See Sermon notes below….
Jesus the bread of life
25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, ‘Rabbi, when did you get here?’
26 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. 27 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.’
28 Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’
29 Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’
30 So they asked him, ‘What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”’
32 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. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’
34 ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘always give us this bread.’
35 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. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 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. 40 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.’
Intro to Readings
As we’re having communion today – we’re going to talk about Jesus as the Bread of Life.
We pick up our reading in John 6.
Jesus has fed the 5000
He has dismissed the crowd, sending His disciples across the Sea of Galilee
He goes up the mountain to pray
and then walks across the water to join them.
When they get there, a crowd forms again.
“Give us this day our daily bread…”
What kind of bread are we talking about?
- Actual physical bread – staple foodstuff of the day
- (The Jewish expectation – bread symbolised the Messianic banquet)
- God’s Word – “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Dt8:3 & Mt4:4)
- Jesus said “I am the bread of life” (Jn6:35)
Have you ever been HUNGRY?
I can get grumpy when I’m hungry.
It gnaws at one…
Have you ever been hungry for company?
Or hungry for justice?
Or hungry for news? (Outcome of an exam, results of medical tests, response to job application)
Or hungry for God?
Two OT stories that are relevant for today:
- Do you remember the story of Manna in the Old Testament?
It’s in Exodus 16:
- The Israelites gathered for each day
- If you gathered too much and tried to keep it overnight, it rotted
- EXCEPT on the sixth day they gathered double and kept overnight for the Sabbath
- Exodus tells of the unbelief – some tried to store it overnight, some went looking for manna on the Sabbath
- The point about Manna is that it came down like dew from heaven – a gift from God
- Do you remember the story of the Passover?
- It was a meal of lamb, unleavened bread, wine and bitter herbs
- It was the meal the Israelites ate when they were liberated from Egypt, from slavery.
- It was the meal that Jesus ate with His disciples just before going to the cross
- John doesn’t have a formal account of the Last Supper (Matthew, Mark and Luke do)
And so many theologians argue that John 6 (The passage we have just read) is John’s equivalent of the Passover.
- The point about the Passover is that it spoke about God’s rescue
Jesus – the Bread of Life
Jesus makes a profound statement to the crowd:
You didn’t come because of the miracles, but because you ate bread and had your fill.This highlights a recurring theme in John
NIV Study Bible points out that John highlights how people default to the material thing
– Nicodemus thinks about being literally born again
– The woman at the well asks Jesus for physical water
– The crowd want literal bread
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs….
The crowd ask: “What is God’s work?”
Jesus says: “Believe the One He sent. (Believe in me)”
BUT they’re fixated on Moses
Jesus says: “Actually it was God gave you manna.”
And true bread is the One who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.
Jesus: I am the bread of life.
I’m the manna come down from heaven.
I’ll fully satisfy you – you won’t hunger or thirst.
But you have to believe….
– Not like those manna gatherers who tried to keep manna or find it on the Sabbath
- Don’t try to live on yesterday’s experiences
- or find Him where He isn’t
But I will draw and keep those who believe in me.
That’s my mission and I will raise them up on the last day!
- Don’t work for food that spoils – collect food that will last – believe in the one He sent.
- Why can you believe in Him?
Understand that He is God’s gift from above.
And He gives life to the world – He’s manna and passover.
- Learn from the manna gathers (do it His way not yours)
Don’t try to live on yesterday’s experiences or find Him where He isn’t
- Understand that when we connect to Jesus, we begin Eternal Life
Jesus claim is that He meets and fills one of our most basic and fundamental needs – our need for bread.
The Chinese equivalent of bread as a staple foodstuff is rice.
They say that they have two stomachs: One for rice and one for other food.
No matter how much they eat other food, they will always be hungry for rice.
It’s the same for us.
No matter how much we have and how much we do, or how many substitutes we have, Jesus is a basic requirement for life.
You can work and you can strive, but until you come to Jesus, you will be hungry.PASSOVER PICTURE:
Jesus is our manna from heaven. He is our Passover Bread, Our Passover Wine and our Passover Lamb.
He has paid the ultimate price for us and we come to this table to worship Him and receive His love.
Luther argued that we should have communion every day – but feared we would take it for granted and profane it.
Jesus gave us a prayer to pray.
“Give us today our daily bread” – While we’re praying for daily sustenance –
We’re also praying – Lord give us more of You and more of Your Word.