76. Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” -John 6:26-27
Jesus gives spiritual food, just as He gave them physical food. Here He encourages the people to “labor” to receive the food He gives. There are many points that could be made from this passage, but perhaps it’s best to take this as an encouragement to make sure you “prepare and eat” your spiritual food daily. So many people complain that they are too busy to maintain personal devotions to God through Bible study and prayer. Indeed it is a “Labor” to maintain your time with God. But it also takes labor to feed yourself, clothe yourself, study for tests, perform work assignments, etc. Jesus is saying here that obtaining spiritual food should be top priority in your life! Everything of value is worth expending “labor on.” Nothing is more important than your relationship with God, and treasures await in the Bible for those who will labor to find them!
77. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. -John 6:40 Context: John 6:35-40
What a precious promise from Jesus! Has He broken through to you in salvation? Have you “seen” Him, and believed in Him and made Him the Savior and Lord of your life? Then He WILL raise you at the last day! In the movie “Bug’s Life” one of the bugs is flying intently toward a bug zapping light. Another bug tells him to stop, but he says, “I can’t help it, so pretty” as he flies toward the light! In Star Trek they have a Tractor Beam that locks on to shuttlecrafts and draws them into the bay. God’s grace is like that – shining a light from Heaven on you that you can’t explain, but all you can do from that point on is follow Jesus! What a precious truth coming from the lips of our dear Savior!
78. Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” -John 6:43-44 Context: John 6:43-49
People often complain about what they don’t understand. Jesus says here not to complain about God’s amazing grace simply because it doesn’t fit with our mindset. We want to have to do something to earn our salvation. Jesus says here that God is at work drawing people to salvation. Instead of asking what and how questions we should rejoice and “eat” the bread of life, being fully nourished on Christ and His ability to save us and raise us up with Him in Heaven! In verses 60-69 many turn away from Jesus when He talks like this. As He turns to the disciples and asks if they also want to leave, Peter essentially says, “We’ve got nowhere else to go – You are our hope for eternal life, Jesus!” That’s assurance of salvation – knowing that you have nowhere and no one else to go to for salvation except Jesus! Those who can take or leave Jesus, on the other hand, can’t be certain they are really His.
79. He answered and said to them, Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they also worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” -Mark 7:6-7 Context: Mark 7:5-12
Many people suppose that the Pharisees problem was only that they had added a lot of dumb rules to the beautiful instruction of the Old Testament law. Certainly they HAD done that, but there were also times when they neglected Old Testament law by adding new rules that helped them actually neglect their responsibilities. Here they question Jesus by asking Him about some of their rules on hand washing. Jesus answers by challenging them on why they have let their disciples neglect to care for the financial needs of their parents. They had made it possible for their disciples to neglect the clear command to honor their parents. Paul said those who do such things are worse than unbelievers (I Timothy 5:8). Pharisees then and now hurt people by demanding of them “extra” rules that often keep people from focusing on main things, like caring for our immediate family members. Don’t neglect the “Main things” to appease Pharisees in your life.
80. There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. -Mark 7:15 Context: Mark 7:14-23
Jesus’ statement must have absolutely blown his hearers away. His main point is that sin starts in the mind and heart and will. Again, His listeners had demonized external things rather than get to the internal “heart of the matter.” And our wicked hearts are the heart of the matter. Jesus wanted them to deal with who they were as sinners in need of life changing grace. He didn’t want them to be nit-picky rule followers trying to keep 90 miles away from the nearest potential sin. They were so obsessed with the clean and unclean outward rules they had added to the Old Testament law that they hadn’t dealt with their inward sin.