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.

a. Preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness: Jesus was a teacher who did miraculous works. The emphasis was always on His teaching ministry, both to the inner circle of His disciples and to the multitudes that would listen to Him.

b. All kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease: Jesus’ ability to heal those with all different kinds of diseases demonstrates that He has authentic power over the damage done by the fall of man. His authority over demons (and those who were demon-possessed) shows He has authentic power over all creation.

c. Great multitudes followed Him: Jesus had a purpose for allowing such dramatic miracles to attract great multitudes. He wanted to teach the multitudes, not simply to impress them with miracles.


WEDNESDAYintheWORD: "John 6 " -Chuck Smith

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John 6 

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Now we have an indeterminate rate of time. Jesus was in Jerusalem when He was saying these things, they were as a result of this blind man...or the lame man, rather, who was healed there at the pool of Bethesda. And the controversy that was stirred over that. And so John spends a whole chapter in that little picture, but it gives us marvelous insight into Jesus, showing how that He equates His work with the Father and He is working in harmony with the Father. He is actually here doing the Father's work. and the works themselves testify of Him as well as the word of the Old Testament testifies of who He is. He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Now after these things (Jhn 6:1)

An undetermined period of time. We don't know how long it was after, but John takes us back up to the Sea of Galilee now. He's left Jerusalem, what events others there transpired, we don't know, but back in the area of the Galilee.

Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias [also known as Gennesaret]. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased (Jhn 6:1-2).

And so by His miracles Jesus was attracting a great multitude of people. People are drawn and attracted to Jesus for various reasons. Some of them legitimate and some of them not so legitimate. But Jesus has an appealing force and power. He always has had an appealing force. And it's interesting to me how that Jesus appeals to people in all walks of life. It appears...it is interesting to me how that Jesus appeals to people of all cultures. It's interesting to me how Jesus appeals to people of all ages and how little children are attracted to Jesus. In fact, that to me is one of the most beautiful things in the world, the attraction that even a child has for Jesus. Probably a stronger and greater attraction than we who have become so complex and mixed up in our thinking processes. Oh, the beauty of Jesus that attracts men, but men are attracted by different reasons. These people were attracted because of the spectacular the miracles that Jesus was doing on people who were diseased.

And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the passover feast was drawing nigh. And when Jesus lifted up his eyes, he saw a great company that were coming unto him, and he said unto Philip, Where are we going to buy enough bread, that these people may eat? And this he said to prove Philip: for he knew what he was going to do. And Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone might just take a little (Jhn 6:3-7).

So where are we going to buy the bread? Oh boy, I don't know . . . ah two hundred penny worth. Now, a penny was a day's wage for a laboring man. If we had two hundred penny worth of bread, I don't think that would be enough to give everyone a little.

And one of the disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said unto him, There's a lad here, which has five barley loaves, and two small fish: but what are they among so many? (Jhn 6:8-9)

I mean, I'm sorry I said it because, you know, what's that with this big crowd?

And so Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was a lot of grass in that place (Jhn 6:10).

Passover time, springtime in the Galilee. Beautiful, absolutely glorious. The Galilee in the springtime has to be one of the most beautiful places you could ever see. Grassy fields, filled with yellow daisies, red and white, and purple anenomies, lupines, prodias, just fabulous the beauty of the wild flowers and all around Passover time. There in the springtime in the Galilee, lot of grass in that area.

So Jesus said, "Have the men sit down."

So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were sat down; and likewise the fish and they ate as much as they desired. And when they were filled (Jhn 6:10-12),

The word in Greek is glutted, when they were stuffed.

he said unto his disciples, Now gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be left or lost. And therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over [which was over and above] that which they had eaten. And then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that Prophet which should come into the world (Jhn 6:12-14).

That is a reference to the prophecy of Moses that declared, "And another prophet, liken to Myself, shall come and to Him shall you give heed." And so they were looking for that other prophet liken to Moses. And when they saw this miracle they said, "This is the One Moses, no doubt, was talking about. That other prophet that should come." And they recognized that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Now they wanted to then make public acclamation. They wanted to take Him and to force Him to be the King. To establish now the Kingdom. But this was not according to God's plan. Jesus, rather than stepping in with the popular movement at this point, just slipped away from them and went into the mountain alone. He did not allow them to prematurely acclaim Him as their King.

God had a special day to present His King to the nation. That special day we call today Palm Sunday, for it was the Sunday that preceded His crucifixion. And that was the day and the hour that God had prepared and had prophesied when His promised Redeemer would come. And that day Jesus set up carefully. Having the disciples go into the city to get the donkey that He might ride into Jerusalem on the donkey and, thus, fulfill the prophesy of Zechariah. That day He allowed the disciples to cry out that Messianic Psalm 118, "Hosanna, Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of Lord. Glory to God in the highest." And He allowed them to cry out that Psalm. In fact, when the Pharisees objected, He said if they would at this time hold their peace, these very stones would cry out. That was the day He wept over Jerusalem and said, "If you had only known the things that belong to thy peace in this thy day, but they are hid from your eyes" (Luke 19:42). So here was a premature attempt to establish Him as King by the people. This was a movement of the people; Jesus rejected it because He was working in God's time schedule and not man's.

Oh, God help us to learn to work in God's time schedule rather than our own. It seems that we are always desiring to prematurely do things. God never seems to work quite as fast as we would like Him to work. We would like to speed up the program of God. If I can only have my way the Lord would have come couple of years ago, but some of you would be in bad trouble had He. So you can be thankful He's running things and not me.

So when Jesus perceived that they were going to try and force the issue, and to make him king, he departed into a mountain by himself. And when the evening was now come, his disciples went down to the sea of Galilee, and they entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And when the sea arose by reason of a great wind. And when they had rowed about twenty-five or thirty furlongs [three or four miles], they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing near to the ship: and they were afraid. But he said unto them, It's me; don't be afraid. And they willingly [eagerly] received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was on the land where they were going (Jhn 6:15-21).

They docked immediately at Capernaum.

Now the following day, when the people would stood on the other side of the sea [that is where He had fed the multitude,] saw that there was no other boat there, except the one wherein the disciples had entered, and that Jesus was not with his disciples when they went in the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; (However there were other boats that had come from the area of Tiberias near to the place where they did eat bread:) and when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither with his disciples, they also took shipping, and they came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, how did you get here? And Jesus answered and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you (Jhn 6:22-26),

Now He didn't tell them how He got there, He just said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you,"

You seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled (Jhn 6:26).

"You are seeking Me for the wrong reasons. You are seeking Me for the wrong motives. You are only seeking Me because you had your stomach stuffed with bread and fish, and that's not the reason to seek Me." Jesus would not really accept those who were seeking Him with wrong motivations. There are many people today who seek Jesus with wrong motivations.

There are many ministers who encourage people to seek Jesus, encouraging them with wrong motivations. Encouraging people to do the work of God with wrong motivations. "Now we're going to give a bicycle to the one who brings the most new members into the Sunday school in the next five months." And so we're motivating all these little kids with carnal motivations, teaching them to do the work of God through the carnal rewards. God help us, how far we've come from the straight and narrow.

He said,

Don't labor for that meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting life (Jhn 6:27),

Don't labor for the material things, don't strive for material things, but strive for spiritual things. The spiritual is superior to the material, that was the constant claim that Jesus made. And that is what men are constantly challenging today. And we in our own minds oftentimes have the challenge. Is indeed the spiritual life superior to the material life? And Satan is constantly holding up to us the glitter and glory of the material realm and saying, "Look, wouldn't you like this?" And the Lord is constantly saying, "Hey, don't strive, don't labor for the meat which perishes, but for that which is life eternal, for the spiritual things, that which endures to everlasting life. For the Son of Man shall,"

which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then they said unto him, What shall we do that we might work the works of God? (Jhn 6:27-28)

This is a question that people oftentimes asks when they become conscious of the spiritual dimension. But what can I do to do the works of God? We remember the rich young ruler that came and fell before Jesus and said, "What good thing must I do to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven? Good Master, what shall I do?" And I'm always looking for some work that I might do for God.

Jesus answered [in a paradox,] for he said unto them, This is the work of God, that you might believe on him whom he had sent (Jhn 6:29).

Isn't that interesting? What work can you do to be pleasing to God? The only work you can do is just believe in Jesus. That's what pleases the Father. This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He hath sent.

They said therefore unto him, What sign will you show us then, that we might see, and believe you? what do you work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven (Jhn 6:30-32).

Moses didn't give you the manna, My Father sent it, by My Father is now giving to you the true bread from heaven. Your fathers ate of that manna and they died.

For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world (Jhn 6:33).

This is the bread of God. He who came down from heaven and gives His life unto the world.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: and he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst (Jhn 6:35).

These people had just eaten the day before and were stuffed, but they were hungry again. They had eaten of the bread of this world. And though you can eat today and you can be so stuffed, and I've eaten that pita bread with those delicious sauces and salads and all until I was so stuffed, I thought I can't eat another bite. I get so upset with the cleaners nowadays that shrink my coats so dreadfully. This polyester has one problem: it just shrinks. But, though I push myself away from the table and groaningly stand on my feet and say I never want to eat again as long as I live. The bus isn't very far down the road until someone says, "Can't we stop for some ice cream?" Yea, sounds like a great idea. Hungry again. It just doesn't satisfy, does it.

But Jesus said, "I'm the bread of God, I come down from heaven. If you eat of Me, you'll never hunger again. And if you believe in Me you'll never thirst again." There is that area of man's life that seems to never be satisfied, that always is crying out for more, more, and more. And though a person pursues after the pleasures, the excitements, the thrills of the world, one thing about them is that they're just not lasting. It isn't long before you're thirsting again. But Jesus said, "I'm the bread of heaven. God has sent Me. And if you eat of Me you'll never hunger again, and if you believe in Me you'll never thirst again." What glorious good news!

But I said unto you, That you have seen me, but you don't believe. All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out (Jhn 6:36-37).

What a glorious word of Jesus to our trembling, hesitating souls. Because you see, Satan says to me, "Look, there's no sense you going to God. He doesn't want anything to do with you; you're a failure, man. Your life is a mess. God doesn't want anything to do with you, there's no sense you going because there's no way He's gonna open the door for you." And he would plant unbelief in my heart, and if I believe that God won't receive me, then God won't receive me because I won't come. But Jesus said, "Whoever comes to Me I will in no wise cast out. All that the Father has given Me are Mine; they'll come to Me. And him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." What encouraging, glorious words to your troubled spirit tonight. You who Satan has been hassling for so long, trying to tell you that you're not worthy, that God doesn't want you, God isn't interested, let me tell you something. If you just come to Jesus there's no way, no way He will cast you out.

For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me (Jhn 6:38).

"The works that I do, I do not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in Me. He doeth the works. I didn't do . . . come down to do My will," Jesus said, "but the will of Him who sent Me."

And this is the Father's will (Jhn 6:39)

Ho, ho, that's what I've been wanting to know, what's God's will?

that all which he hath given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise them up in that last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, shall have everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day (Jhn 6:39-40).

Those whom the Father has revealed the truth of Jesus Christ and who believe in Him, it's God's will that He saves you and raise you up in that last day. Praise God for His glorious will for our lives.

And the Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I'm the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus (Jhn 6:41-42),

Isn't this Joshua or Yeshua

the son of Joseph [or Yosef], whose father and mother we know? how is it that he says, I came down from heaven? And Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Don't murmur among yourselves. For no man can come to me, except the Father which have sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day (Jhn 6:42-44).

Here's an interesting statement by Jesus, one that we need to make note of. No man can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him. Now that takes the pressure off of me and my witnessing. Because I sometimes get discouraged when I witness to a person and I can lay out the truth of Christ and I would think that even a child could understand and they just, you know, don't accept it. It doesn't do anything, and I tried to argue and convince and impress, and nothing happens. Well, no man can come except the Father draw him. You say, "Well, I don't know if that's fair." Well, did the Father draw you? "Well, yea." Well then, why you worried about it? It also follows that whosoever will may come and drink the water of life. There are the two sides to the coin. You can't come unless the Father draws you, but anyone who comes can receive eternal life. The door is open for all men.

It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, comes to Me (Jhn 6:45).

God has taught us; He's laid it upon our hearts.

Not that any man hath seen the Father, except he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life (Jhn 6:46-47).

Notice these radical claims that Jesus is making concerning Himself. Testifying now of Himself, making radical claims. "I am that bread of life." They said, "How can He say He came down from heaven? He's Joseph's son." He said,

I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and they are dead. But this is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die (Jhn 6:48-50).

Not hunger, not thirst, not die, for,

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world (Jhn 6:51).

He took the bread and He broke it, and He said, "Take, eat; this is My body broken for you" (Matthew 26:26). "The bread is My flesh that I will give for the life of the world."

And the Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them (Jhn 6:52-53),

You having trouble fellows? I'm going to make it a little harder.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you (Jhn 6:53).

You're dead; you're dead in your trespasses and sins. You don't have life in you.

Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed (Jhn 6:54-55).

And Jesus took the cup and He said, "Take, drink; this is the blood of the new covenant which is shed for the remission of sin" (Matthew 26:27-28). "Eat of My flesh, drink of My blood, partake of Me, that you might have life. For My flesh is meat indeed My blood is drink indeed."

And He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. And as the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me. And this is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat the manna, and are dead: for he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. And these are the things he said to them as he was teaching them in the synagogue, in Capernaum (Jhn 6:56-59).

And you that have been in that synagogue of Capernaum can now sort of put it together in your mind. He was there in the synagogue at Capernaum teaching them these things.

Now many therefore of his disciples, when they heard this, said, [Man,] These are tough sayings; who can hear it? And when Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Does this offend you? What and if you will see the Son of man ascending up where he was before? (Jhn 6:60-62)

What if you don't see the kingdom established right now? What if you see Me ascending up and going back to the Father?

It is the Spirit that makes alive; the flesh profits nothing (Jhn 6:63):

Now we're coming back, "You've eaten of the bread, and that's why come. Your stomachs were filled. But don't seek that bread which perishes, but that bread which is everlasting life." And so again coming back to that thought, "It is the Spirit that makes alive, the flesh profits nothing." Underline that. The flesh profits nothing.

the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (Jhn 6:63).

The word of God is alive and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword. The word of God is Spirit and the word of God is life.

But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who would betray him. And he said, Therefore I said unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father (Jhn 6:64-65).

Again, declaring, "Look, the only way you can come is that the Father draws you. You can't come unless the Father does draw you."

Now from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him (Jhn 6:66).

Couldn't handle it, too much. When He starts talking about the denial of the flesh, when He starts talking about the life of the Spirit and the partaking of spiritual things. Too much for some people, they can't handle it. Many of them were following Him because they were desiring that He establish the kingdom now, that He overthrow the Roman yoke of government. And that He bring to pass a kingdom of plenty, where everybody would eat and drink to their full. Every man eat his own vine and fig tree, would eat and not be afraid. And they were wanting that kingdom of material prosperity. And He is denouncing it as secondary. The primary thing is the spiritual kingdom, partaking of Me. Finding that life that comes from Me. The life of God imparted to man through Jesus Christ. "The flesh will profit you nothing, but the words that I speak, they're Spirit; they're life." And so they couldn't handle it. They went back and they walked no more with Him.

One time John sent a messenger and said, "Are you the one that we should look for or shall we look for someone else?" These people despaired because Jesus was talking of the importance of the spiritual man rather than the physical. Can handle it.

Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will you also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou has the words of eternal life (Jhn 6:67-68).

Oh, blessed Peter. You know he had the pro . . . he had a problem. He could get in trouble so much with his mouth. And yet, he could also say some of the most appropriate things. The heart, the Christ, the Son of the living God, "Oh blessed art thou Simon Bar-Jonah. Flesh and blood did not reveal this unto you, but My Father which is in heaven. And I say unto you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:17-18).

Then you're going to see the Son of Man betrayed and turned to the hands of sinners. And they're are going to crucify Him and slay Him, but on the third day He will rise again. "Oh, Lord, be that far from thee." And Jesus said, "Oh, get thee behind Me, Satan: you're an offense unto me: you don't understand the things that are God, the things that are men" (Matthew 16:22-23). No, Peter. He could go so fast from the top to the bottom.

But here, one of those grand moments in Peter. When Jesus turns to the twelve and says, "Well, are you going to leave, too?" And, "Lord, where can we go? You have the words of life." Jesus said, "My word is Spirit; My word is life." Peter is testifying, "Yes, Lord, that's true; You have the word of life."

We believe and we are sure that you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered them, Have I not chosen you twelve, and yet one of you is a devil? And he was speaking of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, and he was one of the twelve (Jhn 6:69-71).

Interesting that Jesus says of Judas he was the devil. Paul no . . . Peter refers to him as "the son of perdition." We will read in a few weeks where Satan entered him and he went out and did his dastardly deed. And we'll get into Judah Iscariot as we move on in the gospel of John. But from the beginning Jesus knew who it was that would betray Him. Jesus said, "I may not chosen twelve of you, yet one of you is the devil."

So next week we move on into chapters 7 and 8 and some very interesting. Oh, don't you love John? I just love the gospel according to John. And these insights that he gives us into Jesus. The insights which show and prove that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. In order that you might believe and have eternal life.

Father, we thank You for Your Word. It is Spirit, it is Truth; it is life to those that believe. Now may the entrance of Thy word bring life and light to us, and may we walk in that light. In Jesus' name. Amen.


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