Tuesday, August 11. 2020
John 5:45-47 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
“Pastor John, I think you made a mistake. We are studying John 6, and you gave us Scripture from John 5. Why?”
Nothing ever happens haphazardly in Scripture. There is always a purpose for every word Jesus spoke. Let’s review some history.
The Jewish nation had no greater hero than Moses. He was their prophet, proclaiming the truth of God to them in spoken and written word. He was their leader, providing purpose and direction for them. He was revered as their deliverer and their ruler, the one who gave them their national identity.
Jesus uses that knowledge of the Jews esteem of Moses to teach them that everything Moses did and wrote about ultimately led to the revealing of the Messiah. Jesus emphasized that the One Moses wrote about was not with them.
In John 6, Jesus begins to reveal to the Jews how He is greater than Moses, and that they need to turn their attention to the Christ rather than their esteemed historical leader. The first thing Jesus did was to show the people how much like Moses He was. He would then show them how much greater He was.
Notice the similarities between Jesus and Moses in the story of the feeding of the five thousand.
- Jesus led a crowd. They followed Him to the other side of the lake.
- The crowd followed Jesus because they saw the miraculous signs He performed.
- Jesus went up on a mountain.
- Jesus introduced Himself to them during the Passover.
Jesus is intentionally walking in the footsteps of Moses, referring to him, so that the people would move from historical loyalty to true spiritual worship. Just as Moses cried out to God for food for the people, and God provided manna, so Jesus provides food for the people. Jesus was touching the hearts of the people where they were most spiritually sensitive. He would then lead them to the Promised Land of spiritual life.
My point today is this – we must learn to let go of our loyalty to religious heritage. I have been told more times than I can remember by people who profess faith in Jesus Christ that they don’t understand why they should be baptized again because they were baptized as an infant. I remind them that a religious ceremony cannot save them, only personal faith in Jesus Christ can. Now that you have personally decided to follow Jesus, baptism is your public statement of your faith in Christ, not in religion. Many understand and agree. Some do not.
Many would understand and follow Jesus. Most would not, because they couldn’t let go of their loyalty to religion. Jesus is greater than any religion. He is inviting you to be loyal to Him. Is this the day you let go and truly follow Jesus?