Bible Study series No.12 from The Gospel of John: "Are you also going to leave?"
Prayer： Missionary Michio
Bible：The Gospel of John 6:22-71
Message："Are you also going to leave?" Pastor Megumi
Prayer： Missionary Michio
Prayer： Pastor Megumi
Last time, I talked about the storm that hit the disciples on their way to Capernaum by boat. The next day, Jesus spoke in the synagogue in Capernaum. The crowd thought that Jesus was still where they were, but noticed that Jesus and his disciples were nowhere to be seen, so they hurried to Capernaum by boat.
When one of them finally found Jesus, he asked Jesus if he had come here. They must have been thinking, "Jesus ignored them!”
But instead of answering the question, Jesus said, "You are not asking me because you have seen a sign, but because you have eaten enough bread. (26). Jesus saw through the fact that they were not following Him because they believed in Him as the Savior, but because they would get bread again today.”
Jesus also said, "Work not for the food that perishes, but for the food that does not perish, which leads to eternal life.” (27) So he retorted with this, “To do the work of God, what should we do?” Jesus replied, "The work of God is to believe in him whom he has sent" (28). In verse 30, Jesus said, "What sign will you give us, that we may see and believe in you? What will you do for us?”
They have already experienced the sign of the bread, but they asked to be shown more miracles if they are to accept Jesus as the Son of God.
The miracle of the bread was not enough for them.
These are the kind of people who have forgotten to be grateful and are only looking for "benefits," as it were, as an object that will give them what they want one after another.
We should never use God for our benefit, but this is also the weakness of human beings. Even Christians who say, "Christianity is not a religion of benefits," when we analyze our prayers, we probably find that asking for favors is number one. I am ashamed to admit that most of my prayers are also wishes. How about you?
Eventually, the crowd murmured.
“Isn't this Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his parents? Why do you say now that ‘I have come down from heaven?’" (52)
“He talks so high and mighty, but he is not the Son of God. He is no good to us anymore!”
Then, the crowd left.
Jesus talked in the synagogue at Capernaum.
"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 one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” (55-58)
This message caused a huge stir among the disciples.
"These are terrible words, who would listen to such things?"
Then, all of the disciples except twelve left Jesus.
The disciples were people who had been following Jesus because they believed in Him as their Savior. They had seen and heard Jesus heal the sick, give bread to the people, and show much comfort and love to them, and Jesus declare, "I am the bread of life.”
Later, on the cross, the bread, the symbol of the body, was broken and the blood was shed to atone for the sins of mankind by drinking the blood, which was the core message of the greatest salvation.
(We eat bread and wine (grape juice) as a sacrament, remembering these words that Jesus said. This is not the first time Jesus said this to his disciples at the Last Supper. I believe that Jesus spoke to the disciples in such a way that it was easy to understand and repeated over and over again, but even the 12 disciples could not understand His true meaning.)
After the people left, Jesus says to the 12 disciples, "Are you also going to leave?"
I am sad how Jesus must have felt at that moment.
Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? We believe and know that you are a saint of God. We believe that you are the Holy One of God."
If you were there, what would you respond to Jesus?
Peter's response clearly shows his loyalty to Jesus.
Other disciples must have felt the same as Peter.
Peter was the oldest of the disciples, but he was as honest as a child, and he also loved Jesus very much. I think Jesus Himself was well aware of his sweat character. I believe Jesus must have been touched by Peter's willingness to speak up when so many people left Him.
I believe that love is not something that just exists in one direction. Whether it is a teacher-student relationship, a parent-child relationship, or a friendship relationship, if it is only one-sided, it will dry up.
Isn't love something that grows through smooth communication in both directions?
You may think, "Jesus doesn't need love from humans because he is God the Father and the Son of God.”
But that's not true!
Jesus wants to be loved by us, too. He wants a close relationship with us. He wants us to be open and honest with him about everything.
The last verse of chapter 6, verse 71, concludes, "This Judas, one of the twelve disciples, was about to betray Jesus."
The miracle of the bread did not help the people to grow in faith but instead caused them to rebel against Jesus.
People faced such amazing miracles, though they misunderstood and rejected Jesus.
Next time, let's move on to chapter 7.