John | Grace Reformed Church
We return this morning to the book of John, as we so frequently do these days, and we’ll continue in this extended episode of Jesus’s teaching at the Feast of Booths.
We return again to the gospel according to John, as we have been since last September. Now that it’s June, the last couple summers you may remember that I took on various Psalms then, but both of those summers we weren’t actually in the middle of anything. But we’re still in the thick of things here in John, so we’re going to stay in it for a while longer, even though it’s June.
I wanted to thank the elders for affording me that week off last week, and I hear that there was a great sermon read in my absence. As we return to John, we come to a sort of troublesome passage, for reasons that we will cover as we expound it. We have just finished chapter 7, which is the record of Jesus’s visit to the Feast of Booths, or Feast of Tabernacles as it is also called.
We continue this morning with our looking at John chapter 7, which is about the events surrounding the Feast of Booths, and Jesus’s time there. We know that, as Jesus says in this account, that his hour had not yet come for the final confrontation with the Jewish leaders that would lead to the crucifixion, that would come about six months later at the following Passover.
We continue this morning to look at John chapter 7, which is the account of Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles. Last week we took a look at the first 18 verses, which you will remember had some surprising things in them—first that Jesus’s brothers did not actually believe in him even though they had constant access to him from the time they were children. Then the surprising way that Jesus goes to the feast, not the normal way which would have invited pomp and circumstance, exactly how his unbelieving brothers wanted him to go.
We turn to the Word this morning, and we’re about to start a new chapter in John. Of course all these chapters and verse numbers were added to the text much later, and sometimes we raise eyebrows at where the divisions occur, but most of the time it seems reasonable. And chapter 7 seems to come at a reasonable division in the text.
We come now to the close of chapter 6 in the book of John. This is actually the fifth week we’ve spent in this chapter alone, and it’s no wonder that we’ve been able to do that.
We continue this morning working through this significant discourse from John, chapter 6, the one in which Jesus is claiming this new mantle, that he is the bread of life. He’s shown it already, with his miraculous feeding of the five thousand on the hillside, he’s already used the metaphor of bread when talking to the people about manna, and how he is the better manna, the greater manna that has come down from heaven, and as we read last week he has in fact already said that he is the bread of life, specifically.
I hope you all enjoyed having an Easter service last week as much as I did. What a wonderful time to come together and bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We had jumped rather far ahead in John to get to the passage that we used last week for Easter, and now we’re going to come back to chapter 6 where we left off. Remember this entire chapter, chapter 6, is a single even with many parts – it is the account of Jesus and his interaction with a number, a great number of followers in and around the Sea of Galilee, particularly Capernaum.
We return this morning to the book of John, chapter 6, and today we are looking at the aftermath of Jesus’s last miracle, the feeding of the five thousand. We identified that miracle as the fourth sign given by John to prove the fact that Jesus is in fact the Messiah, and we also noted that these signs are almost always accompanied by a related discourse.