Frankie Mazzapica - Jesus Offered More Than Lunch
Thank you for tuning in today. My name's Frankie Mazzapica. The title of my message is "Jesus Offered More Than Lunch". He offered more than lunch. In John chapter 6, there was 5,000 people following him and they were watching the miracles, they were in awe of the miracles. Jesus was such a good communicator that, without a microphone, people were leaning in, 5,000 people. And at a certain moment, he turned around and he saw that they were hungry. Now, Jesus spent most of his time around the Sea of Galilee.
Now, around the Sea of Galilee, these were, what I wanna say, common, common people, they were not intelligent, they were not rich, they did not make a lot of money, they were fishermen and they were in need a lot. It wasn't like the people in Jerusalem, the people in Jerusalem, the people in the city. Now, these people made a good living, but he spent most of his time around the Sea of Galilee, where they thought about how they were gonna provide for their families, they thought about how they needed income, they had children. And so Jesus turns around and he sees them hungry, and he feeds them, 5,000 people, with two fish and five loaves. And he feeds them, it was the greatest fish fry in the history of mankind. And so he keeps on walking and he starts noticing that, wherever he went, these multitudes were with him.
In Mark chapter 3, verse 20, it says this, that the multitudes followed him so closely and so often that he didn't even have time to eat. So it's not like the 5,000 just showed up on bring-a-friend Sunday, they were always there. And so they're following him around, and then he realizes this; he turns around and he goes, okay-okay, I see why you're following me. This is in John chapter 6, verse 26, he says this. He goes, you are following me not because you want to be with me, not because you're interested in the grace that I have for you, not because you're interested in the relationship, not because you're interested in the partnership, you have the same wants, the same desires, the same needs as you had before you met me, and now you have the same things. He goes, you are not following me because you want to be with me, you do not understand the meaning of the miracles.
So it's a troubling thing when one Christian tells a person who's not a Christian, "Hey, I know that you're struggling with money, just become a Christian, believe in Jesus, and he will take care of all your financial needs". It's a struggling thing when a person is sick, they're fighting for their health, and a Christian comes up to a non-Christian and he says this: "Okay, come to church, become a Christian, and the Lord will take care of your health".
It's the same need, it's the same want, it's just coming from a different source. For the person who's single, that doesn't have a relationship with Jesus, a person who does have a relationship with the Lord may walk up to the person who's single and says this: "If you just become a Christian, if you start worshiping, the Lord will take care of all that, he'll make you Don Juan DeMarco, the greatest lover who ever lived. You will be gorgeous, women will love you". It's like, come on, you had the same priorities, the same hopes, the same desires before you were living with Jesus. And now, you're coming to Jesus and just saying, "I have the same hopes, I have the same desires, but now, I'm just looking to you to take care of these things so that I don't have to, because I'm not able to".
And, when we do that, this is the Lord looking at you and I just like he looked at the 5,000. He looked at the 5,000 and he says this: Look, I just gave you lunch, I provided for your needs, but I can offer you more than lunch. He looks at you, he looks at me, in John 10:10, he says the thief, Satan, comes to kill, steal and destroy, I have come to give you life, and more abundantly. And so he goes, I see your needs, I see that you have needs before you came to me, they're important to me, but I don't want you to come to me just because you have the same needs, the same hopes, the same desires as you did before you come to me.
I can take care of that, I will take care of that, but I want you to come to me, not for those things, I want you to come to me for the grace, for the relationship, and for the partnership. Because when we come to him and just say, "Look, I'm coming to you because I have financial needs and this is my last resort," when people come to the Lord as a second option for the needs that they already had before they came to church, they're setting themselves up to have a disappointing relationship with God. I'm showing up just for another reason. The Lord says this: I know you're hungry, I have more to offer you. There's three things that the Lord offers that oftentimes we overlook.
Number one is the grace that he wants to introduce. Number two, he wants to introduce a relationship that we cannot even imagine exists. You got to remember we're talking about God; we're not talking about a friend, we're not talking about a best friend, we're talking about God. And he's saying, I want a relationship with you, I want to talk with you, I want you to feel my presence closer than you feel the shirt on your back. So he wants to introduce grace, he wants to introduce a relationship, and he wants to introduce the partnership that he has with you. So let's just dive into the first point. He wants to introduce you to grace.
The Bible says, in Romans chapter 9, verse 23, it says this: I have called you not because of your good or bad works. I haven't called you because you have gone four days without sinning. I haven't called you because you're doing really good, and you're kind, and everybody else around you is not kind, I haven't called you for that reason. I haven't called you just to rescue you, because you're a sinful person, I haven't called you because of your goodness or for any other reason. I've called you because I love you. This is the Lord looking at you and saying, I have a grace that surpasses your understanding. It's a grace that says, I know all of your weaknesses, and I just want you to know, I knew you were gonna be weak in those areas before you were born.
I looked ahead, I saw everything, and my plan is not so feeble that your mistakes can knock my plans off course. We already knew. So he says, I have a grace for you, and this grace is so powerful. Ephesians 2:9, he says this: It is by grace, through faith, that you have been saved. His grace is powerful enough to snatch you out of sin, pull you away, and say, you're gonna spend time with me, you're my son, you're my daughter. That's how powerful grace is. I recently read of a young boy sitting in a waiting room with his father. He had broken his finger, was in a lot of pain, and he was sitting there and there was another guy, a stranger in the waiting room. And he looked at the young boy and he says, "Come on over here," and he picks him up and he puts him on his knee.
Now, the father could look at his countenance, he saw that he was a kind man, and so he just allowed the whole thing to take place. And so he looks at the young boy and he says, "What's wrong"? He says, "I have a broken finger, it hurts, I can't use it". And the man looked at him and says, "What about if I just cut it off, and and I can replace it with a perfect golden finger"? And the little boy grabbed his broken finger and he says, "No, I want my own finger, I don't want a golden finger, I want my own finger". It's almost like the Lord looks at you and he looks at me, and he says this: I'm not replacing you with somebody perfect, I will bind you up, I will set you in place and strengthen you, I'm not replacing you. The enemy tries to convince us that there's no difference between weakness and wickedness.
You see, weakness is whenever we say something or we do something, and we back up and we say, "Lord, I know that that may have hurt your heart, I don't want to do that anymore, help me to be stronger". That's weakness. The enemy comes along and says, no-no-no, your weakness is wickedness. Jesus comes along and says, I see that you're weak, I'm not getting rid of you, I'm gonna bind you up, I'm gonna strengthen you, I'm gonna give you courage, I'm gonna raise you up with my victorious right hand. This is how God is.
This is the grace of God. He looks at the 5,000, he says, I have more than just the ability to give you your lunch, I have more than the ability to kind of arrange a marriage or open up a door so that you can make more money, I can do more than the needs that you had before you met me. See, people who come to the Lord oftentimes have the same needs, but it's a lot like saying, "I was shopping at Walmart, but now that I'm not shopping at Walmart, I'm gonna go to another store to buy the very same things". It's like, "I was on my own, but if I become a Christian, I'm expecting to just get everything from another source".
The Lord says this: Look, I'm gonna introduce my grace to you; and then he says I'm gonna introduce a relationship with you. It's not just the Lord looking at you and saying I will strengthen you, that's not where it starts or that's not where it stops. He comes to us and says I wanna be close to you. And in Proverbs chapter 8, verse 17, there's a verse that just should encourage all of us, where the Lord says, "I love those who love me, and those who seek me will find me". It's his way of saying I don't want you to get discouraged when you say I want to be closer to you, but I don't think it's ever gonna happen. He's saying I know who you are, I know you love me, and if you seek me, I promise you you're gonna find me. And when we find him; we can't get away from him; so when we find him, we're actually becoming closer to him.
However close you are with God, just know this, there's always more. I was reading about Adam and Eve, and I started studying Jewish history. It was outside of the Bible, it was a book of history. And so these Jews started writing, you know, the story that got passed down from generation to generation. And when Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden, the Lord put an angel with a flaming sword to make sure that Adam and Eve could not come back into the garden. The worst part about getting kicked out of the garden is they could no longer feel the presence of God like they could before. But the second worst part, if I can say it that way, is that they're looking at the Garden of Eden while they're cast out of the Garden of Eden.
Can you imagine how horrible that would be? where you're tilling up ground but you're looking at fruit, you're looking at the garden. I went on a tour to Alcatraz, the big famous prison, it's on an island. And I was going through the tour and the guy that was going through the tour said the worst part about being locked up in Alcatraz is you can see San Francisco, you can see the lights, you can hear the horns, you can hear the music. And so you're seeing freedom, you're hearing freedom, you're hearing laughter, you're watching life move on, but yet you cannot be a part of it. And that was worse than being behind bars. Adam and Eve was looking at the garden, there was an angel blocking.
And so, history, Jewish history says that he found a cave and he decided to himself that he was gonna dig through the cave, down underground, and come up on the other side and be in the Garden of Eden. It's almost like he's saying, "I see the angel, but he'll never catch me. I'm gonna go under the angel, he'll never know I'm there. He'll be swinging his sword, but I'll be behind him. And, as far as God is concerned, I'm just gonna sneak up, he'll never see it coming".
So he was digging and he's getting close, he was getting close, but then the Lord spoke to him and said you've come far enough, stop. And this is the God who looks at the ocean and says, you can roll, waves, but you have to stop right here; sun, you can come up, but I'm gonna tell you when to come down; earth, I'm gonna allow you to spin, but you're not gonna move. This is, no-no-no, the earth does spin, right? it goes around the sun. He looks at the sun and he says, I'm gonna allow you to burn, but I'm not gonna let you move. How about that, does that make sense? Woo, that was close. And so Adam had to stop, and Adam stayed in this deep depression. But his great-great-great grandson would come into this cave, because he lived in a depression, and Adam told him about the Garden of Eden.
The only way we know about the Garden of Eden is because Adam told the story to his children, his children's children, his children's children, he lived for 633 years. And so Enoch was in the cave, he's listening to his great-great-great-great grandfather, and he's telling him what a relationship with God is like. It's not like a relationship with people, he's not like your best friend, he's not like the closest person you've ever met before, you can feel his presence like you feel the wind; it's just not blowing, you just know it's there. It's like feeling heat on a hot day; you can't touch it, but you know it's there. It's like walking through the snow, and you're cold, but you can't touch the cold, but everything has completely changed. It's like feeling the presence of God in a way that you cannot explain.
Kathryn Kuhlman, one of the greatest healers in American history, God used her to heal thousands, probably millions. And she was being interviewed and she says, "You must understand," she has this strong accent. She goes, "You must understand, the Holy Spirit is closer to me than you are". This is what a relationship with God looks like. And so Enoch says, well, I didn't know that that was possible, and I believe that if you had a relationship with God that way I can too. This is why your testimony is so powerful. And he began to pray and pray, in Isaiah 63, verse 2 and 3, I think, 63:6, no 62:6, I don't, yeah, it's 62:6, because I remember my favorite car back in the day was a Mazda 626.
So, Isaiah 62:6, it says this: Those of you who pray, give yourself no rest until God gives you what he has promised you. So Enoch starts praying, he's giving himself no rest, he breaks through those moments where he feels like he's talking to himself, he keeps on praying even though he feels like God is a million miles away. He wakes up the next day and decides he's gonna pray anyway, even though yesterday was boring. He keeps on praying, even though his mind keeps on drifting, he's just not gonna stop, because what he desires is far more than anything he can see. C.S. Lewis said this: If nothing on this earth can satisfy you, then you must be made for a place other than earth. And so he backs up and he says, I have to keep on praying, and then there was the breakthrough.
Charles Finney said this: Many people faint before they receive their breakthrough. He refused to faint, and so he had his breakthrough, and many of you know the story where Enoch walked with God, he talked with God; it wasn't a dialogue, where God just listened, it was a conversation back and forth. And when you have a conversation with someone, you're sharing your dreams, you're sharing your hurts, you're sharing your desires, you're sharing your wants, you're completely transparent. And God does the same, where he shares his thoughts, he shares his feelings. When Abraham was walking with the Lord, God told Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah is so sinful, I'm gonna destroy the whole place. God was telling him his plans.
Abraham backed up and said, God, please don't do that, I believe that there's some righteous people in there. And God said, well, I don't know, if you can find some righteous people maybe I can figure this out, maybe we can find some type of a compromise. Do you see what's happening here? God is sharing his thoughts, he's sharing his plans, and Abraham is giving God a different perspective. They're just having a conversation. The Lord's plans didn't change, but he was open for a conversation, and then he realized this: Look, I'm gonna blow the place up, I'm sending sulfur, I'm sending lightning, but the people that you're thinking about saving, okay, go get them. It was a conversation, relationships have conversations.
And so the Lord's saying this, he's looking at the 5,000, goes, I can offer more than a meal. He's looking at you and he's saying, I know that you're desperate, and your desperation, I'm passionate about it, I can exceed your expectations, the needs that you have. I'm glad you came to me, because I'm the one who can take care of you. But I'm ready, and I want to do more than just feed you, than just open up a door financially, I wanna introduce you to grace, I wanna introduce you to a relationship. But then there's a partnership which, oh my goodness, I'm not, like, are you kidding me, right now?
In 1 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 8, the Lord says this: I will keep you strong, so that on the day that Jesus returns you will be found strong and holy and righteous. And then God says this: And I will do that because I have called you to be in partnership with my Son. If you and I go into business, then it's 50/50, we're in partnership. If you and I go peek behind, what do they call that, you know, where the pilots of a plane? Cockpit. If you look into a cockpit, you see two people there, they're partners; a husband and wife, they're partners; a team, an athletic team, they're walking out there, they're partners. And the Lord says this: I've called you to be a partner, a partner with my Son. I've called you because, what my Son wants to do, I want you to do with him; I don't want you to stand up and watch and admire, I want you to do it with him.
When I was a small boy, I was about eight years old and I was riding my bike, and I fell off my bike and I skinned my face up, and I wasn't ready to see my own blood yet, and I remember being afraid. And a mailman came up to me and he got out of his car and he lifted me up, and I'll never forget this, he said, "It's gonna be okay, you're gonna be okay". He puts me back on my bike, he sends me on his way. I needed Jesus that day, but I needed a Jesus with skin on, I needed somebody to hold my hands, I needed somebody to pick me up. And Jesus says this: I see my boy, but I need a partner, and he sent the mailman over. When God looks at you, he says, there are needs, but I need your help. Come on.