It's John chapter 6 verse 35. Then Jesus declared, I am 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 come 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 raise 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.
At this, the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, I am the bread that came down from heaven. They said, is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say I came down from heaven. Stop crumbling among yourselves, Jesus answered. No 1 can come to me unless the father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.
It is written in the prophets. They will all be taught by God. Everyone who has heard the father and learned from him comes to me. No 1 has seen the father except the 1 who is from God, only he has seen the father. Very truly, I tell you the 1 who believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manor in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven. Which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven.
Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves. How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Jesus said to them very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. And I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them just as the living father sent me, and I live because of the father. So the 1 who feeds on me will live because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manor and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever. He said this while teaching in the synagogue in capernaum. Well, my name's Pete Woodcock. Welcome.
In the name of the lord Jesus Christ. We've been going through this fantastic gospel. It's quite detailed. Lots of stuff there as you've probably just seen in that in that reading? Am am I am I on?
Because I can't see whether yeah. Thank you. In that reading. Let let me pray just before we go back to that passage. Father help us now, please, as we've prayed already, but please give us ears to hear what you say to us.
Save us from our pride and stupidity. Help us not to think we know when you know Help us not to argue with your word we pray, but submit humbly to it. And by your spirit, open our hearts up. To receive what you say. You're praying in Jesus' name.
Oh, man. So the question I want to ask right at the beginning is how how easy is it to become a Christian? How easy is is it to become a Christian? Or for you to become a Christian? Are are you born 1?
Is that is that what a Christian is? You're born into a Christian home? Or or do you pick it up somehow, you know, through lots of teaching and stuff like that? Or you've picked it up from youth groups or whatever it is. Can can you simply decide?
Like, perhaps tonight, I'm going to become a Christian. I'm going to become a follower of Christ. Is is is that is that what is it that easy? When I was at school, which was about a hundred years ago, I always remember this horrible map that was in 1 of the classrooms, and it was a it was an Atlas, a map of the world, and it was all different colors. And basically, it had the different religions in different colors and where they were around the world.
So you had sort of red for communist because they actually did treat it as a sort of faith, which it is. And then there was green for buddhists or that that sort of thing. And yellow for for hindus, that that sort of stuff. Guess what color England was, which is where I was born? What?
No. Pink. Yeah. It was pink, which in my day didn't go down well for blokes. I can say I just just wanna say that.
I'm not saying now, but in my day. It was pink. And the pink bits of the world, they were all Christian. If you were born in a pink bit, you're a Christian. If you were born in a red bit, you're a communist, if you were born in a green bit, you're a Hindu or whichever 1 it was.
Is that is that it? Is that what makes a Christian if it is, is it worth being 1? Seems sort of very odd. And now the world is all muddled up. What what are we?
Many years ago, just looking at you, they are the dyer's. I I did a 1 of your holidays on the on the broads in in sort of Norfolk broads, where they do you still do those? No. Of good. Where they they take a whole load of boats, and a whole load of young people go on the boats, and then they ask a speaker.
And it's usually in April or something like that, and it's free. It was freezing. And I was a speaker, and we we we we sort of drive around on the boats on the broad stop off, and then hire or go and knock on a bit a a sort of church hall and say, can we have the key and could a load of young people come and hear a bible talk? I don't know whether you were around at that time. But we went into 1 place, and it was a methodist church.
And we asked for the key, and the lady said, oh, and I don't I'd, you know, shout to find the key, and I I don't think it had been opened for years. But we open I don't know what to remember. We opened the door And the place was probably this size. Absolutely. A million flies.
A million flies, dead. Every everyone was dead. That was just a carpet of flies. It was extraordinary. Those flies were born, lived, died in the Methodist Church.
Does that make them Christian? Just because they go to a building just because it's I mean, and if if so, is that it? You just sort of go to a building. Again, many years ago, I don't know. Did did you remember that?
No. You were probably a little boy, weren't you? Yeah. Another another thing that happened quite a few years ago. I was preaching at a church.
I can't remember where it was. And a lady came up to me to sort of thank me for the sermon, and she was very nice, very well-to-do. Very nice lady. Oh, you're you're lovely. Sermon and all this sort of stuff.
And I said, oh, brilliant. Can I just ask you a question? Are you a Christian? Oh, yes. Of course, I'm a Christian.
Of course, yeah. What's up with this? I said, oh, brilliant. Could you answer what is a Christian? Oh.
0. I just want can I just let me just up, are you a Christian? Oh, yes. But what is a Christian? I know someone who are based within commandments.
That's what. That's an interesting interesting answer. Do you obey the thing, come on, it's oh, no. No 1 ever does. So I said, hold it.
I am a bit thick, but let me go through the logic. Right? Are you a Christian? Oh, yes. What is a Christian?
Somebody basically think, come on, Do you obey the Think of Mama? No. So in other words, there's quite a lot of confusion around, isn't it? Now, with all of that introduction, The bible tells us that you can't become a Christian. So if you think you can, you can't.
The Bible tells us that it's in completely and utterly impossible for you to become a genuine serious follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. It's impossible. But what is impossible for people is not impossible for God. And that's the difference. The bible says you need a god intervention in your life.
Not just going to church, not just being born in an area, not just trying to follow the 10 commandments but failing. And the reason is that you need a god intervention in your life is that there are some serious problems about you. Now you can follow this if you want in John's gospel. If not, just listen. The first thing is that we are born spiritually blind that we can't even recognize who Jesus really is.
Chapter 1 verse 10 to 13 says this. He was in the world, that's Jesus, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. They're blind to who he is. And then it says, yet, to all who received him. Sorry.
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. There's a rebellion against They didn't recognize who he was, and they would not receive who he was. And yet all who received him and believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of god. Children born not of natural descent or human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. So you've got 2 things here.
People will miss all the evidence, all the clear logical proofs. Of who he is. They won't really recognize him and also their rebel against him. They won't receive him. And yet, there are some that do But how do they do it when it's not through human decisions or a husband's will, but they're born of God.
It's a supernatural event. That's that's the first problem. The second problem is we are spiritually blind. We're so spiritually blind. We love darkness.
So in John chapter 3, we've seen all these as we've put our way through. Verse 19, this is the verdict. Lighters come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth and comes into the light so that they may be seen plainly what what they're like, what he sort of plainly what he has done, been done through God.
Sorry, badly read. So again, you've got this whole idea that we're spiritually blind because we love darkness. We don't wanna be ruled by the light because it shows us what we're really like. But God can work in a light. Third thing is, we're so spiritually blind.
We belong to the father of lies In chapter 8, if you go further on from where we're at, we get there. In chapter 8 verse 44, Jesus says to these very religious people, you belong to your father, the devil. And you wanna carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding on to the truth for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Do you see that? So so here here's Jesus describing us as not understanding who he is, not recognizing him, rebelling against him not receiving him, blind in the sense that we love our darkness, we don't want the light of Jesus in our lives, blind in the sense that we listen to a father of lies, and we follow if you lie, you're following your father. Now, to that, you can't become a Christian. There are really problems that need sorting out. And there's only 1 that can sort it out.
God. It's none other than the 1 and only triune God. We need god the father to draw us, as we'll see in a minute. We need god the son To die for us. We need God the Holy Spirit to open our eyes.
Christianity is not just to a thing where you were born, it's not that irrelevant. It's the power of God in a life. The Triune God working in your life, the power of a God, remaking, causing you to see and recognize who Jesus is, causing you not to love your darkness, but to love light. Causing you not to listen to the father of lies, but to listen to father god. And we see this in this section.
In John 6, where we are. We've had, you know, about 3 or 4 goes at this chapter already. It's such a dense chapter. It's 1 complete thing. That's the problem with it, but there's just loads of stuff in it, and it's hard to do 1 whole sermon on it.
So we've sort of broken it out. But if you look at the crowds, you'll see the crowds are very confused. They're very confused about what a follower of Jesus is. They'd seen the miracle at the beginning of the chapter of the feeding of 5000 families, perhaps 20000 people, perhaps more with a few loaves and and and a few fish. It's a very impressive miracle.
They're so impressed with it. They saw it. They knew it happened. They're so impressed with it that they follow Jesus over a lake when they've been a storm. They wanted to make him king by force, which is quite funny.
They wanted to make him king by force, so they saw something in him and they wanted him to rule over them to some degree. Very interesting. They actually started talking about him saying, isn't he the profit that was promised? By Moses in the old testament. So they they're getting some stuff clear about him.
Then Jesus starts to explain what the miracle of the bread was about and who he really is. And so we pick it up in verse 41. Have a look at it. Chapter 6 41. At this, the Jews began to grumble about him.
Now, they just said, it's either profit, They just said, we wanna make him king by force. Now they grumbling about him. Why? At this, the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, I am the bread that came down from heaven. They said, Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?
How can he say he came down from heaven? They've got some kind of picture of him, and now they go backwards. He's just a boy next door. Uzi think he is. His claims on us are too much for us to handle.
And it's at this that Jesus says, stop grumbling, And it's interesting the word grumbling. If you know that, it will take you back to the old testament when the when the Israelites in the wilderness grumbled against God. It's meant to sort of remind you of all these things. There's so much stuff here. But, anyway, stop grumbling among yourselves, Jesus.
Jesus answered. And then he explains what they need in order to become a follower of him. Stop grumbling. You need none other than God the Father to draw you. Look at verse 44.
No 1 can come to me. No 1 can come to me. Unless the father who sent me draws them, and I will raise him up on the last day. You need God to understand who I am. You think I'm a king, you think I'm a prophet, you saw the miracle, and I'm speaking to you what I am and you don't like it.
Just look back at verse 36. Interesting. But as I told you, you've seen me and still you don't believe. He underlines their refusal to respond to what he says about himself. So let's get into this a little bit more.
By the way, the scene seems to have changed by 59 verse 59, you see they're in a synagogue in capernaum. So but it's the same it's the whole same event been going on for perhaps a few days. The first thing I want you to see here is the will of God. How are you going to become a Christian? By the will of God.
To become a Christian, we need God, the Father, what a lovely expression that is, by the way. Not just some random power out there, but God the father to be willing to do something. So verse 43 and 44 again, Stop grumbling amongst yourselves Jesus answered. No 1 can come to me unless the father who sent me draws them. And I'll raise him up on the last day.
Now immediately, he's put his finger on their number 1 problem. Why are they grumbling about Jesus? Because they think they can feed themselves. They think that their heritage, their background, their religious activity, where they were born, who they, family they were born into. They think that makes them magically into God's favor.
They had a remarkable heritage The law of God, the temple, the priesthoods, the fact, sacrificial systems. If you know about that, God gave them these things, but they've turned those things into self reliance, and those things into just the very fact that God's given me these things makes me better than another nation. Very fact that I've got the word of God in my hand, whether I'll follow it in my heart or not. Doesn't matter. I'm blessed of God.
There's no change other than outward. There's no change inward. So they're self reliant I think the summary of this whole chapter is verse 63. It's the amazing verse. It says the spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing.
The word I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. The flesh counts for nothing. In other words, whatever you do, you do in the flesh, in the body. It doesn't count for anything. You need the spirit in you to give you life.
Don't you understand that? The book of the law that you've got, the word of God that you've got is telling you need to be born again. Not that if you try and follow the outward laws, you'd be right with him. All your human effort won't get you right with him. It's not by human descent.
Or husband's will. It's nothing to do with the flesh. So verse 44, again, no 1 can come to me unless the father who sent me draws them, and I'll raise them up draw do you see that word draws? We we I mean, we were doing an international you were there, weren't you, tintin? We we we were doing an international home group, and we were looking at we look at a song that is difficult if you're if English isn't your first language.
And we had the word draw in it, and and no 1 really knew what that meant other than draw. I mean, our English is a really strange language, isn't it? So you know, a a horse drawn cart. Doesn't mean that the horse went, oh, we got a drawer, a cart. And, you know, it it it's it doesn't mean draw in that way.
And it doesn't mean the father says, well, yeah. Okay. Well, I'll draw a picture of you. Obviously. It means dragged.
It means whole. And there's always some resistance in it. So it it's basically, you know, when you take your kids around the supermarket, and you're in the aisle, and then they see the sweet aisle. And they run off to the suite aisle, and you, the parent, grab the hand, and pull them away. There's resistance, isn't there?
Yeah? It it may be futile with the resistance, but the resistance is certain, isn't it? They'd no. Let me just pull it, and you pull them away. That's the word.
And Jesus underlines this. No 1 can come to me unless the father draws them, Stop grumbling. Stop thinking that you've got this heritage and therefore you're okay. You'll never become a follower of Jesus. You won't become a Christian unless the sovereign God draws you.
You are totally dependent on him pulling you away from the sweeties of this world. God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. If you are proud and arrogant and think that there's something in your flesh, or something about you that will get you right with God, you will you will not listening. You need God none other than God none other than God who created the universe, to puddle you and draw you from your sweeties. To pull you so that you see who Christ is.
CS Lewis puts it really well as he always does, isn't it? When he when he describes his conversion, was an atheist, of course, and he became a theist and then became a Christian. But when he became a Christian in 19 29, He he just puts it well, and this is god drawing. Just listen to this, he says, in the Trinity term, because he was in Oxford, they did terms in names like Trinity, isn't it amazing? In the Trinity term, 19 20 29, I gave in.
You see the language and admitted that God was God, not me, and knelt and prayed Perhaps that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. Yeah? It's the child. Come here. Come back here.
But it's the father pulling his child. It's love. It's not it's not it's not harm. Have you felt that drawing? Have you ever felt like there's a hand upon you pulling you, dragging you, tugging you away from the sweeties of the world, that to come on, come on, but it's a father, it's a loving god, not some brute, Not someone who's going to take you away in a car and do you harm, but a father pulling his child, drawing them, pulling them, Are you still resisting?
He's dragging you in. He's bringing you in so that you're see who crisis you are utterly dependent on God willing to draw you. To see who Christ is. And is he willing? Yeah.
He's absolutely willing. That is the grace of it. That's the grace of it, because you're not like a little child that runs after the sweets. You're way worse than that. Think of the way you've treated God.
Think of the way you've lived your life. Think of the way you've taken his gift and not thanked him for it. Think of all of the way that you've done to ignore God. I'll tell you what, if someone treated you like you treat God, I think you'd never want to know The things you've said, the the things you've the things you even say I think God is like. And you've got you've never gone out of your way to find out whether he is.
You're just making it up. And yet, in his kindness, in his fatherly love. He wants to draw you. Have have you have you felt that tug. If you felt the tug, then give in.
And admit that God is God, kneel down and pray. And even if you're the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England, you're converted. That's the first thing. Second thing. So that was the will of God, and he is willing to draw us.
Second thing is the word of God. So what does he use to draw us with? So we're utterly dependent on God's will to draw us, but we're utterly dependent on god drawing us by his word, and that's the second point, the word. Look at verse 45. Jesus says it is written in the prophets That's the word.
God, that's the Bible. They will be taught by God. Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. So god will draw people to himself by the word of god. It's that's the rope he uses to pull.
That's the hand, on your hand, that he uses to pull you. Look again, I think, at that summary verse, verse 63. The spirit gives life and the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you, the words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. It's only those who listen to the word of God that come.
And that's not surprising when you think about it, is it? If you would refuse to listen to God, if you're so proud you think you know better, and therefore you won't listen then you won't come, will you? I mean, it's it's sort of pretty obvious, isn't it? If you if your life is marked by the proud slogan I did it my way, then you won't come and do it God's way. Sulfias, isn't it?
If you are so proud, you have slogans around your life saying, I must find myself then that's what you'll find. Nothing more than yourself. You won't find God, will you? If it's all about self, if it's all about pride, It's all about looking within and never looking without. And it's obvious you won't listen to God.
And if you won't listen to God, You won't listen to his word, then you won't be drawn. You'll carry on in the sweet aisle stuffing yourself with the world's sweets until you die. It'll be all hyped up because you've got a sugar overload. Run around like a mental, yeah, trying to find more life, and then die. It's basically it, isn't it?
And I mean, in any area of life, if if you're a if you're a university student and you don't study and you don't read the book, and you don't go to the lectures, then you will fail the exam. Simple as that. Simple as that, isn't it? That's it. So if you won't listen to God, or if you think you know what will please God without actually ever asking him, So have you listened to God's word?
Have you ever been taught by God. Is it I'm gonna submit to what God says or is it I think God is like Who are you to say that? I imagine if I said that about you. If I didn't know you, and I said, well, I I think I think Matt Dreyer is probably da da da ba ba. It's that's just like slanderous, isn't it?
It's you know, why isn't it slanderous against God? So have you listened to God's word? Have you listened? Have you been drawn? Have you started to see who Jesus is and who the father is?
That's the second point. But when you listen to God's word, you're directed to 1 place. And it's the bread of life. That's my third the bread of life. The picture language here of bread that Jesus uses about himself is staggeringly wonderful.
Just flash your eyes down these verses. I don't expect you to see it all, but look, Jesus calls himself in this chapter. Right? This is just 1 chapter. He calls himself the bread from heaven, verse 32, the bread from heaven, verse 41, the bread from heaven, verse 50, the bread from heaven, verse 58, the bread from heaven.
He calls himself the bread of God in verse 33, the bread of life in the verse 35, and verse 48, the bread of life. The living bread in verse 51. Yeah? He's trying to say something, ain't he? Yeah?
It's just a bit of big hint, isn't it? And then he talks about drinking his blood in verse 53 to 56. Jesus is saying I am the bread of I'm the substance of life. Bread was a staple substance I I I remember 1 missionary I was speaking to that was preaching in Papua New Guinea, and they don't have bread in this a tribe. They had no bread.
They only had potato. Yeah. And so he had to sort of translate this and it's right, although, you know, he had to translate this to them so they understood. Jesus is the potato of life. Sounds funny, but that's it.
In other words, a staple diet. I mean, it means a lot more than that in the scriptures, but that's the that's the point. Look at verse 51, I am the living bread. That came down from heaven, not just a bread that is made up of stuff from fields in Ukraine that you can't get a hold of anymore. I'm a living bread.
There's there's there's there's fields in heaven where I've come from. I'm the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give, which I will give for the life of the world. Verse 55.
Look at this. I mean, there's so many verses you could turn to. For my flesh is real food, am I blunt real drink? It's real. It's the reality.
And then he goes on in from verse 46 in that sort of section about the sort of old testament story of if you know the people of God in the old testament in the wilderness and their fread by manner, but the whole thing is saying, that was just a picture. Moses is just a picture. That manor stuff was a picture It really happened, but it was a picture, and it was an event that was was the realities in me. That was from Earth. I'm from heaven.
And you find John emphasizing or Jesus in John emphasizing this all the time. There's reality. There's sub you nicodemus in chapter 3 religious man. You know the scriptures, but you need more than the scriptures. You need the reality of God, you need to be born again.
You woman at the well in chapter 4, drawing water. You've got water, but you need the reality of God. You need living water. That wells up into you into eternal life. You eating the bread.
You're not seeing it's a sign that I am the living breath. The real food. The real food. He goes on and talks about being the true vine. If you're a branch that's put into the true vine.
It's the the vine that goes down into the earth and draws the water. It's living. It's true. It's alive. I've come to bring living bread from heaven itself, all that stuff in the old testament, all of those stories are pictures, and stories to point to me.
And if you knew the scriptures, if you listen, it would point to me, I am the bread of life. I'm the 1 that satisfies you. I'm the 1 that fulfills all the promises of the old testament. Wonderful, but there's something else here. That bread, that Living 1.
Must die. Look at verse 51 again. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live or they will live. This bread is my flesh which I give for the life of the world.
He gives his life for the life of the world. God The son dies for you. How do you become a Christian? You just decide, you're born in a pink country. You go to a building, you live, die there, You carried in in a box, and some religious bloke stands up and says, dearly beloved.
We're gathered here in remembrance, and your name is mentioned. Is it because he go to a building? It's just nonsense to say that. It means nothing. If that's all Christianity is, I don't wanna be a Christian.
It's a waste of time. It means nothing. But here, this is what it is to be a Christian, that god, the father god, sees you and draws you. And God, the son comes and dies for you and breaks himself for you. On the cross, gives his life, and that is is life for you.
So eat says Jesus. So eat says this picture. Somebody say just eat? Yes. Jesus did.
Jesus said it, not snoop dogg. Is it snoop dogg? Jesus, whenever you hear that, somebody say Gistee, shout out. Yes. Jesus did snoop dog.
Don't you know? Does anybody know what I'm talking about? If you don't, that is a bit weird. I mean, apparently, there's loads of people listening from from other countries to our sermons. So you probably got no idea what we meant.
Anyway, go find out who snoop dogg is. No, don't. Go find out who Jesus is. That's probably better. But eat.
Eat something. Eat Jesus. That sounds weird and like cannibalism, doesn't it? It's obviously a metaphor. And we use that all the time about words, if you think about it, it's things like, well, I'll have to digest what you said.
Yeah? People say things like that or I can't swallow that. Yeah. Or that's food for thought. We use we use these metaphors all the time.
A preacher might might say of his congregation. My congregation are so young. I have to spoon feed them. Yeah? That's that's what it's like.
Or a businessman might say to his staff now, here's a program we can sink our teeth in Yeah? A student says actually, I doubt if a student says this. I really devoured that book while I was on 30 other devices. But we talk about that, and nobody takes that literally. It's just nonsense, isn't it?
There's something blind if you just take it lit that we are to sort of eat some kind of flesh of Jesus. And the scriptures are full of descriptions like that of a relationship with God, taste and see that the Lord is good. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my to my mouth? Jeremyiah says, when your words came, I ate them. They were my joy and and my heart's delight.
We've been looking at 1 Peter in the morning services like newborn babes, crave pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow up in your salvation now that you've tasted that the lord is good. People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Ezekiel in the old testament and John in the new testament, were to eat the word of God so that they could then spread it out and speak it out. Yeah? Bind the word of God on your foreheads and on your yeah.
That that was this is the problem, both literalist, That's that's exactly what the Jewish did, and still do. They bind They put the a piece of scripture on their forehead and a little box right in the center of their head, and they bind it round, and they bind it on their arms. And God said, what are you doing that for? It's meant to mean that it's going into your head, not on the outside, into your actions, into your heart. So when he says, eat my flesh and drink my bloody believe in me, put everything in me, imbibe what you're what you're eating.
Again, that verse 63, The spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. And when you go on to next week's section. We'll see that Peter understood this because the 12 come to Peter, everybody runs away from Jesus because they don't like what he's saying in the end. And then the 12 followers of Jesus.
Jesus says, do you wanna clear off as well? And Jesus says, Lord, to whom shall we go. You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the holy 1 of God. You've got the words and that's what you have to eat so that it you imbibe it, it becomes part of you.
It it's not just Here's a outward word, a rule I have to follow. Oh, I need to wash my hands. It's no I need pure hands. So everything I do are pure. Don't worry about the outward washing.
But get those hands really dirty in people's lives. That's purity. So that's my third point, my fourth point. They would not believe and they would not eat. Look at verse 52.
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, how can this man give us his flesh to eat? The Literuralist? What are you talking about? Look at verse 41 and 42. This, the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, I am the bread of life that came down from heaven.
They said, is this not Jesus? The son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know, how can he say I've come down from heaven. Do you see what they do? 1, we know this boy. He's the boy next door.
He's the carpenter's son. He's no more than a carpenter. But it's amazing. You see what unbelief has fed them? Because they I don't know.
I've never seen this before. Unbelief grows. It doesn't stay just unbelief. It grows into more unbelief. They had just thought he was the prophet of God, they wanted to make him king.
Now he's just a boy next door. Unbelief has turned them into ignoring even the miracle that they saw. He's just a boy in exile. He's just a carpenter. We know Joseph, don't we?
And we know what went on there, don't we? We know what went on there. Wasn't she pregnant before they were married? Hey. Yeah?
We know who Jesus is. They say that on another occasion. They're basically saying, you're a bastard, aren't you? You're an illegitimate child even. We know your father, and you're saying God is your father.
You illegitimate 1? They've gone from thinking he was a prophet and a king and But we're next door. That's what happens. You don't stay static. Your unbelief grows.
And their thinking was so literalistic literally, how can we how can he say we eat his flesh? They were so spiritually blind. They're thinking of putting stuff on the outside instead of the inside changing, bind it on their heads, and bind it on their hands, but not in their hearts, not feasting so that when you take the bread, the energy goes into the body, into the stomach, into the blood that gives you energy to live. That's what Christianity is. It's fundamentally feasting on Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit through the grace of the Father.
And as his word is imbibed in us, then we live that out. We live that out. It's super spiritual. And of course, there are religious people today that think that it really means that you actually eat you're the eucharist. And, you know, people talk about that.
Don't they? Romincastic church. They actually think they're eating, actually, really, it it turns into blood and body. It's it's describe it's just it it just means they've not understood. Means they're not born again, which leads me to my fifth point.
The offer of this amazing thing is for you. Remember I asked you if you can remember that far back? How do you become a Christian? Can you become 1? Can you become 1 tonight?
The answer is actually yes. Funny enough, you can. There are 4 marks of a genuine question. You'll recognize that your complete dependent on God to draw you. If you've come to that point and you know, actually you can't follow God, but you need God to draw you like a father pulling a son.
Have you did did is there anything in there? Has god drawn you? Perhaps even here tonight or watching? You weren't gonna watch. You were flicking through, perhaps, You were gonna go on to something that was particularly ungodly?
You were running after sweets? You. And you flicked under this, and perhaps God is just you said, what going on here? God is drawing you. God is drawing you.
Is he drawing you? And you feel his tug. You've got a thousand reasons not to follow Christ. But, nevertheless, there's there's something here. Second thing is that you'll recognize your complete and utter reliance on God's word and you'll listen to it.
You'll listen to it. You'll listen to what he says about what life is, not what you think. You'll repent of you being the boss, You repent of all the other ideas that are around and say, no. No. What what God says is right.
It's that that ever happened? God says that you need salvation. The third thing is that you'll recognize your complete and utter dependence on the bread of life. Jesus isn't just a king or a prophet. He's the savior, lord, from heaven.
The eternal 1 that's come and died on the cross. You. The only way you can be forgiven is if he dies for your sin. That's how rotten your sin is. People can have him as a prophet, you know.
Islam does. Islam sees Jesus as a prophet. You might even have him as a sort of king. You like the idea that he's got some good ideas. But he's gotta be a savior from heaven, the son of God.
And the fourth thing is you'll eat Did somebody say just eat? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'm gonna do that.
I'm gonna come to him and into his word and ask him to bring by his spirit, his word into me. Have you done that? If you've done that Well, tonight, the offers for you. That's the beauty of this, isn't it? Jesus is speaking through his word and saying, allow God to draw you to me, to see who I am, but bread of life.
Let's pray. Father, you know every single person in this room you created them and made them. We thank you lord Jesus that you are the bread of life that they desperately need. And we thank you holy spirit, that you are the 1 that opens blind eyes. We thank you that you are Great, triune god, father son spirit that's all involved in bringing us into the kingdom of God, everlasting life, forgiveness of sin.
It's all you. We pray please that you would help us to understand the greatness of what it is to be your follower All that you've done, help us to be grateful for that. And those that have heard this, perhaps even for the first time, perhaps They've been reminded of truths from long ago, please, Lord. Draw them show him Jesus, bread of life, broken for them, open their hearts, Bring them to you. We pray in Jesus' name.
Oh, ma'am. Well, I'm gonna give you a couple of minutes on your table just to chat some things through. And if you've got any questions have a few minutes of questions. So just chat through on your table. Anything that struck you or you didn't understand or whatever Okay.
Let's stop there. Any any questions for a few minutes? Before we have all our song, anything, questions, comments, tools. Yep. I think so.
Yeah. So so there's quite a lot isn't there about bread, body, and blood, and stuff like that, and course, if you separate body and blood, it's death. And so I think he's clearly talking about death here in the verses that I showed as well. But, yeah, it's a it's a giving of his life, and he's he's he's giving of his his life. So I think here is a sort of more coated, not hidden, but, you know, version of that the death and resurrection that we have to rely on for us to to have the bread of life.
In order for us to have life, the life giver gives his life for us. But yeah. Definitely. Thank you, Sophie. Yeah.
It's not you. No. Yeah. A friend says. Yeah.
A friend's asking. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. What can we do?
Well, we do exactly what Jesus did. So 1 of the applications for us, if we had time to apply this in every way that you could, would be that you just carry on preaching the bread of life. So if you see what Jesus does, he it's it's it's it's quite interesting how he does it. So Where is it verse where am I? I can't see these verses.
Verse 44, it says Jesus answered, no 1 can come to me unless the father sent sent me draws him, and I'll raise him up on the last day. And then he goes on and talks about him being the bread of life. So that's the message. The message that we preach is the bread of life. So how does God draw people?
Well, he draws people through the word of God, and the word of God is about the bread of life or about Jesus. And so as we preach Jesus, by the spirit. The rope is pulling, and he would draw people in to himself. So I think that's how we do it. So our job is not to do God's bit.
Our job is just to preach the gospel, is to tell people about Jesus and say, come to Christ, as he says, come to me. But you'll only come to him if God's drawing you. But the way god draws you is through the preaching of the word. So that's why we were praying for preaching. We need to preach, and we're told to preach.
And as we preach the the word that things are happening. God speaks to you. I mean, it's it's it's it's an interesting thing, isn't it? The when you preach around, you often have someone come to you and say, someone told you something about me. And you say, no.
I don't know. I don't know who you are. And but that's God, isn't it? God is saying, look, this is you, you believe, you listen. And so that's how he does it.
He draws people by his word, and we preach the gospel. That's our job. We just tell people that he's the bread of life. Yes. Yes.
I can't have thinking. We've just come to the end of Ramadand of how many times I've heard stories of Muslims, committed Muslims, who were wondering if there was something more seeking to a deeper in their vehicle to know they got better, who during ramadan particularly, while they're praying and fasting in their dream are drawn, literally drawn to Jesus. Yeah. Yeah. And that's not salvation.
They need the word. But because of that They seek the word. They hung out. Maybe they go grab a Bible. Maybe they talk to Christian.
Maybe 10 years Mhmm. But but that there is so clearly a drawing he must have heard stories Hundreds of them aren't there? They're all from Islamic world. Yeah. And the and the dreams that the because they haven't got a Bible or they can't get a hold of it, God will use that, but they normally go to the word to the bible, don't they?
But the idea of them I mean, hundred thanks for telling us that, but the hundreds of of Muslims that that have this dream of of a man in white telling them to get a scripture and that sort of stuff, and and they go and get a scripture. And I mean, this is the thing. We don't hear all this. There are thousands of Muslims every day turning to Christ in the world, and then they're persecuted and so forth. There are just thousands of them.
Yes. Brilliant. Thank you. Anybody else? All desperate to go home and get some cheese on toast.
Yeah. Yeah. Double is down. Yeah. Yeah.
Exactly. He goes much further. Yeah. That's the way Jesus is and and and sometimes in our evangelism, it's worth doing that, isn't it? I I know I've used you know, in a member of bloke saying he was, you know, quite a clever bloke, which is quite rare.
A Kingston University. And he he was going on and wouldn't believe and wouldn't believe. He said, why hasn't God shown himself? And And I thought I would tie a different tact and said, well, probably because you are not 1 of the elect. And then and then he said, how what?
And then he got very angry about that. But actually, that conversation made him go to the EU. And he went to a number of EU meetings to to hear about Christ. So it's quite interesting, isn't it? We we we sometimes think I mean, someone said to me this morning, God, you know what?
I've just started coming to this church. What I like is you talk normal, and it's like in your face. Yeah. And you think, well, so I don't really understand that as a compliment, because isn't that isn't that just sort of what you do? You just say what it says.
On the tin, and that's what people want, isn't it? And I think the truth is we we mustn't be scared of these things. I mean, look at the the Church of England. It's just a joke, isn't it? It's fudging around and not wanting to offend anyone.
And in the end, this is a complete lump of waste of offense. It's an offense, isn't it? It's because it's so bland. You know, it's like over a curry, isn't it? And it's bland.
You know? There's no spice in it in whatsoever. Anyway, I've said my bit and I probably probably best to sit down. But I enjoyed that. Write in to my name is Tom Sweetman.
And and there's a great card. You know, most You go to lots of churches, and they have, sir, we would see Jesus, they have it on. We've got recycling bins for paper, card, and plastic, under the big kitchen table. Yeah. That's I didn't I didn't preach that, and I'm sorry.