This is my sermon from Westminster Church of Evansville from August 12, 2018. I’m just starting through the Gospel of John, so get ready!
This was originally published March 29, 2015, but has been updated with the sermon after the initial event.
Yesterday my wife and I were talking about Holy Week, Passover, and sheep. Part of the whole point of God having the Jewish people keep a lamb for a week was so that they would be close to it and attached to it before they ate it. It wasn’t just going to be food, it was going to be a sacrifice. It was a memorial of the Passover.
The Passover was the greatest event in Jewish history. They were delivered from slavery and became a new nation. Part of that deliverance involved killing a lamb, putting it’s blood above the doorway to your house, and waiting.
There is a lot more in here that I’m not going to cover, but it involves the Egyptian sheep god, the fact that Egyptians thought shepherds were unclean, the other 9 plagues that came before that, etc.
But this post isn’t about Passover, really, it’s more about getting a lamb, keeping it for a week, and then killing it. It’s one thing to read about it, and to read about how living with a lamb for a week makes you attached to it, and you love it. By the end of the week, you saw something dearly loved give up it’s life for you. Throughout the week you had the constant reminder “This lamb came into my house for one purpose: to die for me.”
The lamb was supposed to be without blemish. That means that people couldn’t save the deformed, diseased, injured lambs and ‘waste’ them on the sacrifice. They had to bring their best, cared for and curated lamb. It has an effect of fasting, really. You are constantly thinking about that critter, not wanting it to get hurt, preventing injury because of the Lord. You’re not just caring for the sheep, but in your care for the sheep, you are caring for a guideline set by the Lord.
It hasn’t been 24 hours yet, and we’ve already seen some great things. As I carried that 100 lb furball over to the park to graze on some grass, my affections grew. All of my kids ‘BAAAAAH’ out the windows throughout the day and they are all jumping around chasing Sheepie(as they call her).
My wife is attached too, calling her Miss Agnes in a funny baby voice. We are all becoming attached to this lamb, just like we are supposed to.
Here is the sermon I preached after it was all over. It was the best Easter ever.
Here are my notes/sermon from John 6:35-71.
 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.  For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Some people can read this from a Calvinist perspective and think “All that the Father gives to me will come to me” means they are pre-chosen. BUT notice what He says next:
Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
Any fear we have of ‘not being chosen’ here is blown away, since Jesus says whoever comes to Him will never be cast out.
 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”  They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”  Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves.  No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
Look at how many times Jesus talks about His mission being resurrection. His mission is to raise people on the last day. He succeeded at that for Himself, and we can be confident that He will succeed at that for us too.
Also notice this language about “nobody can come unless my father calls him” We get some insight into this with Pharoah and Moses in Exodus. God reached out to Pharaoh for a time. Eventually, Pharaoh’s actions showed that he wasn’t going to turn and listen to God, so God gave him over fully to what he, Pharaoh, wanted. That is Romans 1 kind of stuff. God has reached out to the Pharisees, but only those that responded are going to be drawn to Jesus, the rest will be driven away.
You Really Can Know God
 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.  I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.  This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Jesus says He is the basic living sustenance of everything we could ever need. Him, giving up His flesh/desire/self-seeking is the bread of life.
 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”  So Jesus said to them, “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.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.  This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
Remember that Jesus said He would teach in parables to make people wonder and ask for more. If you don’t stumble over the ‘feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood’ part, Jesus says He abides in you and you abide in Him.
If Jesus really is the Son of God, wouldn’t you want to figure out how to live in Him and for Him to live in you? That seems like a high priority. That seems like a big enough deal to say, “I want to know what He means by that.” Rather than saying, “That’s Nuts!”
 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
He wasn’t teaching this on the countryside anymore. Somewhere in this discourse, the crowd and Jesus have moved into the synagogue, where He taught sometimes as a guest Preacher.
With that whole idea of what if it’s true? In mind, read this next section:
 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”  But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?  Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?  It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.  But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)  And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.  So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,  and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Peter gives the awesome statement that is the true follower of Jesus. It’s the statement that whatever Jesus says, we acknowledge that He’s our only hope!
 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”  He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him. (ESV)
Here are my notes from his talk at the 2018 global leadership Summit. There is so much going on in Africa that the rest of the world needs to pay attention to and learn from.
I love his philosophy that if your business solves the problem people will seek you out. He wasn’t passionate about cell phones or education, he just wanted to solve problems.
How about that last line for employee appreciation?
Respect, with reverence, the people that work for us – especially volunteers. They could all go elsewhere to work toward someone else’s vision.
Strive Masiyiwa 2018 GLS
This is my sermon from Mark 3 that I preached in October of 2017. I cover some details of the Mosaic Law then the added on law from the Mishnah and other later commentaries.
Then I talk about how Jesus trashed all of those goodies to point everyone to depend on Him by faith.