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Hunger in Heaven?

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Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:34)

It’s hard to imagine never being hungry again…. and it’s hard to imagine life that goes on forever!  And yet, this is what Jesus promises in the Bible.

There’s a part of me that is so accustomed to hunger, that it seems like life might be boring without hunger.  I don’t think that Jesus means that in heaven we will have no joy in eating … because what kind of life would that be, right?? 🙂  … But I think He means to say that we will always have enough.  That we will eat and be satisfied.  And that our souls will have their fill of righteousness (Matt. 5:6)!

And unfortunately, there is also a part of me that is so accustomed to death, that I can hardly imagine life without it either. But, what makes Jesus’ Bread of Life so different from ordinary bread is that it brings eternal life.  One who eats of this bread, Jesus says, will live forever and never die (John 6:50)!  Jesus gave His Body so that we would not die, but live.

May we receive the Bread of Life in faith – unto life everlasting.  Amen!

Truly, Truly, I Say to You …

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Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.  -John 5:24

“Truly, Truly” is actually “Amen, Amen” in the Greek New Testament.  What does the word, “Amen” mean to you?  Is it more of a punctuation (end of the sentence, end of the prayer) or more of a statement?  According to this passage from The Encyclopedia of the Bible,

(Amen) is probably the most universal of all words, with only “ma” for mother a close second. The Hebrew means “to make firm,” to “found, to prop up, to build”; hence, “support,” “confirm, so be it.” In addition, the Greek usage may more clearly be defined as truly, verily, indeed, “so is it, so be it,” or “may it be fulfilled.” Therefore “Amen” is far more meaningful than a period, a stop, or a signing-off word by which a prayer, song, or declaration is terminated. It carries the weight of approval, confirmation, and support of what is said or sung.

So Jesus is giving His full weight and approval to the statement that everyone who hears His word and believes it has neither judgment nor death, but has eternal life.  Jesus is basically pounding his fist – with his words – to say that in no uncertain terms He is the difference between death and life.

Jesus is the stumbling block to those who would refuse Him.  Does Jesus leave us any room for interpretation on this fact?

Hermeneutics and Interpretation of the Bible

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The online dictionary defines Hermeneutics as the science of interpretation, especially of the Scriptures.

Why study how to interpret Scripture?  Well, sometimes Bible texts can be used in a way that is really deceptive – or even at odds with the Truth of God’s Word as a whole.  Satan did this when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness in Matthew 4.  He referenced Scripture that indicated that the angels would not let Jesus get hurt!  But Jesus knew that the meaning of the Scripture was being twisted.  (In fact, the angels let Jesus be crucified!) So He used Scripture to show Satan what God really meant, when he clarified, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” (John 4:7)  We need to study all of Scripture to be sure that we are interpreting any one Scripture correctly.

In short, our primary “hermeneutical principle” can be summarized as “Scripture interprets Scripture.”  This means that we use clearer passages of Scripture to interpret, or help explain, unclear or ambiguous ones.  Our study of John’s Gospel shows a very good example of a case where we need to look at more than just one verse to know what God really means in those Scriptures.

In John 3 we see two verses that would strongly suggest that Jesus himself baptized people:

“After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing.” (John 3:22)

“And they came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.'” (John 3:26)

But it isn’t until John 4 that we get the clarification necessary to correctly interpret those verses:

“Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.” (John 4:1-2)

If one were to dogmatically assert that Jesus poured water on people to baptize them based on John 3, they would be incorrect. In fact, in so doing they would be denying John 4:1-2!

The lesson in all of this is to use Scripture to interpret Scripture and rather than finding one verse in the Bible that makes OUR case, … let us search all of Scripture to see what GOD wants us to learn and know.

May you be blessed in your study of the Word! – PA