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The Shortsighted, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
March 25, 2024 9:00 am

The Shortsighted, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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March 25, 2024 9:00 am

If you’ve ever spent much time around toddlers, you know how shortsighted they can be. Waiting in line is agonizing for them, even if they’re waiting for something really cool!

Summit Life
J.D. Greear

Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. I know there are things you don't understand. Jesus basically here says that's going to be a lifelong reality. Times when you feel like your soul is in turmoil. And in those times you were going to say, I don't know all the answers, but I know you. You're the Holy One of God. You were God. You died for me. You rose again for me. I'm sticking with you. Welcome to another week of Christ-centered, gospel-focused teaching here on Summit Life with Pastor J.D. Greer.

As always, I'm your host, Molly Vitovich. Now, if you've ever spent any time around toddlers, you know how short-sighted they can be. Waiting in line is agonizing for them, even if they're waiting for something really cool. And while it's easy to laugh at kids for being so impatient, the truth is we are the same way.

We want the quick solution every time, no matter the cost. Well, today on Summit Life, Pastor J.D. Greer explains how short-sightedness can keep us from really investing and fully giving our lives to Jesus.

It's part of our teaching series called Can't Believe. And if you've missed any of the previous messages, you can always catch up online at Now, here's Pastor J.D. with part two of a message he titled The Short-Sighted. John 6 opens up with a problem. And that problem is that the people that are listening to Jesus are hungry, not metaphorically hungry, but actually physically hungry. You see, Jesus had a lot to say. And because he had a lot to say, his sermons would often go on for a long time. And in this case, Jesus started his sermon sometime after breakfast, taught straight through lunch and all the way through dinner. He takes a little break after dinner and he turns to his disciples and he says to them, man, it looks like these people are getting hungry. They're starting to get kind of cranky.

What do you think I should do? Now, verse six tells you that this was a test question because he already knew what he was going to do. So this was like a faith pop quiz. So the first disciple to respond to him, this is found in the Gospel of Luke, is Peter. And Peter responds to him and says, that's a dumb question, Jesus. So you've got about 20,000 people here, Jesus.

That's not a real question. We don't have the capacity to feed 20,000 people. Fail. Peter gets a big F. All right, second person to speak is Philip.

You'll see that there in verse, I think, seven. Philip says, well, 200 denarii, Jesus, is not enough to buy food for these people, even for each of them to have just a little. Fail.

Right? Finally, one of the disciples, Andrew, says, well, I found a little boy whose mama packed him a lunch and he says that he's willing to share it with you, Jesus, if you're hungry. Fail. So Jesus takes the little boy's lunch of five loaves and two fish. He prays over it and he starts to distribute it. Well, as the disciples are distributing it, as it is in their hands, it begins to multiply.

And as it multiplies, they can't give it away fast enough. And so after everybody has eaten everything they can possibly eat, they take up what's left of this little boy's five loaves and two fish, and they take the leftovers of that Hebrew happy meal and they collect 12 bushel baskets full to overflowing. Verse 14. So when the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, this is indeed the prophet who has come into the world. Verse 15, perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king. Stop there for a second. They're excited. I mean, look at what this guy just did.

And they're thinking, imagine if this guy was the head of our nation. But Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. And after nightfall, he takes an evening stroll on the sea, not by the sea, mind you, but on the sea. And he walks over to the other side.

Well, somebody over there saw him and tweeted about seeing him. So the crowd, in verse 25, finally finds him on the other side of the sea and says, Rabbi, how did you get over here? He says, truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me not because you saw the signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 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. So jump down to verse 34. So they said to him, sir, give us this bread always.

Verse 35. So they said to him, Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me shall not hunger. Whoever believes in me shall never thirst. The bread that he is offering is reunion with God, because that is what the human soul is missing.

That is what it is craving. Which shows you, by the way, in those, that little, there's several set of verses there, shows you the two things, get this, that distinguish the true gospel from every false gospel ever postulated. I'm going to give you two words you ought to remember. This will help you whenever you're talking to somebody, even if they're saying a super Christian. These two words have to be the dominant things in the gospel.

Number one, God. The true gospel's primary focus is reconciliation with God. That means, by the way, church, listen, that means politics and all these activist causes are secondary. Hear me correctly on this. I'm not saying they're not important. The Bible commands us to love and bless and take care of our neighbors.

But as important as all those political and secondary agendas are, they can never displace the centrality of the gospel message and our mission. You see, our generation is a, I say our generation to college students. I know that I'm 19 years older than most of you.

I'm 39 years old. But you know what? Our generation, our generation is a very cause-driven generation. Everybody, companies are all into giving back. That's how you tell the company's good or not.

Do they give back? I call it the Bono factor. Everybody's got a cause. And that's all well and good.

It really is. Yeah, we want to alleviate suffering. Of course we do. That's a Christian's duty. But the most significant suffering of all is eternal suffering.

The suffering of the soul that is starving from being separated from God. So yes, we want to put bread in their stomachs. We will always do that.

But more importantly, we want to point them to the bread that is given to them from heaven. Listen to me, okay? Regardless of what side of the political fence you feel like you're on, ask yourself this question. What if we achieved every political agenda that your team had ever dreamed of? What if we really achieved peace in our time? What if the American dream became a reality for all people? What if there really was peace and justice for all? What if we became number one in education in the world?

What if we really slowed the rise of the oceans and healed the planet and then our generation died and went to hell? Did we do our job? No, I'm not saying those things are not important. Again, when we love our neighbor, we will be activists on their behalf. But I'm saying that these secondary kinds of bread can never eclipse the message of the bread from heaven that Jesus offered, which is why our mission to the world is never just random acts of kindness. It is acts of kindness accompanied with bold acts of proclamation.

Because we are, yes, we are healing the body, but we are also giving them the bread of life for the soul, which is not about something we can do for them or they can do for themselves. It's something about Jesus did for them 2,000 years ago that can satisfy the deepest parts of who they are. And by the way, church, because politics are a secondary matter in the church, get this, there can even be disagreement among Christians because of them in the same church. A scholar pointed this out recently I thought was fascinating. One of the disciples was Simon the Zealot. Every time he's mentioned, he's always the zealot. You know what the zealot means? It means he was a Jewish nationalist. It means he resented Roman rule and Roman taxes and he wanted to throw off big government.

Right? The other, one of the other disciples, every time he's identified is Matthew the tax collector. In other words, he's a guy that's in the government rule. He collects taxes for the government and they're in the same group of disciples. You could not get two guys more opposite on the polar ends of the political spectrum. But you got both of them right there in the same band of people and Jesus has brought unity between them. It's not that they lost their opinions. I'm sure there were some spirited discussions. It's just that they were united by a larger agenda that made the secondary agendas not so important. Unity in the church does not come by agreement on everything.

It comes by united around something that outweighs everything that we disagree about. It means that, yeah, I got my styles. I got my preferences. I think this is right. I'm not trying to say everybody's right.

Okay? Some of you are right politically, the ones that agree with me. Some of you are off politically.

I'm not saying everybody's right. I'm just saying that in a church, what you've got is the bread of Jesus is so large that you take secondary matters and they just don't become that important. That's your first word to characterize the gospel of God.

Here's your second word. Grace. Grace. The true gospel centers on what God has done for us, not on what we should do for him.

Again, you see that verse 47. What should we be doing to receive the bread? How do we get it? Nothing. You just believe.

D.A. Carson points out that three-fourths of the gospels, three-fourths of the gospels are about one week of Jesus' life. He says that's what the gospels are. They're about Jesus' life, but they're about one week, the crucifixion week, with a little preamble that leads up to that week. Now, that death, that gospel leads to profound change, but change is always in response to what God has done. These are things that you begin to do because you have been reconciled to God, not in order to be reconciled to God. Now, Jesus goes on in this chapter.

Look, I want to take you to the end of it. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anybody eats of this bread, he will live forever, and the bread that I will give him for the life of the world is my flesh. Truly, truly, there it is again, truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Now, I know that you are Christianized, most of you enough, that that statement is not that shocking to you, but could you imagine what it was like to hear that for the first time? These people look at Jesus and they're like, have you lost your mind? Verse 66, after this, many of his disciples turned back and no longer walk with him. Now, look, church, listen, now we know that what he meant by that was that this eating was metaphorical, that when Jesus was crucified, his body would be broken like bread, his blood would be poured out like water.

Believing in him is like eating his flesh and like drinking his blood. We get that now. But here's what I want you to see. At that point, they didn't get that yet. So they were offended and confused. And many of them kind of threw up their hands in exasperation and said, I like what you were teaching about that. But here, you have lost your mind.

You're crazy. And I'm not going to follow you. I'm out of here. And then Peter speaks up, probably on behalf of many of the disciples. And it's just kind of an awkward moment. And that's something you make, look at the verses. You'll see awkwardness.

Peter's like, oh, we don't really get that either, Jesus. I'm going to be honest with you. And you know what? You had a huge crowd a few minutes ago. There's like 20,000 people there. And if you want to keep that crowd, you've got to cut out the whole eat my flesh and drink my blood stuff. You are not going to build a crowd on that, I can promise you.

That does not pull well. So Jesus looks back at him, verse 67. So Jesus says to the 12, you want to go away as well? Well, you notice what's missing in verse 67? You want to know what's missing? The silence is louder than the statement. What's missing is explanation. Jesus doesn't say, oh, no, no, no, that's not what I meant. Here's what I meant. He just left it out there in all of its glorious awkwardness and says, all right, what I'm saying is offending you. Okay.

Would you like to go away as well? And then Peter makes one of the most profound declarations of faith. You're listening to Summit Life with Pastor J.D.

Greer. We'll finish our teaching from the book of John in a moment, but I am so excited to again tell you about our featured resource this month. It's called Come Back to Me, and it's a 21-day scripture guide through all 12 of the Minor Prophets.

If you heard Pastor J.D. 's recent summit life that shared the same name, I think we all learned that these books should not be overlooked. The messages within them are incredibly powerful and applicable to our life today. Every daily reading will help you study, pray and apply the scripture you're reading, which makes it a perfect supplement to your daily time with the Lord or maybe even to use as a guide for small group discussions. There's also an opportunity to journal, to really personalize and reflect on what you're learning.

To get your copy, give your gift of $35 or more today by calling us at 866-335-5220 or visit us online at Now let's get back to today's teaching here on Summit Life. Once again, here's Pastor J.D. Simon Peter says to him, Lord, where would we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and we have come to know that you are the Holy One of God. You see, one of the major themes of the Gospel of John is that God's truth comes down from heaven. God's truth is not figured out from below, and because it comes down from heaven from God, there are many things about God's truth that when we encounter it, it is offensive to us and it blows our minds. You see, think of other kinds of truth as going upward, right? I mean, science and philosophy, that's not a hard metaphor to see. I mean, if you write a doctoral dissertation in science, you've got to discover a new thing to write about.

You can't just write about old things because you've got to add to the knowledge base. So it's slowly going upward, and that's good and that's exactly the way God intended it. He made us creatures that should study out his world, but God's truth will never be known that way. That's what Jesus is making clear here. We're too sinful to know God that way. We were so sinful that God had to reveal eternal truth from heaven to us because if we figured it out from below, it would just make us proud if he did, right?

If we figured it out from below, we'd be like, oh, I'm smart. That's why I got God. And pride is like the core of the human sinful problem. So God says, I'm not going to reveal myself in a way that caters to your pride.

I'm going to send it down from heaven so that a child can get it. You might think that Jesus is crazy. You might disagree with what he says, but that ultimately is the question, is it not? Is Jesus who he says he is? Is he the Holy One of God? And if he is the Holy One of God, then he's telling you the truth. And if he's the Holy One of God, then you believe what he says about things you can't understand, not because you agree with him, but because of the nature of who he is. Again, which is why Jesus said his truth was accessible even unto children. Even unto children.

Can I share with you very quickly two verses that are absolutely key, absolutely key to my faith? These things, I mean, I probably quote these things in my mind once a week. Deuteronomy 29, 29, the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. What that means, watch this, is that there are two categories of things.

And for you smart people, it's that latter core that drives you crazy. Secret things. Secret things. There are things that God says you're not going to understand. There are things about me, my purposes and my ways, and I reveal those things.

You know, like how do you tell the difference between secret things and revealed things? Well, one, secret things are never referring to things down here on earth like how physical, like science. Secret things refer to God. And what God does is reveal things about himself. You can never have an accurate depiction of God and his ways from below.

It's always got to come down from above. I tell you, I would love to figure God out. I'd love to be able to explain to you all the mysteries of the universe, but God says, you know what? You want explanation?

You get revelation. And I'm just going to tell you, this is who I am. And there's a time, I'll give you some understanding, but if it's going to be a criteria for you following me, you're never going to follow. And Jesus will look right back in my face when there's a perfectly valid explanation and he says, you're going to go away? You walking away? You putting me on the dock? You're going to say I don't understand you so I'm out of here? You'll never follow me that way. You will never follow me.

There are secret things that God has and then he reveals them and we believe them. Here's another one. Psalm 131. I love this one.

Written by King David. Oh Lord, my heart is not lifted up. My eyes are not raised too high. By the way, if this does not insult you, you are not reading it correctly. I do not occupy by myself with things too great and too marvelous for me, but I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with his mother. How many of you dudes connect to that analogy right there? You're like, that's me. That's what I want to be.

I want to be an infant nursing at my mother's breast. That doesn't connect with me. I'm just going to be totally honest with you. Oh, Israel. Hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. What it's saying is in some ways in relation to God, I'm like a child. Now, please hear me. I am not anti-intellectual. You're listening to a guy who got his PhD in theology.

My mom taught biology at a college. I'm not anti-intellectual by any means. I am simply saying that when it comes to God and his truth, there are some ways that in relation to him, I'm like a child. The way I describe it to you often is like this. When you have children, parents, sometimes you want to explain to them why you're telling them to do, but sometimes you just can't. I'm like, Dad, why can't we have the hair dryer in the bathtub with us? Then we could wash our bodies and dry our hair at the same time. It would be so much more efficient, Dad.

I want to explain to them what an alternating current does and what happens if the alternating current is alive in the water, but I just can't explain that to them. I just say, just don't do it. Just trust your daddy on this one. Now, I've asked you this. What do you think is greater, the gap between my four-year-old's understanding of reality and mine or the gap between my understanding and God's? My understanding and God's. Yes, I understand that there are times that God reveals things to me, secret things. I just believe them. I'll tell you this, some of the greatest blessings in my life have come from knowing when and how to question and when to simply to rest and to trust.

Listen to me. Deuteronomy 29, 29 and Psalm 131 are bread. Understanding those verses is what bread for the soul is because what it is is you are standing in front of glory who is overwhelming you with intense intimacy. That's glory and that's bread. So that's the question. Do you believe that Jesus is the Holy One of God and do you believe that he has the words of eternal life?

If so, then where else are you going to go? I know there are things that offend you. If he's not offending you, you're not listening. The one thing you shouldn't do is do that crazy thing where you appropriate parts of Jesus and make your own new Jesus, a step for Jesus. That Jesus don't exist. So get out of your fantasy world. He's either Lord or he's not. So when he offends you, what are you going to do when he offends you?

That's the question. I know there are things you don't understand. Jesus basically here says that's going to be a lifelong reality.

Sometimes you're not going to understand. Times when you feel like your soul is in turmoil and in those times you are going to say, I don't know all the answers but I know you. You're the Holy One of God. You were God. You died for me. You rose again for me.

I'm sticking with you. He is the bread of life. You were created not for something, you were created for someone. Your soul craves his glory.

It's what you were made for. It's what you hunger for. Glory is what takes your breath away and everything you see in our world, the beauty of the sunset. It's what blows your mind in the majesty of the universe.

It's what you marvel at in the complexity of the atom or the human cell. It's that hunger you can't really describe but makes you long to be united with something that you can see in those things. John Piper says we look around and we see the evidences of God's glory all around us. Psalm 19 tells us the heavens declare.

They preach the glory of God. Piper says he shouts with the clouds. He shouts with the blue expanse. He shouts with gold on the horizon. He shouts with galaxies and stars.

He is always shouting, I am glorious. Open your eyes. Do you see it?

Do you love it? You were made for this. This is why we exist, to see that. Everything is pointing to that. All the glory that I thought was so attractive in the world was ultimately pointing there. This empty world is all husked and ashes without him. He is the bread that your soul craves. To know that infinitely wise creator and call him father, to know infinite glory and majesty combined with infinite tenderness and intimacy, that and that alone is the bread that your soul craves. That is eternal life itself.

John 17 3. The alternative is to have a starving soul. To enter into an eternal existence hell with your soul still famished and starving. Hell a place of nothingness and fire but worst of all a place with all traces of the glorious love of God removed.

So it's like C.S. Lewis said, God threatens terrible things for those who refuse to be insanely happy in him. What are you going to choose? Lesser breads or you're going to choose a greater bread. This story is about people who couldn't believe because they didn't understand the nature of eternal bread and so they were so fixated on marriages and kids and cars and world peace that they missed eternal bread. Have you eaten of that bread?

Have you received it? It's what your soul is searching for. My invitation to you is to come and feast on Jesus. Maybe for you this will be the first time you've ever feasted upon him. Maybe for the first time you'll get the gospel and you'll receive him. Maybe you're already a Christian and maybe what you need to do is just re-feast upon him. This is a daily practice for me is to re-embrace the bread of Jesus. That's why every morning every morning when I get out of bed I don't talk to anybody I go into another room I shut the door and I get out the bible and I get on my knees and I feast upon heavenly bread. I read his word I pray I pray the gospel over my life.

You need to start that habit and do it every day because that is the way that your soul stays filled with the glory of Jesus reminding yourself of the gospel. It's why we're in small groups together by the way because when we go through life we need other people preaching the gospel to us. We need them applying the gospel to our marriages and when we're going through pain saying this is how the gospel this is how you eat on it here. It's why we do what we do as a church. So the invitation if you never received the bread is to receive it now and if you have received it to feast upon it again and again and again even as we worship in these next few moments.

Maybe today you're feeling your heart stirred and you're ready to experience Jesus for the very first time. If that's you be sure to visit us at to find resources and learn more about what it means to be a follower of Christ. You can also give us a call at 866-335-5220 so we can pray with you. This ministry exists to bring the gospel to as many people as possible through this radio program, our podcast, our television show, our website. We're really out there and we would like to invite you to partner with us to help more people dive into the gospel through these different channels. After all when you give to Summit Life that's the mission you're supporting and as an expression of our thanks we're offering Come Back to Me a devotional and 21-day scripture guide which takes you through all 12 of the books of the bible we call the Minor Prophets.

It's a great way to take your study of scripture particularly the Old Testament to the next level. This is the final week to get this resource so don't miss your chance to get a hold of it. We are so grateful for you and your partnership with us as we continue through this year of ministry together. But you know as important as these one-time gifts are the foundation of this ministry comes from the ongoing support of our gospel partners those who commit to regular monthly giving.

So maybe you'd consider joining this select group of supporters and we would be so grateful. Ask for Come Back to Me when you become a gospel partner today or when you give a single gift of $35 or more. Just a few more days to reserve your copy so call 866-335-5220. That's 866-335-5220 or you can give online at I'm Molly Vitevich inviting you to join us tomorrow for a message titled The Disappointed.

Let me ask you is that you? If so be sure to join us Tuesday on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-25 10:27:56 / 2024-03-25 10:39:14 / 11

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