Books of the Book: John

The Bread of Life

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00012A

00:20 Hello friends and welcome back
00:21 to this program "Books of the Book."
00:23 We are so glad that you are taking this time to join us
00:27 and be part of this Bible study.
00:29 My name is Deyvy Rodriquez
00:31 and again I welcome you to the Gospel of John.
00:35 We are studying this with Dr. Jon Paulien.
00:37 He is a Bible scholar.
00:40 He is the Dean of religion at Loma Linda University
00:43 in Loma Linda, California.
00:44 And today we are talking about the "Bread of life."
00:48 And if you have a Bible you can certainly join us
00:50 and open your bibles beginning in chapter 6 today.
00:55 Dr. Paulien, thank you again for being with us.
00:59 It's really good to be with you, Deyvy. It's been a good time.
01:03 Now earlier in a different program
01:07 you said that the Gospel of John is a spiritual gospel.
01:12 So I was a bit surprised to hear that
01:14 because I thought, well, aren't all the gospels spiritual?
01:17 And so explain to us what does that mean
01:20 when you say that the Gospel of John is spiritual.
01:23 That's an excellent question.
01:25 I think all of the gospels are there
01:27 to tell the story of Jesus.
01:30 So there's value in simply knowing the story of Jesus,
01:34 who He was?
01:35 What He did?
01:37 What He said?
01:38 But the Gospel of John has a deeper purpose than that.
01:42 The story of Jesus is there.
01:44 There's stories that the others don't have.
01:46 There's a few stories that they all have in common,
01:48 but in John each of these stories
01:51 is a pointer to something else, as well.
01:54 It's a pointer to something deeper.
01:56 It's seeking the deeper spiritual focus
02:00 that underlies the stories
02:02 and it takes you another step further.
02:04 And I think that's really important
02:06 because in today's world what our eyes see,
02:10 our ears hear, our hands handle
02:13 really distracts us from God more than leads us to Him.
02:17 Unless, we can learn like John
02:20 to see glimpses of Jesus in other people,
02:24 glimpses of Jesus in the circumstances that we have.
02:26 When we take bread, it reminds us of the bread of life.
02:31 When we drink water, shall we? Sure.
02:36 Mmm, that's good.
02:39 So what about the water?
02:40 Reminds us of the water of life.
02:42 In the next program, we'll have a lot to say about that, see.
02:45 So John is inviting us to look past the surface
02:49 of what our five senses can tell us.
02:51 And to go deeper and to see glimpses of Jesus,
02:54 glimpses of God in everything that comes.
02:57 And he teaches us how to do that in the gospel
03:00 by taking the stories and going beyond the surface with them.
03:04 Well, let's see some more of those glimpses in chapter 6.
03:07 Now briefly tell us the background on this chapter.
03:12 Okay, I think if you, if you open chapter 6,
03:15 you notice right away that this is in Galilee.
03:19 Now here's one of the striking things,
03:21 the Gospel of John focuses on Judah and Jerusalem
03:27 whereas Matthew, Mark and Luke all focus on Galilee.
03:30 In the Gospel of John the only parts of the Gospel
03:33 that take place in Galilee outside of the story
03:36 at the very end are the wedding of Cana,
03:40 the story of the noble man
03:42 who wants his son healed in Capernaum.
03:45 And this chapter 6 is in Galilee, that's all.
03:51 So most of Jesus' time is spent in Jerusalem,
03:54 chapter 5, He is in Jerusalem at an unnamed feast.
03:57 We talked about that in last program.
03:59 In chapter 7, He is in Jerusalem at the feast of Tabernacles.
04:04 So sandwiched between Jerusalems
04:07 is this story in Galilee once again.
04:10 From chapter 7 through pretty much the end of the book
04:14 everything is in Jerusalem, in Judah,
04:16 the surrounding area except the very last scene.
04:19 So Gospel of John focuses on the parts of Jesus' life
04:24 that we were particularly in Jerusalem
04:26 and the surroundings. And that makes it unique.
04:29 I would suggest that the other three gospels
04:32 were probably written well before John.
04:35 He knew what was in them
04:36 and he is going in a different direction.
04:39 He's emphasizing parts of Jesus' career
04:41 that they missed for whatever reason.
04:44 I think that probably the last year or so
04:50 of Jesus' life in Galilee
04:52 is what the other three gospels focus on.
04:54 John focuses on the whole ministry of Jesus
04:58 and particularly the parts in Jerusalem and Judea.
05:02 Now what is going now in chapter 6 then?
05:07 Well, it's Passover time.
05:09 And we already mentioned that John is a spiritual gospel
05:13 and I've noticed that whenever Passover shows up,
05:18 there's references to the cross
05:21 and references to the Lord's Supper.
05:23 Now one of the features of John that's interesting,
05:26 there's no Lord's Supper.
05:28 The cup, the bread, you know, the ceremony around the table
05:32 it's not there in the Gospel of John.
05:35 When he does go to that event he emphasizes the foot washing,
05:39 but says pretty much nothing about the dinner itself.
05:43 So in John, the Lord's Supper is not explained,
05:46 probably because it's already been adequately explained
05:48 by Paul and Corinthians and by the other three gospel writers.
05:52 But what John does is bring the Lord's Supper
05:56 surprisingly into other venues.
05:59 For example, this is a test.
06:02 All right. All right.
06:04 Where would you see
06:05 the Lord's Supper and the wedding of Cana
06:07 because there's a Passover in that chapter?
06:11 Well, I don't think there is even a dinner there.
06:15 That's a wedding feast. Yes.
06:18 There's a miracle there where Jesus turns the water into wine.
06:21 Into what? Wine. So we see a wine.
06:24 So, What's wine?
06:27 Represents the blood of Jesus--
06:28 The Lord's Supper. Okay.
06:30 Okay. Where's the bread?
06:33 In chapter 2, at the wedding of Cana.
06:36 I am going to fail this question, this quiz test.
06:40 If you go to the cleansing at the temple,
06:42 He replaces the temple with His body.
06:47 Okay, doesn't say bread anywhere there
06:49 but He replaces it with his body.
06:51 You have multiple references to the cross in chapter 2.
06:54 We've already noticed that we were there.
06:56 But there's a reference to the wine
06:58 and then the body of Jesus and those who read that
07:02 Passover is mentioned, wine body of Jesus.
07:05 You see hints of the Lord's Supper.
07:07 Here in chapter 6 and in chapter 21,
07:11 both of them at Passover time,
07:13 we are going to see other hints of the Lord's Supper
07:17 embedded in the text.
07:19 And why don't we go there right now?
07:21 Sure. Chapter 6:11.
07:23 Because He is teaching us
07:26 to see divine things in the ordinary things,
07:30 our spiritual eyes need to be trained
07:33 and that's what John is doing. Chapter 6:11.
07:40 "And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks
07:43 He distributed them to the disciples,
07:45 and the disciples to those sitting down
07:47 and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted."
07:52 Now it may not be obviously English language
07:55 but when you get to the Greek that lies behind the text,
07:58 you see he has chosen to describe the scene
08:02 in Lord's Supper language.
08:05 Jesus, what does it say there?
08:07 "He took the loaves, He gave thanks,"
08:11 and by the way the Greek word for thanks is eucharisto
08:14 which means, yeah, we say Eucharist for the Lord's Supper.
08:19 So it's using a special way of praying
08:22 that's associated with the Lord's Supper.
08:24 "He took the bread, he blessed it,
08:27 gave thanks and distributed
08:29 to those who were seated around Him."
08:32 This is language that triggers the mind to the Lord's Supper.
08:36 And here's the exciting thing about this.
08:39 In the Gospel of John,
08:41 Lord's Supper references come in relation to Passover,
08:46 there's mention of Passover in verse 4.
08:48 But Lord's Supper references come in ordinary circumstances.
08:53 A wedding, here's a picnic lunch.
08:58 In Chapter 21, "Breakfast by the beach."
09:01 In the ordinary aspects of life,
09:05 the supernatural is brought in.
09:08 And so we see that he is bringing God into everything.
09:14 And this is really crucial for our time
09:17 because it is extremely distracting in today's world.
09:21 You have for example bright lights,
09:25 you have the internet, you have television and so on.
09:29 And someone was just saying a little bit earlier,
09:32 "Hey, I go to a health club to exercise
09:35 and there's a TV screens everywhere.
09:36 I want to get away from that. I want to exercise."
09:39 You see, and not be watching connected again some more.
09:42 So the world today closes in around us
09:45 and no one has ever seen, heard or touched God
09:50 which means that the things we can't see, hear and touch
09:55 tend to crowd Him out of our consciousness.
09:59 And John is inviting us to see touches of the divine
10:05 that every time we sit down to eat,
10:07 even in a picnic that we remember the Lord's Supper,
10:10 what we drink, what we eat here is a miracle of God.
10:16 No farmer grows anything.
10:20 Growth of plants is a miracle of God.
10:23 You can nurture plants, you can trim them,
10:28 you can fertilize, you can water
10:30 but the growth itself is a miracle.
10:33 The greatest engineer in history
10:35 can't make a blade of grass, you see.
10:37 So it's learning to see the realities of God
10:41 in the wider circumstances of life.
10:44 And so one thing that I've learned from an old friend,
10:48 Glenn Coon was to thank God for the ordinary things of life.
10:52 And one way to do that is just make a list of ten everyday.
10:56 Just ordinary things, thank you Lord for the cat.
11:00 Thank you Lord for the color of the carpet,
11:02 thank you Lord for that beautiful orchid
11:04 that just opened up today, you see.
11:06 Each one of these things is a miracle
11:08 in the larger scheme of things,
11:09 but those miracles are crowded out of our consciousness,
11:13 by the simple fact that the world is so much with us.
11:19 Moving on, in the text
11:21 and because the text is so big and our time is so short,
11:25 we just going to touch base with a few things in this chapter.
11:28 In verses 16-21
11:30 you have the story of the walking on water
11:34 and why don't you read that for us?
11:36 Chapter 6:16-21.
11:40 "Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,
11:43 got into the boat, and went over to the sea toward Capernaum.
11:48 And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them.
11:51 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing.
11:54 So when they had rowed about three or four miles,
11:58 they saw Jesus walking on the sea
12:00 and drawing near the boat and they were afraid.
12:04 But He said to them, "It is I, do not be afraid."
12:07 Then they willingly received Him into the boat,
12:10 and immediately the boat was at the land
12:13 where they were going."
12:16 This is probably the only story
12:19 outside of the crucifixion itself
12:21 that all four gospels have in common.
12:23 The baptism of Jesus is referenced in all four,
12:25 but John doesn't actually portray it.
12:28 So the story of the walking on water
12:30 is one of the main connections
12:32 between John and the other gospels.
12:36 And for John I think just to be brief
12:40 the boat represents the church in a real sense.
12:44 As John is speaking
12:46 the disciples are the members of the church
12:49 and life is all around them.
12:51 Life is store me, life is distracting.
12:54 They can't see Jesus.
12:56 This is touching base back on what we just noticed
12:58 with the Lord's Supper in chapter 6.
13:00 So life is overwhelming to them
13:02 and in the process Jesus shows up
13:05 and how do they react when Jesus shows up?
13:09 And they were afraid.
13:10 It says, "They saw Jesus approaching
13:12 and they were terrified."
13:14 Okay. Why are they terrified?
13:16 One of the other gospel writers thought he was a ghost, you see.
13:19 But disciples feel like they are abandoned,
13:23 they feel like they are alone.
13:24 The second generation when John dies they are going
13:28 to feel abandoned by God in a real sense.
13:31 And so this story reminds them
13:33 now Jesus comes to you in the storm.
13:38 He comes to you in the suffering.
13:39 He comes to you in the challenges of life.
13:42 And the spiritual gospel encourages us
13:45 to see Jesus in the midst of the turmoil,
13:49 in the midst of the difficulties that we face.
13:51 Earlier you said also that the Gospel of John
13:54 is your favorite book of the Bible
13:56 your favorite gospel. I suspect.
13:58 And I am understanding why now,
14:00 because you said that the Gospel of John is a spiritual gospel
14:04 and when we start to read,
14:06 you know, we often just read a story,
14:08 oh, there's another miracle,
14:10 you know, second miracle and so on and so forth.
14:12 But when we start to just dwell on the text
14:15 and start to see those glimpses of divinity
14:19 and how they apply to my life today
14:22 as you just mentioned those points,
14:24 it becomes powerful, isn't that right?
14:27 Well, friends we are still continuing
14:29 to study the Gospel of John and we are in chapter 6,
14:32 stay with us as we continue to see glimpses of Jesus.


Revised 2014-12-17