Jesus Prays ~ John 6:14-15
It appears that after these people had witnessed this miracle, they made the connection between Jesus and Deuteronomy 18:15. Moses promised the people that, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.”
To them Jesus was the prophet promised by Moses. Just as Moses (well, God, really) had provided manna in the wilderness (Exodus 16:4-36) Jesus too had provided bread for them. Therefore He must be a prophet like Moses! At least that was their perception. And the people, in their misinterpretation and misunderstanding, became determined to take Jesus by force and make Him their king!
What the people wanted was an earthly king, one without a cross. Which would have placed Jesus in direct disobedience to His Father’s will. Hadn’t Satan already tried the same thing by offering Jesus a kingdom without suffering in Matthew 4:7-10? But Jesus refused.
Dr. John Hannah says it like this, “The way to glory for Jesus was through the cross, suffering before exaltation. Jesus refused the shortcut – the one here, through the people who were ignorant of His claims, and the one earlier, wherein Satan fully understood His claims.”
It seems that Jesus knew what we often forget. The way to glory is to do the Father’s will.
Have you learned that lesson? Are you impressed with short cuts to glory, gain without pain, obtainment without discipleship, and acquisition/possession without cost?
The path marked out by the Father’s will is not the way people think. The way to becoming a Lion of Judah for Jesus was first to become the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.
The truth behind the people’s desire to make Jesus king was purely selfish. The Jews were under the rule of the Romans. They wanted Jesus as long as He could provide for them what they wanted. We see this today. Many people will come to Jesus to meet their need and when He does they turn around and forget Him.
William Barclay, in his commentary, writes,
When we want comfort in sorrow, when we want strength in difficulties, when we want peace in the midst of turmoil, when we want help when life has got us down, there is no one so wonderful as Jesus. Then we talk with Him and walk with Him and open our hearts to Him.
But when He comes to us with some stern demand for sacrifice, with some challenge to effort, with the offer of some cross, then we will have nothing to do with Him. When we examine our hearts, it may be that we will find that we too love Jesus for what He can do for us, what we can get out of Him. And when He comes to us with great challenges and demands we grow lukewarm and sit in the comfort of our disobedience and denial and we even become resentful and angry with Jesus for disturbing our lives or demanding more of us.
How many of you seek this Jesus in hopes that He cleans up or straightens out some mess you have gotten yourself into? He can, but what are you going to do when He does? Are you like those we will see a little later who are here only temporarily for what you can get out of Him? Or are you in it for the long haul? Sticking with Him and staying in His Word with a desire to know Him better? Do you want to grow in His likeness and then live exactly as He has called you to?
To be a true follower of Jesus Christ is to learn from Him.
It is to deny self and lay aside your selfish desires. Desires that are not in alignment with His. This is what it truly means to be a Christian, a little Christ. That’s what the word Christian means.
And what does it mean to die to self? Or to be crucified with Christ?
It simply means that we are to say no to anything that is outside of God’s will for our lives. We must say no to trying to earn God’s favor by our works. Instead, we are to receive God’s gift of eternal life based not on our works but on the work of Jesus Christ.
We must be willing to say no to all our plans and personal desires so that God’s will may be accomplished. And when we fully surrender to God and His will we experience complete joy. We become the fullness of His expression here on earth.
Well, verse 15 tells us that because Jesus knew what the people intended to do, He slipped away with His disciples. He put them in a boat, while He withdrew again. We are told He went to a mountain by Himself to seek His Father in prayer.
Jesus knew that prayer to His Father was critical to His well being. It kept Him in line with the Father’s will. And like Jesus, we too need to pull away from the people and things of the world in order to seek refuge in Him, in His Word. Time alone to be renewed and refreshed and rejuvenated in the work He has called us to do.
Without prayer it is impossible to stay true to God’s purpose for you.