The Bread of Life - ‘…that Holy thing…’? John 6:46-51

Text:  “And the angel answered and said unto her (Mary), ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’”
                                                                                                            Luke 1:35.

Good morning, Bible-studying Christian! Not for you a mere cursory, superficial, glancing through Holy Scriptures. You are an in-depth Bible student; a serious seeker after Eternal truth - as the Word of God encourages all believers and seekers to be. 

You do well, beloved in Christ, you do very well. You do well, saved and seeking soul, you do very well.  Praise God for the truth of His Word which brings life through faith! (Ephesians 2:8-9)

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

When you and I arrive at a phrase in Scriptures such as ‘...that Holy thing...’, featured in this morning’s selected text from Luke’s Gospel, we desire to search out the deep meaning of such a term, and thus find Spiritual meat to encourage faith in both regenerate and unregenerate souls.  Let us linger for a while, therefore, and look at this particular Scriptural phrase: ’…that Holy thing…’ (Luke 1:35)

For any credible interpretation of Scripture one must use what we Bible teachers refer to as ‘the whole thread of Scriptural truth’ - Old Testament and New - as our final Authority.  God the Spirit is the Divine Author of all 66 Books of Scripture.  Thus, He speaks to our souls through His Word. 

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)  

For instance, when Christ said, “I am the Bread of Life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger...For I came down from Heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.” - all those who heard Him were left in no doubt that He was making reference to the manna given of God to Moses and the children of Israel to sustain vital physical life as they walked through the wilderness wastes. (John 6:32-40)

Again, Christ said to them: “I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.  This (Christ Himself) is the bread which cometh down from Heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.”  (John 6:48-51)                                

The Lord could not have been more clear in His terms of reference.               

So, let us examine the manna given to Moses and the people to see if it may yield up more insights on the Person of Christ Jesus, the Son of the Living Lord God Who has openly promised:

“...Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.”  (Jeremiah 29:13-14)    

The Manna: (Exodus 16:14-15)  “And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.  And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna; for they wist not what it was.  And Moses said unto them, This is the bread that the Lord hath given you to eat.” 

In Exodus 16:14 the manna is portrayed as:

Small:  Christ Jesus came to us as a tiny babe; small of stature and humble of station; born in a manger among the lowly animals.  He left the portals of ultimate glory and, by His incarnation (that is, God becoming man), humbled himself to walk in the human flesh of a mere man.  The Almighty Creator took on the puny form of His creatures that, through His suffering for our sins on the Cross, we might take on the form of the Supernatural and live forever with Him in Glory.  The God-given manna was ’small’.     (Philippians 2:5-11) (1 John 3:1-3)

Round:  Exodus 16:14 reveals to us that the manna given in the wilderness was indeed small, and it was also round in shape.

The true Manna, Christ Jesus, is the Eternal Son of the Living Lord God Jehovah.  Like a true round circle, Christ has no beginning and no end; the Alpha and Omega; He is “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever...”  (Hebrews 13:8)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth…For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”                (John 1:1;14-17)

Thing:  (Exodus 16:14)  As our text from Luke’s Gospel above teaches us, Mary was told by the angel Gabriel, “...That Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” 

What better description would inform the finite human mind that a Person would be born into the world Who would possess two distinct natures in the one Body?  He would be at all times Almighty Lord God and yet, paradoxically, at all times truly human - able to suffer and experience all that you and I suffer in life day by day. 

Praise God for sending ‘...that Holy thing...’, Christ Jesus, as Saviour, Substitute, and Redeemer King.  (Hebrews 4:14-16)

White: (Exodus 16:31) (Numbers 11:7) “And the house of Israel called the name thereof ‘manna’; and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” 

There is none whiter in true and perfect Holiness than Jesus Christ, the well-beloved Son of God, who, ‘...knew no sin...’, yet Who was ‘...made to be sin for us...that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.’ (Hebrews 4:15) (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that, whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16)

Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God Almighty!  None whiter in Holiness than Christ Jesus, the true Bread of Life.  Glory to His Holy Name! Amen.

Sweet:  The manna was sweet ‘...the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.’  Can we not hear King David and the children of Israel cry: 

“O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”  (Psalm 34:8) That is trusts, and keeps right on trusting in Him!

The Eternal Word of God, Jesus Christ, is ‘...sweeter than honey...’ indeed, much sweeter than any physical manna could ever be!  (John 1:1)

“How sweet are Thy Words unto my taste!  Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.  Through Thy precepts (moral instructions and teachings) I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.”  (Psalm 119:103-104))

Now, reflect for a moment, both Bible studying Christians and sincere seekers after the Truth:  After reading this lesson, supported at every point by the inspired Word of God, is your regenerate soul not throbbing with the satisfying love of, and for, the risen Lord Jesus? 

Unsaved soul who may read this Bible Lesson, is your precious soul not left longing to know this Christ as your Bread of life; as your personal Lord and Saviour?

Does each of our souls not thrill and ‘...our hearts burn within us...’ at this written revelation of God’s Son, the risen Lord Jesus Christ?

From the Old Testament description of the physical, God-given, manna, to the New Testament revelation of Christ as the Bread of Life, we are left in no doubt at all of the Holy Ghost’s inspiration of our Bibles and God’s fulfilment of Bible prophecy reference the first coming of Messiah Jesus.

We are amazed by the truth that, ‘...that Holy thing...’ which was born of the virgin Mary, was, is, and  forever shall be ‘...called the Son of God...’, for that’s precisely Whom He Eternally is.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!  Jesus lives and is ever present both to edify in faith and to save.

I commend unto you this day, the Lord Jesus Christ - the true and only Bread of Life Eternal.  Come, eat, and be forever satisfied in Him.

Thought:  “Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.”  (John 6:35)

"Murmur Not Among Yourselves…”! John 6:41-44

Text:  Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith) Today if ye will hear His Voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness; when your fathers tempted Me, proved (tested) Me, and saw My works…”
                                                                                                      Hebrews 3:7-9.

Good morning, Obedient Christian!  Each day, in disciplined Bible devotions, when you read the inspired Word of God, you hearken to the Voice of the Lord God without rebellious murmuring.  When God speaks to your regenerate soul through the medium of His written Word - your heart is immediately made willing to obey.  Praise God for faithful and obedient Christian believers!  Hallelujah!  Our Lord reigns in the hearts of His people!

But He, (Christ Jesus) said, Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it.  (Luke 11:28)

Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power…”                  (Psalm 110:3)

Straight, forthright, Bible teaching will always be met with fierce opposition and disobedient murmurings.  During the past forty years of serving Christ, I have found this principle to be all too consistently true.  Mankinds heart can often be all too proud and self-sufficient and will sometimes murmur at the plain message of written Scripture. 

A Bible Study rule to follow, therefore, might go something like this: IF the Bible makes plain sense, dont seek to make it plain nonsense!

The Jewish Nation had been waiting for their promised Messiah for centuries.  His coming was clearly prophesied throughout the Spirit-inspired books of the Old Testament.  There had been no revelation from Heaven for over four hundred years.  The last book of the Old Testament ends with a curse.  Darkness, in the Spiritual sense, descended upon the earth. 

Only true God-given faith could continue to wait with expectancy the coming of Messiah in the face of such a four hundred plus years period of Heavenly silence.  Religious rituals were not enough!  Faith lasts!

Kings and nobles were faithless, but true faith was found in mere shepherds at the time of Christs birth as the incarnate Jesus - God in human form.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly host praise God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.  (Luke 2:13-14)  

At last, thirty years later, the Heavens were again opened unto sinful man.

Now when all the people were baptized (by John the Baptist), it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the Heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost (God the Spirit) descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from Heaven which said, Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well pleased.   (Luke 3:21-22)

The Jewish Nation had therefore no excuse.  The coming of their Messiah, Jesus, had been well foretold.  However, when He did come, they murmured among themselves and received Him not.  What a National tragedy!

Christ Jesus ‘…was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  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.  (John 1:9-11)

The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from Heaven.  (V.41)

True God-given faith does not murmur in opposition.  True faith just obeys the Word of the Lord.  Gods will matters, the fallen will of man means nothing in Eternal and Spiritual terms.  Trust and obey.

Murmurings always quickly turn to oppositions, which quickly turn to back-biting; that promptly turns to slandering and ridicule.  Thats a fact.

Paraphrased, these murmurers were saying, We know this guy, He is Jesus, the son of Joseph the carpenter; we know the story of His strange birth, and we know his mother and father.  We want nothing to do with this guy. 

However, look at the great truth that their murmurings brought in response from the Son of God, Christ Jesus: Murmur not among yourselves.  No man CAN come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (V.43-44)  Wow!  Think on this truth!

True faith is God-given sola fides faith; faith alone that is given to us of God Himself and will never murmur, but seek at all times to trust and obey.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Thought: Will you murmur at this plain truth, or be encouraged by it?

The Father’s Gift to the Son John 6:37-40

Text:  All (souls) that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.
John 6:37.

Good morning, 'Gods gift' Christian!  Who do you think you are, friend?  Do you think you are Gods gift, or something?  Do you believe you are Gods gift to mankind?  Well, do you?  Do you really believe you are Gods gift? 

Praise God if you do!  For that is exactly, by Gods free grace, what you and I are today.  We, Spiritually regenerate Christians, are Gods gift indeed!  Hallelujah!  Thank you, Lord God, for your matchless grace to the most Hell-deserving sinners like we!  What a Saviour!  What a Lord God!

I (Christ Jesus) have manifested Thy Name (God the Fathers Name) unto the men (and women) which Thou GAVEST Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy Word.  (John 17:6)

It is crystal clear from the verses of Scripture above that you and I, and all that have ever truly believed, and all that ever will truly believe and receive Christs Salvation - are God the Fathers gift to God the Son, Christ Jesus.  Right?  Hallelujah!  What condescending grace!  What a Divine Saviour!

We are in no doubt of this fact - we born again Christians are God the Fathers gift to God the Son.  So, its official, my friend, we ARE Gods gift!

I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou (God the Father) hast given Me; for they are Thine.  And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them.  And now I (Christ Jesus) am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee.  Holy Father, keep through Thine own Name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they (all born again believers) may be one, as We are.  (John 17:9-11)

Now look again at todays selected verses from Johns Gospel.  In the light of what we have already learned, we can see more clearly the Eternal process of our Salvation.  Praise God it is so, Holy Scripture always illuminates and interprets other Holy Scripture.  (Isaiah 8:20)

Verse 37:  Turn the text verse around and gain a better understanding of what Christ is here teaching.  His message becomes clear: All souls that come unto Christ are never cast out.  Why?  Because God the Father has already Divinely elected such souls in Eternity and given us to His Son, Christ Jesus, in time.  Because this is so, we shall be ‘…in no wise cast out…’ by Him.

Verse 38:  How do we know the above statement is true?  We know because Christ states that He came down from Heaven, not to do His own will, but to do the will of His Father which sent Him to save us. This is as clear as a bell!

Verse 39:  Again the Lord Jesus reiterates the fact that God the Fathers will was and is to Divinely elect precious souls and give us to His Son to save by His Cross atonement Sacrifice.  Of those Divinely elected souls the Lord Jesus would not only save us, but He would keep us for time and Eternity and ‘…raise it up again at the last day…’!  Hallelujah!  We are Eternally secure in Christ Jesus.  If the Lord God has saved us, we are Eternally saved!

Verse 40:  I have often in my teachings referred to what has been called the law of the double mention  If the Spirit of God, Who is in fact the Supernatural Author of all canonical Scripture, repeats in close proximity a particular principle - then it is for a special emphasis for us to take note.

God the Fathers will is again mentioned: ‘…that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life; and I (Christ) will raise him/her up at the last day (I.e. at the resurrection of the just).

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that lie in the graves shall hear His Voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good (received Christ), unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil (rejected Christ) unto the resurrection of damnation.  (John 5:28-29)

Okay.  Now let us remind ourselves of a previous lesson: we are saved “…by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man/woman should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

If the Lord God decides (elects), by His grace alone, to grant us saving faith - then we believe, and are given as His gift to His Son, Christ Jesus, and are Eternally saved and secure.

If the Lord God decides (elects), in His Sovereignty, NOT to grant us saving faith - then we fallen sinners shall be Eternally lost.  Only the Lord decides. 

The bottom line in all of this doctrinal teaching is this: God alone is God!  God determines to do what God alone decides to do with us.

Thought:  Whosoever cometh unto the Son shall be Eternally saved!

Working the Works of God? John 6:28-36

Text:  Then said they (the faithless crowd) unto Him, What shall we DO, that we might work the works of God?
John 6:28.

Good morning, faith-filled Christian!  There in only one thing that separates you and I from a world of sinful souls who are presently teetering on the edge of a Christ-rejecters abyss; on their way to a Christ-less Eternity of outer darkness and separation from our Creator Lord God.  That one humanly indescribable thing is God-given FAITH.  Praise God for this life-giving gift!

For by grace (totally unmerited favour from God) 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 are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

The faithless crowd from Tiberius - whom one could say had, literally, travelled land and sea to come to the Presence of Christ Jesus - had a wasted journey indeed.  Why?  Because they had come of their own motivation. Their reasons for coming were no doubt as multitudinous as their physical numbers - but God-given faith played no part in the matter.  Sad, yet true!

But without faith (the gift of God) it is impossible to please Him; for he/she that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.  (Hebrews 11:6)

The lure of miraculous signs and wonders is most obvious in verse 28 of our Bible passage from Johns Gospel.  The first thing this crowd of people asked was, What shall we DO, that we might WORK the works of God?

Everybody loves a circus!  Everybody loves a good show!  People are naturally deeply curious!  Thats why latter-day charlatans have such success!  Beware of false showmen and charlatans - they have no faith!

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

Listen how Jesus answered these curiosity-seekers, these self-seekers:

This is the WORK of God, that ye believe on Him (Christ Himself) Whom He (God the Father) hath sent.  (V.29)

The next question the unbelieving crowd then asked, reveals even more clearly the main, inner focus of their motivation and intentions.  They said therefore unto Him, What sign shewest Thou then, that we may see, and believe Thee?  What dost Thou work?’”

In a modern idiom they were saying: Hey, man!  Show us a miracle!  Moses made bread fall out of the sky for our forefathers, can ya beat that?  If ya can, then we will believe.  We cannot believe in what we cannot physically see!

Many millions of people today just will NOT believe that Jesus Christ is, was, and always shall be - God the Son, the Son of the Living Lord God.  It is clear to see therefore that, they possess no God-given faith to believe in the things that they obviously cannot see, taste, touch, and experience. 

Furthermore, IF they do not possess God-given faith - it is also clear that God has not seen fit to give them His gift of faith, for God alone is the Giver.

However, praise God, we who have been given Gods gracious gift of faith, just like the unbelieving crowd from Tiberias do NOT SEE, yet, because of our faith, we fully believe; are pardoned from all sin; and Eternally saved.

Whosoever believeth (trusts and keeps on trusting) that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and every one that loveth Him that begat (God the Father)  loveth Him also that is begat of Him (Christ the Son, and all born again of Him)For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our FAITH.  (1 John 5:1-5)

To the faithless crowd of selfish sign-seekers Jesus had these chilling words to say:  “…I AM the Bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth (believes and continues to believe) on Me shall never thirst.  BUT I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, and believe NOT. (Vs. 35-36)

Christ thereby publicly told this faithless crowd that they were not only lost in time, but without faith to believe in Him and be saved, lost for all Eternity!  What a chilling message to hear from the Almighty Lord God.

How therefore can you and I seek to ‘…work the works of God…’ in this generation?  Simple: If faith cometh by hearing the Word of God, then we must make sure we spread the Word of God far and near that souls may hear, receive Gods gift of faith, and be forever saved.  Go, therefore, and do it!

Thought: Preach the Word, sow faith, reap a harvest of redeemed souls!