They did not ask Him about His identity! (No
"Are You the Son of God? Were You Virgin Born? Are You the
Saviour of the world?)
They just wanted to know how to have His
Power to do the works of God!
Maybe they wanted power as He had ... to draw
more and more people. That would show a desire for popularity!
(I personally believe a lot of whatís being done in churches
today is to feed that old "popularity" hunger of lost men and
Maybe they wanted His power to feed the
hungry! Thatís a great social goal, isnít it? How very
humanitarian of them! (I know much of church life today is
purely social in nature ... not spiritual, but social!)
Maybe they wanted His power to persuade the
masses to rebel against Rome! (They had hoped Jesus would lead
such a revolt!) That would be using religion for political
purposes. (Do you think thatís ever happened?)
Or maybe some of them wanted to do His works
... just to feed their own egos! (The very thing Jesus refused
to do!) I suspect many in religion and perhaps even in some good
fundamental churches now are doing just that. Feeding their
egos. (And some of them have pretty big egos, too!)
Or maybe they just wanted Godís power (which
Moses had and Elijah and Elisha and Jonah) so they could
continue the old Jewish tradition of mighty words and deeds!
Believe me ... a lot of folks yet today attend church just our
But whatever the reasons ... they were still
lost and without Jesus!
They wanted His Power ... but were not
interested in His Person!
They wanted to do His deeds ... but cared not
a whim about His deity!
They wanted His charisma ... but not His
They wanted something to DO ... not something
to believe! (Thatís a religion of works ...not grace!)
That little verb for "do" (Greek = poieo)
means to do or cause or bring into effect and is an indicative
present active. This just means that they were willing to work
at this for constant hours and putting their "all" into it! The
labor was not an issue ... just so they could get the power!
(Some have crawled up steps until knees bled to appease their
gods!) That very mentality has seeped into some of our churches
The verb "work" adds to their intense efforts
as well. It is our word "energized!" (And is in the middle
voice!) No matter how much it hurts them ... they will do
whatever it takes to get the ability to do His works!
BUT Jesus handles their question very well.
(He doeth all things well! Mark 7:37)
He told them the truth in verse 29.
answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye
believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:29)
Jesus told them that the Christian life
begins with BELIEF. The verb is a subjunctive aorist. It
expresses a wish or longing or desire Jesus had! He wanted them
to be saved! It also expresses "point" action in time past. When
one does get saved, itís because he or she BELIEVED at a moment
in time ... trusting Jesus as Saviour of his or her life!
Salvation (if youíve got it) is something that happened to you
in a given moment. Your very testimony relates the experience.
(You may not know the exact second ... but you will likely know
If the Lord "deals" with you about this
matter ... listen intently!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JOHN 6 ... LESSON
In John 6 one can study how the
crowds (religious but lost crowds) responded to Jesus!
That's what we've been doing the past few days.
Look at John 6:30:
"They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that
we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?"
Here the masses want Jesus to
show them a "sign."
The noun for "sign" is "semeion"
and means a token or a mark or a pointer. It's one of
John's key words for a "miracle!"
The crowd want to see a miracle
or something "showy" or something fabulous from Jesus!
(They wanted to see lightning or hear thunder or feel goosebumps!)
I fear that's what's happening in
our churches today! If something "dramatic" doesn't occur
... the service is pronounced dull or dead.
The verb "shewest" translates "poieo"
and means to do or to make. They clearly were telling
Jesus to do something great! (Dictating to Him how He
should work!) Again, that's a trait of the age in which we live.
You notice that this crowd wanted
to "see" before they could "believe!"
This particular verb "to see"
means to gaze upon! They had to have visual evidence
before they could place faith in Jesus it seems! You know,
the old "seeing is believing" thing! The whole culture of
today is one that's addicted to visual stimuli.
Television, videos and print media have ruined us. Yet
Scripture still says such things as: Hebrews 11:6 ---
"But without faith it is impossible
to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe
that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek him." Or 2 Corinthians 5:7 ---
"For we walk by faith, not by sight."
Or John 20:29 --- "Jesus saith unto him,
Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed
are they that have not seen, and yet have
The little question,
"What dost Thou work?" is quite
similar to our asking someone for a resume! Let me see
what you can do! I'll tell you right now ... that's NOT
The crowd even gives Jesus an
example of what they mean! Verse 31:
"Our fathers did eat manna in the desert;
as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat."
Jesus, do something like the "Manna" miracle please. Then
we just may believe on You!
Someone today quips, "If I could
just see someone raised from the dead (etc.) I would believe!"
NO YOU WOULD NOT! Saving faith is not an empirical thing
... it's a Holy Spirit thing!
By the way, look at how very
blind that crowd was! They were talking to the very BREAD
OF LIFE and didn't even know it!
Now look at Jesus' response to
"All that the Father giveth me shall come
to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
about says it all.
experiences Holy Spirit conviction ... all the reasoning in the
world won't do the job!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JOHN 6 ... LESSON
In John 6:41-42 the "crowd"
following Jesus made a common mistake. Let me show you
what I mean.
"The Jews then
murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down
from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of
Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he
saith, I came down from heaven?"
First of all they here questioned
something He had preached!
Now it's all right to check out
any purely human preacher you hear! (In fact, it's a good
idea!) A preacher who discourages his people from bringing
their Bibles and feels insecure when they ask him questions ...
might be in the wrong work for the Lord!
HOWEVER the masses here are
questioning the preaching of the darling Son of God, the Lord
Jesus has told them that HE IS
THE MANNA, the Bread of Life, That came down from heaven!
"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily,
verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from
heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and
giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord,
evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I
am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger;
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
questioned Jesus' statement about His "coming down from Heaven!"
One of my preacher Uncles used to say ... "Don't put a question
mark where God put a period!" Accept the preaching of the
Word of God if it is accurately and sufficiently backed up by
that they "murmured" at Jesus! The verb ("gogguzo") means
to grumble or to mutter! This is an imperfect verb ...
suggesting that the action of grumbling once started ...
continues! (Amen to that!) Could it be that the
"grumbling" crowd down at the church really are unbelievers who
have been deceived by the devil? It just may be so!
Then also see
that they just knew Jesus on a human (humanistic) level.
He's the son of Joseph they declared! (The Bible no where
says that. Jesus is the Virgin-born Son of God!) All
this stuff today about meeting the "historical" Jesus is just a
front for unbelief. One must meet the true historical
Jesus in the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (not from
some Gnostic text or some liberal scholar)! And one must
understand Jesus' Doctrine through the Holy Spirit's revelation
to Paul, the very best interpreter of Christ we have! We
must accept by faith the fact that Jesus is all He said Himself
(only) views of Jesus are delivered to man from the devil
himself! Jesus is GOD come in human flesh! Anyone who
won't acknowledge the deity of Christ ... is just as lost as
this poor crowd was!
our verses today bring!
Georgia preacher is developing a whole "(lost) crowd psychology"
from this text! I see more and more of these kinds of
folks (in churches) as the years pass! I've pastored a
fair share of them too! Their "marks" are quite evident.
Jesus said, "Ye shall know them by their
fruits." Matthew 7:16
on these crowds and how they responded to Jesus. (Lord
In some real
ways, this is a fearful text we're studying!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JOHN 6 ... LESSON 7:
Our John 6 study will only
last a few more days. I have found it tremendously
interesting and helpful to my own heart.
These religious crowds around
Jesus remind me so much of what's seen in the churches of our
land today! (They are religious ... but lost. They
will not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.)
Notice now today's verse:
therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give
us his flesh to eat?" John 6:52
Again, they have misunderstood
Jesus' preaching! Apart from the ministry of the Holy
Spirit (either in convicting power on the sinner or
enlightening, illuminating power on the saint) no one ever
understands a sermon!
He had preached about literal
bread ... then transferred that concept to Himself as being the
One Who was the spiritual Bread of Life! They didn't get
I guess the natural man
receiveth not the things of God!
BUT primarily today notice
something else about our verse.
It says that they "strove"
The verb here is "machomai."
It means to fight. (Hand to hand combat!) Another
lexicon says it means: to war ... then to quarrel or dispute!
The verb is an indicative perfect middle. The "time
action" suggests something that once started ... goes on and on!
(Constantly fighting!) The voice (middle) means that the
this arguing impacted their own lives! (It always does ...
and always in the worst way!)
By the way, the Greek sentence
here opens with this word. The Holy Spirit is putting His
main emphasis on these disputes between these people.
(Whereas with the real people of God ... peace is the rule of
the day ... and night!)
Does this verse remind you of
In my years as a Pastor I saw
again and again divisions and schisms and cliques and
in-fighting of all kinds! (All inside the church of God!)
That's NOT a trait of born
It is a characteristic of the
You draw the necessary
conclusions. After all, the Holy Spirit indwells you if
you're saved. He is the One Who gives us godly discernment
Thank God for verses such as:
119:165 --- "Great peace have they which
love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."
14:27 --- "Peace I leave with you, my
peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Galatians 5:22 --- "But the fruit of the
Spirit is love, joy, peace ...."
Philippians 4:7 --- "And the peace of God,
which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and
minds through Christ Jesus."
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
JOHN 6 ... LESSON
Jesus has just preached a
sermon. It was one of those that's a bit hard to
understand! He had told the people that HE was the real
Manna that had come down from heaven! (The Bread of Life!)
He then told them that in order to be "saved" they must eat His
flesh and drink His blood" (as the Jews in the wilderness many
years before would have eaten the manna)! Jesus of course
is speaking in a spiritual sense. He is not teaching some
form of cannibalism.
But nonetheless this
spiritually blind group of followers did not "get" it.
Let's read verses 60 and 61 of
John 6: "Many therefore of his
disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an
hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that
his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this
The adjective "hard" ("skeleros"
in Greek) means violent, rough or fierce! It comes from a word
that means "parched or dry." (They said Jesus' preaching
The verb Jesus used ...
"offend" means to trap (as when catching an animal). Also
it carries the word picture of placing a long stick between a
man's legs as he's walking by ... so as to make him trip or
Then watch what Jesus said to
them. It is exciting to follow Jesus' reasoning here.
"What and if ye shall see the Son
of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit
that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I
speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are
life. But there are some of you that believe not." John
them: "If you are offended at my preaching about the Manna
(eating My flesh and drinking My blood) ... what will you do
when I ascend back to My Father in heaven?
commented I believe on their charge that His words were "hard,
rough or dry." He said that if they are considered just in
the "fleshly" way, they will lead to death. BUT if they
are seen in a spiritual light, they will led to life!
plainly told them that they did not believe!
result of this little discussion?
time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more
with him." John 6:66
condition of their hearts is now appearing.
I have seen
people through the years stumble at the plain preaching of God's
likelihood they were lost.
thing may be said about a lot of those who are so easily
"offended" too, according to this text! (Psalm 119:165 ---
"Great peace have they which love thy law:
and nothing shall offend them.")
study this has been of the crowds who followed Jesus.
sure you're not just a member of the crowd ... but a believer in
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell