[CONTINUED FROM:Listen to Jesus]
Jesus' authority makes all the kings and rulers and authorities of the world in all of history look powerless. Of course you'd want him to be your king! So why does Jesus, v15, know that they have got it right and slip away? It's not that he's not king. John will go on to show us the coronation of King Jesus later in his book. We've not seen a coronation in this country for over half a century, and even when Charles takes the throne it wont exactly be a great political event. The crowd with their full stomachs envisage a political revolution. Jesus-The-Prophet overthrowing the occupying forces of the 1st Century Roman Empire!
Wouldn't you want him as king? Healer. Water into wine. Bread out of thin-air. Unmatched wisdom and authority. Jesus will be enthroned. But not in a Palace with a throne. Not in the way the people expect. His coronation will be in the shame of a Roman cross. Emblazoned over his head the words: “THE KING OF THE JEWS”
Crowned as their passover lamb – dying in their place. Bearing God's wrath so that we might receive his abundant favour – not just more food for today but life upon life with Jesus forever. All that John has written points towards this – the lamb who takes away sin, the stairway to heaven, the snake to look at, now – the bread from heaven. Different picture, same point. Jesus brings sinful people to God. They want Jesus but they want him on their own terms. And that's the problem. As John Calvin observed the human heart is an idol factory. We love to invent imaginary gods for ourselves. Gods that fit our requirements and ideas of what God should be like.
That's like shooting an arrow and then drawing a target around where it hits. You always get what you want but it's not real.
- If you want Jesus for a political revolutionary then you don't want Jesus.
- If you want Jesus because that makes you part of the CU crowd you don't want Jesus.
- If you want Jesus to make you happy, wealthy and healthy then you don't want Jesus.
They ask for more signs but he wont appease them. He has come to give life and it's theirs if they want it. Not life by filled stomachs but life by rescue from sin. The Jews were given bread from heaven - 6v58. The Exodus Bread. But they died. The bread Jesus offers guarantees life for those who eat it. By Jesus' cruciform coronation in 19v21 we may live.
What do you do with Jesus?
Option 1. 6v66. 'MY JESUS'.
You can take offence because this preacher, and more importantly, the Bible, wont let you have 'my Jesus' because you have to have the real one. You can take offence because you wanted the cool-Jesus, the revolutionary-che-guevara-t-shirt-Jesus, the boyfriend-Jesus, the bless-me-Jesus... You can take offence because all those 'my Jesus''s don't exist. They're figments of your imagination. It is unbelief to set the glory and excellency of Jesus at nought in favour of your own pocket version of Jesus.
Or, Option 2. 6v68. 'THE JESUS'
You can stand with Peter. And you can conclude that there is no-where else to go than to eat the words of Jesus. No-where better than to gather at the foot of his cross. Nothing better than to revel and delight in his death for you. Nothing more precious than the words that he speaks. And you can feast your heart on Christ – feeding on the one who came from heaven to bring us life forever. Feasting on Jesus as portrayed in the page of the Bible. It's easy to drift away from that but that only ever ends with a fake-Jesus who will be a lesser-Jesus.
So let us gather around the word and invite others to do likewise. Make use of next week's events with Michael Ots. Do diagnostics like House and inviting others to do the same. House doesn't get to decide what's wrong only to examine the evidence. Likewise, none of us gets to decide who Jesus is. He is who he is. By his word, by the Holy Spirit he penetrates into our hearts and persuade us about Jesus. Open up that Life book with friends this week – ask them to consider Jesus for themselves, tomorrow.
Watch Jesus walk off the page speaking with supreme universe-creating, glory-revealing, life-changing authority.