Jesus moment

You Have the Words of Life – Part 6

This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is called “You Have the Words of Life”.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

Our new series is called “You have the words of life. This is from a verse in John Chapter 6:

John 6:68 (NIV)
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

What I want to do is take some time to look at some of the amazing things that Jesus has said. What do you want? Stop making my Father’s house a market. You must be born again. True worshippers worship in Spirit and in Truth. Do you want to get well? Today we are going to look at another question Jesus asks that is designed to get us thinking.

Scripture Reading

John 6:5-15 (NIV)
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. 12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. 14 After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

John 6:5 (NIV)
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”

Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat? This is one of those questions that are asked to help us think outside of our own normal narrow focus.

John 6:6 (NIV)
6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

1. Our way or His way?

I think one of the big problems we have in living by doing the next right thing is our tendency to forget to keep God in the equation.

John 6:3-5 (NIV)
3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Feast was near. 5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”

John 6:7 (NIV)
7 Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

John 6:8-9 (NIV)
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Luke 1:37 (NIV)
37 For nothing is impossible with God.”

2. What about me?

Sometimes, our lack of trust that God is really going to take care of us will cause us to have a very narrow focus. Let’s talk about the disciples for a minute. We get a little more detail on what they were going through in Matthew’s gospel.

Matthew 14:15-17 (NIV)
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

So the story is, that the disciples are hungry, they have figured out how to get enough food for themselves, and they want to eat. So they tell Jesus, “Hey Jesus, would you send these people away so we can have dinner.”

Jesus response is interesting. “You give them something to eat”. You need to see these people like I do. It is not all about you. They are hungry, spiritually and physically.

When we start to think more like Jesus, we can get outside the narrow perspective we live our lives in. When we learn to trust Him, we can break out of the trap of “What about me?”

3. Be willing to use what you have

John 6:12-13 (NIV)
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

We have talked in the past about the connection between radical generosity, radical hospitality and mercy. The parable of the good Samaritan calls the lengths of care that the Samaritan when to on behalf of the man on the side of the road mercy. Here, as the disciples share what they have with the crowd they are demonstrating radical hospitality and generosity, they are extending mercy to people that are spiritually and physically hungry. When we serve others, extending mercy, the cool thing is you get mercy back.

Matthew 5:7 (NIV)
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Twelve full baskets, twelve disciples, makes for twelve full disciples. Pretty cool.

4. Who is the King?

John 6:14-15 (NIV)
14 After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

Interesting thing happens here. These people have a response that is not that uncommon when we are thinking selfishly. The phrase take Him by force and make Him king is about people who want to use Jesus, not obey Him. They want Him to be King and free them from the Romans, but a king is one who rules, not who is ruled by others. Jesus loves them well when He withdraws from them. You see, we don’t command Jesus to do what we want, He is the King. We are to be asking what He wants from us. Like the disciples who were telling Jesus to send the people away so they could eat, instead of asking how they could serve. We are to ask and pray

Matthew 6:10 (NIV)
10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

The real, full and abundant life Jesus came to give us is found in living His way, nor ours.

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