Text: John 6:28-29, 39-40
Summary: As believers, our primary work is to believe in Jesus. God’s will for Jesus is to not lose any believer and to keep us for final salvation.
Father, we thank you for bringing us here into a house of prayer where we can exalt you, Lord Jesus. We thank you for being with Jimmy and Jeralyn, for giving them safety and a spiritually meaningful time in Jerusalem and Israel.
Father, we ask that you would save those Jews who are so fervent, yet so misguided. I pray that they would humble himself and see that the Messiah whom they’re waiting for has already come. We pray that they would repent and place their faith in Jesus. We pray for a huge revival in the coming days and years, that you would save that nation and that you would bring them back to their place in salvation history.
Father, we ask that you bless Peter and Bekah as they continue to follow your leading. We celebrate your goodness in their lives and your providence in bringing these two precious lives together. We just marvel at your grace unfolding in both of their lives, and we look forward to many chances of rejoicing over your favor upon them.
Father, we also pray for DY. We pray against whatever is causing this pain in his foot. We come in the authority of Jesus Christ because we acknowledge that we have no authority in ourselves. We bind and rebuke whatever is causing this pain. We pray that you release him from all pain. We pray that the blood of Jesus would cover him. And we pray that he would leave this place fully healed. We want experience a miracle today. And we believe that nothing is impossible with you.
Father, we pray that you would speak to us as we learn your Word. Jesus, you are the Word. In Jesus Name, Amen
28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
A simple, straightforward point for today is that our work is to believe in Jesus. And God’s will for Jesus is that He lose none of His believers.
We have a notion of work that work means serving. There are assignments that He will give. There are people we have to minister to, but the primary work for every believer, you could just say, this is my job title as a Christian — our work is to believe. And God’s will for Jesus is not to save the world. We make a mistake, and esp. ministers, we may think that our work is to save the world. It is not even Jesus’ assignment to save the world. God’s will for Jesus is that whomever God draws to the Son, that He would save and not lose even a single one. That is God’s will for Jesus.
And so it’s a perfect match. We are reaching out for Jesus. We are believing in Jesus. And Jesus says, I’ve taken hold of you. I will keep you for eternity. It’s a perfect match.
15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
One thing you’ll see as you read the gospel of John is how lonely of a road Jesus had to walk. People just misunderstood Him. People came to Him with all the wrong motives. And after feeding 5000 men or a crowd of 10,000-15,000, they come looking for Him and they want to make Him a king. This crowd was so persistent. They couldn’t see Jesus, but we see later on in verse 24.
24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
This crowd was so adamant about getting more bread that they went looking for Jesus. And how lonely of a road it was for Jesus. So many people are pressing in and coming to Him. Even today. And the motives of those seeking Jesus, in many cases, is not right. And Jesus says very simply in verse 27 to the crowd who was looking for Him.
27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
Many of us in this room are working, or half of us. And a lot of energy is expended to put food on the table and to pay for mortgages. That is a huge responsibility. And so we put so much energy on basically physical stuff. And Jesus says, do not work for that which perishes. And I’m not saying we should all quit our jobs, but what I am saying is, in terms of our energy, where are we putting most of our energy? What is our job description? Is it to be an employer at such and such company? Is it to be an engineer? Is it to be a programmer? Is it to be a businessman? Is that where we put most of our energy because it puts food on the table?
Jesus says, do not work for food that perishes. Instead, our work, and this goes for every believer, is to believe. And did you know belief takes work? It is not natural for us to believe. There’s a belief that we had at the beginning, but for us to endure to the end, it takes so much more belief. There’s an initial amount of belief, which may be very small, but that amount is sufficient for initial salvation. But if you want final salvation, we pray that all of our faith would grow. And for this growth to happen, we have to work at it.
That is on our side. We do the work of believing in Jesus more and more and more, trusting in Him, putting our faith in Him. And God’s will for Jesus is that He would not lose a single one of us.
For me, that truth gives me such great assurance. The probability of me finishing my race, if this verse is true, that Jesus is the one who keeps every one of His disciples and God’s will is that not a single one of us is lost, then there is such great assurance that each one of us will cross the finish line. And is it because our faith is so strong? Is it because our grip on Jesus is so unshakable? No, it is because Jesus’ grip on us, His keeping of us is so strong.
44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
Does the Father draw you just one time initially to Jesus? Is it just one time that the Father draws you to the Son? No, the Father is constantly drawing you to the Son. And according to these verses, we have a 100% chance of finishing our race based on the keeping strength of Jesus. To me, this gives me such great assurance.
That doesn’t mean I can just let go and stop believing. As long as I keep coming to Jesus because the Father is always drawing me to the Son, and I keep submitting to His drawing day after day, moment by moment, I am coming to Jesus, as weak as my faith may be, you and I will be finally saved. Jesus promises, I will keep each one of my disciples who keep coming to me.
37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
Are we ever unworthy to come to Jesus? Are we ever so sinful, so broken, that when we come to Him, God says, No, you can’t come. Jesus’ promises that if you come to Me, no matter what condition you’re in, I will never cast you out. And so as long as our commitment is, I will keep coming to Jesus as small as my faith may be, because the work of God is to believe, you and I will be saved.
Jesus says, I will keep you to the end because Jesus, His track record is perfect. He has lost no one. Not just in biblical times, during these 3.5 years, did He have a perfect track record. No, I think for all eternity we will see that His track record is perfect. Everyone who comes to Him, not a single one is cast away. Not a single one is lost. As long as we commit, we’re going to keep coming to Jesus, as small as our faith may be, we just keep coming. Jesus says, I will keep you for eternal life.
That is such great assurance. And Jesus talks to the crowd who really were not interested in spiritual things. And my guess is that after He speaks to them about being the true Bread and not working for physical bread, the crowd probably lost interest and they walked away.
And then he starts raising the bar a bit. He starts speaking about His flesh and His blood. And it sounds like cannibalism because if all you have is your mind, you simple cannot understand what He’s talking about. And, of course, none of the people here knew about the Lord’s Supper. They didn’t know about His death, burial and resurrection. This was all prior to Him dying on a cross and being raised from the dead.
And so clearly, even the disciples didn’t understand. So, of course, He already lost the crowd. The crowd was not interested in spiritual things.
But it says in verse 66 after He speaks about His body and His flesh as something that Christians have to consume and His blood as something that Christians have to drink.
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
How lonely of a road that Jesus walked. At this point of Jesus’ ministry, He had many more followers. But this teaching about consuming His body and drinking His blood was so hard, was so over their head, was so difficult — it even says in verse 60.
60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”
And based on this teaching that they could not understand at that time, many followers stopped following. Even fast forward 2000 years, do we really understand the Lord’s Supper? We understand it a lot better than the 12 who did not stop following Jesus. But we really don’t understand deeply what is actually happening in terms of how God is actually nourishing His body during the Lord’s Supper. We really don’t understand. We have theories, but we really don’t understand what is actually happening in a spiritual sense.
But we take Jesus at His word. He says, if you do not abide in my body and blood, if you don’t partake in this act regularly, you’re not even abiding in me.
And so how many churches really don’t even understand the significance of Lords Supper? I didn’t understand the significance for many years. That’s why we didn’t practice it on a regular basis because we didn’t think we needed to abide in this teaching. Jesus says, If you want to abide in me, this teaching is that critical. and at the very least, we should observe it every time we gather on a Sunday.
But it’s such a hard teaching. Think about it. If you were in the shoes of the 12, or this larger group of followers, and you heard this before that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, it is such a hard teaching. It sounds like cannibalism. And many followers stopped following. And then Jesus turns to the 12.
It says in verse 67, Jesus asks the 12, do you want to go away as well? And they are going to be many things that happen in your life that are gonna be so hard, so difficult. Even reading Scripture 2000 years later about the Lord’s Supper, it’s still difficult. It’s still mysterious. It’s still something that we have a hard time explaining. And we encounter difficult situations, the temptation will be to take offense.
We read the Scripture and nothing makes sense. Or things happen and our life doesn’t make sense. We will be tempted in those moments to be like this greater group of followers who fell away. But may we become like Peter here, who shows us what it means to do the work of God. The work of God is to believe in Jesus.
And Peter expresses it so well in verse 68.
68 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words have eternal life. If you have just this amount of belief, you will be kept to the end. Jesus for sure will keep you to the end. No matter what happens in your life. Circumstances are out of whack. Tragedy hits. Things are so hard in your life. Even Scripture doesn’t make sense. And you’re looking for direction. You’re so confused.
But if you have Peter’s heart — where else am I going to go? — you’ll be fine. If you say, Jesus, you’re all I have. I don’t understand what you just taught us about the Lord’s Supper, but you’re all I have. I’m going to keep coming to you. If you think this way, you’ll be fine.
It’s so clear if you read the other gospels that the disciples had no clue what He was talking about. Jesus said, your hearts are hard. You don’t understand that the 12 leftover baskets after the feeding of the 5,000 was a symbol of Israel. Salvation first came to Israel. The 12 tribes of Israel corresponds to the 12 baskets left over. And then the feeding of the 4,000 with 7 leftover baskets. 7 is a number of completion. That corresponds to the salvation for the world — the Gentiles and everybody else.
The disciples didn’t understand any of this. Their hearts were hard and they didn’t understand. And Peter’s attitude was, yes, I don’t understand, but where else am I going to turn? To whom shall I go? Am I going to go to my boss? Am I going to go to my professor. Am I going to go to my parents? Do they have the answers? Am I going to go to some celebrity? Some brilliant businessman or CEO? Do they have the answers to life? No, Jesus, you are all that I have when I’m sick. I’m not going to go to and trust my doctor, ultimately. Jesus, you’re my Great Physician. To whom shall I go? You’re all that I have. And that’s all that Jesus requires.
Because remember, Peter, at this point, his faith is still so small. But his commitment is I want to do the work of God, which is to believe. And my encouragement to you is that if you have this posture, that I have nowhere else to turn to. Jesus, you’re all that I have. I believe in you. I don’t believe in you enough, but I come with you with whatever level of belief that I have. And if you do that, Jesus will not cast you out.
In fact, He promises to keep you. He has not lost a single person who has come to Him. He has a 100% track record. As long as you come to me, it doesn’t matter how small or how incomplete your faith is, or how weak it is. As the people come to me, Jesus says, I will never be cast out. I will keep them for eternity. What great assurance!
All we have to do is to come to Jesus, believe in Jesus. That is our primary work. There will be other types of work and assignments and missions and things that He may ask us to do. But it first starts with believing in Jesus.
His mission was not to save the world. He wasn’t confused. He’s not trying to minister to the world. He says, whoever comes to me, I am keeping hold of them.
There’s a mindset of every person that is looking outward while neglecting those closest to them. Because we think the mission is out there, right? How many pastors and fathers neglect their own families because they think the mission is out there. No, Jesus, He’s very careful. He’s not focused on the crowds. He’s focused on whoever comes to Him. And He will not lose a single one.
And so for all of us, if we want to reflect Jesus and how He did the Father’s will, may we also take care of those who are with us and near us. It starts with those around us. Of course. it may go beyond that, and hopefully, God will give us work to do outside the home. But it starts here. He will care for us and not lose any one of us. We can’t guarantee that everyone that we love will be finally saved. We can’t guarantee the salvation of our loved ones, but at least, we can give it our best.
We’re not going to neglect those closest to us. We’re not going to say the mission of God or the will of God is outside. No, it starts here. The mission of God starts in Jerusalem, then Judea, Samaria, then to the ends of the earth. We need to get everything in order at home.
The primary work of God is to believe. Let’s help each other to believe. Let’s help our spouses to believe. Let’s help our children to believe. That is the work of God. The will of God for Jesus s that He will not lose a single one of us. It’s not our burden to hold on and make sure we’re all saved. That’s not our burden. It’s His burden. We released the burden of saving our loved ones to Jesus. We don’t take that kind of burden on. We tell Jesus, it’s your burden.
I just pray, Father, please draw them. And once they meet Jesus, I pray that they keep coming to Jesus. It’s not my burden. My kids’ salvation is not my burden. I’m going to do my best, but salvation is the work of the Heavenly Father drawing our loved ones to Jesus and Jesus saving them. And once saved, Jesus will keep them saved. It is not our burden.
So let’s release the burden of the salvation of our loved ones to Jesus because Jesus will save and keep them.
Father, thank you for giving us a simple word. The work of God is not ministry. It’s not service. It’s not activities. The work of God is internal. It is to belief in Jesus. And the will of God for Jesus is to not lose a single one of the believers. And so we have great assurance this afternoon that every single one of us can and will be saved to the end. Not because our faith is so strong, but because Jesus, you have a perfect track record of saving believers to the end.
Among those who come to you, none have been cast out. Not a single one has been lost. Anyone who believes in you and keeps coming to you will remain a believer to the end because Jesus, you keep us and you will continue to keep us to the end.
Thank you for the example of Peter. We so readily identify with him in John 10. His heart was hard. He still didn’t understand many things in spiritual life. But he had the posture of where else will I go? To whom shall I turn? Jesus, you’re all I have. You are the Holy One of God. You are the Son of God. I will keep coming to you.
When other followers fell away because of a a single hard teaching, Lord, may we be a people who will never fall away. No matter what happens in life, may we never fall away even if we don’t understand life and we don’t understand much of Scripture and how spiritual life works. May we be a people who are kept by you to the end. That is our prayer for ourselves. That is our prayer for our love ones, that you keep drawing us, Father, not just one time, but we pray that you draw us each and every moment to your Son.
And when we come to Jesus, we know that we will never be cast us out. We want to endure to the end, not because we’re so strong, but Jesus, we count on the fact that you are strong and you will keep us and you will never cast us out.
Thank you, Lord, for your Lord’s Supper. It was a hard teaching 2,000 years ago. It is still a heart teaching. We don’t really understand how you are meeting us in spiritually. It is still a mystery how this act of remembrance actually feeds us. Yet, you want us to keep observing Communion every time we gather because this is how we abide in you. That’s what you say in your Word.
And so, Lord, out of obedience to what you say, we want to partake in this Lord’s Supper. This bread is your body broken for us. This cup is your blood that was shed. May you meet us in the partaking of your Lord’s Supper. We want to abide in you and in this teaching. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen