John 6:25 – 35
“Why do you follow Jesus?”
I. Do you follow because of what you get? [v 26]
A. Two factors are involved, both very human and very corrupt.
1. Some follow for the show.
a. The show is entertaining.
b. The miraculous signs are uplifting.
2. Some follow for the dinner.
a. The physical provisions are a necessity of life.
b. The resources are a basic craving of the flesh.
(Ill.) The new theory that Jesus was rich and God wants you to be rich. The old reality, what do you say to our fellow brothers and sisters in Dufar or Hati?
B. Jesus pointed out the common ground. [v 27]
1. Serious mistake #1: They chased things that do not last.
2. These things “spoil” (KJV “perisheth”). In other words they decay and rot the soul.
3. When we give in to the pursuit of them, they make us mindless and stupid.
a. We labor at religion and religious exercises. They become a cheap substitute for a relationship with God.
b. We talk the talk and walk the walk. They become our main concern, instead of our love for God. [Revelation 2:1 – 7]
c. We pursue worldly interests and advantages. They become a substitute for Jesus. [Revelation 3:14 – 22]
***** They were CONVINCED but NOT CONVICTED. *****
II. Do you follow because of what Jesus does? [v 30]
A. Serious mistake #2: They undervalued and evaded Jesus. [v 30]
1. “What will you do?” [v 30]
a. They asked for a miraculous sign... after seeing 5,000 feed.
b. The carnal always try to judge the spiritual.
2. The reference is to Moses and the manna [Exodus 16:2 – 4, 11 – 15]
a. The people would rather be slaves than starve.
1.) New Hampshire motto “Live free or die” has long been forgotten.
2.) (Ill.) The man that wanted wisdom who went to a spiritual teacher. They walked down to the lake were the teacher grabbed the man and held him underwater. The teacher pulled the man’s head up and asked “What do you want?” “Air” the man grasped. “When you want wisdom as much as you wanted air, you will find it.”
b. UNFORTUNATELY we would rather be slaves. It’s easier. We are controlled by someone/something else and we don’t have to take responsibility for our actions.
B. Serious mistake #3: They walked by SIGHT not by FAITH.
1. “That we may see it and believe.”
2. The Bible says, “ Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” [Hebrews 11:1]
***** They were CURIOUS but NOT COMMITTED. *****
III. Do you follow because of Jesus? [v 35]
A. Is it because of love that we follow Jesus?
1. The blessing or Jesus?
2. The feeling or Jesus?
3. The gift or The Giver?
4. Healing or The Healer?
5. Do you want to use Jesus or be used by Jesus?
6. Do you labor for yourself or for Jesus alone?
[From: “Himself” by A. B. Simpson 1843 – 1919]
B. Circumstances or Jesus? [Habakkuk 3:17 – 18]
1. In the worst of circumstances (even without entertainment or physical provisions)...
a. Even when there is no fruit, no grain, no meat, no food.
b. Human philosophy says, without the basics, no other achievement is possible... it seems contrary to human nature.
(Ill. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was given the answer: “My grace is sufficient for you.”)
2. There is rejoicing because the view is eternal.
a. There is confidence in God.
b. There is an understanding, that something more important than self, is found in God.
R. Zacarius: “Joy is man’s inner response to God’s victory.”
3. The Bible says, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work (singular) of God, that ye believe on Him who He hath sent.” [John 6:29]
a. Believe means to habitually trust God’s power and grace.
b. Believe means full moral surrender of the will to God.
C. The result of Jesus’ teaching when the crowd understood it: (they) “turned back and no longer followed.” [v 66]
***** They were CHALLENGED but NOT CHANGED. *****