Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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PENTECOST 13 – August 19, 2018 – John 6:51-69 “TO WHOM SHALL WE GO?”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Gospel Lesson just read, from John 6.  We begin with prayer.

 

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • In our text for this morning we see one of the most poignant moments in Jesus’ earthly ministry. We also see – in microcosm – the history of mankind’s reaction to the goodness, kindness, and love of God.  Many of Jesus’ disciples, perhaps all but the Twelve, reject the teaching of Jesus and decide to no longer follow Him. 
  • It is certain that aspects of reality – as taught and revealed to us by Jesus – are difficult to grasp and understand. In fact, there are “mysteries” of the faith that are impossible to grasp.  As I often say, WHAT is given and provided is clear; the HOW of things is often beyond our capacity to grasp. 
  • So we see Jesus’ hearers struggling to receive what He seeks to give them – which is eternal life and blessedness – because they are struggling to grasp and fathom it all rather than simply receiving it. But Jesus is clear – if we take offense at the relatively simple things assured to us in Holy Scripture, we will never participate in the heavenly blessings God wills to give us.
  • So we see two responses to the teaching of Jesus, the Person of Jesus, the gift of God. The majority reject Jesus, even many of His disciples, who “turned back and no longer walked with Him.”  But the Twelve remain faithful to Jesus.  The response of Peter says it all:  “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.” 
  • Let us pray that this be our response to Jesus, and to the gifts of God always, for it is clear that:

 

I.  Unbelief Is A Terrible Thing

 

A.  Unbelief Involves Remaining In Ignorance And Deception

 

Epistle:  “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”

 

B.  Unbelief Involves Enmeshment In Evil

 

Epistle:  “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.  For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.”

 

C.  Unbelief Involves Ignorance And Desertion Of God, And Rejection Of His Gift Of Salvation

 

Text:  “When many of His disciples heard it, they said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?’  . . . After this many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him.”

 

Statement:  Peter’s question is haunting.  If we reject Jesus, then “to whom shall we go?”  Jesus is the gift of God.  He is the Son of God.  He is the Savior of the world, the beloved of the Father.  If we reject this gift of God, then we are rejecting God Himself, and the only other place to go is the evil one.  In fact, to have rejected Jesus is to have already capitulated to the devil and his evil deception. 

 

Application:  It is no different for us, and for all people today.  There is but one way to the Father, and that is Jesus – through the food that He gives us, His gift of life and salvation through faith in Him.  To reject this Way is to reject God.  To reject God is to capitulate to darkness and deception and all manner of evil.  And remember – there is both “white evil,” self-righteousness and self-chosen religion and spirituality, as well as “dark evil,” the wretched immorality that so many people plunge themselves into. 

 

Transition:  But it should be apparent that this is no way to go!  So along with the disciples:

 

II.  Let Us Resolve To Stick With Jesus

A.  He Has The Words Of Eternal Life

 

John 5:21-24  “For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will.  The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father Who sent Him.  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My Word and believes Him Who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

 

B.  Jesus Is Life – We Can Feed On Him By Faith

 

Text:  “Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the Last Day.  For My flesh is true food and My blood is true drink.  Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on Me, he also will live because of Me.”

 

John 3:36  “He that believes the Son has everlasting life.”

 

C.  We Can Receive His Spirit To Replace Our Sinful Flesh

 

Epistle:  “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.’”

 

 

D.  And Let Us Remember That All Of This Is Given To Us By The Father

 

Text:  “And Jesus said, ‘This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by My Father.”

 

Statement:  If you are drawn to Jesus, compelled to stick with Him, this is the work and gift of the Heavenly Father.  And once we have tasted the goodness of God in Christ Jesus, then we too will stay with Jesus, “the Holy One of God.”  Then we too will hunger and thirst for the life which He gives – eternal life, and in this life to walk as “children of light.” 

 

Application:  It is true that we have the same sinful flesh as those who disputed about Jesus, who grumbled about His teaching, and who ultimately rejected Him.  But this is the “flesh,” and we know the truth of Jesus’ observation that “the flesh is of no avail.”  We cling to His Words, which are “spirit and life” and which bring us to faith and strengthen our faith!  This is eternal life!

 

Conclusion:  The unbelief that we see around us today is also tragic, a terrible thing.  It is difficult to fathom how many squander the marvelous love of God in unbelief, and the sheer amount of human blessedness that is thus forfeited! 

 

Let it not be so for us!  Like Peter, we know Whom to go to, Who we are to follow, Who we believe in, and Who is our great Savior and Benefactor!  It is our precious Lord Jesus! 

 

We know always where to find Him – where two or three are gathered in His Name, where His words of life are being preached and taught, and where He provides us with His body and blood, to eat and drink underneath the bread and the wine – for the forgiveness of sins. 

 

Thanks and praise be to God forever!  Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.