Each year on Mother’s Day we take advantage of this opportunity to honor mothers. Motherhood is a magnificent calling and an awesome work! Mothers have a ministry that is a means God uses to bless the world. And it is work to be sure. Being a mother, is a full-time gig, mothers are constantly working. It is a round the clock job. The work of motherhood has no boundaries. And because of this, this calling of motherhood is not to be undertaken merely in your own strength. Rather, God supplies the Holy Spirit as a means by which mothers may be strengthened, enabled and guided to be godly mothers whose lives bear good spiritual fruit.
The crowds that ate the loaves and fish Jesus multiplied and fed to them have been searching for Jesus. And they find him in a synagogue in Capernaum. And while there, Jesus gives them an unforgettable teaching that leaves nearly everyone either confused or upset, such that nearly all of them decide to no longer follow Jesus. This week we will study what Jesus said and taught that led so many to turn away from him. We will learn that Jesus' message is indispensable if we would be saved.
After feeding the 5,000, Jesus reveals himself as the Bread of Life. He is the bread that satisfies our souls and gives eternal life. The manna the crowds seek will satisfy only for a day. Jesus offers them a better bread.
The Scriptures Must Be Fulfilled Contrary to all the disciple's expectations, after his brutal crucifixion and burial, Jesus walked out of the tomb victorious on Sunday morning. And when He appeared to his disciples, Jesus did not leave them guessing as to why He had to be betrayed, die and be resurrected. Rather, He instructed them, that all these things had to take place to fulfill the Scriptures. In what was no doubt a fascinating conversation, Jesus demonstrated that all of the Old Testament pointed to him and his triumph over sin and death.
This week we study John's description of Jesus' 4th sign, the feeding of the five thousand. None of the physical miracles Jesus performed was an end in itself. They all point to something more about him and about the Kingdom of God. And this sign is no different. The feeding of five thousand shows that Jesus is the supplier of our need. Christ has always been the perfect provider of his people’s needs. Indeed, He is the true shepherd that satisfies his sheep.
After healing the man who was lame for 38 years, Jesus shocks his listeners even further by declaring his equality with God. Through Jesus' life and actions, He is revealing God to them. He is not acting of his own accord, but in step with the Father's will. And the Father desires that the Son be glorified and honored. So He has entrusted all judgment into the Son's hands. In this text we are confronted with the colossal claims of Christ.
As we transition from chapter 4 to chapter 5 in the gospel of John, we enter a new sub-section (chapters 5-10) of the gospel. Over the course of the next 6 chapters, we will see Jesus perform signs and wonders at 4 different feasts. These signs reveal that He is the fulfillment of all that the feasts point to. Yet, He is not received by Jewish leadership. Instead they focus on the fact that the signs, the miracles and healings are taking place on the Sabbath. Therefore, they begin to confront and rebuke Jesus for 'working' on the Sabbath. Jesus' response to these accusations will be the catalyst for his opponents seeking to kill him. In Chapter 5, John presents us with a beautiful example of Jesus' compassion, power, mercy as He reveals himself as the Messiah. He has come not primarily for our physical health, but for our holiness.
This morning in our text, Jesus returns to the region in which He grew up. And sadly, many there are filled with an insincere faith in Jesus. Rather than being in awe of who Jesus is, many are instead excited and enthusiastic about the miracles Jesus performs. But Jesus has come back to this region such that He might cultivate genuine faith in the hearts of the people. And He does just that as He is confronted by a father whose son has a life threatening illness. His son is at the brink of death and as a father, he is desperate. This father, seeks out the Lord and he receives from the Lord a double blessing-true faith and the healing of his son.
In chapters 2-4, Jesus encounters 4 Jewish institutions and shows that He is the fulfillment or the true reality to which they all point. This morning we examine, the 4th and final institution, a sacred well. As Jesus travels from Judea to Galilee, He purposely travels through Samaria and encounters a women drawing water at a well. There, Jesus offers her living water, a superior water that wells up to eternal life. Remarkably and while breaking many religious and cultural taboos, Jesus reveals his identity as the Messiah first to a Samaritan woman with a painful past. And in so doing, teaches us that the Kingdom of God crosses both social, religious and cultural barriers. The work of the church is to carry the message of gospel, of God's provision of living water to the nations.
In chapters 2-4, Jesus encounters 4 Jewish institutions and shows that He is the fulfillment or the true reality to which they all point. This morning we examine, the 3rd of those four institutions, a rabbi. As Jesus comes to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, many people are in awe of the signs He is doing. Such that a rabbi, one of the teachers of Israel, comes to him at night to discuss the Kingdom of God. Jesus teaches him that we cannot enter the Kingdom of God on our own efforts. In fact, we can't even have saving faith apart from God’s grace first working in us. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. Salvation is by grace through faith.