John 6* Five thousand miraculously fed. (1-14) Jesus walks on the sea.(15-21) He directs to spiritual food. (22-27) His discourse withthe multitude. (28-65) Many of disciples go back. (66-71)1-14 John relates the miracle of feeding the multitude, for itsreference to the following discourse. Observe the effect thismiracle had upon the people. Even the common Jews expected theMessiah to come into the world, and to be a great Prophet. ThePharisees despised them as not knowing the law; but they knewmost of Him who is the end of the law. Yet men may acknowledgeChrist as that Prophet, and still turn a deaf ear to him. 15-21 Here were Christ's disciples in the way of duty, andChrist was praying for them; yet they were in distress. Theremay be perils and afflictions of this present time, where thereis an interest in Christ. Clouds and darkness often surround thechildren of the light and of the day. They see Jesus walking onthe sea. Even the approaches of comfort and deliverance oftenare so mistaken, as to become the occasions of fear. Nothing ismore powerful to convince sinners than that word, "I am Jesuswhom thou persecutest;" nothing more powerful to comfort saintsthan this, "I am Jesus whom thou lovest." If we have receivedChrist Jesus the Lord, though the night be dark, and the windhigh, yet we may comfort ourselves, we shall be at the shorebefore long. 22-27 Instead of answering the inquiry how he came there, Jesusblamed their asking. The utmost earnestness should be employedin seeking salvation, in the use of appointed means; yet it isto be sought only as the gift of the Son of man. Him the Fatherhas sealed, proved to be God. He declared the Son of man to bethe Son of God with power. 28-35 Constant exercise of faith in Christ, is the mostimportant and difficult part of the obedience required from us,as sinners seeking salvation. When by his grace we are enabledto live a life of faith in the Son of God, holy tempers follow,and acceptable services may be done. God, even his Father, whogave their fathers that food from heaven to support theirnatural lives, now gave them the true Bread for the salvation oftheir souls. Coming to Jesus, and believing on him, signify thesame. Christ shows that he is the true Bread; he is to the soulwhat bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spirituallife. He is the Bread of God. Bread which the Father gives,which he has made to be the food of our souls. Bread nourishesonly by the powers of a living body; but Christ is himselfliving Bread, and nourishes by his own power. The doctrine ofChrist crucified is now as strengthening and comforting to abeliever as ever it was. He is the Bread which came down fromheaven. It denotes the Divinity of Christ's person and hisauthority; also, the Divine origin of all the good which flowsto us through him. May we with understanding and earnestnesssay, Lord, evermore give us this Bread. 36-46 The discovery of their guilt, danger, and remedy, by theteaching of the Holy Spirit, makes men willing and glad to come,and to give up every thing which hinders applying to him forsalvation. The Father's will is, that not one of those who weregiven to the Son, should be rejected or lost by him. No one willcome, till Divine grace has subdued, and in part changed hisheart; therefore no one who comes will ever be cast out. Thegospel finds none willing to be saved in the humbling, holymanner, made known therein; but God draws with his word and theHoly Ghost; and man's duty is to hear and learn; that is to say,to receive the grace offered, and consent to the promise. Nonehad seen the Father but his beloved Son; and the Jews mustexpect to be taught by his inward power upon their minds, and byhis word, and the ministers whom he sent among them. 47-51 The advantage of the manna was small, it only referred tothis life; but the living Bread is so excellent, that the manwho feedeth on it shall never die. This bread is Christ's humannature, which he took to present to the Father, as a sacrificefor the sins of the world; to purchase all things pertaining tolife and godliness, for sinners of every nation, who repent andbelieve in him. 52-59 The flesh and blood of the Son of man, denote theRedeemer in the nature of man; Christ and him crucified, and theredemption wrought out by him, with all the precious benefits ofredemption; pardon of sin, acceptance with God, the way to thethrone of grace, the promises of the covenant, and eternal life.These are called the flesh and blood of Christ, because they arepurchased by the breaking his body, and the shedding of hisblood. Also, because they are meat and drink to our souls.Eating this flesh and drinking this blood mean believing inChrist. We partake of Christ and his benefits by faith. The soulthat rightly knows its state and wants, finds whatever can calmthe conscience, and promote true holiness, in the redeemer, Godmanifest in the flesh. Meditating upon the cross of Christ giveslife to our repentance, love, and gratitude. We live by him, asour bodies live by our food. We live by him, as the members bythe head, the branches by the root: because he lives we shalllive also. 60-65 The human nature of Christ had not before been in heaven,but being God and man, that wondrous Person was truly said tohave come down from heaven. The Messiah's kingdom was not ofthis world; and they were to understand by faith, what he hadsaid of a spiritual living upon him, and his fulness. As withoutthe soul of man the flesh is of no value, so without thequickening Spirit of God all forms of religion are dead andworthless. He who made this provision for our souls, alone canteach us these things, and draw us unto Christ, that we may liveby faith in him. Let us apply to Christ, thankful that it isdeclared that every one who is willing to come unto him shall bemade welcome. 66-71 When we admit into our minds hard thoughts of the wordsand works of Jesus, we enter into temptation, which, if the Lordin mercy prevent not, will end in drawing back. The corrupt andwicked heart of man often makes that an occasion for offence,which is matter of the greatest comfort. Our Lord had, in theforegoing discourse, promised eternal life to his followers; thedisciples fastened on that plain saying, and resolved to cleaveto him, when others fastened on hard sayings, and forsook him.Christ's doctrine is the word of eternal life, therefore we mustlive and die by it. If we forsake Christ, we forsake our ownmercies. They believed that this Jesus was the Messiah promisedto their fathers, the Son of the living God. When we are temptedto backslide or turn away, it is good to remember firstprinciples, and to keep to them. And let us ever remember ourLord's searching question; Shall we go away and forsake ourRedeemer? To whom can we go? He alone can give salvation by theforgiveness of sins. And this alone brings confidence, comfort,and joy, and bids fear and despondency flee away. It gains theonly solid happiness in this world, and opens a way to thehappiness of the next.
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