■■■■■† 화란한인교회에 오신 것을 환영합니다. 암스테르담, 암스텔담, 암스텔빈, 암스텔펜 한인교회 †■■■■■
English Sermon ('19.05.05) The Sign
2019-05-07 20:43:26, view [
22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (John 22-35 ESV)
The Feeding of the Five Thousand took place on the seashore of Galilee. The people who got a bite of the bread and fish then said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” So the crowds tried to take Jesus by force to make Him king, because they were taken by surprise that there would not be anyone who can feed them that way and thought that it would be good that a man with such a power became their king.
But Jesus did not respond to such request from them; rather, during the night Jesus went across Galilee to Capernaum. The next day people followed Him across the sea on the boat and Jesus said to them as if hurling a curse, “you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves”.
If it meant that all of them who had eaten the bread and fish followed Jesus, then the crowd of 5000, counting men only, suddenly lost what they had been looking for. Jesus in effect refused to be the leader of a crowd of over 20,000 if you included their women and children. Because Jesus said to them, ‘is it only for food that you follow me?’
If we take the Feeding of the Five Thousand only for the sake of the lesson it gives, then we should say that Jesus should not be our king just for the fact He filled our hunger. More exhaustively speaking, we cannot have him as our leader, not only for the sake of the bodily hunger, but also for the purpose of filling us with something.
To have peace of mind or satisfaction, or to find the answer for your life, or for money, honour, or one’s country or nation, or whatsoever, even if it was salvation or eternal life the church speaks of, as long as it is a means of satisfying my stomach, you cannot build a church, believe in Jesus and hold Jesus back by force here.
Then today, we, who have come to take part in a service of worship, cannot go without asking the reason why. We need to look back why we have formed a church and a congregation that follow Christ. Why have I come to this place? What am I pursuing? What reasons do I have?
We have heard ‘Believe in Jesus, enter the kingdom of heaven!’ No one would have doubted the truth in this saying. But Jesus is asking again, ‘have you not followed me that you may enter the kingdom of heaven? He is criticising, ‘The kingdom of heaven’ sounds more sophisticated and religious, but is it not prosperity in the end?
Today Jesus teaches us, as we hesitate to answer back, the rightful reason why we should believe in and follow Jesus. The reason of faith Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, tells us. – If we have that reason, it would be not because we want to be filled but because ‘we saw the sign’, He explained.
People asked again, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?” They said ‘then’! meaning it is so. They are admitting that the profound reason that makes them follow Jesus is not prosperity, but the signs Jesus show them first.
It appeared that they would say “what else? Why should we follow Jesus other than for prosperity? It might not be desirable but you need some kind of benefit.” But they are not saying that in fact. Instead, they are saying that it is not for prosperity but for the sign! That is, signs that make people believe Jesus when people see them.
In this question they are asking back, we easily see that it is that you believe in Jesus. They asked, ‘Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you?’ They are asking what ‘your signs that make us believe in you!’ are.
To elaborate on it more, They are saying ‘for me to follow you, I need you to show me something.’ To put it more straight forward, ‘I need to something that I can see first, before I can decide whether to follow or not.’ To put it theologically, ‘You are the spring of faith! Let me see that!’
Young people like going to music performances or concerts. I would not like to go to such crowded places with ear deafening loud music myself. But it attracts many young people. Why would they go there? Because they have something they gain. Not necessarily something to eat; but it could be joy or beauty, the feeling they are a part of the crowd, overwhelming emotion, the sense of achievement and meaning etc.
But with such a purpose and expectation, you will be disappointed when you come to the church, not to the K-Pop concert. Because the church cannot give you what you hope to gain. Even if we tried would be able to we sing like professionals? Would we be able to organise like an entertainment agency? Would we be able to operate effectively like a company?
If you expect to receive something when you come to church, you will be disappointed because you will not see much. It will bore you before giving you anything. Instead, church shows you one thing. The sign! The sign that you can see and believe! The sign that is presented before you and that you can but follow, rely on it and be ruled by it.
In conclusion, it is ‘Jesus on the cross’. Jesus is not giving then the bread that they be filled. Instead, He is showing them Himself as ‘the food that makes them have eternal life.’ So He appears to as many as 5000 men in the form of bread and becomes the sign that provokes faith in them.
In particular, the reason that Jesus himself is a sign is not just that He come as a man or a God. He does not appear as a king or a prophet either. It is because Jesus, the young man of Nazareth, comes in the form of the Bread of Life. The bread they split and shared between them, the bread they tore and ate, and the fragments of which they collected in 12 baskets – this is the sign Jesus shows us. Seeing this, we must have faith.
When you come to church you should see the sign Jesus shows you. And from the sign you should recognise that He is Jesus and the fact He is the God we are to trust. What does He show us of Himself? The torn and hurt body and the death! When we see this, we should follow Jesus for it. This is what we call faith as a whole.
The church is the kind of place where we show Jesus to you in this way. Especially, it presents as the sign how He is torn, how He suffers on the cross, and how He bleeds for us.
We are not to come here every week to seek the worldly wellbeing. Nor is it success we are to look for. These things are in the king’s houses, John the Baptist has said. Rather, we must seek Jesus, the man from Nazareth that is put on the cross. And it should be for this sign that we follow Jesus.
Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life in particular because He wanted us to see the sign and have faith from it, just as we eat the bread and be filled. Unlike their ancestors who died even if they had eaten manna, Jesus wants us to see the sign, have faith, and as a result will never be hungry or thirsty.
In Hebrews 12: 2, he said, “Look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” Jesus on the cross is the sign. We should look to Him and have the faith that is formed through Him. In particular, we should see how He, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. If you see the sign, and still have a willingness to follow Jesus, then that is the faith that saves.
This weekend we held Children’s Summer Bible School. There we worked with children under the theme ‘ego eimi’. We introduced to the children Jesus the Bread of Life as the sign. That they may come before Jesus when the see this sign! May Jesus the Bread of Life be the reason for your faith.
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