Labour for the More Important Meat #3

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

“Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:26,27 KJV).

Where is our interest—in “the meat which perisheth” or in “that meat which endureth unto everlasting life?”

The physical bread with which Christ supplied them would impart life to their temporary flesh and blood bodies, but were they concerned about what would nourish their eternal, spiritual bodies? No. Appropriately, the Lord corrected their misconception. They had a greater need, and He alone could meet it. Verses 33-35: “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 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.”

He likened Himself to spiritual bread or spiritual sustenance. They needed to prepare for the ages to come, and this was the purpose of His earthly ministry to them. Alas, they failed to appreciate the full extent of what He could do for them and the rest of their nation. He invites them to come to Him and believe on Him (which they have obstinately refused thus far). If they come to Him, that is the equivalent of satisfying spiritual hunger; if they believe on Him, that is the same as quenching spiritual thirst. “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

If only the people of today’s Scripture were as passionate to learn these simple spiritual truths as they had been enthusiastic about partaking of more free food in the physical realm. Here in the 21st century, we have yet to make application of these passages….

Labour for the More Important Meat #2

Monday, May 23, 2022

“Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:26,27 KJV).

Where is our interest—in “the meat which perisheth” or in “that meat which endureth unto everlasting life?”

The individuals of today’s Scripture have been relentlessly searching for the Lord Jesus! Verses 24,25: “When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?” Having taken ships across the top half of the Sea of Galilee—a distance of 3 or 4 miles (5 or 7 kilometers)—they are relieved to finally reach Him in Capernaum.

Why have they gone through so much trouble to get to Him? To them, the Son of God is but a “food-delivery man!” Earlier, He had fed them with the other 5,000 people. Now, today, they are hungry again, so they have come to ask Him for another free meal. He can and could furnish them with infinitesimally more than they assumed. Alas, they do not see Him through the eyes of faith.

Though the Lord Jesus Christ had created those loaves of bread from nothing, they were like ordinary food in that they were subject to the same natural laws of decomposition. Such physical bread was temporary, rotting like the God-given manna (Exodus 16:20). Yet, they so desperately wanted to hang on to it. Also, as their circumstances showed, it was never eternally satisfying either. Today’s Scripture again: “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you.” They were overlooking a (more important) spiritual component, something the miracle should have taught them had they been watching through the eyes of faith….

Labour for the More Important Meat #1

Sunday, May 22, 2022

“Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:26,27 KJV).

Where is our interest—in “the meat which perisheth” or in “that meat which endureth unto everlasting life?”

Once, a woman moved her car to retrieve a penny that had rolled under it. Driving forward, she ran over a parking meter and also broke a window as the car scraped against the side of a building. The vehicle then rolled down the sidewalk for half a block before stopping. Damages to her automobile alone were estimated to be $100 (a substantial sum in those days). Was the penny really worth all that trouble?! Interestingly, police were unable to confirm if the lady ever found the coin!

Doubtless, seeking little to no gain, we can go to great lengths and take enormous risks. This was true of the souls whom the Lord Jesus Christ addressed in today’s Scripture. Just a day prior, He had been on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee feeding more than 5,000 people using just five barley loaves and two small fishes (verses 1-14). “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone” (verse 15). He had supplied them with such delightful food that they would soon violently crown Him as their Monarch! This misunderstanding prompted Christ to dismiss the crowd and His disciples, while He Himself vacated the area headed in a third direction.

Ultimately, the Lord and His disciples journey to the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. The people fed earlier also travel by ship to Galilee, seeking Him (verses 24,25). He reveals their motive in today’s Scripture: they have mixed-up priorities, for they are concentrating on the minor while ignoring the major. May we too learn the lesson He taught them….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is the Lord Jesus merely ‘the Holy One of God’ in John 6:69?

The Price of Christ #1

Thursday, April 7, 2022

“And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver” (Matthew 26:15 KJV).

How much is Jesus Christ worth in the eyes of lost man?

Let us read today’s Scripture within its context: “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him” (Matthew 26:14-16).

“Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me” (Matthew 27:3-10).

The 30 pieces of silver was enough to buy a field; it was an enormous sum of money. The King James Bible does not specify what types of coins the priests paid Judas, but the “30 pieces of silver” is estimated to be the equivalent of three or four months’ wages. According to the Mosaic Law, the price of a slave was “thirty shekels of silver” (Exodus 21:32). In the eyes of lost mankind, the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, was worth nothing more than a slave!

Something Not Worth Losing

Sunday, February 13, 2022

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 KJV).

Super Bowl Sunday comes annually in the United States. Teams fuel the intense passions in the athletic world by vying for a corruptible trophy. Howbeit, the competition in today’s Scripture is spiritual, is worldwide, never has a halftime, and involves the eternal souls of men!

The human soul is most zealous about religion, politics, and sports. These areas are most personal, so they generate many heated debates and conflicts. However, believe it or not, there are worse outcomes than losing a church member, losing an election, and losing a game. Losing your eternal soul is the greatest of all losses!

In the context of today’s Scripture, Jesus Christ told His Jewish disciples to “take up [their] cross, and follow [him]” (verse 24). “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (verse 25). They should not fear losing their earthly lives for His sake. What is most important is that they not lose their souls!

Jesus Christ declared there is more to life than this physical world and its temporal possessions. There is a spiritual world—an afterlife—to consider. In today’s Scripture, He asks them, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Does it make sense to emphasize this temporary world and its corruptible goods, to the point of ignoring your eternal soul, and wind up losing it in hellfire forever and ever?

Dear reader, there is more to you than just your physical body. Your inner man—your soul, your spiritual body—is everlasting. To ignore Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for your sins, is to remain dead in those sins, resulting in you spending eternity suffering God’s wrath in the lake of fire literally as a nameless, hopeless, disfigured creature.

Your soul is not worth losing! Trust Christ as your personal Saviour today!

The Thing Which is Good

Monday, September 6, 2021

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28 KJV).

On this Labor Day, we talk about work, “the thing which is good.”

In this day and age of increasing “government assistance,” people are becoming less and less aware of our hard work being the Lord Jesus’ preferred method of the source of our incomes. While the physically and mentally disabled are obvious exceptions, the God of the Bible expects all of us to contribute labor in order to provide for ourselves. For children and young adults, even being a student in school is work enough!

Observe the doctrine being communicated in today’s Scripture. The grace life does not merely teach us to quit doing bad things, but it also instructs us to start doing good things (Titus 2:11,12). Once a thief trusts the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork as sufficient payment for his sins, then God expects that thief to quit stealing and find a job so he can provide for his needs!

The God of creation calls work “the thing which is good” (today’s Scripture). Work is not something to be avoided; it is something to be embraced for the Lord’s glory!

When the Lord Jesus Christ put the first man, Adam, on earth, that man had a divine commission. Adam was not to simply loaf around and do nothing: “And the LORD God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Adam was to protect that garden, to till its ground, to prepare it for Jesus Christ to come down and dwell in with he and Eve (because of sin, that earthly kingdom over which Jesus Christ will rule is still awaiting fulfillment!).

Saints, may we work to provide for our families (1 Timothy 5:8), and may we work to help those who truly are needy (today’s Scripture). In the words of God the Holy Spirit, that is “good!” 🙂

Disciples Three #5

Monday, August 16, 2021

“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest” (Luke 9:57 KJV).

Does today’s Scripture and its context have any modern counterparts? (Indeed, they do!)

Recall the first disciple: “[57] And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. [58] And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Today, many people are eager to become “Christians,” but have they really thought about the result? “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). “[W]e must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). If the lost world hates Jesus Christ, will they love us His Body? Our problems compound—not disappear—when we trust Him as our personal Saviour!

Now, the second disciple: “[59] And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. [60] Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” How often do souls today—even so-called “believers”—claim they will follow Christ after they have had a “good time” in the world. Greediness and materialism are not victorious Christian living! “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

The final disciple declared: “[61] And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. [62] And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” If we truly want to follow Christ Jesus, we must remember to not let this world’s affairs sidetrack us: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection [focus] on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1,2).

Disciples Three #3

Saturday, August 14, 2021

“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest” (Luke 9:57 KJV).

Does today’s Scripture and its context have any modern counterparts? (Indeed, they do!)

The exchange with the second disciple is as follows: “[59] And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. [60] Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” A similar conversation is recorded in Matthew chapter 8, though the context is different: “[21] And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. [22] But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.”

Upon first glance, Jesus appears to be unpleasant and merciless here. This man promises to follow Jesus—but after he buries his father. Christ, however, tells him there is something more important than attending his father’s funeral. It is not to say his father is now dead and funeral arrangements are underway. Even if there is a death, Jesus was never asked to bring him back to life. Whatever the case, the disciple is not thinking Divine thoughts. He wants to return home to take care of his father until death, collect his inheritance, and then come back to follow Jesus. Materialism is distracting him—and the Lord advises him to get his priorities in their correct order.

“Let the dead bury their dead” is actually a play on words. Apparently, the man’s father is an unbeliever, a lost man, for he himself is not a follower of Christ. Therefore, the man should allow the spiritually dead—namely, other lost family members—to bury the physically dead (his father, also unsaved). Furthermore, it does not make sense for this disciple to leave the Lord (spiritual wealth) simply to gain physical wealth (inheritance in his father’s estate). Christ orders him, “Go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” This is more valuable than anything this temporary world has to offer!

Now, we get to the third and final disciple….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does ‘skin for skin’ mean in Job 2:4?

Shortcut!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

And [Jesus Christ] would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple (Mark 11:16 KJV).

While there is no shortcut to spiritual maturity, there is one to spiritual immaturity!

To better understand today’s Scripture, we must examine it within its context: “[12] And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he [Jesus Christ] was hungry: [13] And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. [14] And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. [15] And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; [16] And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. [17] And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

As in modern society, so religion was “big bu$ine$$” in ancient Israel. The apostate religious leaders had allowed dishonest merchants to sell sacrificial animals in the Jerusalem Temple complex. (All were receiving a large sum of money!) As Jesus pointed out, they made His House—the place where He was to be worshipped—a “den of thieves.” They treated His House lightly, irreverently, and He therefore drove them out! Unique to Mark’s Gospel Record (today’s Scripture), they also used the Temple complex as a shortcut. Instead of walking around it, they would shorten their journey by utilizing the Temple as an ordinary thoroughfare. Again, this was disrespectful to God. Consequently, Christ blocked their entrance and forced them to go the long way!

Israel’s ungodly behavior in the Temple demonstrated her national spiritual immaturity. As opposed to being humble saints skillful in God’s Word, they were ungrateful materialists expert in hypocrisy and fraud! Dear friends, may we not repeat their errors.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “How did Israel manipulate Moses to murder Messiah?

Whose Appeal Do We Seek? #2

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV).

Do we aim to please God—or men?

In John chapter 9, Christ healed a blind man, whom the unbelieving Pharisees subsequently persecuted: “[19] And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? [20] His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: [21] But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. [22] These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.

As opposed to seeking man’s appeal, today’s Scripture exhorts us to be “approved unto God.” If we lack God’s approval, however, He considers us a “castaway:” “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27). Our service is unacceptable to the Lord who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15). Having our fellow man’s applause, we are practically useless to our Saviour’s cause! Brethren, let us be mindful of the following passages.

“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free” (Ephesians 6:5-8). “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:22-24).