Christ Condemns Carnal Appetites
Text: John 6:22-29
v1-15 – Jesus performs the miracle of feeding the five thousand. It was a sign to show He is the Bread of Life v35, v41, v48, v51, v55. This is what the miracle signified. He provides salvation for the multitude who believe, and He provides for those that believe in Him, everything they personally need. That’s why the disciples get their own basket v13.
v16-21 – The disciples get into their boat to go to the west of the Sea of Galilee, while Jesus goes into the mountain to pray. The point of this miracle in John’s mind is to underline the Lord’s provision to help His people, which He does by His mere presence.
The point is, when Jesus is with you you can serve the multitudes their need, and when Jesus is with you you can suffer the storms of life.
True disciples are:
1. Those who follow Him regardless of the crowd 2. Those who follow Him regardless of miracles 3. Those who follow Him regardless of temporal benefits
I. THE PROOF OF THEIR CARNALITY v22-24
1. Not evident by their diligence
They remain in that area all night, because they know Jesus didn’t go with the disciples. If they stay where Jesus is they can get breakfast in the morning.
v23 – news had reached the other side of the sea of Galilee, and others are assembling for breakfast.
v24 – when they realize Jesus isn’t there, they head back, with the boats that had arrived that morning offering a taxi service for some of them.
2. Not evident by their desire “seeking for Jesus”
Can you imagine how most would react to this? Wow, look at their spiritual hunger. They’re seeking for Jesus.
Note – desire is no indictor of a good thing. JW’s have a strong desire and motivation for Jesus, but they’ve invented a different Jesus. And if you invent a different Jesus, you’re desire is worthless.
II. THE PICTURE THAT THEY MISSED v25-26
Note their perplexity. When or how did you get here? They knew last night there was only the boat of the disciples and He didn’t go with them. So how?
But Christ doesn’t answer them at all. He ignores the question. But why didn’t He explain what He did? That He walked in water, calmed the storm, and miraculously got the boat to safety in an instant. Here you see Christ applying “But avoid foolish questions…for they are unprofitable and vain.” (Tit 3:9).
They had witnessed a miracle and missed the point. This is drawn out by Christ in His response.
v26 – “Verily, verily” this is a very important teaching. This is very harsh. “not because ye saw the miracles” i.e. not because in the miracles you realize who I am.
“but, because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled” i.e. because you had your carnal desires met. These people would be sitting in Joel Osteen’s church.
The whole point of a miracle is the teach a message. If you don’t get the message, the miracle becomes a matter of judgment. This gospel is written to reveal the glory of Christ, not the glory of His works. It’s all about HIM!
Dear sinner, I want you to see the person! Listen. May God give you ears to hear.
III. THE PRECEPT THAT THEY REJECT v27-29
1. A precept which shows how to work for eternal life
v27 – you’re pursuing the wrong thing. You’re giving your effort for the temporal. Stop seeking what perishes. Pursue “the meat which endureth unto everlasting life”.
What is that? It’s Jesus Christ v35.
But if we rightly understand v27, Jesus is telling them to LABOUR for everlasting life. Is that a message of works salvation?
v28 – so they inquire. What should we be doing to obtain eternal life?
v29 – so Jesus clarifies. Believe on the one God the Father has sent. That’s what it is to labour for eternal life. Do everything necessary, not to obtain salvation by your effort, but do everything you need to do in order to believe on Jesus.
Some of you have things to do. You have to quit playing games with your life. You have to work on realizing that drugs and drink and fornicating and lying and stealing and cursing, etc, are not worth going to hell for!
2. A precept which shows how to work for temporal life
These people were chasing Jesus for temporal gain. They didn’t understand their responsibilities, and even worse, they didn’t understand the Saviour’s responsibility.
But, do the words of v27 mean that you should quit your job? Don’t labour for meat which perisheth?
Clearly not, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” (Eph 4:28).
You now labour provide for your family, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim 5:8).
But now that you labour for the meat which doesn’t perish, it changes EVERYTHING about how you labour for the meat which does perish. You exist as a truer image bearer of God than any of your work colleagues.
3. A precept which shows who Christ is
“for him hath God the Father sealed” i.e. the Father has authenticated Him. “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know” (Acts 2:2)
God authenticated Christ by empowering Him to do the miracles, wonders and signs. He bears the mark of God. But instead of seeking the eternal Son, these people are after the temporal benefits.
v51 – the message is about Christ.
Tonight Jesus stands in front of you and says, if you can’t see me as better than your sin, you MUST die! You are a wretched creature, sinner. The Bread of God is before you and you won’t eat from Him. You won’t feast on Him. You have a death wish. You want to die spiritually starved of the life giving power of Jesus Christ.
“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Lk 13:24