Today we’re going to continue our series from John 6. To begin with, I want to draw your attention from the feeding of the 5000 down to the narrative of Jesus saying, “I Am the Bread of Life.”
The link to the The Bread of Life Pt 1 is attached below, for your reference
1. Jesus – The Pre-existent God
2. The bread is sent by the Father
3. The bread gives life to the world
To begin with, we are going to see what an individual can receive that which Christ has to offer, the bread of life. Are you ready to receive it?
4. How do we receive the bread of life?
What were the human responses to the bread from heaven? What’s our responsibility? Sit around hope it happens?
Indeed it isn’t. We are commanded to appropriate this bread.
“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
At the same time, the Jewish people who were listening to Jesus replied, “Lord, give us this bread.”
Most probably, they were talking about the physical bread because He had been creating food for them and they wanted the bread that would satisfy their constant hunger physically, but Jesus isn’t really talking about that.
He’s speaking with regard to Himself as the bread they really require for their spiritual life.
At that very moment Jesus declared and said,
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Isn’t that interesting? “He who comes to Me.”
So as we read, the first requirement to receive this bread from heaven is to:
a. Come to Jesus
All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
Indeed, Jesus say’s He will not reject.
Therefore, the first thing is to come or call upon Him .
The message of the gospel is far and wide to be preached to the ends of the earth telling people to come, come to Jesus, come and be saved.
Any type of people can come to Jesus: Are you sick? – Come to Jesus. Are you burdened? – Come to Jesus.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
This is what they had been doing. They had been sick, they came and Jesus healed. The people were demon-possessed, they came and Jesus delivered them. Many had been hungry, they came and Jesus fed them.
More importantly, they were spiritually thirsty, dry and hungry to which Jesus was asking them to come to him.
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.” (Everyone. There aren’t any limitations here based on our condition. All who come, anyone who comes, I will not reject.)
It’s a Greek verb, theoreo, which basically means to look at intently, to study or to gaze on.
It’s not a passing glance kind of look, not just a brief look. It holds a very strong meaning.
In fact, the same verb, theoreo, is used in John 8:51 “Whoever obeys me will never see death.” Seeing death means experiencing death.
The same verb is also used, in John 17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory.“
That means full exposure, full experience.
Moreover, what is the human’s responsibility?
Our responsibility laid out for us in a series of commands and invitations: Come to Me, come to Me.
When you finally get there, experience it, gaze at it, see who He is.
How many of you have experienced the presence of God, just lost in the mighty presence that comes when we gather in His name.
A lot of the people who were listening to Him in the synagogue that day had done just that. They had come. The crowd followed Him. Everyone gathered around and were listening to Him and they were looking at Him.
So you come, you look, and you experience Jesus. But there’s another word that’s plays the more critical role.
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. He who believes in Me.”
For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life.”
Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life.
It’s about believing. It’s about believing in Jesus Christ.
Another way to understand it would be:
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
You have to come and look.
Additionally, you have to be exposed to the truth, and you must believe.
So when we come to the presence of God, we look at him and experience him in worship and we believe him to meet all our needs both physical and spiritual.
I know it is talking about spiritual life and belief in Christ that gives us eternal life. But I also want to tell you every time we come, every time we experience him, and every time we believe him by faith upon our circumstances God delivers us and we go back touched, delivered, and refreshed by the Spirit of God. Amen!
Praise God for the miracles that God is doing in our midst on a weekly basis. However, I also want to tell that every time we come to the presence of God we should not only be blessed in our natural but there should be refreshing and revival in our spirit. We should go back full of God, full of the spirit.
That should be a prime reason we come to worship God.
Going back to the metaphor of the bread, come to the closing invitation of this sermon.
But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die.
d. Feeding on Jesus for your spiritual nourishment.
We see 90% of the people come to Jesus for the physical and temporal needs Jesus is now asking the crowd that I have come for a greater purpose. I am the living bread for your soul. Feed on me for your spiritual nourishment.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.
You have to take Christ in. It’s not enough to come and listen.Certainly it’s not enough to come, look, experience, and believe in Christ for a miracle but, however you should be fed in the spiritual life so you have to consume the bread of life. That’s our responsibility
e. Feeding is to believe Jesus as the living bread.
We all are to come, see, and believe. Believe what? That I am the bread.
He says that over and over, “That I am the bread that came down out of heaven, that I am the bread that came down out of heaven.”
So it starts with believing in the person of Christ. Feeding on Jesus is believing in His preexistence, His incarnation, God in human flesh, believing in the person of Christ.
But let me tell you something quickly, just believing in the person of Jesus Christ as the living bread is not enough. There is something else.
f. Feeding is to believe Jesus as the dying bread.
You not only have to believe in Him as living bread, but you also have to believe in Him as dying blood.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Now, he’s talking about giving up His very own life. These are quite specific terms.
Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.
For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.
Here Jesus is not talking about literally eating his flesh and drinking his blood.
This is, of course, a chapter that has been misinterpreted by the Roman Catholic Church and they have used this to develop the Mass where Christ is re-sacrificed again and again and again.
Is He talking about a Catholic mass where somehow the bread and the cup are transubstantiated into the actual body and blood of Christ? Or is He talking about a Lutheran communion service where it is somehow spiritually consubstantiated, into the body and blood of Jesus Christ is actual eating of the very flesh and drinking of the very blood of Jesus?
Absolutely not. This passage is not at all talking of the Holy Communion.
He is simply saying that eating the flesh of the Son of Man means you have to accept that God is incarnate in Jesus Christ.
You have to take in the reality of the incarnation and you have to take in the reality of His sacrificial death.
That’s what drinking His blood means. You have to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God in human flesh, personally appropriate the reality of His righteous life and His substitutionary death, accepting His perfect, sinless life and accepting His blood He shed as a sacrifice for sin.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
So what is He saying?
You must accept the person that I am and the death that I died. As bread, He nourishes. As blood, He cleanses. Blood, then, speaks of His death.
How can you feed on Jesus for your spiritual life?
We need to feed on this bread on a daily basis. This crowd reminded Jesus about one incident that happened about 1500 years ago in the wilderness. Moses had given bread from heaven.
The ‘Bread of Life’ in History
It was an actual historical event and it is recorded for us in the Book of Exodus. The children of Israel had been liberated from their slavery in the land of Egypt. They had crossed the Red Sea. At that time they had entered this wilderness and God had taken them to a place of refreshment, a place of fresh water with wonderful palm trees, and it was called Elim.
Evidently, they had been refreshed but then God moved them on into the wilderness, which was leading toward the Promised Land.
As they took a look around themselves, there is nothing but wasteland, just a desert. There was no hope of getting food from the wilderness.
They murmured against Moses and Aaron but the Bible makes it very clear that they were questioning God and murmuring against God. They did not have any food and they wanted food and they complained. God said to them through Moses and Aaron, “I am going to give you food.” God sent meat in the evening.
God then sent this wonderful bread in the morning. It is referred to in the scripture as the angel’s food and was much sweet to the taste. This special culinary item was very light, described as very tiny like coriander seed and it tasted like it had honey on it, little wafers.
So every morning, 6 days a week they would go out and gather the manna off the ground. It would appear with the dew and when the dew dried there was the manna. They could go out and gather all the manna which they could eat just that day.
On the sixth day, they were to gather enough for two days because the seventh day was a day of rest in honor of the Lord. So God gave them bread from heaven and sustained them in the wilderness.
So we see that what sustained them in the wilderness can sustain our spiritual life in this world. You need to feed on God’s word like receiving the sweet manna from heaven.
i. Seek God early in the morning.
Early in the morning, they had to go out to collect and gather their manna. Let us be as hungry for the presence of God, as the Israelites were for the manna, and seek God’s face early in the morning.
ii. Eat the bread personally.
Eating is personal, even when having a group dinner only you can eat and feed yourselves. Lots of people can do lots of things for you. They can come over and change the curtains, fix the roof. People can do a lot of things to help you. But, you have to eat. If you don’t eat physically, you will die.
Sadly, when the Jews heard about the spiritual food and saw that Jesus was not giving them physical food they could not accept Jesus’ teaching.
At that time the Jews began to grumble about him.
On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
The disciples grumbled.
Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?”
Well, what was he talking about? The blood. Are you stumbling over the fact that you’re going to have to accept my death? The answer to the question is yes, that’s why the apostle Paul said that the cross, the preaching of the cross, I Corinthians 1, to the Jews is a stumbling block, a stumbling block.
Moreover, as a result :
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
They came, they looked, they believed, they received the miracles but they wanted Jesus just for the temporary blessings and when their needs were not met they left Jesus. They leave. Vacated the synagogue, leaving only Peter and the Twelve who believed.
Then Jesus stated to the Twelve:
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the twelve.
Simon Peter answered him (for all of them), “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.”
We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.
To finalize, people desired for literal bread but only a few wanted the true bread from heaven.
Which group of disciples do you fall in today? The grumbling group, the materialistic group or the believing and feeding group?
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