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Scripture Story: John 6:22-42; Matthew 15:1, 2; Mark 7:1-23.

Commentary: The Desire of Ages (or Humble Hero), chapters 41, 42.

misunderstood

Photo by Colleen Cahill

keytext

“They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I came down from heaven?” ’ ”

(John 6:42, NIV)

flashlight

“The giver of the manna was standing among them. It was Christ Himself who had led the Hebrews through the wilderness, and had daily fed them with the bread from heaven. That food was a type of the real bread from heaven. The life-giving Spirit, flowing from the infinite fullness of God, is the true manna. Jesus said, ‘The bread of God is that which cometh down out of heaven, and giveth life unto the world.’ John 6:33, RV. Still thinking that it was temporal food to which Jesus referred, some of His hearers exclaimed, ‘Lord, evermore give us this bread.’ Jesus then spoke plainly: ‘I am the bread of life’” (The Desire of Ages, p. 386).

what do you think?

Think of a time you misunderstood a message or someone else misunderstood you. What happened as a result?

did you know?

The ministry of Jesus got ever more dangerous once He began to reveal who He was—the Son of God, the Bread from heaven. As you’ll learn this week, the scribes and Pharisees looked for every opportunity to destroy Him. About a year before Jesus’ death their opposition became so fierce that He was forced to flee to a region called Phoenicia, a place where there were few Jews. Jesus and the disciples kept a low profile there, but their time was not wasted. Jesus used the time in Phoenicia to acquaint His disciples with the needs of unbelievers. You see the results of Jesus’ efforts in the book of Acts!

INTO THE STORY

“The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.

“When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, ‘Rabbi, when did you get here?’

“Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.’

“Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’

“Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’

“So they asked him, ‘What signs then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” ’

“Jesus said to them, Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. . . .

“ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘always give us this bread.’

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.’

“At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I came down from heaven”?’ ”

(John 6:22-42, NIV)

OUT OF THE STORY

Go through this week’s Scripture story and put an X by parts of the story where there is potential for misunderstanding.

Who are the main characters in this drama? How are they reacting to Jesus? How is Jesus reacting to them?

Underline the verses that signal a turning point in the conversation that Jesus is having with the crowd gathered around Him. What caused the people to get upset at Jesus?

How did Jesus’ family history add to the problem that the people were having with what Jesus was saying?

What two lessons (there are more) can you take away from this biblical episode?

What new insight about Jesus did you learn from this reading?

punch lines

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11, 12, NIV).

“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165, KJV).

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6, KJV).

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:12, 13, NIV).

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26, NIV).

further insight

“Seek not merely for material benefit. Let it not be the chief effort to provide for the life that now is, but seek for spiritual food, even that wisdom which will endure unto everlasting life.” —Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 385

connectingtolife

Sabbath

Matthew 13:34, 35.

What did you think of the What Do You Think? activity? Sort of crazy, isn’t it? It’s amazing how words can get twisted once they begin to travel from person to person. This was something that Jesus experienced on numerous occasions.

Why was Jesus so misunderstood by the multitudes (Matthew 13:34, 35)?

Why do you think Jesus used parables instead of speaking plainly to the people?

Would people have understood Jesus if He had tried to explain His entire mission? Why or why not?

Sunday

Read John 6:29.

After reading the Into the Story section, complete the Out of the Story exercise. Did you notice anything peculiar about the negative response of the people when Jesus declared that He was the Bread sent from heaven? Remember, this crowd had heard all about Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 just a day or two before. That’s why they came to Him.

If they knew that Jesus had performed such an awesome miracle, why were they so offended when He said that He was sent from God?

Weren’t the miracles Jesus performed proof enough that He was not of this world? Why do people continue to doubt that Jesus was sent from God?

Monday

Read John 6:43-45.

This Sabbath’s Key Text is essential to understanding why people back in Jesus’ time, and even people today, have problems accepting the deity or divine nature of Jesus. These people knew who Jesus’ mother and “father” were, or so they thought.

Read John 6:43, the verse that follows the Key Text. Why didn’t Jesus take this opportunity to explain His mysterious birth and miraculous parentage?

Tuesday

Read Deuteronomy 8:3 and Jeremiah 15:16.

Feel the heat coming from this week’s Flashlight quotation by Ellen G. White. Can’t you see Jesus standing in the middle of a questioning crowd and declaring, “I am the bread of life”? That must have sent shock waves around the universe.

Read Deuteronomy 8:3 and Jeremiah 15:16. What statement does Moses make about the Word of God in Deuteronomy 8:3?

What did Jeremiah do once he found God’s Word?

Jesus was the Word of God (John 1) made flesh, the Bread of life capable of removing all hunger. If the Jews had understood the Scriptures, they would have seen that Jesus was the living, breathing embodiment of the Word that captivated Moses and Jeremiah.

Wednesday

Read Psalm 119:165.

Read this week’s Punch Lines. Choose one or more to commit to memory today.

Psalm 119:165 states: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (KJV).

How does one get to a spiritual point where nothing can offend them? Is this even possible? Explain.

Share one lesson you learned from this week’s Punch Lines about how to handle spiritual trials.

Thursday

Read Matthew 15:8.

Jesus charged that the scribes and Pharisees “honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Matthew 15:8, NIV).

Is your heart close to God? List two things you need to do to improve your walk with God.

1.

2.

What’s preventing you from doing those things? Why not whisper a prayer and ask God to change you right now?

Friday

Read Psalm 19:7-11.

Jesus urged His listeners to partake of Him, to eat His flesh and drink His blood. How does one do this? Is it possible?

When we study the life of Jesus in God’s Word and ask the Holy Spirit to bring the life of Jesus into our lives, isn’t this a form of eating His flesh and drinking His blood?

Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

this week’s reading*

The Desire of Ages (or Humble Hero), chapters 41, 42.

A special adaptation of The Desire of Ages, entitled Humble Hero, has been created just for you by the White Estate and the Pacific Press Publishing Association. Get more info about it at: www.cornerstoneconnections.net. By following this plan you will read at least one book of the Conflict of the Ages Series each year.