“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6.35-40
Today my beloved United Methodist Church is in the midst of spiritual warfare as delegates meet to discuss how to move forward with a church divided upon theology, sexuality, orthodoxy, marriage and practice. Will you pray with me that God’s will for his church will prevail? That Christ will be glorified, sin will be identified and the Bible will be lifted high as God’s authority for all humanity. And that Heaven’s will, God’s desire for all to know Jesus and to make him know, will once again be at the heart of our mission.
If Heaven had a will, a desire or a purpose, it would be just as Jesus says in this passage that “everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life.” I wonder how someone can read this passage and not believe in Jesus. The promises he makes, the hope he offers, the longing to save all people is very moving.
Our previous blog was emphasizing Jesus’ self-proclamation “I am the bread of life.” Here he continues expounding this idea. It’s as if Jesus tells us who he is and now he tells us what he can offer. (Kind of life making a major life decision of buying a house: it’s in a great neighbor hood, three bedrooms, two baths, close to schools, etc.) Jesus tells us who he is now he tells us what comes with that promise.
So what comes with it? For one, if a person comes to Jesus he/she won’t ever go hungry or be thirsty again. (I read this as a spiritual metaphor for the conditions of our souls once we follow Jesus.) Second, if someone comes to Jesus he won’t ever be “sent away”. In other words, he will remain in a relationship with the Lord, secure and holy, made righteous by the blood of the Lamb. and third, when a person follows Jesus will live forever (i.e. raised up on the last day, have eternal life, etc.)
Heaven’s will, which is the Lord’s intent, is that all people might be saved and enter into a relationship with the Father. This is the fulfillment of our souls, the completion of our purpose and the answer to everything for which we have been searching. The meaning of life is to know Jesus and be known by him.
“O Lord God, you are good. In the midst of our human struggles you make a way. You love your people, you love your church, but you don’t compromise on your Word or your ways. Come now, Holy Spirit, help me live according to your promises. Thank you for loving me and for allowing a new root of revival and redemption to spring forth. Bless all who call upon your name and draw those who are separated back to your fold. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen