The 7th in our series of sermons entitled “Sketches of the Son of God” looking at some of the portraits of Jesus in John’s Gospel.
Oh how we like to be popular! And following the miraculous feeding of the 5000 the popularity of Jesus was at its zenith, all-be-it for the wrong reasons! But that was all about to change, thanks to one sermon, the response to which offers us some reasons as to why people refuse to believe in Jesus. Such unbelief revolves around 3 key areas:-
1 – INSIGHT.
Jesus stays with the image of bread claiming to be “the bread of life” (v 35.) But while he is speaking about spiritual bread, the crowd, who had recently been fed, were still thinking about physical bread. Lacking spiritual insight and being spiritually blind they missed the point.
Likewise people today do not believe in Jesus because of a lack of spiritual insight in that Satan draws a veil over their eyes so that they cannot understand the Gospel message (2 Corinthians 4 v 4.)
2 – IDENTITY.
On 5 occasions Jesus claimed to have – “come down from heaven” (v 38.) Knowing that this was tantamount to claiming to be God, the religious leaders offered a different perspective as to his identity. Jesus could not possibly be God; he was after all the son of Joseph and Mary from Nazareth, a mere human being with delusions of grandeur!
Likewise people today do not believe in Jesus because they refuse to acknowledge his identity as the Son of God. A good man, absolutely. A gifted teacher, most definitely. An eloquent prophet, without question. But the Son of God, I don’t think so (Romans 1 v 3 – 4.)
3 – INDIGNATION.
When Jesus spoke of the need to – “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood” (v 53) the crowd once again got the wrong end of the stick and instead of discerning that Jesus was speaking of the need to spiritually participate in his divine sacrificial life, they perceived that he was talking of some sort of primitive cannibalism! The outcome was much indignation, involving argument, an unwillingness to accept the teaching and eventual desertion.
Likewise people today do not believe in Jesus because they experience indignation when it comes to the cross, viewing it as scandalous that Jesus should die such a cruel and shameful death in our place (1 Corinthians 1 v 23.)
But all is not lost, because Jesus also speaks of those, who like most of the twelve disciples, will genuinely believe and stay with him, because God “Gives” (v 37) them to his Son; he “draws” (v 44) them towards his Son; and he “enables” (v 65) them to hear and respond positively to his call to “come.”
Challenge – Can you say with Simon Peter and the twelve disciples – “We believe and know that you are the holy one of God.”
Theme: “Why do some believe in Jesus, while others don’t?”
Reading: John 6 v 60 – 69
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Nathan Gordon