Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.
We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to welcome you to our group, if you live local.
We are on week 8 of our study in the book of John and we’re continuing with Chapter 6.
John 6 Verse 22 – 31
22–23 The next morning, the crowds were still on the opposite shore of the lake, near the place where they had eaten the bread he had multiplied after he had given thanks to God. Yet Jesus was nowhere to be found. They realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus’ hadn’t boarded, and they concluded that his disciples had left him behind. 24 So when the people saw on the shoreline a number of small boats from Tiberias and realized Jesus and the disciples weren’t there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to search for him.
25 When they finally found him, they asked him, “Teacher, how did you get here?”
26 Jesus replied, “Let me make this very clear] you came looking for me because I fed you by a miracle, not because you believe in me. 27 Why would you strive for food that is perishable and not be passionate to seek the food of eternal life, which never spoils I, the Son of Man, am ready to give you what matters most, for God the Father has destined me for this purpose.”
28 They replied, “So what should we do if we want to do God’s work?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work you can do for God starts with believing in the One he has sent.”
30–31 They replied, “Show us a miracle so we can see it, and then we’ll believe in you. Moses took care of our ancestors who were fed by the miracle of manna[q] every day in the desert, just like the Scripture says, ‘He fed them with bread from heaven.’[r] What sign will you perform for us?”
Here we go again! The people are asking to see signs and wonders in order to believe in Jesus. Wasn’t it enough that he’d just fed the 5000 families with 2 pieces of fish and 5 loaves, let alone the rest of the miracles? These people were reliant upon seeing in order to believe.
The thing is, Jesus wants us to live a life filled with signs and wonders but we can end up looking in the wrong places (as we will see throughout these verses). Let’s reflect on our own lives and what these scriptures could mean to us now.
There’s no evidence here in the behaviour of the Jewish people, that they believed in any sort of a relationship with Jesus. They only saw him as just a man and they looked up to many different men but not the one that held the answers they were looking for.
Ponder on this question:
Can you think of times you’ve gone to Jesus begging for signs and wonders without placing your relationship with Him first?
Let’s continue to read on from verse 32:
32 “The truth is,” Jesus said, “Moses didn’t give you the bread of heaven. It’s my Father who offers bread that comes as a dramatic sign from heaven.33 The bread of God is the One who came out of heaven to give his life to feed the world.”
34 “Then please, sir, give us this bread every day,” they replied.
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life.Come every day to me and you will never be hungry. Believe in me and you will never be thirsty.36 Yet I’ve told you that even though you’ve seen me, you still don’t believe in me.37 But everyone my Father has given to me, they will come. And all who come to me, I will embrace and will never turn them away.38 And I have come out of heaven not for my own desires, but for the satisfactionof my Father who sent me.39 My Father who sent me has determined that I will not lose even one of those he has given to me, and I will raise them up in the last day.40 For the longing of my Father is that everyone who embraces the Sonand believes in him will experience eternal life and I will raise them up in the last day!”
41 When the Jews who were hostile to Jesus heard him say, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” they immediately began to complain, 42 “How can he say these things about himself? We know him, and we know his parents. How dare he say, ‘I have come down from heaven?’”
They don’t get it at all do they? The religion and logic have the better of them, they complain and grumble about Jesus, having no idea of who He is. Their eyes are fixed to what they’ve always known and the people they’ve always followed. Despite seeing all He’s done, they can’t see that He is the One they have been waiting for.
Power hungry and desiring authority of their own, the religious leaders of this day had these people right where they wanted them; small minded and too self-righteous to have the humility to say,
“Maybe, just maybe, this man, son of Mary and Joseph, the carpenter, is the one that can change our lives.”
Much like the world today, we see so many people that are lost and searching for answers but still hold on to the drink, the drugs, the lying, the cheating, the money, the job, the control, whatever it is they don’t want to let go with fear of getting it wrong, it’s all rooted in pride and Jesus has the answer;
43 Jesus responded, “Stop your grumbling!44 The only way people come to me is by the Father who sent me—he pullson their hearts to embrace me. And those who are drawn to me, I will certainly raise them up in the last day.”
45 Jesus continued, “It has been written by the prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God himself.’If you are really listening to the Father and learning directly from him, you will come to me.46 For I am the only One who has come from the Father’s side, and I have seen the Father!
Still they didn’t understand! They believed in man to set them free, Moses was the one that had freed them, he was the one that provided for them and he was the one that was placed above Jesus. They were looking to man and not to God for their freedom. They idolised and turned to the religious leaders of their day for the wisdom they needed. They lived their lives to the law, in the belief it would make them righteous, that they could earn their way to righteousness and maybe even authority.
It’s much like this in the world too. We only have to look into corporations and how people behave to climb the ladder at work, or at the celebrity world, or even in church. People put people on pedestals! We lift them up and gaze at them in awe, developing an infatuation to be like them one day. I know, I’ve done it and the very reason I developed an addiction to nicotine was due to my awe of a girl older than me, more popular than me, prettier than me. I wanted to fit in. The point is we weren’t made to fit in, we were made uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully and the Bible tells us, in the image of God Himself. We are an image of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, why would we need to gaze upon people of the world and become more like them when we are all we were ever created to be? All we need to do is understand the One who created us in order to understand who we are!
The problem with this behaviour is that we begin a spiral of sin, we disconnect ourselves from the One who created us for union with Him. Before we know it, we are idolising the mere person we look up to and we begin a cycle of wanting to please that person and be approved by them. So we pour out works of the flesh in order to make them notice us. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to respect people and encourage them for good things that they do, but when we are consistently looking to them in replacement of Jesus, therein lies the problem.
So my second question for you is,
Who do you look up to?
In Verses 47 – 59, Jesus goes on to explain what they needed to do and why:
47 “I speak to you living truth: Unite your heart to me and believe—and you will experience eternal life! 48 I am the true Bread of Life. 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the desert and died. 50 But standing here before you is the true Bread that comes out of heaven, and when you eat this Bread you will never die. 51 I alone am this living Bread that has come to you from heaven. Eat this Bread and you will live forever. The living Bread I give you is my body, which I will offer as a sacrifice so that all may live.”
52 These words of Jesus sparked an angry outburst among the Jews. They protested, saying, “Does this man expect us to eat his body?”
53 Jesus replied to them, “Listen to this eternal truth: Unless you eat the body of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have eternal life. 54 Eternal life comes to the one who eats my body and drinks my blood, and I will raise him up in the last day. 55 For my body is real food for your spirit and my blood is real drink. 56 The one who eats my body and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. 57 The Father of life sent me, and he is my life. In the same way, the one who feeds upon me, I will become his life. 58 I am not like the bread your ancestors ate and later died. I am the living Bread that comes from heaven. Eat this Bread and you will live forever!”
59 Jesus preached this sermon in the synagogue in Capernaum.
There is so much wisdom and knowledge in the world now that we look up to people a lot. We value human opinions, we discover things from them and begin to place their wisdom before His. It’s so important now more than ever that we discover who Jesus is and who we are in Him over everything. Unless we yield ourselves to Jesus then we have nothing, apart from him we are nothing, there is absolutely nothing in this world that can satisfy us apart from His living breathing word. It’s no wonder that when we busy ourselves looking to man to approve of us we become worn out, offended and exhausted. Here’s what happened next;
Many Disciples Became Offended
60 And when many of Jesus’ followers heard these things, it caused a stir. “That’s disgusting!” they said. “How could anybody accept it?”
61 Without anyone telling him, Jesus knew they were outraged and told them, “Are you offended over my teaching? 62 What will you do when you see the Son of Man ascending into the realm from where he came?
63 “The Holy Spirit is the one who gives life, that which is of the natural realm is of no help. The words I speak to you are Spirit and life. But there are still some of you who won’t believe.” 64 In fact, Jesus already knew from the beginning who the sceptics were and who his traitor would be.
65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one embraces me unless the Father has given you to me.”
As I said in the beginning, once we begin to engage in the behaviour of the world, we commence a cycle, we build up the people we are looking up to and before we know it, they are our gods. Hanging on their every word, we find their wisdom exceptional, we portray them to be something superior and we idolise them, we long to become more like them and we let go of the living bread Himself. We end up busying ourselves, working harder and harder to earn their respect, longing for their admiration and seeking their approval. We wind up working so hard that we become exhausted and we can’t physically do any more. The compliments then become less and less and the expectancy becomes more and more. The people we put up high upon that throne, slowly but surely let us down and there we are; burnt out, fed up and totally offended. Still lost, still hurting and still very much broken.
On the other hand, we could just as easily be the person that someone is placing upon a pedestal. If we allow ourselves to become inflated with knowledge, thinking we know better and taking the moral high ground whilst handing out advice and never thinking we’re wrong. I’ve done it myself, only to land up feeling more than inadequate and having let the people down I intentionally tried to help.
Maybe you are in one of these positions now, either looking up to man to solve your problems or being the problem solver with someone putting you on a pedestal. Maybe you find what I’ve written offensive. That’s the thing with The Word of God, it’s there to be challenging. I’ve been reading the Word countless times and felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit, there have been so many times I’ve sobbed my heart out once realising what I’ve done. Equally there is a huge amount of joy in this sort of conviction, because if we weren’t challenged it means we are stood still, unteachable, not flexible, rigid and proud, stuck in our ways and not His. It means that our growth is stunted, and we are beginning to turn the other way.
Peter’s Confession of Faith
66 And so from that time on many of the disciples turned their backs on Jesus and refused to be associated with him. 67 So Jesus said to his twelve, “And you—do you also want to leave?”68 Peter spoke up and said, “But Lord, where would we go? No one but you gives us the revelation of eternal life. 69 We’re fully convinced that you are the Anointed One, the Son of the Living God, and we believe in you!”
70 Then Jesus shocked them with these words: “I have hand-picked you to be my twelve, knowing that one of you is the devil.” 71 Jesus was referring to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, for he knew that Judas, one of his chosen disciples, was getting ready to betray him.
One of the reasons that people turn their backs on Jesus is because their eyes are fixed on the wrong thing, they are fixed on man or self. They want their own way, they are looking for a solution in mere human beings, they are looking at church (the building and its work) and wondering what they can receive from it, looking for them to solve the problem, which is what churches do, and very well. Please don’t get me wrong here. I do believe that the church as a building and as a people can provide a safe place for people in need, the problem begins when people don’t see Jesus, they see people. As followers of Jesus we must be providing a safe place but, in His will, not ours, the cycle begins when we as humans take control, when we as fleshly humans become the solution and not Him.
Peter knew that Jesus was the One. He is the answer to every question we have, if we walk united with Him then the eternal life we seek, the joy we seek, the peace we seek is ours. But we MUST take our eyes off everything else, no man, no woman, no child, no job, no house, no car, no ministry, no church is ever going to answer our deepest cries for help.
My final question for you is:
Where in your life can you see areas you need to let go of control?
This week’s Study Scripture:
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. – Romans 12:2 TPT
For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.
We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!