John

A Quick Fix or A Permanent Fixture?

The sixth chapter of the Gospel according to John begins by saying,

After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.” (John 6:1,2)

All of the people saw something wonderful. Every single one of them saw something great. But in the midst of all those people most of them just saw an opportunity. They saw a quick fix for their problems.

Later in the same chapter, after feeding the crowd with the bread and fish, Jesus and His disciples go to the other side of the sea only to be followed by the same crowd. When they found Him they asked Him how He got to the other side of the sea and Jesus responded by saying,

…Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:26,27)

The people were looking for Jesus, they were interested in Him, and they wanted to find Him, but not for the right reasons. So in verses 28-40 Jesus taught the people that He did not come to be a quick fix for the problems of everyone; He came by the will of the Father to be a permanent fixture in the lives of fallen mankind. Jesus did not come to be a temporary answer – He came to be the permanent solution!

When we turn to God do we go to Him because we think He is the fastest way to fix a problem or do we go to God because we know that He is the only way to fix a problem? When a need arises in our life God wants us to know that He desires to be there for us (Matthew 6:24-33) but we have to ask our self, “Do we only turn to God when we need something?” Do we act like the people in John 6 and see Jesus as a quick fix for our problems or do we look at Him as the One that we want in our lives forever more?

The people got what they wanted; they got a temporarily fully belly. But after Jesus told them and the others that were listening what He wanted from them (verses 41-60) they left Him never to return anymore according to John 6:66. Jesus wanted a life long faith from them. He wants the same from us. He wanted a faith that considered Him to be the permanent fixture that they needed; not as the quick fix that they saw Him to be.

As the people left Jesus standing there, He asked the twelve if they were going to do the same. And what was their response? Peter said,

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:68,69)

So how does Jesus look at our faith? The answer is found in the question, “How does our faith look at Jesus?” Is Jesus just a quick fix till things get better or is He a permanent fixture in our lives?

Think about it. EA

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The Four Witnesses of John 5 (Part 4)

In John 5 Jesus helped a man who was in need of mercy. Jesus gave grace but all the Jewish leaders got was angry. They accused Him of being a “law breaker” because the crippled man carried his bed on the Sabbath. They accused Jesus of not honoring God only to have their tables turned by being informed that they were dishonoring God the Father because they were dishonoring His Son (John 5:16-30). As part of their “legal discussion” Jesus calls witnesses for the sake of His accusers that they might rethink their accusation.

The first witness was John the baptist, the second witness consisted of the undeniable works performed by Jesus and the third witness was God’s word, the very law they accused Jesus of breaking (John 5:31-44).

The last witness to consider might be viewed by some as part of the third witness; but I believe he deserves a spot of his own. As part of Jesus’ attempt to get His accusers to think objectively and not just with objections Jesus mentions a man who knew all about the Law that He was being accused of breaking.

WITNESS #4 – MOSES

Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?” (John 5:45-47) (more…)

The Four Witnesses of John 5 (Part 3)

A mule has nothing on the stubbornness of people who Jesus encountered during His earthly ministry. In John 5 Jesus healed a man and provided him with freedom but the leaders sought to hurt Jesus because the man was told to take his bed with him (John 5:8,9,16). They accused Jesus of disrespecting the authority of the Sabbath but they were told they were disrespecting the authority of God’s Son! (John 5:17,18)

Jesus’ accusers wanted to get legal with Him but they didn’t realize they were already talking with the Judge (John 5:22,23). Jesus’ next step in His legal lesson for the accusers was to call witnesses.

Witness number one was John. John was sent to preach and prepare the hearts of the people before Christ (John 1:23; 5:33). While many rejoiced in John’s message, Jesus’ accusers rejected it.

Then came witness number two. The next witness was something that John never did – miracles (John 5:36; 10:41). The “prosecutors” couldn’t dispute the miracles (John 3:1,2) and as a matter of fact His accusers were actually “moved” by His miracles; but unfortunately they were moved to anger and jealously (Mark 15:9,10; John 12:17-19).

Witness number three shows that not only were they blind spiritually but their sin had spread to their ears (Matthew 13:15).

WITNESS #3 – GOD’ WORD

Jesus said, “And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” (John 5:37-40) (more…)

The Four Witnesses of John 5 (Part 2)

John 5 reveals the truth of the saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.” Jesus helped a man in need. He helped him physically, emotionally and spiritually (John 5:7,8 &14). He asked for no credit, He did not make a show out of it and I have no reason to believe that He regretted it one bit – but He sure caught some serious grief over it.

When the religious leaders found out that Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath and then told him to get up and carry his bed they did not see the miracle as a reason to rejoice for the man; they saw it as a reason to get mad at the one who they considered to be a “law breaker.” John said, “…the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him,because He had done these things on the Sabbath.” (John 5:16)

But for their soul’s sake Jesus tried to reason with them by presenting witnesses that testified to the fact that they were actually breaking the law by rejecting the only “Light” that would let them see God working in the lives of mankind (Psalm 18:28). Jesus’ first witness was John the baptist. This man of God preached and pleaded with all of Israel to repent and prepare for the Coming One, but the Jewish leaders refused to change. They tried to reject the messenger but they ended up rejected by the message and the support from God that it had (Matthew 21:24-26). But Jesus still had greater witnesses than the testimony of John so He presents to His accusers witness number two:

WITNESS #2 – THE WORKS JESUS DID. 

Jesus said, “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.” (John 5:36) (more…)

The Four Witnesses of John 5 (Part 1)

John 5 begins with Jesus and a man in desperate need of help. The man finds help with Jesus but Jesus finds trouble with the Jews. The Jews confront Jesus and tell Him that He “violated” God’s Law by being an accessory to the “crime” of bed carrying on the Sabbath. Jesus responds by telling them that He had the authority to do what He did and that they were out-of-order in their judgment of Him because they were intentionally ignoring the honor that He was due. He urges them to consider the fact that He could not do what He did without approval from God, His Father. He tells them that their eternal life hinges on the very work that they were rejecting and that His work as God’s Son had the support of other witnesses. So who were these witnesses? To give them an opportunity to find salvation (John 5:34) Jesus didn’t leave them wondering.

Witness #1 On The Stand – The Man Of God Called John.

Jesus told the Jews that He did not need the witness of men, but nonetheless one man that they were very familiar with had told them what they needed to hear even though they rejected his message. The beginning of the apostle John’s gospel described the rejected witness by saying:

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light…John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” (John 1:6-8, 15) (more…)