Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jesus the Bread of Life Part 4 (Jn. 6:52-65)

John 6:52-65

Jesus warned the people that if they did not eat His flesh and drink His blood they would have no life. So many people said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” (Jn. 6:60). It seemed reasonable that they could not understand, since it seems to mean going against the law of Moses which forbade drinking blood.

It appears that Jesus jumped too fast in the way He communicated the truth, making people confused and unwilling to listen further. However in the first place, these people went to Jesus not to seek the truth, but because of the food they ate.

Is it true we need to preach simply because people want to hear simple things? This approach is very market-oriented. Jesus never did that. God never opposes big gathering, however, is not pleased if we compromise fundamental principles in order to attract the crowd.

Jesus on earth was the only time in history that Word of God became flesh. If you believe that you live by every word that comes from the mouth of God, then you should come to Jesus. All the wisdom of God is in Jesus Christ. God in the flesh is a great mystery. It is the greatest work the Holy Spirit has done. It is the greatest gift of God to the world.

The greatest gift of God to the Church is the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit bring Christ - the Word of God – down to earth because God wants us to live by His word. We are not to live by physical sustainance. The Old Testament declares that the word of God is not far but it is in your mouth and in your hearts. And the Apostle Paul said to confess with your mouth and believe in your hearts that Jesus is Lord and you will be saved. It means you must live by your confession and your faith.

The word of God dwells in our heart to sustain us and maintain a holy lifestyle. The Holy Spirit is the breath of God. The Spirit brings the truth to the prophets. Thus the Scriptures are written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit brings Christ – the Living Word – to be conceived in Mary’s womb. Without the Holy Spirit, the word of God will not be in the world. The Son of God will not come to earth. The Holy Spirit transformed the word of God into the Bible and brought forth the Son of God in the flesh.

Without the Holy Spirit nobody will come to Jesus Christ. Without Jesus Christ, nobody can go to the Father. The Holy Spirit glorifies the Son. Through inspiration of Holy Spirit we have the Bible. The Spirit renews us by the word of God. We cannot understand the Bible without the Holy Spirit.

Receiving Christ’s flesh and blood is to receive the holy covenant. God has temporal covenant which used the blood of animals. Through the blood of Christ, we have eternal covenant with God. In receiving Him we confess His death and resurrection. Eating of his flesh and blood implies our confession and receiving of His benefits.

The Jews could not understand this and grumbled. Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!” (Jn. 6:61-62)

They did not know His original state and His glory. If they knew then they would understand why He spoke the way He did and would be astonished at how much He sacrificed Himself. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman a similar thing, “If you knew whom you are speaking to, you would have asked Him and He would have given you the living water.” He asked the woman for water, and yet He is the Living Water.

Jesus said the spirit gives life and the flesh counts for nothing (Jn. 6:63). It means that it is the spirit that quickens one to life, not flesh.

Many people misunderstood this and think Christianity despise the flesh. This is not true. The Bible say our body is the temple of God so we are to glorify God with our body. We are to avoid sexual immorality and adultery. If we misuse this function it is the work of Satan. We need to enjoy it in proper manner which glorify God. Paul said to offer our bodies as living sacrifice.

But what does it mean flesh counts for nothing? In the matter where we get life, flesh counts for nothing. Flesh does not give life. It needs to be given life in order to have any function at all. The flesh needs external nourishment from food. Without food our body will die. Likewise, the spirit needs external nourishment from the word of God. If we eat the word of God we will live forever. So Jesus said to eat His flesh and drink His blood, as He is the Word in the flesh. Then we will not die.
Salvation comes when we believe in the death and resurrection of Christ. His blood cleanses us from sin. The Apostle Paul said to pastor the sheep of God whom He bought with His own blood. This is the only time the Scripture equates the blood of Christ with God’s blood. Christ came in the flesh so that He could die to give us life.