09/19/S – Learn and Believe

1 Samuel 11:1-15; John 6:43-52; Psalms 107:1-3; Proverbs 23:22

NT: “Jesus answered them, “Stop grumbling among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets: And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to me — not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God. He has seen the Father. Truly I tell you, anyone who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”” (‭‭John‬ ‭6:43-51‬ ‭CSB)

When Jesus claimed to have come down from heaven, that was too much for many in the crowd to believe, and they began to grumble under their breath. “Come down from heaven… that’s impossible. He grew up here… we know his father.” The Jews in the crowd only believed what they saw. There was more to Jesus than growing up in Nazareth as the legal son of Joseph the Carpenter… but they didn’t see that, and thus were having a difficult time reconciling Jesus’ claims with what they knew. So Jesus told them to stop grumbling and allow themselves to be taught by God through His word, instead of only relying on what they could see. The only way they would be able to fully come to Jesus was if they allowed the Father to teach them through the words of scripture… the words given to the Prophets of old by the Father that foretold of Jesus’ coming. The Jews didn’t need to see to believe, they needed to learn and believe. No man has ever seen God. God doesn’t reveal Himself through sight – He reveals Himself through His word. The only way to see God in this life is to open up the pages of scripture and learn. If they would learn about the Father, then they would be able to recognize the Son and believe… and by believing, they would receive eternal life. Jesus, as the Bread of Life, was not only like manna – He was better than manna. The Children of Israel that ate the manna in the wilderness eventually died. Those who “feed” on Jesus through belief will have life eternally. The manna in the wilderness was only available to the Children of Israel. Jesus, on the other hand, had come to lay down His flesh in order to give life to the whole world. Jesus had so much to offer – but for the Jews in the crowd to receive it, they had to stop their grumbling, learn from the Word of God, and believe.

Psalms: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim that he has redeemed them from the power of the foe” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭107:1-2‬ ‭CSB)

The Lord is good… and His faithful love… His checed… His zealous mercy, goodness, and covenantal faithfulness towards us endures forever. Some translations word verse 2 in this way: Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. Don’t mutter or grumble under your breath… say it out loud… proclaim the truth that you have been redeemed. The ransom for your life has been paid. You aren’t just out on bail, you are free of all charges. It is because of the Lord’s goodness and enduring faithful love, that He sent His Son to earth to redeem us. As Jesus said in John 6, He sacrificed His flesh to pay for our life. If we place our faith on Him and are found in Him, then we are completely, 100% redeemed. If that is true of you, then give thanks to the Lord, and say it out loud… for others to hear, and for you to hear. I have been redeemed!

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