Fresh Bread, Or Stale Sermons? John 6:5-6

Text:  “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?…”
Isaiah 55:1-2.

Good morning, well fed Christian soul!  Not for you the Spiritual hunger of many others - your soul is well cared for by a Pastor that has been called of God to faithfully feed Christ’s sheep.  Rejoice if this is your lot, my friend.  Wake up, if it is not!  Arise and get thee hence to seek and to find fresh bread that will satisfy your ‘born again’, Spiritually regenerate, soul.  Amen.

“The elders that are among you I exhort, who am also an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: FEED THE FLOCK OF GOD which is among you, taking the oversight (Pastorate) thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre (self gain), but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  And when the Chief Shepherd (Christ Jesus) shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”  (1 Peter 5:1-4)

In todays two-verse Bible reading from John chapter 6, we find the Lord Jesus lifting up His eyes and seeing ‘…a great company come unto Him…’

As they are coming to Him, and before they ever actually reach Him - the Lord is already deeply concerned about their vital needs.  The Master says to Philip the disciple, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

We know from our reading of the next verse, that the Lord Jesus asked this question, primarily, in order to ‘…prove…’, or test, Philip - and that Christ already ‘…knew what He would do…’. 

In this situation and in all things.  Almighty God knows our every need long before we know ourselves.  Praise the Lord!

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your Heavenly Father knoweth (knows, and continues to know) that ye have need of all these things.  (Matthew 6:31-32)

With this thought in mind, beloved Christian friend, let me ask you this question:  If the Lord knows what your vital Spiritual needs are, and, if the Lord has called and ordained Pastors to ‘…feed His sheep…’ - then why are you putting up with a constant diet of stale bread at best, or NO BREAD in the worst case?  Why do you suffer Spiritual starvation in silence?

Redeemed sheep need fresh Spiritual bread to feed their souls.  Awake!  Dont put up with a diet of stale bread sermons!

Now let us all ask ourselves:  Are we going to church meetings, spending an hour singing hymns and praises, then being entertained by some churchy gimmick for half and hour - and returning home entertained, but empty of vital faith-food in our souls?  This is a very sobering question for us all.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.  (Romans 10:17)

Whence shall we buy BREAD, that these may eat?  (John 6:5)

Too many Pastors today in this 21st Century have become utterly lazy, they will not study Gods Word themselves;  they take no time to put Gods Word into their hearts; and therefore have nothing but stale bread messages to put back out to their Spiritually hungry congregations!  What a travesty!  Why do Gods people put up with such self-seeking ‘…hirelings…’?  Awake!

I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.  But he that is an hireling (works for wages and self-promotion), and not the Shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattered the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he IS an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  (John 10:11-13)

Pastors that are called of God into ministry care for the souls of believers in their Pastoral care.  They study Gods Word and make certain they have fresh bread Scriptural sermons and Spiritual teachings with which to feed the souls of the flock of God.  Nothing but Scriptural food is good enough for Eternally redeemed, Spiritually regenerated, souls.  Only the best will do!

And I (the Lord God) shall give you Pastors according to Mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.  (Jeremiah 3:15)

Thought:  What sort of Pastor are YOU - do you provide fresh Bread, or stale sermons to feed the church of God?  Awake!  (Acts 20:28)

The Jewish Passover - The Christian Redemption! Exodus 12:1-14

Text:  “And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.  And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.”
John 6:3-4.

Good morning, passed over Christian!  God’s Holy wrath against sin shall never harm you ever again.  Why?  Because the precious Blood of our Passover Lamb, Christ Jesus, covers you, protects you, redeems you from your sins, and secures your pardon for all time and Eternity.  Hallelujah! 

We are free from the Heavenly Destroyer’s punitive power!  We shall, at all times, be passed over and exempt from the destructive judgements of our thrice Holy Lord God.  Now, surely this in very good news for your soul today, passed over Christian?  Glory to the Lamb Who is worthy!

“And the Blood (of the Lamb) shall be to you for a token upon the houses were ye are; and when I (the Lord God) shall see the Blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt (a type of the unsaved world).”  (Exodus 12:13)

Well can the Psalmist joyfully cry: “Blessed (blessed with blessings) is he/she whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is COVERED (in the Blood of the Lamb, Christ Jesus).  Blessed is the man/woman unto whom the Lord imputeth (puts not to our account continually) not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”  (Psalm 30:1-2)

Our two-verse text from John’s Gospel today reveals three marvellous Spiritual themes for us: That Jesus went up; that Jesus sat down with His disciples; and that the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was nigh.  Let us look more closely at these three Scriptural themes.

Jesus Went Up:   On that particular Passover feast, the Lord Jesus Christ was ruthlessly Crucified on a Roman Cross - by the Roman occupation forces; at the behest of the Jewish religious leaders. 

All the enemies of the Son of God came together that day in order to place Christ Jesus on that Cross and torture Him slowly to death.  Yet, it was OUR sins that kept Him hanging there!  (Isaiah 53:4-8)  Thank you, King Jesus!

The sinless, spotless Lamb of God, Christ Jesus, came into this sin-sick world as a man, in order to suffer and die to bear the sins of ‘…His people…’ away forever.  And after He cried ‘It is finished.’, He gave UP the ghost, no man could take it away from Him.  Christ died for to save sinners.  Jesus finished the Sacrifice - and Jesus went up.  Glory to His Name!

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15: 3-4)

Jesus Sat Down:  One only sits down when the work required has been fully completed.  Christ Jesus sat down on the right hand of our Father in Heaven to show to all and sundry that the Atonement Sacrifice was complete.  Hallelujah!  The risen and Victorious Jesus sat down!  (Hebrews 7:22-28)

“The Lord (Father) said unto my Lord (Christ the Son of God), Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies Thy footstool.”  (Psalm 110:1)

The Passover Sacrifice was nigh:  For hundreds of years the Jewish Nation, and all others who were blessed with faith to believe the prophesies of the coming Messiah, had waited and watched.  However, when the Lord Jesus eventually came, they were the first to reject Him, and put Him to death on that terrible Cross.  They knew not that the true Passover was nigh.

“In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s Passover.”  (Leviticus 23:5)

“He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.  He came unto His own (the Jewish Nation), and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him (you and me), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (trust) on His Name.”  (John 1:10-12)

“Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto the Lord thy God; for in the month of Abib the Lord brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.”  (Deuteronomy 16:1)

National Israel rejected Christ’s Passover Sacrifice on the Cross, and the Lord extended His grace to we Gentile Nations.  The Jewish Passover became our Christian Redemption - for all who are granted faith to believe, to trust in Christ as our Atonement Lamb.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!

Thought: Let us go up, sit down, and draw nigh to Jesus our Redeemer. 

Miracle Gazers? John 6:1-2

Text:  “And a great multitude followed Him (Christ Jesus), because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased.”
John 6:2.

Good morning, faith-filled Christian!  Having been given God’s wonderful gift of saving faith, you now seek to walk by that faith, and are not easily taken in by some outward show of strange ‘signs and lying wonders’!  You do well, faithful friend, you do very well.  The Lord is pleased with you in this day of increased apostasy and straying from the truth.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work…and then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming; even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7)

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight)”  (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Our text today informs us that ‘…a great multitude followed…’ Christ Jesus, and then continues on to explain why they did so - ‘…because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased.’  (V.2)

Many of the more gullible today continue to follow hard after men and women who seem to be able to put on a spectacular show of ‘…signs and lying wonders…’ 

How sad to see so many within Christian circles that are unable to ‘…walk by faith, not by sight…’ .  Yet, it is a prophesied sign of the latter times, well predicted within the pages of Holy Scripture.  Beware, sign-seekers!

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, they shall deceive the very elect.  Behold I (Christ) have told you before.  Wherefore…believe it not.”  (Matthew 24:24-26)

The ‘multitude’ which followed Jesus in today’s Scripture text followed Him only in order to SEE the miraculous things that He did; the Divine healings that Christ, in His great compassion and love, did to those that were sorely afflicted by disease.  Everyone loves to see a circus!  Even in a church!

However, we never learn of this ‘multitude’ of sign-seekers ever coming to a saving faith in the risen Lord Jesus.  Like Julius Caesar ‘they came, they saw, they…‘ went home unaffected by the Gospel message! 

There is no mention of these sign-seekers ever receiving God’s gift of saving faith and, thus, finding Eternal Salvation in the Christ of God!

How often Christian Pastors, Ministers and Evangelists see thousands turning out to SEE them preach the powerful Word of God.  Yet, too often, we also see a majority of such curious souls walk away from the meetings still lost in their sins.  They desired to SEE the show - but when the show was over, they returned home without the Christ in their hardened hearts.

“For by grace (God’s unmerited favour) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we (the saved) are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath BEFORE ordained that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

“Because strait (strict, difficult) is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life (Eternal life), and few there be that find it.  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing (look like God’s Shepherds), but inwardly they are ravening (devouringly greedy) wolves…Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”  (Matthew 7:14-20)

True Pastors are called to feed God’s sheep - not financially fleece them!

Jesus said, “I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.  But he that is an hireling (pay-seeking, hired hand), and not the shepherd…seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them (the silly deceived sheep), and scattereth the sheep.”     (John 10:11-13)

With this vital teaching of Christ in mind therefore, let us be very careful as to the motives of our hearts when attending church meetings.  Let us ask ourselves: Am I going to this meeting in order to be entertained, to SEE strange and dramatic things?  Or am I going along to listen intently to the preaching and teaching of God’s Holy and Spirit-inspired Word?

Thought:  Miracle-gazers are like star-gazers - when the show is over, they quickly forget the sights they have seen.  Stand fast in Faith!

Receiving Christ as Lord John 5:41-47

Text:  “I am come in My Father’s Name, and ye receive Me not; If another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”
John 5:43.

Good morning, Christian subject!  Having been granted faith to believe and receive Christ as your Saviour, it has been your privilege and mine to subject ourselves to Christ’s Lordship.  We are Spiritual subjects in the Kingdom of God; subject to the King of all kings, Christ Jesus.

Christ - to thee and to me - is both Saviour and Lord.  Hallelujah!  What a privilege to own Christ as our Lord and Saviour!  Glory to His altogether lovely Name!

“And the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and His Name one.”  (Zechariah 14:9)

“Ye call Me Master and Lord; and ye say well, for so I am.”           (John 13:13)

In this sad day of false showmanship and easy-believing within universal Christendom, we discover many who deeply desire to have Christ as their Saviour but will not receive Him as their Lord. 

These fools are enlightened enough to know they are lost without Christ Jesus, but not enough to acknowledge Christ’s Holiness and wrath against all sin.  They want to be Eternally saved, but only from the consequences of their vile sin; not from their sinfulness itself.  Thus, they desire Christ as Saviour, but refuse to receive Him as Lord.  How pathetic can one get?

Such professors want to be saved and given Eternal entrance to Heaven - but left free to live like Hell on earth.  They will not have the Christ to rule over them in this life, but want only to escape Hell’s torments in the Eternity to come. 

In refusing to receive Christ Jesus as their Lord - they automatically reject Him as their Eternal Saviour.  Christ must be both Saviour and Lord!  There can be only ONE Master over the will of fallen man.

“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon (worldly riches, prestige, self-gain).”  (Matthew 6:24)

This latter part of Chapter 5 of John’s Gospel finds our Lord and Master, Christ Jesus, teaching us some vital truths.  Let us look more closely at some of them and gain Eternal knowledge to aid us in our walk with Him.

God’s Honour: (V.41) Mere created (or in our case born) creatures cannot give honour to the Almighty Creator Lord God.  We do not do God any favours by verbally honouring His Name.  God does not need our praises, prayers, or puny attempts to give Him ‘honour’.  The Lord God is all-sufficient!  The Lord God IS Honour incarnate!  Glory!  Glory!  Glory!

“I receive not honour from men.” (John 5:41) Hallelujah!  Holy! Holy!  Holy!

God’s Love: (V.42)  The Lord God KNOWS what is inside our heart of hearts.  He knows when the love of God is in us - because it is the Lord God Who puts that love within us in the first place!  The Lord God is Sovereign!

“We love Him, because He FIRST loved us.”  (1 John 4:19)

“IF ye love Me, keep My commandments.”  (John 14:15)

God’s Name:  (Vs. 43)  We serve the Lord God Jehovah; the great ‘I Am’ - and we who profess to be Christians must therefore go forth at all times in the Name of Christ Jesus. 

We go forth in no other mere mortal and thus fallible name.  If we do so, we will have no real Spiritual power or authority, and the work that we seek to do will eventually, and at all times, come to nought but shame and disgrace.  Beware of false ‘prophets’ and self-seeking individuals who seek to build a ‘ministry’ of merchandise-making in their own pathetic name.  Beware!

God’s Authority:  Anyone seeking to go forth in the full authority of the Living Lord God MUST go forth proclaiming His Spirit-inspired and infallible Word.  Sola Scriptura!  Scripture alone our authority to minister.

“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream, and he that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully…Is not My Word like a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock (of unbelief) in pieces?”  (Jeremiah 23:28-29)

Thus we see that true Christian subjects seek God’s honour; God’s love; revere God’s Holy Name; and go forth in the authority of God’s great Word.  Amen.  May it be so with thee and with me, beloved in Christ Jesus.

Thought: If Christ is to be our Saviour - He must also be our Lord!