There was a health-food restaurant with a billboard that read, “Eat here and live a long life!” Not wanting to be outdone, the barbecue place next-door put up a sign saying - “Eat here and die happy!”
A favorite food you just can’t imagine being without? For me, most of my life, fried potatoes. I like potatoes many other ways - but fried is my favorite. When I lived on my own - I had a small iron skillet - peel and slice a potato or two and fried them. 10 years ago this week my wife decided no more fried potatoes for me - 100% blockage opened up by three stents. Now about every 6 weeks or so - I get a “treat.”
FOOD: The foods that compose the balance of diet in the ancient Near East included grain (usually in the form of bread), olive oil, and wine. This so-called “Mediterranean triad” was supplemented by fruits, vegetables, legumes, dairy, and meat, all of which varied in caloric contribution depending on seasons, microclimates, social and economic standing, shifting geo-political realities, and annual rainfall. Lexham Bible Dictionary
Remember last week - 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish were used to feed over 5000 people until they were full.
Food is important - but perhaps we need to look beyond our physical hunger. Ravi Zacharias, apologist – “With all of our ingesting and consumptions, our hungers are still many and our fulfillments are few.”
Jesus has an answer for that fulfillment in our scripture reading today.
Our scripture reading last week ended with the disciples making their way across the sea of Galilee and about half-way Jesus appears, walking on water, and they immediately reach the other side when enters the boat.
Today - we’ll look at half of Jesus’ discourse that John chapter 6 shares with us and the other half next week entitled “Grumble, Argue, Grumble”
Please stand as we honor the reading of God’s Word:
22 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. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 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. 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.”
THE WORD OF GOD, FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD
Where did He go? Trying to make sense of the circumstances.
Even today - people are looking. They look at the Bible, they look at the church, they look at us Christians. Trying to make sense of what they see and don’t fully understand like the crowd in our scripture today.
When it doesn’t make sense - they look at other things - trying to figure out this thing called “life” and how it can be “better” then how they feel.
They’re hungry - spiritually hungry. For some reason though - they have trouble believing...
Do you really believe? Or do you just want more food?
They ask for a “sign” before they believe. Did they forget yesterday already? Maybe it wasn’t “big” enough!
Verse 31 - manna from heaven - NIV study note: Moses fed a nation (millions) for 40 years - Jesus 5000 men on 1 day doesn't hardly "compare to Moses"
Discussion about manna. Daily need. Moses gave us manna from Heaven. Jesus says, it wasn’t Moses, it was God.
God has sent the true/real bread from Heaven. We still need it on a daily basis. Not a one time shot!
Folks still weren’t getting it - Jesus had to be blunt ..
I AM the bread of life. I am Life’s Bread.
Come to me - you will never hunger - you will never thirst.
Your spirit will be satisfied and sustained by me - Jesus says.
You can’t just “see me” - you have to “believe” in me. I do the will of Him who sent me.
God’s “will” happens. His desire is that we find ourselves within His will.
God’s will is that all who come to Jesus - will have eternal life. All who come to Him - will have Life’s Bread.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
GRACE - unfailing love - the Father has sent the true bread from heaven - verse 32
TRUTH - a promise - everyone who looks to the Son and believes will have eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day - verse 40