In this passage of scripture, Jesus had told the people that He was the bread of life. He said to them, “if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh.” Again, these things were confusing and still is confusing for many people. Jesus was speaking and teaching spiritually.
Next week, Passion Week, leads to Passover. At Passover, in remembrance of their last night in Egypt, the Israelites would eat unleavened bread and drink from the cup filled with the fruit of the vine. When Jesus instituted our holy communion, He put Himself in the place of both the unleavened bread and the cup used for Passover. He said that His body was the bread and that His shed blood was the fruit of the vine. When we eat our cracker and drink the juice (or wine at some churches), it represents our faith.
It shows that we have not forgotten but that we remember what Christ did for us. It shows that we are now taking part in Him in our faith! You see, we have to have faith that God’s wrath will pass over us because we have believed in the sacrifice of Christ. Yes, we eat of the bread of life and we drink of the Savior’s cleansing blood. That is the only way we can have part in Him – genuine faith.
This is Jesus talking to the Pharisees – the religious leaders of His day. They were going back and forth about Jesus and His authority. For them, it was a real struggle for them to see the truth in who He was. You know, it’s hard for people to see the truth in others because we often see what we want to see. We have to be able to discern things spiritually, especially the things of the spirit.
The Pharisees expected the Messiah to be some grandiose person because of their own grandiose ideas of what that person should have been. So, their judgment of Jesus was off because their judgment was of the flesh. There are many people living today whose judgment is still way off when it comes to Jesus. A lot of people are thrown off and meet the stumbling block of Jesus because they are so hung up on thinking by worldly logic. You see, we cannot allow worldly logic to influence are discernment and judgment spiritually. If you ever want to meet Christ, the Lord, you’re going to have to start ignoring the world and allow your spirit to guide you.
The people were questioning Jesus’ authority to do things. It kind of reminds me of when me and my brother used to look after my nephew. I can’t remember how old we all were, but we would make him breakfast and then me and my brother would clean up afterwards. He would ask us, “who told y’all that y’all could do that?” It’s kind of funny when I think back on it, but that is exactly what many of the people were doing to Jesus.
They wanted to know who gave Him the authority to do the things He was doing. Jesus told them who His Father was and that He was working on His Father’s behalf. The people then wanted proof, just as many people ask believers for proof of His existence. Jesus answer was this: “look at My works – they bear witness of who I am and who I am working for.” The believer today has the same authority in ministering the gospel. Our witness and authority given is in the name of the one who we testify of – Jesus Christ.
I did not reference this verse in my sermon yesterday but, in a way, you could see how it ties into what I preached. If you did not read or listen to yesterday’s sermon – Foolish Faith is not Faith – definitely do so! Our faith begins at the cross. Faith in what God did for us by giving us His only begotten Son to die for our sins is the very foundation of the Christian faith. The cross and the resurrection (the gospel) is what the apostles went into the world preaching.
So, for the genuine believer, having faith in the cross is not foolish – it is everything to us. However, to the one of no faith, the cross is absolutely foolish and our faith in it and God is seen as being complete stupid. In this case, as I said once before, I don’t mind being seen as a fool. I will gladly be “a fool” for having faith in my God. However, as I said in my sermon yesterday, faith does not mean you should act foolish in your faith. God expects for the genuine believer to be prudent in their faith!
That means He expects us not to ignore wise counsel nor follow and chase after foolish ideas or people. Be prudent in your faith.