Reflection on John 6:51-58

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Scripture

“Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day.”

Observation

Jesus is the living bread from heaven and He gives eternal life to all who eat of Him. To have eternal life, we must eat His flesh and drink His blood.

Anyone who eats His flesh and drinks His blood remains in Christ and Christ remains in them.

Application

The language in this passage can be hard for us to decode because it is so foreign to us.

Jesus is saying that He is the bread from heaven which gives eternal life. This is a reference to the manna which came to the children of Israel in the wilderness and fed them for forty years.

This manna was a shadow of the real thing- Jesus who gives us eternal life.

Jesus says we must eat His flesh and drink His blood to receive eternal life.

One application of this is that we must enter into an intimate relationship with Him so that we remain or abide in Him and He abides or remains in us.

This is a process of discipleship that leads to our lives being totally identified with the life of Christ. We must live in daily prayer, that is open sharing with Him with no hiding or pretending. We must meditate on the Word so that the Scriptures change us. Our focus must become God’s will not our own will.

Bread and wine also remind us of Holy Communion. We need to live in a worshipping community of faith. The sacrament is a physical sign of our desire to experience Christ more closely. As a body we can encourage and exhort each other to be more faithful in our walk together.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you are the true bread of heaven. Teach me how to feast on you and to let your life fill me in every way. Amen.

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Today’s Sermon

Messy-church

The sermon for August 12th 2018 is now available on the New Life web-site.

In this sermon, which is based on John 6:1-15, I talk about the Feeding of the 5000.

Click here to listen in your browser, here to download the mp3

Reflection on John 6:41-51

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Scripture

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me has eternal life.”

Observation

People start to grumble because Jesus said that He is the Bread of Heaven. They know His father and mother. How could He have come from heaven?

Jesus responds by saying that nobody can come to the Him unless the Father draws them. Anyone who believes has eternal life. He is the Bread of Heaven, just like the manna their ancestors ate in the desert.

Application

Salvation is a person, not a religion. If we really want to be sure of eternal life, we must attach ourselves to Jesus and follow His way.

There is nothing that we can do to make us right with God. If I decide to live a perfect life from today, that is only what God expects of me, and it does nothing to pay for my previous sins.

Good deeds and religious virtues can never make us right with God. Only Jesus can do that.

Anyone who believes (a better translation would be “trusts”) in Jesus has eternal life.

Jesus has paid the price for my sin. All I have to do is trust in Him.

Many years ago, there was a man in my town who lived on the streets with his dog. Each week he would go to the bank and withdraw $20 for his drink and some food for his dog. He was actually quite a wealthy man and could afford to live in any house and eat the best food. He chose to be homeless.

God has given His promise to every person in the world, the promise of eternal life. Those who refuse to receive the promise make the choice for hell.

The choice is clear. Trust in Jesus for eternal life. Trust anything else for eternal torment.

Prayer

Thank you Jesus for opening the doors to heaven for me. I receive your promise of salvation and I choose to follow you. Amen.

Reflection on John 6:24-35

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Scripture
Jesus answered “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Observation
After the feeding of the 5000, Jesus and the disciples cross the lake in a boat. Some people follow them. Jesus confronts them with the fact that they are only following Him for the food He produced.

They ask Him what God requires of them. Jesus replies that the work of God is to believe in Jesus. Jesus is the bread of life and anyone who comes to Him will not hunger or thirst.

Application
A religious person will want to know what they have to do to placate God, whom they perceive to be angry at their guilt. Whether it is sacrifices, good deeds or pilgrimages to holy places, we want to know what pleases God and gets us out of trouble.

Jesus tells us here that the work God gives us is simply to trust in Jesus.

When I trust in the One sent by the Father, I can know my sins are forgiven. What bliss!

A religious person will pray a prayer of repentance, the “sinner’s prayer.” They may start to attend a church.

But Jesus is looking for more than a prayer. To trust Him means that we hand everything about us into His hands. It is about a relationship. He directs our paths and we follow, trusting that He has our lives under control.

It’s all about believing Jesus.

Believing that He is in control.

Believing that our sin is forgiven and that we have abundant life in Jesus.

Believing that the One who fed 5000 people has enough to meet my needs.

Prayer
As one person in the Bible said, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief.” Jesus, I trust you to direct my paths. Help me to follow you today. Amen.

Reflection on John 17:1-19

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Scripture

“Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.”

Observation

Jesus is praying prior to His arrest and crucifixion.

He asks the Father to glorify Him so He can give glory back to the Father. Jesus has been given authority to give eternal life to all who come to Him.

Jesus revealed the Father to everyone who believed His message. He asks his Father to protect the disciples who remain in the world.

The world hates Jesus’ followers. Therefore Jesus asks the Father to protect them. They are not to be taken from the world but protected in it.

Application

Jesus was sent into the world. The word “sent” is apostello from which we get the word apostle. It has the sense of being sent by a king for a particular mission, representing the king in another country. The word “world” here is cosmos which refers to the spiritual and cultural forces which resist God’s sovereignty.

Jesus was sent by our heavenly Father into the world which has rejected His reign. Jesus was sent to establish a kingdom of disciples or followers who would do His will in the world.

In exactly the same way, Jesus now sends His disciples into the world to continue His mission.

We are apostles, missionaries, ambassadors of a kingdom that is not of this world. We have been sent here for a purpose to further God’s kingdom by confronting the powers and principalities that hold people in bondage.

We are to serve a kingdom that is higher and greater than our limited ambitions. We serve the King of Kings, the Lord who established His kingdom by dying for His subjects.

What is God calling you to do today?

In what way will you be His sent one?

Prayer

Lord you have sent me into this place. Hep me to see what your mission is for me today. Grant me the grace to fulfil all that you entrust to me. Amen.

Reflection on John 10:11-18

Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+10.11-18

Scripture

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep, and they know me.”

Observation

Jesus is the good shepherd who sacrifices His life for the sheep. A hired hand is in it for the money; he doesn’t care about the sheep.

Jesus is the good shepherd. He knows His sheep and they know Him. He gives His life for the sheep. He has sheep from a different sheep fold and He will bring the flocks together.

Application

Jesus is the good shepherd. He is not a faithless hireling who runs at the first sign of danger. He lays down His life for the sake of His sheep.

There is nothing that Jesus will not do for His sheep. He won’t always give us what we want, but He will meet every need that we have. He is the good shepherd.

He knows us by name. He sees us the way we really are. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses, our victories and our failures. He knows us as closely as He knows the Father. And He loves us.

He wants us to know Him also. To have the strong, unbreakable bonds of friendship. He wants us to invest time and energy in seeking His face.

It is said that in the time of Jesus, shepherds would often put their sheep in a shared sheepfold overnight. In the morning, the shepherds would call their respective sheep but name, and their sheep would hear the voice of their own shepherd and go to them.

Jesus’ sheep know their shepherd. They know when He calls their name and they follow Him.

Prayer

Jesus, you are my good shepherd. Thank you for sacrificing your life for me. Amen.