The Heart of the Matter

John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

The crowds were eager to hear Jesus. They had followed Him for some time. Many awaited another miracle. Jesus told Philip to give them to eat and had no solution. Peter chimed in that there was a lad who had brought his lunch but wasn’t enough to feed the crowd.

Jesus took a lad’s lunch of five loaves and two fishes and multiplied it to feed over five thousand men, women, and children. The disciples were astonished, for they knew what had taken place.

The disciples saw and knew that this man, Jesus, was more than just a prophet. They knew He had power. Jesus sensed that after the feeding of the five thousand, they would come to make Him their King, so He departed into a mountain alone.

Toward evening, the disciples gathered and took shipping to Capernaum. 

On their journey, the sea grew rough. In the distance, the disciples saw a man walking on water toward them. It was Jesus.

He calmed their fears, and they received Him into the boat. Once on board, the ship came aground on the shore. After seeing all that had transpired in the last twenty-four hours, they inquired as to what was needed for them to believe.

Our text today is Jesus’ answer to their question. It struck me that in answering, Jesus said the work needed was believing in the Father. He went on to describe that they needed to believe in Him.

He said:

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

Many that heard could not see past the physical. Jesus talked of bread. They said, “Give us this bread that we may eat of it.” In likening Himself to food to eat, He said:

John 6:53-56 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”

Having heard this, they began to wonder just how this will come about. 

How are we to eat His flesh? Drink His blood? It didn’t make sense.

Some religions have created a doctrine that the priest has the power to call down Jesus to come into a piece of bread. Once the bread is broken, He (Jesus) becomes a bloodless sacrifice for all who would partake in the eating of that bread. They call it transubstantiation. Sadly, this is unbiblical.

Jesus said of His sacrifice:

Hebrews 10:11-13 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.”

In likening salvation to the ingestion of food, Jesus creates the image that the receiving of Him as Savior is not something superficial, but into every fiber of our being.

The heart of the matter is faith. 

Faith believes what it cannot see. 

Faith believes when it doesn’t always make sense. 

Faith believes when the world disagrees and contradicts. 

Faith believes when religion adds to or takes away His deity and His Sovereignty.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

The heart of the matter is to gather evidence that supports our faith.

Is God loving?

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”

Is God powerful?

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

Revelation 19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”

He is Creator. He holds all things together. 

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

Colossians 1:16-17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

The evidence we gather still come to the point of belief. We may see the evidence, but do we believe it? The key is faith.

Do we believe that Jesus is who He says He is?

The source of our faith should be the Word of God. 

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Is the evidence you have gathered enough to trust Him totally and completely? If not, what is at the heart of your unbelief?

To see our way through is to gather evidence that will convince you. Often, you will come to a point where it can only be by faith. Believing that which you cannot see or reconcile—thinking that what God says in His Word is true.

The confidence and assurance one receives of their faith comes after, not before. 

Today, we must settle it in our hearts that our faith and the evidence we’ve gathered will be our foundation for the rest of this life we have left. Every answered prayer, every miracle we witness, and every time God speaks to our heart, we can add it to our list. 

May we tell others what we’ve found.

God is faithful!

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