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Sunday Message: You Say You Want a Revolution? (with Jonathan Laurie)

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 15, 2020 3:00 am

Sunday Message: You Say You Want a Revolution? (with Jonathan Laurie)

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 15, 2020 3:00 am

Many believed Jesus came to usher in a political revolution on Earth. But why had He really come? In this special episode featuring Greg Laurie’s son, Pastor Jonathan Laurie, we’re going to look at our Lord’s most popular miracle and what it has to say to our divided culture. 

Grab your Bible and get ready to dig into Mark 6 to examine the feeding of the 5,000 and to learn how Jesus answers our most pressing needs today. It’s the latest in our Sunday series called The Gospel for Busy People.

Notes

Read: Mark 6:30–44 NLT

1. You Say You Want a Revolution?

“A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick.” —John 6:2

2. Not That Kind of Revolution

“Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth 'thrown in': aim at Earth and you will get neither.” —C. S. Lewis

“That God does not exist, I cannot deny. That my whole being cries out for God I cannot forget.” —Jean-Paul Sartre

3. Crooked Sticks

4. A Greater Kingdom Is Coming

Jesus came not to liberate from political oppression, but from sin and death itself on the cross.

Scriptures Referenced

Mark 6:32

John 6:2

Mark 6:34

Numbers 27:17–18

John 6:32–33

John 6:35

Mark 6:37–38

Mark 6:41

Join us every weekend for an interactive worship experience on Harvest at Home.

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Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.

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Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, and my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights in faith, culture, and current events from a biblical perspective. To find out more about our ministry, just go to our website, harvest.org.

So thanks for joining me for this podcast. Hey everybody, I'm Jonathan Laurie, and I'm a pastor here at Harvest. I am Greg's youngest son, and I got the opportunity to come and share with you today and teach out of the book of Mark.

And so I'm so honored to be joining you and to be ministering to you today. And I just want to encourage you, why don't you open your Bible right now to the gospel of Mark chapter six. Continuing in our series, the book of Mark, the gospel for busy people. And today we're gonna be looking at chapter six, and we're actually gonna be looking closely at one of Jesus' most popular miracles. Actually, this miracle that we're gonna be looking at is the one that sends Jesus' ministry and his popularity into overdrive. People were going crazy after this miracle.

It was a wild time. And what I find funny is that it wasn't when Jesus turned water into wine. It wasn't when Jesus healed a leper. It wasn't when Jesus even raised a little girl from the dead, which we heard about last week.

No, what we're gonna be looking at today, his most popular miracle was the feeding of the 5,000. Free lunch. Who doesn't like a free lunch, right?

A free fish sandwich. Now, I don't know about you, but I like to eat and I like to cook too. I like to prepare my meals. In fact, one of the ways I like to relax after work is preparing a meal for my family, putting it together. I like chopping and grating and filleting and searing and seasoning. It's creative. I like combining all the ingredients. You know, it uses my nose, the sense of smell, uses my taste, my palate, and it's really fun putting everything together. Now, my wife is actually a really good cook, but she doesn't like to cook as much.

And so that's probably why she's thin and still looks great and, well, I obviously am where I'm at today. But I like to cook. And I think the reason I like to cook is because, well, we all know what happens. You get to eat it. That's the best part, right? You get to enjoy it. You get to eat the meal that you just worked over.

I'm not standing over a hot oven or over a hot stove because I like to. No, I'm doing it because I know I get to eat it in the end. And that's the best part. Now, eating really is amazing. The way our bodies work, our sense of smell, our sense of taste, it really is something that's amazing. I especially think it's amazing how it can bring back vivid memories. That sense of nostalgia can kick in. I experienced this recently, that sense of nostalgia. I remembered a time back when I was 14 years old, like freshman year of high school. I remember I was in my Spanish class, first period, or rather it was just after break.

And so we came from our break and I had a cookie. And this is when you could actually buy things with sugar at schools. You could go and actually buy a soda in the vending machine. I don't think you can do that anymore. It's been outlawed.

But you could actually go and buy the stuff. Well, I came back to class and I had a cookie and I was sitting there eating this thing and one of my friends walked in and we kind of were in a little bit of an argument. And so we were going back and forth about something. And for whatever reason, I took my Spanish book and I just kind of picked it up and I just kind of like tapped him on the head with it. Just enough to little tap on the head, just a friendly like, hey, shut your mouth, you know, just kind of goofing around. And I go back down.

I sit at my desk. Class is about to start and I'm finishing eating my cookie and I'm really focused on it. And out of nowhere, I don't even know what happened.

But he takes his Spanish book and he cracks me in the back of the head so hard that I think I might have blacked out for a second. I think I may have had a mild concussion, but all I remember was I never wanted to eat one of those cookies again. I don't know what it was. My weird lizard brain was like, do not eat that cookie.

It is now associated with getting smacked in the back of the head so hard that it may have made me black out. I never ate one of those cookies again. Well, fast forward until a couple of weeks ago and my daughter was making some cookies at home and I ate one of these cookies that she made. And I don't know what it was, what ingredient it was, but it tasted just like that cookie that I had that day 20 years ago. And I was taken right back into that place. I took that bite of that cookie and I just went, well, I thought I was going to hit the back of the head again.

Seriously, though. It's crazy how our bodies work, that sense of nostalgia. By the way, I did finish eating the cookie my daughter made.

It wasn't that scary. But Jesus loved to eat, too. He loved to eat. Actually, you could say that Jesus ate his way through the gospels. We see in a number of places the meals that Jesus shared with people. We see the meal that Jesus shared with a tax collector, a despised member of society.

And he was somebody that nobody wanted to be friends with. Well, Jesus had a meal with this guy. And after he had a meal with this guy, he became one of Jesus' disciples. We know him today as Matthew. Matthew. And then there's the meal that Jesus shared with Zacchaeus, who was another tax collector. Zacchaeus, I'm coming to your house today.

You know the song. And then there's the meal with the Pharisees and the religious leaders that Jesus shared. There's the last supper. There's the time that Jesus ate some broiled fish in his resurrected body. That's a good sign because we are going to have bodies like Jesus someday and we are going to be able to eat.

So that is a good thing. There's the time that Jesus and his disciples were welcomed into the home of Mary and Martha for a nice home cooked meal. Jesus loved to eat. We like to eat.

And God made us that way to enjoy a meal and to savor the flavors and to enjoy it with others. Now, knowing that, do you think that it's any coincidence that Jesus refers to himself as the bread of life? That he refers to himself as the life giving force of bread? Is there anything more filling and more satisfying on an empty stomach than freshly made bread? Oh, especially if you've got some good butter on it, right? Hey, I love bread.

OK, I think we all do. We love bread. But even more than bread, man, I love toast. I love toast. I just want to know what absolute genius took a bite of bread and said, cook it again. Man, thank you, whoever you are, for inventing toast.

It is amazing. And so Jesus referred to himself as the bread of life. And it is such a perfect analogy for who Jesus is to us spiritually that it's almost like God made bread just for this analogy to work so well.

Just for this illustration that Jesus gave to work so well. Nothing will satisfy your spiritual hunger and your physical hunger except the bread of life. Now, I'm not saying when you come into a relationship with Jesus that you're never going to have an appetite again and you're never going to you're never going to want to eat some type of meal.

No, of course not. Now, what Jesus is saying here is nothing will satisfy your spiritual hunger as well as your hunger for the things of this world. Status, fame, money, wealth, possessions, whatever it might be. Nothing will satisfy it except for the bread of life. And that is Jesus himself.

Not your hunger for food, but your hunger for the things of this world. And so what we are going to do today and see in our text is how Jesus not only feeds this crowd physically with the bread, but how he also reveals to them and to us that he, Jesus, is the answer to our spiritual hunger as well as our physical hunger for what the world offers us. And so we're going to read together in Mark, chapter six, starting in verse 30. I'm going to be reading from the New Living Translation.

It says this. The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all that they had done and taught. And Jesus said to them, let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while. And he said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn't even have time to eat.

And so they left the boat for a quiet place where they could be alone. But many people recognized them and saw them leaving. And people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. Jesus, when he got out of the boat, he saw the huge crowd and he had compassion on them because he saw that they were like sheep without a shepherd. And so he began to teach them many things.

Late in the afternoon, his disciples came to him and said, this is a remote place and it is getting really late. We should send the crowds away so that we can send them to the nearby farms and villages and have them buy something to eat. But Jesus said to them, you feed them. With what? They asked. What kind of question is that? How could we feed them?

We would have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people. How much bread do you have? Jesus asked.

Go and find out. And so the disciples came and they went and looked around and they reported back. We have five loaves of bread and two fish. Not exactly enough to feed a multitude of that size. And so Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down of groups of 50 and 100 on the green grass.

Social distancing, right? And so they sat down in those groups and Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up towards heaven and he blessed them. And then breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share and they all ate as much as they wanted.

And afterward, the disciples picked up 12 baskets of leftover bread and fish and a total of 5000 men and their families were fed. Wow. That's an amazing story. One that's probably familiar to so many of you as it is to me.

I love that story. But what we see is at the beginning, we see Jesus says, let's go get some R&R, guys. Let's go get some rest and relaxation. They just came back from a missionary journey. They were teaching and preaching and healing people.

And he says, let's go somewhere so we can rest. See, everywhere that the disciples and Jesus went, they were getting mobbed. They were getting stopped like crazy. Heal these people, minister to these people, touch these people, help them. They're constantly ministering and doing work. Even Jesus needed rest.

Even Jesus and the disciples needed some rest and relaxation. And maybe I'm speaking to somebody right now that would say, you're in a weary season. You're in a hard time right now.

This is difficult. Work is weighing heavy. It could be that you're responsible for the livelihoods of maybe some employees or over some people. And you're trying to figure out how to make ends meet.

You don't want to have to furlough people and lay people off. And you're dealing with people's lives and it's weighing heavy on you. You're trying to figure out how to make this all work. You might be losing sleep.

Maybe your appetite even comes and goes. Listen, if Jesus needed to come apart and rest, don't you be afraid to do the same? Now, listen, I think it's great to go get a weekend away or to go on a time of vacation.

But I believe that that's really just kind of putting it off, if you will, just kind of putting that off for a short time. If you go take that vacation, it can be great, but it's just a temporary distraction. And so my encouragement to you is to find your rest in Jesus, find your rest in Jesus, to not shy away from the responsibilities and the pressures you were under, but to commit them to the Lord, to ask Him for wisdom, to ask Him for peace, to be with you in those difficult conversations that you have to have. Jesus said, Come to me, all you who are weary and are heavy laden, and I'll give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from you, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Country preacher by the name of Vance Havner said, If you don't come apart and rest, well, you will just come apart. I think that's really true. We need to learn how to place our burdens on Jesus and ask Him to help us. But this passage of scripture we just read, it's about giving the crowd nourishment for their physical hunger and also their hunger for revolution. Yeah, that's right, for revolution, which Jesus then revolutionized their view of revolution.

Maybe that's not what you see when you look at this passage at face value. Now, when I look at this passage and when I think of it in my mind, I usually think of everybody having a giant picnic, right? They're sitting on the grass, they got their red and white tablecloths, you know, checker blankets sitting on the ground. They've got their spread. There's probably some kids throwing a football back and forth in the background, maybe some liters of soda that somehow always go flat. Whatever picnic I go to, the liters of soda always go flat and there's no more carbonation. Is that just me?

There's some potato salad, just no raisins, please. And there's usually some stuff happening. You know, that's what I think of when I read this passage. That's what it looks like.

Just a giant picnic, everybody hanging out, listening to Jesus teaching. But that's not what is happening here. And point number one for you taking notes today, you say you want a revolution. You say you want a revolution. Well, you know, we all want to change the world, right?

Quote the Beatles there. We all want to change the world. We all want to make the world a better place. We want to see it become a safer place. We want to see the world become more loving. We want to see the world become more prosperous and more righteous.

Absolutely. I don't know about you, but when I think of revolution, I think of war. I think of civil war. I think of burning flags. I think of marches. I think of violence. I think of change. I get the images from the 1960s in my head when people were marching for civil rights, when people were marching against the Vietnam War. I am reminded of the assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

The music, the energy, you know, the anarchy, right? There was a restlessness in that season in the 1960s. There was a restlessness. And in the same way, the Hebrew people, they wanted revolution. They wanted revolution.

They wanted change. You see, they had been living under Roman occupation. Pax Romana is what it was called, which simply just means Roman peace. And Roman peace was nothing more than forced peace, peace through superior firepower. They're saying you're going to have peace as we conquer all of these countries or else we'll come through and we'll make an example of you. The Hebrew people, they longed for the days when they were able to govern themselves and they had their own king and their own ruler.

They thought of the days of King David when Jerusalem was a wonderful place and they were a conquering nation. And so 5000 men show up to come and see Jesus here on this hillside. And that's not counting women and children, by the way. Let's assume that each one of these 5000 men had between one to five people with them in their party.

That would bring us to an average of three. And so we're talking easily 15000 people sitting on a hillside coming to hear what Jesus had to say. This wasn't your family reunion picnic. These people, they had an agenda. And we read in John's gospel that the only reason they followed Jesus was because they saw his signs as he healed the sick. They weren't interested in Jesus teachings or who he was as much as they were interested in being dazzled and entertained by Jesus signs and wonders and maybe capitalizing on his power and authority that he possessed. But this particular stadium sized crowd was primarily interested in Jesus miracles because they finally saw a leader, a revolutionary who could potentially take on the Romans.

Yes, that's right. Now, John, he confirms in his gospel account of this same story, what Mark only hints at, that this crowd wanted to make Jesus their king. They wanted to make Jesus their king and they were ready to install Jesus to power by sheer force alone. They were ready to go toe to toe with the unrivaled, undefeated, supreme military power of the day, Rome, just to make Jesus their king.

I'd say they were interested a little bit more than just getting free lunch. They wanted Jesus to be the revolutionary leader. They wanted Jesus to kick the Romans out of Israel and to be restored to the king to the days of King David once again. They wanted to make Jerusalem great again.

Come on, magic, baby. The people in Israel hated Roman occupation. They wanted the Romans out. They wanted Jerusalem to become like it once was restored to her former glory. The Romans were pagans.

They were wicked. They did wicked things and they brought their promiscuity and all of those things into Jerusalem. And so understandably, the Jewish people, the Hebrews, they wanted Rome out.

They wanted them out of there. Their local Judean ruler had just decapitated, just briefly before this time that we're reading right now, had just decapitated a very prominent and a very popular local teacher, a guy by the name of John the Baptist, somebody that Jesus referred to as the goat preacher, as the goat prophet, the greatest of all time, John the Baptist. And the reason that this leader had John executed was because Herod Antipas, who was the leader of Judea, he made John an example. He had John executed because John had called Herod out for being in a relationship with his own brother's wife.

That's a pretty jacked up thing, right? Well, the Roman historian Josephus actually details it a little bit further. It was beyond that. It was a little more than just having sex with your brother's wife, which is detestable and horrible.

No, what happened here was this was actually Herod's niece, his brother's daughter, his other brother married his niece, and then Herod took his brother's niece, who is now his other brother's wife, and married her. And then John called him out for being kind of a gross guy, barf, right? OK, that is good reason to call somebody out. No wonder they wanted a revolution. No wonder they wanted these rulers out, these perverse and wicked rulers. But that is not the type of revolution that Jesus came to bring, no matter how much they needed it.

And that brings me to point number two, not that kind of revolution, not that kind of revolution. Verse 34 says, Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Now, I don't know about you, but when I hear that, oh, they're like sheep without a shepherd, I get the pastoral image, right?

Psalm 23, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He restores my soul. He walks with me through the darkness, right?

That's the image I get, and that's great. That is absolutely true. Yes, Jesus is the good shepherd. He is a comforter.

He is a nurturer. But a shepherd is a leader. A shepherd is somebody who is guiding the flock to greener pastures. He is a protector.

He is a deliverer. A shepherd is somebody who is fighting off wild animals to protect the flock, because they wish to cause them harm. Jesus is speaking of sheep needing a shepherd in the way that Moses, a former shepherd himself, used it. In Numbers 27, Moses said these words, and he said these words to God.

Give them someone who will guide them wherever they go and will lead them into battle. So the community of the Lord will not be like sheep without a shepherd. And so the Lord replied to Moses and said, Take Joshua, son of Nun, who has a spirit in him, and lay your hands on him. Now, when Moses saw that he could not take the Israelites into the Promised Land, you remember he was not going to be allowed to.

That whole generation was not able to. Moses realized he was getting on in years. And if he didn't have somebody to now take his position, the Hebrew people, the Israelites, now led out of captivity from Egypt, would be like sheep without a shepherd. They would be without a guide. They would be lost, prone to attack, wandering without a leader. And so Joshua, he was not a pastor as much as he was a military conqueror. He was a leader who would usher them into the Promised Land that God had given to them.

And so Jesus, he sees this group of 15,000 people or more, and he says they're like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus knew why they were there. They were hungry. They were hungry for change. They wanted Jesus to be their liberator, their revolutionary leader.

And the Israelites once again were looking to be freed from foreign occupation, just like with the Egyptians. And now they were looking at Jesus as their next Moses or their next Joshua. You know, I wonder how many of us see Jesus in a similar light? How many of us look to Jesus as the means to an end? That we would try to leverage him as the answer to our physical hunger, but not our spiritual hunger? That we want him to be the king of our nation, but not the king of our heart?

This is not a stretch to say this, because we are certainly not the ones to think this way. You go back at the gospels and you look and you see Jesus' closest friends, the disciples, the guys that were with him all the time, they were constantly asking Jesus, when are you going to establish your earthly kingdom? They constantly thought that Jesus was this political messiah, this political deliverer who was going to remove the Romans from being the governing power and restore Jerusalem to its former glory. But that's not why Jesus came, and I don't know about you.

I'm thankful Jesus didn't come for that reason, because Jerusalem is a great country and Israel is a great country, but I'm thankful he came to do a much greater mission, to deliver us from our sin. And we see the real reason that Jesus came in verse 34. It says this, Jesus came, he saw the huge crowds, he set from the boat, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. This is why Jesus came, to teach them many things. Now Jesus doesn't go and he doesn't begin to teach them, hey guys, you know, learn how to take up your arms, learn how to, you know, heads on a swivel, tap rack bang. No, he preaches the gospel to them. He's not giving them military instruction how to overthrow the Romans. He preaches the gospel to them.

He teaches them that the revolution they are looking for and the revolution they need are two different things. Now they were hoping for physical bread, but Jesus only gave them the physical bread to help them recognize their need for spiritual bread. You see, all miracles point to the greatest miracle. All the miracles that Jesus did were pointing in anticipation of a greater miracle that was to come, and that was when Jesus died on the cross, and he extends that forgiveness to us. We could be reconciled to God.

That was the greatest miracle of all. You remember when Jesus said to the devil in Matthew 4, it is written, men shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The word of God is spiritual bread.

It feeds our soul. Now if you're going three, four, five days without eating, you're starving yourself physically. That is not good. You're going to hurt your body. You're going to compromise your immune system. You're going to be frail. You're going to be thin. You're going to be pale. You're going to be sickly. You're going to be more susceptible to getting disease and all kinds of things in your body, and spiritually, if you are going three, four, five days without eating spiritually and being nourished by the bread of life, Jesus, listen, in the same way you are starving yourself spiritually, you're going to be irritable. You're going to compromise your immune system. You're going to be more prone to attack, more prone to being tempted. Everything is going to distract you. Everything is going to look good to eat, right? Everything you're going to go around, even though that may not be good for you, you might say, that looks amazing. That's because you're starving yourself spiritually. So don't wait three, four, five days.

Listen, you need to eat each and every day and multiple times a day. Jesus said in John 632, I tell you the truth. Moses didn't give you bread from heaven.

My father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. And Jesus replied, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. This crowd that Jesus is talking to, this crowd that he is ministering to, has a spiritual hunger.

He recognizes that. They have a spiritual hunger that physical bread and physical kingdoms cannot and will not ever satisfy. Feeding that physical hunger will never satisfy your spiritual hunger.

And so you will always be hungry. Maybe you've experienced this in your own life. You found that feeding yourself with wealth or fame or success or experiences or power or status has for some reason not satisfied you. We've seen this time and time again with celebrities who have everything that they could ever want.

People that are billionaires and are saying, just another million dollars and I'll be happy. Just a little bit more and I'll be happy. Only to find that it's more and more empty. We found this to be true on a small scale. The more we get for ourselves, the more we try and fill ourselves up, the more empty we feel. It is not going to satisfy you. We see these people coming to the same conclusion that it has left them wanting more.

C.S. Lewis said it this way. He said, aim at heaven and you'll get earth thrown in.

Aim at earth and you'll get neither. A French atheist by the name of Jean-Paul Sartre, he said it this way, that God does not exist, I cannot deny. Now remember, he's an atheist.

He believes there is no God. He says this, that God does not exist, I cannot deny that my whole being cries out for God, I cannot forget. He's saying, I don't believe in God, but I'm hungry for God. That hunger that Jean-Paul is saying there's no answer to, Jesus is saying, I am the bread of life.

I can meet that hunger. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Jesus is saying, you need a different type of revolution. You don't need me to go kick out the Romans. You don't need me to go reestablish Jerusalem and make it great again. No, the foreign occupation you need to be freed from is not the Romans, it's sin. You need to be delivered from your sin. Jesus came to set the captives free, the spiritual captives. Which brings us to point number three, crooked sticks.

Crooked sticks. Verse 37, Jesus said, you feed them to the disciples. With what, they asked? How in the world are we gonna have enough food for all these people? It would take months to earn enough money to buy food for all of these people. They said 200 denarii, which would be about 200 days wages. That's a lot of money. So Jesus said to them, how much bread do you have?

Go and find out. And so they came back and reported, we have five loaves of bread and two fish. Now listen, God's ways are higher than our ways. That is an understatement if there ever was one. What we see in these verses we just read is just that. God using unqualified people with underqualified resources to accomplish his perfect will. The disciples missed that. They missed that. They missed their opportunity to say, well, Jesus, you just did an amazing miracle. Why don't you feed them? He's asking, Jesus is asking the disciples, you feed them, they could have turned it right back around.

How would you like us to do that? You do it, Lord. You can work a miracle. We believe in you.

We believe in you. They failed the pop quiz, if you will. I don't know about you, but I hated pop quizzes when I was a kid, mainly because I never studied. When I was in 10th grade, I somehow got placed into the advanced placement English class, AP English.

Yeah, I did not belong there. I failed miserably in that class. And my teacher told me at the end of the semester, I got you something special on your report card. And so sure enough, when I opened up my report card and I tried to hide it from my parents, I don't know if I was successful, he actually gave me an F minus. Do they still give Fs today? He gave me an F minus on my report card.

I still have that report card. But I'm thankful that God gives us second and third and fourth and fifth chances like he did here with the disciples. So Jesus turns to the disciples and he says, you feed them, you feed them.

And the disciples were like, you serious? That's gonna cost like 200 days wages. We don't have that much money. And even if we did, there's no like local bread factories around here, Jesus.

If you haven't noticed, we're in the middle of nowhere. What you're asking us to do is impossible. And that's when Jesus is like, exactly, it is impossible.

It is impossible. And so what we see here is symbolic for what Jesus can do with a broken life. Something that is impossible, God can make happen. You bring to God what you have and he will do the rest.

Amen. You bring to God what you have and he'll do the rest. You bring to God a broken life and he'll make you whole. You bring to God your feeble attempt to come to him and he'll meet you right where you're at. You bring to God some scraps of bread and fish and he will feed a multitude of people.

And so point number four, in closing, a greater kingdom is coming. Verse 41, Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up towards heaven and he blessed them. And then breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people.

He also divided the fish for everyone to share. And so what Jesus is doing here, he is pointing towards the coming greatest miracle of all. Jesus took those loaves, he blessed them and he broke them. He blessed them and he broke them.

Does that sound familiar to you? A couple of chapters later, we see Jesus in the upper room with the disciples. Passover is taking place. It is the night before Jesus would be crucified. And Jesus is saying to the disciples in the upper room at the last supper, take it, this is my body broken for you. You see, Jesus' body was broken for us.

It was beaten, it was bloodied, it was bruised, it was crucified and ultimately executed for us. But this was part of God's plan. You see, the multitude here in this chapter, they wanted a new Moses.

They wanted a revolutionary leader. They wanted a political deliverer, someone to free them from the Roman occupation, somebody to give them bread in the wilderness, to free them from political oppression. But Jesus didn't come to do that. No, he was in a sense the ultimate Moses.

He was the fulfillment of Moses because Jesus came not to liberate from political oppression, but from sin and death itself on the cross. We were not freed from physical slavery, but spiritual slavery. You see, we were slaves to sin, unable to free ourselves or get right with God on our own.

That is why Jesus came, to seek and to save the lost. He shed his blood on our behalf so we could go to heaven and have our sins forgiven. And so in closing, I wanna ask you, have you had your sin forgiven? Have you asked God to forgive you of your sin? You can get right with God right now and be forgiven of your sin because Jesus died on the cross for you over 2000 years ago. But first you must admit your sin and call out to him and believe in your heart.

Do you have the hope of heaven? You can have that right now. Maybe there's somebody listening to this right now that you've been carrying around this weight of guilt and shame and this burden around with you because of things that you have done. Listen, you can have that removed right now. You can ask God to forgive you of that and to remove those things from your life.

And he will. If you would like to do that, I just wanna extend an invitation to you right now, an opportunity for you to get right with God. So if you would say, I need Jesus, or you would say, I wanna go to heaven when I die, or I want my sin forgiven. I wanna be a child of God. I'm ready to say yes to Jesus.

You can do that right here, right now. If that's your desire, I wanna lead you in a prayer in just a moment. Maybe you've been like that multitude we just read about though. You're looking for something in this world that will never satisfy you. You've been looking for different things to satisfy you and to meet that hunger that you were created with. And that is only gonna be satisfied by the bread of life, Jesus Christ.

Listen, you're not gonna find any drug. You're not gonna find any amount of money or experience or status will be able to fill you. Maybe you've even looked to religion and you've tried Christianity on for size, but it didn't work for you. Listen, you need to recognize that you have a spiritual hunger inside of you and only a relationship with Jesus Christ will satisfy you.

Even the hunger for the things of this world will be met. You will be satisfied if you have this relationship with Jesus. Maybe there's somebody here that would say, I'm a Christian but I've stumbled in my faith. I've sinned and I've made a mistake or many mistakes I've done and I know what I've done is wrong and I wanna get right with him and I wanna be forgiven. Listen, if that is you, if any one of those things describes where you are at right now, listen, you can get right with God.

And all you have to do is call out on him. Call upon the name of the Lord and you shall be saved. He will meet you right where you are. But first, you just have to open your heart to God. So if you'd like to do that, would you pray this prayer with me right now? Just pray it right where you are, wherever you're at.

Pray it out loud even, pray these words. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin. And so now I turn from my sin and I turn to you. I look to you, Jesus, to satisfy my spiritual hunger from this moment forward. I choose you as my Savior and Lord, as my God and friend. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Thank you for answering this prayer and hearing this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast. And to learn more about Harvest Ministries, please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to harvest.org. And by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God, go to knowgod.org. That's K-N-O-W-G-O-D.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-27 17:20:03 / 2024-01-27 17:35:23 / 15

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