Wise Christian Timing John 7:1-10

Text:  To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven; a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and at time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

Good morning, wise Christian time-keeper!   Like your Master and Lord, the Living Christ Jesus, you are a wise discerner of time; you know when to speak and when to be quiet; you know when to advance, and you know when to wait for a more convenient time to move forward.  You do well, Christian time-keeper.  You do very well and your Lord is pleased with you.

We are fools for Christs sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong…”  (1 Corinthians 4:10)

Behold, I (Christ Jesus) send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  (Matthew 10:16)

The first ten verses of chapter seven of our Journey in Johns Gospel today, teaches us how the Lord Jesus was not One to rush into things as others all around Him were wont to do.  Followers of Christ Jesus must learn to be similarly wise as to our timing in His service.

The writer of our eight verse text above was Solomon - a king, and the son of king David; who asked God for special wisdom instead of riches untold.  His Holy Spirit inspired verses above on the subject of wise timing are therefore priceless.  ‘…There is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven…’  Praise God for such wise advice from Gods Word!

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

After the often impulsive Peter declared publicly that, ‘…We believe and are sure that Thou are that Christ, the Son of the Living God. - we learn that ‘…Jesus walked in Galilee; for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him. (V.1)  (Dictionary Definition: Jewry - n. the Jewish world, community, or religion; Judaea; a district inhabited by Jews.  The Chambers Dictionary p 864)

Now, any Bible Scholar knows that the only reason Christ Jesus came to us in bodily form - via what we call the incarnation - was to suffer and to die to make the only Atonement Sacrifice for our sins that would be acceptable to our thrice Holy Lord God of total wrath against all sin.  Even the old Levitical priesthood knew this vital fact.  Jesus had come to die for us!

For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I (God the Father) have given it to you upon the altar (the Cross) to make an Atonement for your souls; for it is the Blood (sinless Blood of Christ) that maketh (makes and continues to make) an Atonement for the soul (of sinful mankind).  (Leviticus 17:11)

“…This is the Blood of the Testament which God hath enjoined unto youand without shedding of Blood (Christs sinless Blood) is no remission (of sins).  (Hebrews 9:18-28)  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour we have!

However, our passage today informs us that the Lord Jesus would not take the advice of His brethren (His unsaved natural brothers and sister) and go up into Judaea and show all in sundry His Supernatural powers.  Why?  Because He knew that ‘…the Jews sought to kill Him…’ and that the proper timing of His Atoning death was crucial to His Fathers will.  The time was not right!  Christ Jesus would lay down His life in the Fathers perfect time.

We learn near the end of this mornings Bible reading, But when His brethren were gone up (to Judaea), then He also went up unto the feast, NOT OPENLY, but as it were IN SECRET. (V.10)  The Lord Jesus exercised sharp discernment and practiced wise timing.  Praise His Name!

Let us seek to apply the knowledge from Gods Word we have so far gleaned this morning:  Do you need to make a crucial decision in some area of your life - in family, in business, in church matters, in service?  Do it wisely, and at the correct time.

Do you feel led of the Spirit of God to go out and serve Christ in a foreign land; in an unfamiliar place; among potentially hostile people?  Pray about it much, then make a wise decision.  Patience is a very real virtue, my friend.

Have you members of your own family, friends, work colleagues, you need to bear witness to of the saving power of Christ Jesus?  Pray hard for them, then look for the best and wisest time to speak of these Eternal things. 

Thought:  Time is of the essence - be in time, keep in time with God!

Nowhere Else to Go! John 6:67-71

Text:  Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of Eternal life.  And we believe (fully trust) and are sure that Thou art that Christ (the Anointed One), the Son of the Living God.
John 6:68-68.

Good morning, absolutely certain Christian!  You are saved, and you know it.  You are saved, therefore you seek to show it.  You have been Redeemed by the Lamb, Christ Jesus, and NOTHING can pluck you from His Hand.  Praise God for absolutely certain Christians!  Glory to the Living Lamb!

I (Job) have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth Thee.   Wherefore I abhor myself in dust and ashes.         (Job 42:5-6)

Scriptures clearly teach us the stability we Christians have when we become mature enough in faith to fully trust in the Son of God, the Living Jesus Christ.  (Romans 10:17)

Once fully persuaded, nothing can really shift us from our certainty.  The world; the flesh; and that old Devil will all continually try to move us away from our certain grounding in faith.  However, we have Gods Word on the conclusion of the matter - ‘…NOTHING…’ can pluck us from His Hand!

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  And I give unto them Eternal life (not some temporal existence!); and they shall never perish, neither shall any man (or beast, or demon, or circumstance) pluck them out of My hand.  My Father, which gave them (regenerate Christians) Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Fathers hand.  I and My Father are One.  Now, thats Eternal life!  (John 10:27-30)

The fair-weather disciples of Jesus never stay the distance.  These would-be followers of Jesus had seen with their own eyes the miraculous things that the Christ had performed; had listened to Him speak the words of life and truth; had heard clearly how He had calmed the very wind and waves - yet still refused to believe the ’…Spirit…’ words that He spoke.  (Vs. 62-63)

Christ had openly challenged those who’…murmured…’ when He said, What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before?  (V.62) - knowing all the while that ‘…there are some of you that believe not…’  (V.64)

It was no surprise to the Lord Jesus that, ‘…From that time many of His disciples (fair-weather followers and Miracle Gazers See previous Lesson) went back, and walked no more with Him.  (V.66)

When the miraculous show is over, so often we see the fickle followers, the sight-seeing crowds, leave the circus unmoved by God-given faith.

While we look NOT at the things which are SEEN, but at the things which are NOT SEEN; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are Eternal.  (2 Corinthians 4:18)

So, into this context we find the Lord Jesus asking His twelve disciples a most relevant question:  Will ye also go away?  (V.67)

Can you use your sanctified imagination for a moment, beloved reader?  Can you try to empathize with the disciples who were put on this spot by the Living Lord?  Can you feel, just for one moment, the depth and the power of such a question from the Creator Lord of all things, Christ Jesus?  Try to do so!

Can you not almost feel the true believers hearts suddenly melt with love for their Master Lord?  Does the tears of adoration not begin to rise up in your eyes at the thought provoked by such a soul-searching question from God the Son?  Is your very soul not suddenly TOUCHED by the hand of the Almighty Lord God?  Mine is.  Praise God, mine is!  Glory, glory, glory!

Now listen to that great big impulsive Peters answer; that big, often clumsy, and most fallible believers instant clarion call:  Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of Eternal life.  (V.68)

Then Peter continues on with a statement that only the absolutely certain Christian can publicly declare:  And we believe and are SURE that Thou art that Christ (Gods Anointed One), the Son of the Living God.  (V.69)

Wow!  When you and I can be as sure and absolutely certain as Peter was that day - NOTHING can move us from the Rock of our Eternal Salvation.

Be of a good cheer, sure and certain Christian, you may be facing what seems like insurmountable oppositions; grave health problems; broken relationships; mountains of Satanic assault.  But KNOW this for sure - the Lord Jesus has already secured for you and for me the absolute Victory.  Hallelujah!  Victory in Christ the Lamb!  Amen.

Thought:  “…Weeping may endure for a nightjoy cometh in the morning…’  Up from the grave He arose!  Hallelujah!  (Psalm 30:5b) 

Questioning God’s Word! John 6:59-66

Text: "But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

James 1:22.

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

Good morning, obedient Christian!  When you read the Word of God, and thereby hear what the Lord God has revealed unto us in His Word - you do not seek to question Gods Word, but hasten to do what Gods Word is teaching you to do.  Praise God for non-questioning Bible readers!

God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent (say and not do); hath He said, and shall He not do it?  Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?                         (Numbers 23:19)

God says what He means in His Word, and means exactly what He says!

As Christ taught in the synagogue at Capernaum, He spoke in what should have been clearly heard as plain speech.  He used long-established figurative and symbolic illustrations concerning His Body and His Blood that all  in the Jewish tradition should have been able to discern.  But, either they did not understand, or they just downright would not seek to understand Him!

Of course, with hindsight, we Bible Scholars now know that this was a clear fulfillment of historical Old Testament prophecy - and what the Bible prophesies ALWAYS comes to pass.

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?  Then said I (Isaiah), Here I am; send me.  And He (the Lord) said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand NOT; and see ye indeed, but perceive NOTlest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert (to be Christians), and be healed (from sin).  (Isaiah 6:8-10)

There are none so blind and those who will not see, none so deaf as those who will not hear.  Some fools believe that ignorance is bliss.  How sad.

However, the Lord Jesus, being infinite in His patience with us all, left His hearers at the synagogue in absolutely no doubt of the meaning of His symbolic words.  He openly informed all hearers that He was not speaking about any literal eating of His Body, or drinking of His Blood.  He was speaking Spiritually, not literally.

It is the Spirit that quickened; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.  But there are some of you that believe not.  For Jesus KNEW from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who would betray Him.  (Vs. 63-64)

If the Bible makes clear sense - dont seek to make nonsense out of it!

When Christ spoke symbolically in the Capernaum synagogue concerning His Body and His Blood - some of His disciples, not the twelve, ‘…murmured at it…’; they said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it?  (Vs. 60-61)

When He made mention of His ‘…ascending up where He was before (Heaven)…’, the murmuring, and unbelief undoubtedly became much worse.

Then, when the Lord Jesus proclaimed the absolute Sovereignty of His Father in Heaven in all things pertaining to the Salvation of man - ‘…many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.  (V.65-66)

You see, the heart of fallen man likes to think that he/she can just come unto Christ Jesus and be saved whenever it pleases self to do so.  However, that is most definitely not the case.  Christ set forth the fact that, ‘…No man can come unto Me, except it (saving faith?) were given unto him/her of My Father.  (V.65)  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Fallen mankind hates to acknowledge the Sovereignty of the Living Lord God!

The Lord God Whom I seek to obey, serve, love and worship is completely Sovereign over all my puny self. He is Sovereign in Creation; He is Sovereign in power; He is Sovereign in wisdom; and He is most certainly Sovereign in all things pertaining to my souls Salvation. 

I am NOTHING but a Hell-deserving sinner, saved by Gods Sovereign grace. Hallelujah!  What a Sovereign Lord and Saviour!  Jesus Lives!  Rejoice all repentant sinners!  It is the Lord God Who saves our souls!

Thought:  Who is in Sovereign control of YOUR soul, beloved friend? 

The Error of Mental Cannibalism? John 6:52-58

Text:  For the life of the flesh is in the Blood; and I (God) hath given it to you upon the altar (the Cross) to make an Atonement for your souls; for it is the Blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. 
Leviticus 17:11.

Good morning, Spiritually discerning Christian!  When you read the Holy Bible you read with God-given Spiritual discernment as opposed to the natural discernment of the unregenerate soul.  It is this God-given gift of Spiritual discernment that makes the vast difference - the Eternal difference - in what you read and understand and what the unsaved natural soul reads yet completely misunderstands.  Such a vital understanding means the difference between going to spend Eternity in Heaven with Christ, and being cast into the ’…lake which burneth with fire…’  Praise God for Spiritual discernment!

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which mans wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. BUT the natural man (the Spiritually unregenerate man) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)

This vital concept of Spiritual discernment is well illustrated in our Journey in Johns Gospel today.  Todays selected Bible reading above clearly depicts the concept at work in the minds of the Jewish crowd from Tiberias, when they totally misconstrued what Christ was seeking to teach them concerning Himself as the Bread of Life.

The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man (Jesus) give us His flesh to eat?  (V.52)

They immediately thought that the Lord Jesus was literally encouraging them to practice cannibalism: (v.)‘…the practice of eating ones own kind…’; Cannibal: (n.)any eater of the flesh of its own species…’   (Chambers Dictionary, page 237.)

This is what renowned Bible Scholar Matthew Henry says on the subject:  Christ, having thus spoken of Himself as the Bread of Life, and of faith as the work of God, comes more particularly to show what of Himself is this bread, namely His flesh, and that to believe is to eat of that, (Vs. 51-58) where He still prosecutes the METAPHOR of food. 

“Observe here, the preparation of this food: ‘…the bread that I will give is My flesh (V.51), the flesh of the Son of man and His Blood (V.53).  His flesh is meat indeed, and His Blood is drink indeed (V.55), observe also the participation of this food: we must eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink of His Blood (V.53)This is certainly a parable or figurative discourse, wherein the actions of the soul upon things Spiritual and Divine are represented by bodily actions about things sensible, which made the truths of the Christ more intelligible to some, and less so to others (Mark 4:11-12)…”  (Matthew Henrys Commentary on the Whole Bible, page 1955)

And He (Christ Jesus) said unto them (His twelve disciples), Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without (the unregenerate), all these things are done in parables; that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.             (Mark 4:11-12) (Isaiah 6:8-10)

The meat and the blood that the Lord Jesus was metaphorically, symbolically, and figuratively speaking of, was His own pure Body and sinless Blood which He had come to give as an Atonement Sacrifice upon the Cross at Calvary to pay the redeeming ransom for our vile sins!  (John 3:16)

However, not being granted Gods gift of saving faith, the multitude in question did not understand, could not discern, the Spiritual implications of such a profound, Divine and Eternal concept; they could not perceive the Spiritual message, and thus could not receive Gods Salvation and ‘…live for ever…’ (V.58)  Christ alone is Gods way of Eternal Salvation.

For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the Word preached did NOT profit them, not being mixed with faith (‘…the gift of God…’) in them that heard it.  (Hebrews 4:2)

For by grace 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)

Rejoice therefore, discerning Christian!  For if you are reading and understanding this Bible Lesson - you are living proof of the facts it contains.

Thought:  Take, eat, (symbolically) this is My Body, which is broken for you, this do in remembrance of Me.  (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)