We are entering our third week of reading quietly through John’s gospel.
Oct 12 – 16
Day 1 • John 5:15-30
Day 2 • John 5:31-47
Day 3 • John 6:1-21
Day 4 • John 6:22-40
Day 5 • John 6:41-71
This week as we read about Jesus we will see Him proclaim His equality with God the Father and be rejected by the religious leaders, feed thousands with just two fish and a few loaves of bread, and walk on water. Jesus explains that He is the Bread of life, is rejected and gossiped about by His own people, and watches many disciples turn away.
Two phrases that Jesus repeats throughout these passages are “Most assuredly” and “I will raise him up at the last day.” He claims that most assuredly He is the Son of God, sent from heaven to do the will of God, which is to raise up at the last day those who believe in Him as the Christ.
At the beginning of chapter 6 the Scripture says that “a great multitude followed Him because they saw His signs…” Notice that it doesn’t say “a great multitude believed in Him because they saw His signs,” nor does it say “a great multitude followed Him because they believed.” The Greek word for followed is “akoloutheō“ and means to “join him as his attendant” or to “accompany him.” The Greek word for believe is “pisteuō.” This word can be defined as putting confidence in one or giving credence to God’s messengers and their words. It can also simply mean to trust or to have faith.
Each time that Jesus speaks about raising people to eternal life at the last day, He is speaking about people who believe in Him. People who trust what He says and have faith in what He has done. Jesus does not promise this to people who simply follow Him.
Don’t get me wrong. It is important to follow Jesus, but it must be done for the right reason. By the end of chapter 6 many disciples, who had followed Jesus, left because they didn’t understand what He was saying. They do not give credence to God’s messenger and His word. They simply do not believe.
When we follow Jesus it must be because we believe Him. Even when we don’t understand.
Lord in heaven, as we read quietly through your word this week, I ask that you give us an extra measure of belief. I pray that this extra measure leads to a closer following of your Son and our Saviour Jesus Christ. In His name I pray. Amen.
Only by grace,