Thanks to your bountiful giving at Beattie Road we continue to be able to support missionaries that work with the established congregations in Thailand and Myanmar.
In 6:1-15, Jesus feeds 5,000 people. This is a highly significant event, one of the few that all four gospels share. It is such a big deal that in verse 15 the crowd tries to make Him their king.
Jesus begins with a spiritual object lesson from the feeding of the 5,000. Notice v. 35; vs. 45-46; v. 50; vs. 54-56; v. 60; vs. 61-63. Can you explain what is happening in these verses?
Jesus refuses to follow their tradition or their expectation. So the crowd leaves Him and would follow no more.
The Text John 6:60-69
Peter speaks up for Jesus: vs. 68-69. I think that Jesus is talking about commitment, not the communion.
He is saying to these people who have never heard of the communion yet, “to be a disciple, we must be completely committed to Him.”
We Need to See Jesus as our Spiritual Food and our Spiritual Drink
Some see Jesus as a fountain of financial blessings to the faithful. And yet we read Mark 10:21; Matthew 6:24
Some see Jesus who never asks anything of His followers: And yet we read John 21:15-19 and see that we must love Him more.
So What Are We Going To Do With Jesus?
Are we going to leave Him too? Peter says “Where will we go; you have the words of life!”
We conform to Him. We absorb Him. We become Him. That’s my choice. I choose to follow Jesus!
It is a decision made by a person to accept Christ.
I John 5:1 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.”
The new birth is a willingness to act on that decision.
1 John 2:29 “If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.”
1John 3:9 “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.”
1John 4:7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
It is accepting that the power of that change is God’s.
John 1:12-13 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
We would be presumptuous to say that we fully understand who God accomplishes our salvation, but we do know that it is part of His action toward us.
John 3:8 “The wind blows were it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
The new birth is a process that begins with faith and then transforms us. It is accepting the power of God as seen in the sacrifice of Christ. This power is open to all, and that invitation is open today.
Have you been born again? Have you come to Jesus believing, confessing, repenting and submitting to baptism? If not, you have not become new, you have not been born again, something that Jesus tells us is essential if we are to live with God.
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The team meets one afternoon per week to grade lessons, issue new lessons, and respond to student’s questions.
Read John 2:1-2
Middle Eastern weddings are very much different from weddings in our part of the world.
Procession from the groom’s house to the bride’s home. The wedding would be at her house, and then everyone would go back to the groom’s house for feasting. It was a joyous occasion! Jesus was at this wedding.
Read John 2:3-5
This new couple is about to experience public embarrassment. This would be the wedding feast remembered for what they didn’t have.
So Mary comes to Jesus and says, “They have no wine.” Jesus informs His mother that “My hour has not yet come.” Mary simply turns to the servants and says, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Read John 2:6-10
Jesus has the servants fill the water pots with water.Jesus tells the servants to draw some liquid out and to give it to the master of the feast. The master of the feast declares this wine to be great.
Jesus did this miracle quietly because it was not yet time for Him to make a public display of His power and glory. So this miracle was accomplished in a way not apparent to everyone. It was done to fulfill a need.
Lessons to be Learned
This miracle was a sign. Only God can turn water into wine. Jesus was indeed God.
This miracle was not in response to a “critical need.” Our God is concerned with our regular problems. Consider 1 Peter 5:7
Jesus transforms something ordinary into something wonderful. Jesus didn’t just come to give us information; He came to give us transformation. Consider I Corinthians 6:11
We too need to do whatever Jesus tells us to do. Some are willing to have Jesus as a guest, but few are willing to turn control over to Him.
Jesus wants to fill your life today. He wants to take the water of your life—and ordinary life, and transform it, change it into something beautiful and wonderful, full of salvation and spiritual blessings.
Jesus is the First Word John 1:1
John begins, “In the beginning was λόγος (logos).” Sound familiar? (Gen 1:1-3) John says God’s word has broken into our world once again in a powerful way. This time, the Word speaks into being the creative miracle of salvation. God’s Word broke through the darkness of sin to bring spiritual light. Word came into a vast wasteland of wickedness to bring the water of life. Word created spiritual life where there was once only chaos and despair.
John says the first Word is the last Word; Word was with God and was God.
There is one ordering principle that makes sense out of the chaos. God has spoken one word for all people of all time— the word is Jesus! The word was with God, was God—Jesus is the word of God for all time
Jesus Is The Divine Word John 1:1-3
“In the beginning” speaks of His origin— He existed before time began.
“With God” speaks to His home of origin—from the beginning with God
“Was God” speaks to His essence— He shared the Father’s very nature.
“Through him all things were made” speaks of creative power & majesty
The Word of Salvation is of a God who became vulnerable to death for us.
Jesus Is The Word of Life and Light John 1:4-5, 9
Jesus is the Source of Life. Jesus is Light come into the World. John’s portrait of Christ makes Him the center and essence of existence. He is light keeping us from being blind and life that keeps us from dying.
Jesus Is the Word For All John 1:10-13
Our multicultural world has a hard time with Jesus as the last word. He won’t share the stage with Buddha, Krishna and Mohammed. Jesus is non-exclusive (savior of all world) and exclusive (only savior)
John records words of Jesus, “No one comes to the Father except thru me” (14:6)
John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
Jesus Is The Word Made Flesh John 1:14, 18
This is what makes the story of Christ different from any story—God as flesh
God did become one of us; God does know what it means to hurt like us.
We don’t have to imagine—that is precisely what happened at the cross!
Jesus is Divine, Jesus is the Word of Life and Light, Jesus is the Word for All who obey Him, Jesus is the Word become flesh.
Jesus is God in flesh; the divine λόγος is God’s first and last word
Jesus is God’s first word and His last word. Is He your final answer?
And so if you understand and believe that Jesus is the λόγος, “Why not Jesus; why not now?”
Why isn’t He the God of such wonders today? Isaiah 64:1 “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence.”
Small Wonders: Lydia (The idea “Small Wonders” is used with poetic license. Nothing God does is really small, but in comparison to things like a world wide flood, some things like the conversion of Lydia seem quiet and small).
There is nothing dramatic about the story of Lydia. There are no eloquent speeches, no huge crowds, no dramatic miracles. There is ordinary ministry on a pretty small scale—a very small wonder.
Lydia was a Searcher (13-14a)
Luke identifies her as a worshipper of God, a Gentile God-fearer. Paul meets Lydia at a riverside designated as a place of prayer. Lydia had no rabbi to teach her; so she met with others to seek God. She took responsibility for her own spiritual life.
Have we been spoiled to where we don’t take responsibility for our spiritual life? Classes are prepared, Worship is planned—all we do is show up. But we don’t.
You and I have a responsibility to seek God, to learn about God, to know God. Have we taken responsibility for our own search for God?
Lydia was an Open Searcher (Acts 16: 14b)
Lydia had an open heart. Lydia was desperately seeking God; thus she was open to His truth. Nothing stops a search for God like a belief we already have Him.
Revelation 2:5 “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, “I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place, unless you repent.”
Lydia Got Involved in Ministry (Acts 16:15)
Both her material goods and influence were placed at God’s disposal. If we are truly open to God, then we will seek ways to serve Him. The church is not “they” as in “why don’t they…” Consider the following verses: I Cor. 12:12; Romans 12:3-8
Lydia reminds us that a heart for God leads to the work of God.
Her conversion paved the way for Paul’s most productive ministry.
She was the first convert in Philippi and the first member of the church in Philippi.
She was the first convert of the church that would support Paul’s mission. All of Greece benefited because of the open and obedient heart of Lydia.