Physical or Spiritual? (John 6)

It’s hard for me to read about the crowd in John 6 and not laugh.  Jesus had done a miracle for their sake, feeding them all with only 5 loafs of bread & 2 small fish.  Yet they didn’t care about the miracle.  They cared about getting their bellies filled.

Originally they had come to Him because they saw Him performing signs on the sick.  But now their temporal concerns had become the most important thing, and they wanted food.

I wonder how often we do this.  We see God working mightily in our lives, but we don’t care about that… we just want to fill our bellies.  We pass on the eternal for the things that are passing.

We need to remember that no matter how good the physical blessing, it’s only temporary.  It’s not the main thing.  Spiritual things are the reality.

Jesus is the main thing.

Body of Death, Body of Life (John 5)

John 5:25-29:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.  “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;  and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.  “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,  and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

Though I don’t know exactly what Christians’ bodies are going to be like after the resurrection, it’s not difficult to imagine the possibilities.  Bodies of glory.  Imperishable.  Of the new creation.  Something very cool.  Something of awe.

What is harder to imagine is what the resurrection will be like for the wicked, those outside of Christ.  It’s clear from this passage in John 5 that the wicked will also be resurrected, to eternal punishment.  Which means that they too will have eternal bodies. 

Matthew 10:28 –

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The body of the wicked faces the same fate as the soul.  And this leads to that which is so hard for me to picture… what a body of eternal punishment will be like?  A body that is not ever destroyed, yet is continually destroyed for all eternity.

Thank the Lord, for He has given us the way to eternal life… through His own blood.  We do not have to worry about what that eternal body of punishment will be like if we come to Christ, to the eternal Life.

The Model Relationship (John 5)

John 5:18-24:

For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

 

 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.  “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.  “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.  “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,  so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

 

 

Daily Bread (John 4)

One of my favorite passages is here in John 4.  Verses 31-34:

Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.

We often make it a point to eat at least three meals a day.  We constantly think about what we’re going to do for fun either when we get off of work, or over the weekend.  We save money to buy things that we think we’ll enjoy.  With 168 hours in a week, we think mostly of self fulfillment.  It seems God gets the leftovers, maybe 8 hours if we’re feeling generous.

Leftovers are such humble things,

We would not serve to a guest,

And yet we serve them to our Lord

Who deserves the very best.

We give to Him leftover time,

Stray minutes here and there.

Leftover cash we give to Him,

Such few coins as we can spare.

We give our youth unto the world,

To hatred, lust and strife;

Then in declining years we give

To him the remnant of our life.

-Author Unknown.

Jesus smacked this idea in the face with His life here on earth.  He was sustained by doing the Lord’s work.  We must change our minds and our hearts so that we are sustained by doing His will.

Don’t be fooled by the devil’s schemes.  He wants us to try to get bread out of stones, but we must remember… man lives by every word that proceeds from the Father’s mouth.  True life can only be found in Christ.  We live in Christ by doing the will of the Lord.  It’s how Jesus found His nourishment.

God said in 1 Timothy 5:6 that those who live for pleasure are dead even while they live.  They constantly go to the earthly wells, just like the Samaritan woman did in our John 4 text.  But Jesus pointed out that those wells cannot satisfy.  He said we must drink of the eternal well.  Ever notice how He gave this message twice in this passage?  Both to the Samaritan woman and to the disciples.  It’s the same idea. 

Self service leads to death.  Doing God’s will brings life.

Job 23:12 says I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.  

I’ve mentioned food a few times in this post.  

Is your mouth watering and your belly rumbling from hunger? 

Are you full to the brim from your last meal? 

Are you devouring a gourmet meal right now?

 

feast1

 

I’m speaking of spiritual food.  What portion of His will are you putting on your plate?.

.

.

.

Heavenly Well(John 4)

In John 4 we have the well known account of when Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well.  I wonder how many times we’ve gone over this story.  I wonder how many times we’ve thought of ourselves as the woman…

I never picked up completely on her misunderstanding before.  Jesus told her He would offer a water that would never leave a thirst.  Water from a continual spring.

She responds in verse 13 with “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty…”  I always skimmed over her answer and assumed that she was catching on.  I thought it was obvious to her that Jesus was speaking of a spiritual water.  But then I consider the rest of her reply, “… and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 

Her focus is still on a physical fulfillment.

Too many times I have done likewise.  Jesus has promised me eternal things, and I mistake them for temporal gifts… things that will burn away.  It’s hard, because we live in a culture where physical reward is king.  Even much of the broadcasted preaching, from those who claim to have God’s message, is filled with this fallen focus.  God doesn’t need to make us rich, powerful, popular or beautiful.  There are plenty of those people in the world. 

What God calls us to is something beyond this far country.  Something that carries the scent of our true home.  We must long for the spring of water that wells up to eternal life.

And we must be careful when we tell other people about the promises of God.  The average person will be looking for physical gifts, things that can help them in their present circumstance (from an earthly point of view).  We must shine in the darkness so people can see that their needs are beyond what is seen.  So they can find the well that longs to eternally burst forth within them.

Can we see taste clearly enough to tell when the water is not from the physical well, but rather from the eternal well?