The Mark Of The Lost

John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

The original books of the Bible had no chapter or verse references. These were all letters or writings that God gave to us through the Apostles and the Prophets (Ephesians 2:20; 3:5; 4:11-12). The Apostle Peter declared that “the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21). My commentary notes that:

The chapter divisions commonly used today were developed by Stephen Langton, an Archbishop of Canterbury. Langton put the modern chapter divisions into place in around A.D. 1227. The Wycliffe English Bible of 1382 was the first Bible to use this chapter pattern. Since the Wycliffe Bible, nearly all Bible translations have followed Langton’s chapter divisions.

The Hebrew Old Testament was divided into verses by a Jewish rabbi by the name of Nathan in A.D. 1448. Robert Estienne, who was also known as Stephanus, was the first to divide the New Testament into standard numbered verses, in 1555. Stephanus essentially used Nathan’s verse divisions for the Old Testament. Since that time, beginning with the Geneva Bible, the chapter and verse divisions employed by Stephanus have been accepted into nearly all the Bible versions.”

Though chapter and verse references are additions made by men fort our convenience in reading and studying the Bible, I believe that our God still controlled the process for His glory.

I find it more than coincidental that this sad verse we’re studying today, John 6:66, mirrors the Mark of the Beast, the Antichrist, in Revelation 13:18.

What a profound statement we find in John 6:66. Read it again with me:

John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Do You Love Jesus, Or What Jesus Gives?

Word Study Let’s break this verse down. Jesus had disciples who followed Him. The word translated disciples is the Greek μαθητής mathētēs, which means “a student, a learner, a pupil, a follower of another”. There were a great deal of people who followed Jesus. What were they following Him for? Were they following Jesus because they loved Jesus? No, they were following Jesus because they loved what Jesus gave them.

The disciples who left Jesus were not following Him out of love for Him. They followed Jesus out of love for what Jesus would DO for them.

We see this in our context. You always need to read the context. If you flip back just one page in my Bible to the beginning of chapter 6, you read of the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus took “five barley loaves and two small fishes” (verse 9) and blessing it, fed five thousand men (verse 10). The Bible says:

John 6:14-15 Then those men {the 5000 that Jesus fed}, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. 15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

These people saw Jesus as a miracle worker. They saw Jesus as Someone Who could easily overthrow the Roman Caesar. They did not love Jesus – they loved what Jesus could do. Jesus ran from such an arrangement. Jesus did not come to this world to be just another king, just another Caesar. Jesus came to this world to defeat Satan, to save humanity, and to establish the kingdom of God on the earth.

The Bible tells us that Jesus’ disciples headed out by ship to Capernaum, the next place Jesus wanted to go (verse 16). I believe they left a little early, just like we all get ahead of God at times. The Bible says:

John 6:17-20 {the twelve disciples} entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.

When Jesus got into the ship, “immediately the ship was at the land” (John 6:21). Oh Beloved, it is so wonderful to be with Jesus! When we err, if we love Jesus, Jesus saves us and blesses us! He loves us back. Jesus said:

John 8:42 … If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

The mark of the Christian is that the Christian loves Jesus. There are many who profess to be Christian, but they only love what Jesus will give them, not Who Jesus is. Those who love Jesus keep His commandments:

John 14:15, 21 If ye love Me, keep My commandments … 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

The day after Jesus and His disciples go to Capernaum, those 5000 “disciples” who wanted Jesus to be King, found Jesus and the twelve gone. The Bible says that “they also took a ship, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus” (verse 24).

But Jesus could see what was in their hearts.
They did not love Jesus.
They loved what Jesus would give them.
They loved the all you can eat buffet.
They loved the 24 hour healing clinic.
Some love the idea of Heaven,
but could care less if Jesus is there or not.

Jesus was quite plain with these “seekers”. He said:

John 6:26-27 … Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Word Study These disciples labored for meat which perishes. The word translated labored is the Greek ἐργάζομαι ergázomai, {pronounced er-gad’-zom-ahee} which means “to toil, to work for”. It required effort for these people to get to Jesus. The ships that they used to get to Capernaum on were not motorboats. They were the motors on the boats. They paddled and raised sails. They expended energy. Why? They got to Jesus so that He could feed them more free meat, more free fish and bread. Jesus told them, if effect, “You labored to get to Me for the wrong thing. You wanted Me for what TEMPORAL thing I could give you:

a TEMPORAL healing
a TEMPORAL feeding
a TEMPORAL blessing

Jesus came, not to give us temporal meat. Jesus said:

John 4:34 My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Jesus came to this earth to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17). Jesus Christ is the Promised Messiah. Jesus Christ is the “Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world”. Jesus Christ did not come to bring peace on the earth, but division (Luke 12:51). Jesus came into this world “that we might have life, abundant life” (John 10:10). Jesus said:

John 12:44-46 He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. 46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Jesus came, sent of the Father, to save sinners and bring the saved into the Kingdom of God. The people asked Jesus:

John 6:28-29 … What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him {on Jesus} whom {God} hath sent.

But these “disciples” were blind. You can see this. Listen Beloved: It is possible to come and apparently follow Jesus for a time, and yet never be saved. These “disciples” did not love Jesus. They questioned Jesus.

They responded to Jesus,

John 6:30 What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

These people sought Jesus for another free meal. But now that He has rebuked them, they challenge Jesus. “Jesus, show us a signthat we might see and believe You”. They want to debate Jesus. These false disciples do not want the Word of the Lord – they want to be placated. These false disciples even know scripture. They quote Psalm 78:24,

John 6:31 … He gave them bread from Heaven to eat ..

Jesus Is The Fulfillment Of The Shadow
Made By The Manna

Jesus told them, “My Father giveth you the True Bread from Heaven” (vs 32). The Manna that God gave Israel in the wilderness was a foreshadowing of the coming of Jesus. NOW DON’T MISS THIS. This is very important. When God gave the Manna to Israel, He said:

Exodus 16:4-5 … Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. 5 And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.

Every day the Israelite was to go out and “Gather of {manna} every man according to his eating” (Exodus 16:16). You were to gather the manna in the morning, the amount that you could eat. You were not to hoard manna, for old manna would spoil the next morning. And if you waited till the sun was hot and did not gather in the morning, the manna melted.

This manna is, according to Jesus, a Type of Christ, a foreshadowing of the Messiah. You are not to be focused on getting what Jesus has for you. You are to be focused on getting Jesus, the Manna from Heaven. The Child of God desperately needs Jesus. Jesus told them:

John 6:35 … I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Jesus is the True Manna of God. Jesus is the only One Who has ever “come down from Heaven”, just as the Old Testament manna came down from Heaven. This is not a concept that a lost person can readily grasp. God the Father gives the Manna. Jesus told these false disciples:

John 6:36-40 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

In order for a person to be saved, God must open their eyes to Christ. The Christian faith is a supernatural faith. Those without Christ are “dead in trespasses and in sins” (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13). We do not raise ourselves to life. God opens our eyes, and draws us toward Jesus. Jesus said:

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Word Study God DRAWS or opens the spiritual eyes of the believer. The Greek word translated drawis ἑλκύω helkýō, {pronounced hel-koo’-o}, which means “to draw, to drag, to lead or impel”. In John 21:6 the word is used when the disciples cast their net, “and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.” The same word is used in Acts 16:19 when the lost “caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace”. God must intervene, and open our eyes, that we might be saved. When the Father draws us to Jesus, and we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, when we give ourselves away to Him, then we have His promise:

John 6:47-48 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life.

Jesus follows this theme. As Israel ate the manna from Heaven (a shadow of Christ), in the Church Age we eat the Manna from Heaven, Jesus Christ. Now Jesus doesn’t mean that we are to literally chase Him down and cannibalize Him. What He means is, as Israel lived by eating the manna, the genuine Christian lives by eating THE Manna, Jesus Christ. Jesus said:

John 6:51, 53-58 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. … 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

As you eat physical food daily to sustain your physical life, the Christian feeds on Jesus daily, sustaining our spiritual life. Jesus, for the Christian, is more than a passing fancy. Jesus is everything. I need Jesus daily.

I need Jesus as my Prophet, teaching me the Word of God.
I need Jesus as my High Priest, giving me access to God My Father.
I need Jesus as the Lamb of God, for I hide myself in His blood.
I need Jesus as my Shepherd, for He defends me as I love Him.
I need Jesus as my Eternal Friend, for life is often lonely.
I need Jesus as my Lord, telling me what to do wherever I am.
I need Jesus as my Great Physician, for my life is broken.
I need Jesus as my Manna, for He feeds my soul.

Those “disciples” who followed Jesus to Capernaum for another buffet began to murmur. Jesus said:

John 6:61-64 … Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

Illustrate Jesus knew the hearts of these people. He knows your heart, whether you love Him, or just love what He might temporally give you. I had a young man come by our Church the other day, looking for temporal blessing. I handed him a new Bible, and took him to our pantry, and left him alone to get whatever he wanted. Afterwards, I followed his vehicle down to the gas station, where I gave him $20 worth of gas. It was later that I went back into our pantry. Do you know what I found? The new Bible I gave him, sitting on the shelf. The man wanted what Jesus could give, but not Jesus. Though he allowed me to pray for him and his family before I left him at the gas station, it was all an act. Which takes us back to the words of Jesus:

John 6:65 … Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

Christianity is a supernatural faith. God must open the eyes of the lost, so that they might believe in Jesus. When you are saved, you fall in love with Jesus – and Jesus loves you. Like Simon Peter, we who are saved will not leave Jesus as the false disciples do. Like Simon Peter, we say:

John 6:68-69 …. Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Oh, how I pray that more and more would come to have their eyes opened by the Father, through the Spirit, unto the Son of God! Oh, how my heart aches for those who, like these false disciples, like Judas Iscariot, are chasing the temporal rather than the eternal in Christ. As we enter the prayer portion of our service, let us pray that God will use us, and will through His Spirit, lead others to fall in love with Jesus. In Christ name I pray. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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