Sermon – The Work of God (John 6:25 – 6:40) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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John 2021

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The Book of John was authored by one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, John, who features in the gospel. John makes his mission for writing the book plain in 20:31; “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He details the many words and claims of Jesus, as well as the various responses from those listening; in either faith, amazement, caution or rejection. Listen as Cornerstone preachers unpack the narrative and invite us to reflect on our own response to Jesus.

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Sermon 20 of 58

The Work of God

Ben Read, John 6:25 - 6:40, 1 May 2022

Ben continues our series in John’s gospel, preaching from john 6:25-40. In this passage we see Jesus answering the questions of the crowd whom he fed with the five small loaves and two small fish - and we see what we must do to do what God requires.

John 6:25 - 6:40

25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”


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This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

John chapter 6, verse 25. When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, rabbi, when did you get here? Jesus answered, Very truly, I tell you. You are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the son of man will give you. For on him, God, the father has placed his seal of approval. Then they asked him, what must we do? To do the works that God requires, She just answered. The work of God is this, to believe in the 1 who he has sent.

So they asked him, what sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate manor in the wilderness, as it is written, he gave them bread from heaven to eat. She just said to them, Very truly, I tell you. It is not Moses who has given who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my father who gives you the true bread from heaven.

For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Survey said, always give us this bread. Then you just declared, I and the bread of life, Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, You have seen me, and still you do not believe. All those the father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me, I will never drive away.

For I have calmed down from heaven not to do my will, but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raised them up at the last day. For my father's will is that everyone who looks to the sun and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. Well, welcome from me. My name's Ben.

I'm 1 of the pastors here at the church. Really lovely if you're new or visiting. There are some contact cards as well on your table. I don't know if you've mentioned that already. Please fill them out, hand them back to myself or someone else.

It'd be really good to get to know you. We are, as Steve said, in the middle of John's gospel, we're in chapter 6, and it's been fantastic. We've we've Really just been enjoying looking at Jesus. Listening to the things he says, seeing the things he does, the signs, which are given that we may believe. So I'm gonna start by praying, asking for the Lord's help, that we would see the signs that we would believe.

And also that we would hear the words that Jesus has to say. So let's pray. Father, we do thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you that you sent him into this world. Thank you that we have the words he said and the things he did recorded for us, that we might see them.

And we might believe that he is the son of God, the 1 sent to pay the penalty for our sins. And I pray that you would do that now. You that the same holy spirit who was working in the past in the first followers is here at work within us who believe. And so, holy spirit help us give us eyes to see Jesus' hearts to receive his word. Would you change us as well as we as we listen to listen to him?

In his name, we ask. Amen. Amen. Okay. So, as I said, we're in Booker John.

But actually, where we are tonight, is the third part of a series of events that are all connected. So we're in part 3 of 3. It. It goes on, and there's lots more. But I wanna say that we're in part 3 of 3.

So you have to bear in mind the things that have come before it because they're all connected. So the first part, 2 weeks ago we looked at, was Jesus going up a mountain, and then sitting down. And sit sitting down was the posture of teaching. In those days. Right now I'm standing, you're all sat.

But in those days, if a rabbi, a teacher sat down, the disciples would gather near because they were about to teach. So that's what Jesus is doing up the mountain, but he's interrupted because he looks up from his teaching and he sees 5000 men plus women and children coming up the mountain towards him. And he pauses his word sermon to give a physical sermon illustration. That's what he does. And with 5 small barley loaves, which were little poor man's bread, like 99 p Tesco value bread, and 2 little pickled fish.

He managed to feed 5000 men plus women and children. Now if you've seen how much we brothers here eat on a reliable men's night, you'll know that it takes a lot of food to feed, 5000 men. So that's an amazing amount of food Jesus miraculously provides. It's out of just 5 barley loaves. And I think there's something in that number.

There's 5 loaves. There's 5000 men. It's multiplied a thousandfold. Just just an amazing sermon illustration that Jesus gives. That's the first part.

The second part, we looked at last week, and it's the night after this miracle. So it's the same day. Night has fallen, Jesus withdraws from the people, goes by himself, and the disciples get into a boat, and they start rowing across the lake. Or the sea. And it's nighttime, it's dark, and a storm kicks up.

And as they're rowing and rowing, they see Jesus approaching them walking on the water. And he says, don't be afraid because you would be very afraid. And he says, don't be afraid, I am. Don't be afraid, I am. Now that, to the Jewish minds, to those men in that boat, those disciples, that is a that's a little drama There's a little BBC drama from start to finish that can that is 1 character and can only be played by God.

The part of God in this little seat because the set of this little drama is darkness over the surface of the deep. Yeah. If you know Genesis, that will start going up. And then with the darkness over the surface of the deep, 1 comes hovering over the water. And then this 1 speaks.

And he says, I am. And so if you're a Jewish person, if you have that in your mind, this is like, whoa. Here's God. That's the second part. First part, second part, and now we get to the third part where he takes the sermon illustration on the mountain.

And he takes the little drama on the water, and he puts them together, and he's gonna knock out the park. And he's gonna deliver his his third point of this sort of sermon that he's making. He takes the I am and he takes the bread, and he puts them together. He says I am the bread of life. And it's fantastic.

So we start my first point tonight, we start with this, working breakfast. We're with the same crowd in this section as we had the night before the day before, who were eating the little 99 p Tesco value bread and the pickled fish. The same crowd come across the water, and they're looking for him. So if you see in verse 14, if you look up and see verse 14, it says that they saw the signs, first of all. After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, surely, this is the prophet who was to come into the world.

So they saw the sermon illustration. They got it. They thought this is this is not normal. This this is maybe this is the guy. Maybe this is the profit.

Maybe this is him. So they're thinking that, and then in verse 24, if you look down, it says once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to capernaum in search of Jesus. So they've seen the signs, and now they're searching for Jesus. And sort of from a bird's eye point of view, that looks really good. They've seen the signs.

Wow. Okay. They they want to know more. They want to go and find Jesus. But actually, when they find Jesus in verse 26, he reveals to them the real reason that they're looking for him.

And it's actually not not as good. As it initially looks. So if you look at verse 26, Jesus says to them very truly, I tell you. You are looking for me not because you saw the signs I performed, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. So in other words, you'd just come for a free breakfast.

You enjoyed lunch yesterday, and you got hungry again this morning. And so that's why you come in after me. Nicodemus, if you remember nicodemus, that bloke, he went and found Jesus because of the signs. If you flick back a few pages, we're gonna be flicking back to John chapter 3 quite a lot today. So just Yeah.

Keep the Bible open and we'll be flicking back and forth. But if you look at chapter 3 verse 2, he says this about nicodemus. He came to Jesus at night. Yeah? So he's he's looking for Jesus and he comes to him.

He came to Jesus at night and said, rabbi. We know that you're a teacher who has come from God. For no 1 could perform the signs you were doing if God were not with him. So nicodemus sees the signs and thinks God must be with this bloke. I wanna go find him.

That's the reason nicodemus goes, but here, this crowd who have crossed the water to find Jesus, They call him rabbi, but actually they just mean, chef. Chef Jesus. I'm hungry. What's the next course? Or waiter.

Waiter Jesus. What have you got next? It's the what's the special of the day? What we had yesterday special. What's today special?

Couple of years ago, 20 20, cast your minds back to that. In the middle of lockdown, Rishi Sunak announces that he's gonna launch and eat out to help out scheme. How good was that? Who made the most of that when that was around? That was amazing.

Half priced food. Kerry and I were eating out all the time. In fact, he got the the nickname 2 snacks, didn't he? Because what people were doing instead of enjoying half price, they were like, well, let's just buy 2. And it's like as much as we would have paid anyway, but we get double the amount.

And then people were saying obesity and all this stuff. Anyway, look, regardless of your political persuasion, I'm pretty sure that when you found out about eat out to help out, you were quite happy. With Rishi Sunak, and you were like, yes, mate. Thank you very much. Don't care what else you think politically, but this is a good reason to follow you.

It's a little bit what's going on here. I I had a look online as well to see whether there were any other kind of examples in history of where people have used food. Or something to to try and gain followers. And I found out that in 17 58, George Washington, he spent his entire campaign budget Not on flyers or manifestos or, like, rallies, but on a hundred and 60 gallons of liquor. Which he gave to people on voting day, so they turned up to vote and there was a free, you know, pint of whatever.

For them to drink, and then guess who won that election, George Washington. So hundred and 60 gallons. Look, Jesus is not like that. He's not actually interested in just people's votes. They already tried to make him king by force, if you remember.

Verse 15, Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again. So he's already got their votes. They've already cast the ballot. They've had the fish and the bread and they wanna vote him as king. Yeah.

We want this guy. We want Rishi, put him as prime minister, and then we'll have e out to help out all the time. That's what they want. But Jesus withdraws from that. He isn't giving them signs in order to win their votes.

He's giving them signs that they might follow the signs and see something true about himself and believe in him. Believe in what he's trying to show them about himself. So he says to the crowd in verse 27, He says, don't work for food that spoils. But for food that endures to eternal life, which the son of man will give you. Don't work hard for something that's just gonna be gone the next day.

I mean, you've worked hard You've crossed land and sea to find me. You've you've spent a night out of your homes and your beds. You probably slept rough all because you wanted to come and find me. That's working quite hard. But don't work for something that won't last.

He's he's he's almost saying to them. Imagine remember yesterday. Remember yesterday when you had your fill. It says it says they had in when they'd had it all in verse 12, when they all had enough to eat. They had their fill yesterday.

They were full. They got to that point in the meal where they'd had seconds Somebody came around with a bit more bread and fish and said, do you want thirds? And they went, whoa, no thanks. And then they had a little bit more anyway. And, you know, you run that bit and you regret it later.

Carrie and I constantly do that. We're like, shouldn't have had thirds. These people had thirds. They had fourth They had they had as much as they wanted to eat. And yet 12 hours later, they're hungry, and they're looking for Jesus again, looking for the next meal.

He says, don't work for something that's just gonna fizzle out and fade away. And food is 1 thing, but in Matthew's Gospel, Jesus also says, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, where thieves break in and steal. So he's saying even treasures on earth, even treasures, things that are precious and are built to last, even those things are 1 day gonna fade away. I mean, just think about the house that you live in right now. The house that you live in right now.

1 day, it will be knocked down, probably replaced by high rise bill The car that you drove in to get here tonight, even if it's a new swanky car, electric car. It'll be recycled for parts 1 day. The football team that you support will be relegated. He's not here. The phone in your pocket, which has got the protective case on it, and the little plastic screen so it doesn't get scratched.

1 day, you are gonna put that down for the last time, and it might even be put in the in the bin. You were gonna do that. You were gonna chuck your phone away 1 day. The 1 that you've wanted and saved up for, you were gonna put that in the bin. I've got a sort of a graveyard of phones, Samsung phones in my in my bedside drawer.

I don't know why you keep old phones. Does anyone else do that? I've got like a little stack of old phones. What's that about? I don't know.

Probably just something to remind me. It's a good sermon illustration. Don't work hard for treasures in this world, for food, for things that just perish, and will rust away. Jesus says work instead for food that endures to eternal life. He's not talking about freezing kitkats so that you keep them forever and ever and ever or like that sort of What do you call a spaceman?

Astronal. An astronaut astronaut food. When you when I was younger, I swear you could buy like astronaut food, like, packets of freeze dried things. I don't why did they market that? That's ridiculous.

That would last years, I think. They take that stuff up, and it's good for years and years and years. But Jesus isn't saying work for that kind of food. That just lasts a really long time. Don't just invest in things that last a bit longer than other things.

He say actually, the word there that for endures is more like abides. He's saying work for food that will live with you, eternally. It's a strange thing to say about food. But he's like work for food that will live with you, that will abide with you, that will sustain you, that will nourish you. That will be like a family member to you, like a spouse or a flatmate.

Work for that kind of food. It's a strange kind of food. And now as the Jews, as this crowd, again, are listening to Jesus. Their little old testament scripture and tenor start tingling. Because Jesus is saying something that might be ringing a bell.

Here in Isaiah, 55, It says, why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen. Listen to me. Eat what is good. And you will delight in the richest affair.

So there is a a pricked. These little things might be tingly. And so they ask Jesus in verse 20 28. They get quite excited by this. They ask him in verse 28.

Well, okay. What what must we do to do the works god requires? What are these works? These they're obviously good works. Like, we're obviously trying to just get another meal, but you say there's something better out there.

Okay. Great. How do we get that? Do we go out and get that? We're obviously doing the wrong thing now.

So how do we get this? And notice they say, work, classic Jews. All the way? Classic, law abiding Jews. What must we do to do the works God requires?

So here's my second point. The work of God Jesus responds in verse 29. The work of God is this, to believe in the 1 he has sent. There is only 1 work. Not works.

There aren't works that Jesus wants you to do. There's only 1 work. So do you wanna do work? Do you wanna make up for your sin? I all the time wanna make up for my sin.

And especially these Jewish people, Jesus is saying, you wanna work, you wanna work. You're obsessed with works. You here's a work you'll give you a work, believe. That's the work, which isn't really a work at all, is it? It's like an anti work.

It's like, you can't work, so just trust, just have faith, just believe. You can't earn anything. Works have wages, don't they? The wages of sin. Sin is a work.

You get up every day and work hard at sin, and the wages for that are death. There aren't there's no works for this. You can't earn it. You can't get up and go to work and and and have a paycheck for it. You simply have to have faith.

It's what Jesus says. You just have to believe. Now that sounds a bit airy fairy, doesn't it? Just believe. I know lots of people say, I wish I had your faith.

I don't have a faith You're such a believing, you know, religious person. I I'd not like that, which is a bit airy fairy. Because the trouble is, as well, anyone can believe, can't they? Muslims will claim Jesus. They say, yeah, we believe in Jesus.

In fact, just recently spoke to a guy yeah, we have the same God. Yeah. I believe in Jesus. You believe in Jesus. I believe in Jesus.

They believe in Jesus. I mean, historians believe in Jesus. They believe that he lived and walked and died. Even the demons believe in Jesus. And they don't just believe in him.

They say he's the son of the most high. It's what a demon says to Jesus. A Jesus confesses. Jesus, you are son of the most high. That's an amazing confession.

Even as far as just we go in lots of ways. But we're not told here just to have any old belief. Jesus says believe in the 1 the father has sent. Now that's specific. Believe in the 1 the father has sent.

He could have said just believe in the son or he could have said just believe in me. He could have just said, believe in the son of the most high, but he doesn't. He's really oddly specific here. Believe in the 1 the father has sent Now why is that? Well, that word scent is the word apostello, where we get the word apostle from.

Yeah? So Jesus is the first apostle because he's sent by god with a mission. That's what an apostle is. They're not just sent to go somewhere and look at the view, they're sent to go and do something. That's what an apostle is.

They have a commission. They've got a job to do. They've got a mission. And so Jesus is the apostle from God, he sent on a mission, and so we're not just to have faith in Jesus, We're we're supposed to have faith in him and his mission. That's what Jesus is is trying to say here.

Don't just believe in me like I give you food. Believe in my mission I'm the sent 1. Believe in the sent 1. Now what is his mission? Well, we see this.

We see why he's been sent. He he tells us right here in verse 38. He says, for I have come down from heaven, not to do my will, but to do the will of him who sent me. Okay? That's why he sent, to do the will of the father.

Now what is this will? You see it in verse 39 to 40. And this is the will of him who sent me. That I shall lose none of those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day for my father's will. This is the mission is that everyone who looks to the son and believes in him shall have eternal life.

And I will raise them up again at the last day. So the mission of Jesus, the apostleship of Jesus in a way, if I can say that, is to raise to eternal life those who look to him in faith. Now what's this looking about? Again, Jesus doesn't waste words. Why is he said look to to him in faith?

Well, do you remember the bronze snake on a pole? Yeah. Flip back to John chapter 3 again. Like I said, we will we'll go back there a few times. John chapter 3 verse 14, Jesus says, just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the son of man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in here.

Now Remember the snake on the pole. Yeah. This is an old testament story in exodus. The Israelites are in the wilderness. They're grumbling against God.

They start off just grumbling against Moses, and then they grumble against God, and they start cursing him. And they say, God, why did you save us? Why did you take us out of Egypt? We we were better off there. We were better off enslaved and miserable than we were here with you in your presence.

A strong thing to say to God. And so God sends snakes, venomous snakes into the Israelite camp, to bite them and to in to get venom into them. That's an amazing thing for God to do, isn't it? Does the god you believe in send venomous snakes Well, the God of the Bible sends venomous snakes against his own people, and they and they get bitter, and they're dying. But God provides a way of salvation for them.

There's a bronze snake that's put on a pole, and they're told if they're bitten, if they get struck by a snake, go to the pole and look at the bronze snake. And when you look, you will live. Look and live. I preached that a number of weeks ago, a number of months ago. Look and live.

Was the sermon message for that day. Well, here, again, Jesus is saying, whoever looks to the son of man will live So what he's saying is, it's not just those who believe in me, it's not just those who who say I existed, but it's those who go to the cross, who look up with faith. And faith not only in Jesus as a person, that he's here, but faith in what he's doing. Faith at the cross is the place where the sin is taken. Where God's wrath, everything I've done wrong, and everything that's wrong with me is painful, where I am made at peace again with God.

Where the sins of humanity are paid for, where I've made right again, all of that. If you look and you live at the if you look at the cross as the only place for forgiveness of your sins, and for the reason you will be raised eternally. If you look and trust Those people will have eternal life as Jesus. It's those who look to the son, who he will raise, to eternal life. Now that ultimately is the only difference between a Christian and a non Christian, by the way.

That's it. That's what it comes that's what everything comes down to. Because do Muslims believe in Jesus. Yes. They do in a way.

They do. But do they believe in the mission? Do they put their trust in the mission? Do they trust and put their faith in the cross? No.

They don't. They think he swooned on the cross. They don't think he died on the cross. And so the cross is emptied of its purpose and its mission. Tom Holland and Jordan Peterson, we love these men as brothers in the church.

Don't we? We're obsessed with them for some reason. We because they're quite they're they're so close to Christianity without being Christians. People in Christian circles talk about these 2 men all the time, not the actor, by the way, the historian, Tom Holland. Not Spider Man.

We obviously talk about him sometimes. But Tom Holland and Jordan Pizza, they say amazing, amazing things about Jesus. They will both confess that Jesus has changed the world. They say the only reason women are sort of have rights and are respected and why we take care of the elderly, why we look after vulnerable people is because of Jesus. Both of them will confess that, but do they put their trust in the mission?

Do they put their trust in the cross? Are they putting their faith in everything they hoped for in eternal life in what Jesus accomplished to them on the cross. No. They're not. Actually, 1 1 John for John is talking about the fact that not every spirit comes from God.

And you have to be discerning, and you have to test the spirits is what he says. And his his litmus test for whether a spirit is from God or not from God is this. It's whether they confess Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. That's an interesting test, isn't it? You ask a spirit.

Do you think Jesus came in the flesh? Yes. Okay. You're from God. Do you think Jesus Christ came in the flesh?

No. Okay. You're not from God. What's that about? What's the whole flesh thing about?

Well, the flesh is the mission, isn't it? Jesus had to become man in order to represent us in order to be able to bear my sin, I have sinned in a human way. The Bible says that the blood of animals and goats can't take away our sins. And so a human has to come in flesh. So that test is a test do you believe in the mission?

Do you believe Jesus came in the flesh to represent you on the cross to die for your sins, though we can raise you again and forgive you? And if the spirit says, yes, I believe that, then they're from God. They believe in the man and the mission. And that's why there's only 1 unforgivable sin as well. We talk about the unforgivable sin.

There's only 1 work, and there's only 1 sin, really, when it comes down to it. And that unforgivable sin is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Isn't Why? Why does it blast me with the Holy Spirit? It's because the Holy Spirit testifies to Jesus and his mission.

And so if you asking the spirit. You don't believe Jesus and the mission. And therefore, you are under judgment still. Go back to John chapter 3. I told you, we'd be going back there a lot.

Look at verse 18 this time. It says whoever believes in him is not condemned. But whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's 1 and only son. So what's in Jesus' name? Why do we now have to believe in his name?

Well, his name means savior. Jesus' mission is in his name. So if you forget why Jesus has come, just think to yourself, what does Jesus mean? Oh, it means savior. Jesus is the Savior.

The mission, the Cross, is in his actual name. And so if you say 21 do you believe in Jesus, and they they say yes, And you say, okay, do you believe that he saved us? And they say, no. We say, well, you don't believe in Jesus then. Call him something else.

K? That name means savior Call him bloke. Call him John. What does John mean? It means something like gift of God or something.

I don't know. Don't call him that. But don't call him Jesus because Jesus means savior. Yeah? If those who believe in the name of Jesus are the ones who raise eternal life because they believe that Jesus is the Savior.

You see, they're connecting the mission with the man all the time. All the time. Now back to the crowd that just want breakfast. Yeah? This crowd that just want the next meal.

This all of this that we've just been looking at is exactly what Jesus wants to make clear to them. Yeah? Don't just believe I'm a prophet, Don't just come to me to feed your hungry stomachs. But believe I am God, your savior. Believe in the mission.

And so he stands up to them and he declares this amazing amazing expression in verse 35. He says, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. Amazing. And you see what he's done there.

He's taken the illustration on the mountain, the sermon illustration of the bread. He's taken the drama on the water. I am, and he's putting together. I am the bread of life. He is the work that we should sorry, the food that we should work for.

He this is the Tada moment. They're like, you're telling us to work for a food that will abide with us. What are you talking about? And he says, I am the bread of life. Work to abide with me.

Don't come to me for a meal that's gonna perish tomorrow. Don't just come to me for a quick fix. Like, you've got a broken leg. Okay. Fine.

I'll I'll fix your leg, but you're gonna die in 70 years. So what's the point of fixing the leg? Don't just come to me to fix your fridge when it gets broken. Don't just come to me when you need a few more pennies. Don't come to me for any of these things that aren't gonna last beyond this life.

Come to me for eternal life is what Jesus is saying. Now what an amazing gospel that is that we have? It's magnificent, isn't it? And are Christians burdened by works? Do we have to do works?

Absolutely not. We have 1 work and it is to believe in the 1 that the father has sent. That's amazing. But I'm also aware that that could also be quite terrifying for some of us here. Because can you cause yourself to believe?

Can I cause myself to believe? I mean, what about when we doubt? I know all sorts people struggle to varying degrees of doubt. Some people some people generally we generally genuinely wake up almost every day thinking, am I even a Christian? Am I even saved?

I mean, God feels really far away sometimes, doesn't he? He does. He feels really far away. There are people in our congregation at the moment who are saying things like this. God feels really far away.

What happens when this is our work and we doubt. Well, here's my third point. And it did change. It's because my third point is exactly the same as my second point. Yeah?

Which is such a peterson, isn't it? My third point is my second point. But it's totally different. It's totally different. Yeah.

The work of God. The Jews asked Jesus, what what must we do to do the works God requires, and Jesus responds to them by saying the work of God is this. Yeah? They ask, what do we do? And Jesus says, this is what God is doing.

This is the work of God. So flick back to chapter 5, this time, and look at verse 17. Jesus says well, in his defense, Jesus said to them, my father is always at work to this very day, and I too am working. So the father is at work. He's got his briefcase.

He's got his work jacket on. He's he's doing things, and his work is calling people to faith in the 1 that he has sent. So if you if you look back in chapter 6, verses 37 and 39, Jesus says, this, all those the father gives me will come to me. And whoever comes to me, I will never drive away. First 39, and this is the will of him who sent me that I lose none of those, he has given me.

So here is the work of the father. It's the father is in the business of giving people to the son. That's what he does. That's what he gets up. That's his 9 to 5.

He's 24 7. He's constantly working to give you to Jesus. And then the the business of the son, Jesus says, is losing none of those who've been given to him. Yeah? This is like, I imagine God in a reliant Robin that's his father and son.

Industries on the side. Yeah? They're working together. The father is giving people to Jesus, and Jesus is losing none of those who have given to him. And the Holy Spirit is the 1 who affects that work.

So it's the godhead working day in, day out. Jesus says my father is at work even today. And so am I. And that's applicable right now as well. Jesus is at work.

The father is at work. The spirit is at work. Right now, giving you the faith that will save you. Faith is a gift. You see that in verse 27?

Do not work for food that spoils as Jesus, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the son of man will give you faith in Jesus as a gift. I'll tell you what, that's been really genuinely encouraging to me this week because all sorts of pastoral things going on in the church, difficulties, trials, health problems. But what's really encouraged me is that Jesus has said he will lose none of those who have given to him. He's not gonna lose a single person. And so when people's memories start to fade, and we wonder do they still even have a faith.

They're not acting how they used to. Jesus holds on to them. And he says he will raise them at the last day. When people send their kids to school, and the children have all sorts of problems and temptations, and difficulties in school. Jesus holds on to them.

And we'll raise them on the day that he comes. When we ourselves doubt and think, That work is too big to believe in the 1 he has sent. I don't do that every day. Jesus holds on to you. And he will not lose you.

He won't lose any of those who've been given to him by the father. Wonderful passage in Romans, isn't it? I'm convinced that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in us and Jesus Christ. Nothing will separate us. So we are safe in the arms of Jesus.

God is at work. So my fast my final point is loaves or love. Loaves or love. We see here in this passage that you can be looking for Jesus for all sorts of reasons, but you're not necessarily looking to Jesus for eternal life. We saw that in verse 26, and it's possible to demand signs, isn't it?

It's it's possible to demand signs from God, to even see signs from God, and still not believe. So this crowd who saw the signs, of the food, now in verse 30, say to him, what sign then will you give us that we may see it and believe in you? What will you do? It's amazing. He's just fed them.

5 loaves. He had 5000 men. And they say, what sign will you give us? It's unbelievable. But Jesus says to them in verse 36, as I told you, you have seen me, and still you do not believe.

So I wanna say, if you are someone who's asking for signs, watch out. Be careful. Yeah? Because you've been given signs already. And you won't be given more than you've already been given.

There are loads of similarities here as well in the story between the woman at the well, who's thirsty. Remember that story? And this story here, there's there's loads if you wanna go back. But we will just look very quickly in John 4, flick back to John chapter 4 versus 39 to 42, because the ending of these 2 stories, though they're very similar, and they parallel each other in lots of ways, the endings are totally different. Because here, chapter 4 verses 39 to 42, it says many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the women's testimony.

He told me everything I've ever done. So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed 2 days And because of his words, many more became believers. They said to the woman, we no longer believe just because of what you said. Now we have heard for ourselves And we know that this man really is the savior of the world. Yeah?

He's the savior of the world. He's Jesus. They connect the mission to the man. They don't just believe that he can provide you a drink. They believe he can provide you with living water, eternally.

They believe, in other words, he's the sent 1. And why do they believe? It's because we're told his because of his words. It's not amazing. You can be so busy looking for a sign that you miss Jesus' words.

Jesus constantly says those who have ears to heal let them hear. It's the words that bring people. So when Jesus says I'm the bread of life, those people, those samaritans don't demand a sign. They don't say what sign will you show us. They believe him because of his words.

And it's amazing, isn't it? He withdraws himself away from those who just want loaves. He withdrew himself away to the mountain from those who just wanted the sandwich, but to those who love him, he stayed 2 days. He stays with those who love him. He withdraws from those who just want loaves.

So I wanna finish by asking you, what do you call Jesus Actually, what do you call him? Are you calling him rabbi, teacher? Are you calling him chef? Are you calling him special delivery service? Jesus would need a new fridge?

You're calling him doctor, maybe. Jesus, I have an ailment. Are you calling him profit, Jesus, I need to know what the future holds? Are you calling him accountant? Jesus, I need some more cash.

I mean, what what's the reason you've come to church tonight? What's brought you here? Which kind of Jesus are you here for? Which Jesus do you believe in? I wanna say, come to the 1 who said, I'm the bread of life.

Come to him. He says whoever comes to me will never go hungry. And whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. Come to the 1 who freely gives you eternal life, who says that there's 1 work and it's to believe. And by the way, it's God's work.

It's not even yours. He's gonna do it. Come to the savior of the world. And Christian, like me, if this week you doubt, You have questions where you feel like God is far away. If that happens to you this week, then remember the father and the son, their reliant Robin, are working.

24 7. Keeping you in the faith that will save you, and Jesus will never ever lose you. He will raise you to life. On the last day. Isn't that amazing?

Let's pray. Father, we thank you for what we see here. That there is 1 work and it's to believe in the 1 that you've sent, lord Jesus Christ. The savior of the world. And thank you father that this is your work.

This is what you are going about doing. We pray that you would be saving many people We pray that if there are any here tonight who will not save, that you would do that. We pray for people on our streets that you would save them, that you would be happy and pleased to bring them into the kingdom, that they might have faith and believe in the 1 that you've sent. We pray father for well, we pray for our students, the ones who who just went away, and the young people in our church. We pray that they would believe.

We pray that you would gift them with this faith. And lord for ourselves. When we doubt, when we worry, when we wonder whether we are worthy of your salvation, lord. I pray that you would remind us of the cross. You would remind us that you sent your son, you call us to faith in him, you will raise us to life 1 day.

So thank you for all of these things. Thank you that Jesus is the bread of life in his name, amen.

Preached by Ben Read
Ben Read photo

Ben is a Trainee Pastor at Cornerstone and lives with his wife Ceri who is a youth leader and helps run the women’s ministry in the church.

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