09.5 John – God’s Will: Fully Filled

When you read the words of Jesus in this first half of the dialogue in the temple in Caperneum closely, there are some amazing insights into the relationship of the Father and Son of the Trinity that are presented.

  1. Believers are a gift from the Father to Jesus the Son v.37
  2. Jesus did not come to earth for His own will (benefit), but to do the will of the Father.  He is here out of obedience. v.38
  3. The Father’s will is that none who He sends to Jesus will be lost, but all raised up at the last day v.39
  4. There will be a last day for the earth v.39
  5. The Father’s will is that EVERYONE who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life v.40

The fact of all of this is that the will of the Father is for all to be fulfilled.  Jesus is the only path for that fullness.  He is the bread of life.  Coming to Him does not just temporarily stave off the hungry we all have, but we never go hungry again.  Believing in Him doesn’t just quench the dryness in our throat, but we never thirst again.  He doesn’t just give us a life, He gives us Eternal life.  He doesn’t just fill us, He fully fills us.  Fulfillment.

Because of sin, all of us are born with a part of us that is dead.  Sin is death, and like someone who has had a heart attack, part of our selves is dead even at birth.  We are born in sin.  But, the Father’s will is not just that we live, but that Jesus fix us by removing the death in us, the sin, so that we not be lost but all raised up on the last day to eternal life.

We know, from this discussion, that Jesus knew fully and completely that He came to earth to die, to pay the price for our sin.  He came out of obedience to take on the death of the world, of every one of us so that He would not lose any of us.  He came to unite Himself to us, to take on our sin, and bear our death, fully out of obedience to the Father.

My Answers:

11.
material, most likely, although some may have been coming around.  The clincher is the “always”.  Bread that causes you to never hunger again does not need to be received always, but only once.  Once saved, always saved.

12.
a.
v40, that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life.  I’m sure because Jesus said it and I believe it.  I’m sure because His word and His sacrifice are sufficient.

b.
All those the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will NEVER drive away.

13.
Never hunger again, never thirst again.  He is providing everything I need and allowing me to participate in serving Him by serving others and demonstrating His love; I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day

09.4 John – Demands

As hard as it is to believe, there will probably be some people at some time who look back on this day and age and consider it to be “the good old days.”  When you look at the troubles in the world, the division and hatred, the way the world has pulled farther and farther away from God, it seems hard to believe.  I can’t imagine the Hebrews, wandering in the desert and yearning for the food of Egypt, would ever have believed that, generations later, people would be pining for their 40 years in the desert!

The people didn’t just ask for “daily bread”, they demanded Jesus give it to them ALWAYS.

That is ALWAYS the wrong approach to God.  It assumes we know what is best and demand that God get on board and use His power to provide it.  I have a plan, I have needs, I have desires, I know what should happen, I just need God to sponsor it, to get behind it and make it happen.  Get behind me God, with you as my co-pilot, I can steer us into great things.

See the problem?  See why this is such a wrong approach?

But haven’t we all also done similar in our prayer life.  We make up our mind and ask God to get behind us instead of us getting behind God and following Him.  It isn’t that God won’t at times give us what we ask, but, we then simply do not know what greater blessing God would have had for us if we had followed Him.

We shouldn’t pray for God to be on our side, we should pray that we be on God’s side.  We shouldn’t pray for God to be our co-pilot, we should be thankful to have God pilot our lives.  We shouldn’t run ahead and count on God to catch up to our great plans, we should be at peace where we are and patiently wait and trust in God’s timing.

I’m not saying any of that is easy.  We are impatient, we are infants, we are self-focused.  We are like little kids going down the candy aisle at the grocery store after not getting a nap – we through tantrums and make demands.  We don’t just want, but we want what we want right now.  But, God loves us even during these times and He helps and guides us to mature.

My Answers:

8.
As they wondered in the desert, God provided Manna from Heaven for them to collect daily and eat.  Moses was their earthly leader, but he did not make the manna, it was from God

9.
a.
The more wonderful food is Jesus.  He is the bread of eternal life, given by God.

b.
I am in Jesus and He is in me.  We are connected and I am slowly being transformed out of my sinful self and nature into a holy being who will live forever, because He paid the price.  My God is not distant, My God is my creator and He loves me.

10.
Bread from heaven… they must have been hungry!    Demands don’t go well, because we don’t know what we really need.  Sometimes God provides them, sometimes He provides something more in line with what we really need.

09.3 John – In not About

I felt the need to change one of the questions in our study today.  It asked, what must a person believe about Jesus.  I think that is the wrong preposition.  I don’t think we are called to believe about Jesus, I think we are called to believe in Jesus.

The difference is at the heart of this and next week’s lesson.  Believing about Jesus is a surface belief.  It is a study of facts and figures.  It is a faith on appearance.  It is outward, logical.  Even the demons believe about Jesus for they know the facts.  To use the Greek, this is a belief strictly in the Logos.  To use the Star Trek, it is a Spock level belief.

But believing in Jesus is to reunite back to the original creation of man and our position as being made in God’s image and joined to Him.  It is intimate.  It is a connection, a uniting, a wedding.  It is full and complete, body, mind and soul.

I think it is part of the reason Jesus keeps discussing being the bread of life with the people.  He doesn’t want to be “out there” to us, He wants to be “in here” with us.  He came to this earth.  He became a man.  He loves us.

My Answers:

6.
They wanted (we want at times) a list of things we can do with our hands.  If I do this or that, then I’ve “earned” it.  If I follow the law close enough then I deserve it.  The one work Jesus gave them was to believe in Jesus

7.
a.
It is not believing about, it is believing in.  It is placing ourselves, body and soul, into the faith that He gave His blood on the cross as a sacrifice of atonement for us because He is righteous and He loves and wants us

b.
Every time I try to “do it myself” first.  Any time I think I am doing something “for” God.  Anytime I get stiff necked and start to think “I’m good”.

09.2 John – Not in the same place

The people asked Jesus “when did you get here?”  His response was to highlight to them that they, actually, were not in the same place.

Jesus was fully in the will of His Father.  Jesus’ entire reason for living on the earth was to be obedient to the Father.  As He said, His food was to do the will of the Father.

The people who approached Jesus were in a completely different place.  They were looking for a snack.  They wanted something to tied them over.  Jesus was at the banquet of all of heaven’s best, and they wanted chips and a soda so they could keep driving by.

This message really hit home to me because I do the same thing in my prayer life.  I’ll pray things like:

  1. God, if…
  2. Let me glimpse…
  3. Show me that…
  4. Help me through…

I’m looking for temporary patches, get-bys, fill ups, so I can keep on keeping on with the way I’m living my life for me as a christian.

But God’s answer, when I truly listen, is the same message I heard this week.  The question is not to God but to me.  When I ask:

  1. God, if…  – I need to see my lack of trust and faith
  2. Let me glimpse…   – I need to be thankful and joyful for the spirit of God that dwells in me and fills me up.
  3. Show me that…  –  I need to open my hard heart to the miracles all around and the goodness and let others see God’s power in my life
  4. Help me through… – I need to go help someone else

I am not trying to say we shouldn’t pray for help and direction, I’m simply trying to say that, in those prayers, we shouldn’t dwell in the land of doubt and fear.  We need to stop, sit down, be at peace, and be with the Lord.  God’s desire for our lives is not that we run on E for empty, but that we be filled to the brim with power and vigor and spirit.  When we turn to Jesus, we trade in our E for empty for his E for Eternal.

 

My Answers:

3.
a. When did you get here?  You are looking for me not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.   b. Very Truly I tell you… God the Father placed His Seal of approval

4.
They were just looking for a freebie.  They weren’t looking for something ever lasting, just something to temporarily fill them and make them feel better

5.
a.
Do not work for food that spoils (food for our body), Do work for food that endures to eternal life (twinkies… JK: Spiritual Food, the word of God and the Spirit of Faith)

b.
Matthew 3:16 – At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.