Jump Start # 3351
John 6:68 “Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life?”
I have a story that I use often when I’m on the road preaching. It’s about a group of young people all sitting together on the front row during church services. A young man came in late and squeezed in right beside a very pretty girl. Now, he really liked her and she really did not like him. All during the worship, all the young man could think about was her. He took the songbook and turned to “I need Thee every hour,” and gently laid it in her lap and just smiled at her. She looked at that and grabbed the songbook and flipped to another page and tossed it in his lap. He looked down and the hymn was, “I’d rather have Jesus.”
And, that takes us to our verse today. Jesus had fed the people. They came looking for more free food. This was a great thing taking place. But this time, Jesus didn’t provide food. He was the food. He wanted the multitudes to gather and learn. He wanted them to understand that He was Heaven sent and was the prophesied Messiah. But most wouldn’t have it. No food, no time for Jesus. They walked away. How heartbroken Jesus must have been. They were returning to their empty, lifeless lives, with no purpose, no joy and no hope of eternity. Jesus was all of that. Jesus had the answers. But, since they didn’t get anything to eat, they were finished with Jesus. They came to fill their bellies and not their hearts. Their attraction to Jesus was selfish, carnal and not lasting.
Jesus asked if the apostles were also going to leave? This is where our verse is found. Peter answers. Peter understood. It wasn’t about fish and bread. It was “words of eternal life.” That’s what Jesus offered. Who else had that? Where would they find such things? “To whom shall we go?” Peter asked?
So why Jesus? The world stumbles over that. The world isn’t sure and definitely not convinced. Here’s why:
First, because of who He is. Jesus is God on earth. He not only claimed it, such as forgiving sins, but He proved it by allowing others to worship Him and demonstrating that He could do the impossible. No one cared like Jesus did. No one taught like Jesus did. No one loves as Jesus does.
Second, because of the way He lived. Perfection. We’ve never known anyone who did everything perfectly, every time. Jesus never had to apologize. He never misspoke. He never gossiped. He never cussed. He never had prejudice or hatred running through His heart. He never lost His cool. There were no skeletons in His closet. He had no past to cover up. He had no history to run from. Pure. Perfect. Right. Always.
When tempted, He remained faithful and true. When tested and questioned, He remained faithful and true. When deserted, He remained faithful and true. When others were scared, He was fearless. When others were panicking, He was calm. Not only is Jesus the Way, but He defined the truth. He is the truth. He is full of grace and truth.
Third, because of the cross. The cross changed everything. He died, so you could live. He died when it should have been us. Biblical words such as: redeemed, propitiation, sanctified, justified, washed, saved describe this wonderful relationship and hope that we have with Jesus through faith. His blood was shed. His life was offered. He became the sacrifice. This is why Jesus came. This was His mission.
Fourth, because of what He can do for you. Jesus can do what no one else can. He can change you. You can change you from the inside out. He can forgive you. He can use you in His kingdom. You can become adopted into God’s family. Forgiven from our sins and granted the eternal hope of living forever with God in His home, is available to everyone, even you. Jesus can take away the fear of death. Jesus can strengthen you to resist the devil. He can take someone mean and make them nice. He can take a broken marriage and mend it. He can take a broken life and find use and purpose for it.
Taped in the back of my Bible:
You are not too dirty for God to cleanse
You are not too broken for God to fix
You are not too far away for God to reach
You are not too guilty for God to forgive
And, you are not too worthless for God to love.
Why Jesus? That’s why! I’d rather have Jesus!
(Can you share this with someone that might need this?)