Bread of Life

Believe: Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:40
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Bread of Life

Call to Worship
Philippians 2:5–11 CSB
5 Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. 7 Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, 8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross. 9 For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— in heaven and on earth and under the earth— 11 and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We have a running joke in our house.
When Corrie says “I’m Hungry” we have about 20 mins to get her some food before she becomes angry.
If she says, “I’m Starving,” we have exactly 10.94 seconds to get her some food before she transforms into something very scary.
In fact, just the other day she said “I’m Starving” and I went to give her a hug and ended up waking up the next morning.
I kid, but we all know what it’s like to feel hunger.
To hear and feel our stomach growl and rumble b/c we didn’t have enough time to grab breakfast.
I read something earlier this week that said we can go 8-21 days without food and water.
And we can last up to 2 months without food if we have adequate access to water.
Now if we are being honest none of us want to go a few hours without eating much less a few days.
We long to eat.
We long to consume.
We long to taste the delicious foods.
As we are talking about this right now I can only imagine that a few of you are starting to get hungry for lunch.
And if you remember last week, we covered Jesus’ Feeding of the 5000 noting that it was closer to 15-20000 people who were fed.
And that daily bread was something that they had to fight for.
That more than likely most of them knew what it actually meant to be hungry.
So when Jesus departed from them they wanted to search him out so that he could provide more food for them.
So that their bellies could be filled.
But Jesus wasn’t as concerned about filling their bellies as he was with saving their souls, but they were Short sighted.
Here’s the thing, God knows what we need more than we do.
We may think we know what we need.
But God knows that above all we need to be rescued.
We need forgiveness.
We need to be restored into a right relationship with him.
We all have a spiritual hunger that has to be satisfied.
And as we will see, it will either be completely satisfied by the Bread of Life or we will continue to seek to fill up on things that will destroy us.
To set the stage for today’s text I want to look at a few verses leading up to what Jesus has to say to those questioning him.
John 6:26–34 CSB
26 Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set his seal of approval on him.” 28 “What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked. 29 Jesus replied, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the one he has sent.” 30 “What sign, then, are you going to do so that we may see and believe you?” they asked. “What are you going to perform? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
We covered this last week but I wanted to remind you of where we are.
John through his masterful retelling of Jesus’ encounter with these people is proving that Jesus is the new and greater Moses.
He is the bread that came down from heaven.
And he isn’t here to simply fill our bellies but to restore our souls.
To bring us life.
So those present ask him to give them this bread from heaven that will satisfy.
But they are still thinking about some magical and miraculous loaf of Bread, but Jesus is about to hit them with the reality.
They say “Sir, give us this bread always.”
And Jesus responds.
John 6:35–40 CSB
35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again. 36 But as I told you, you’ve seen me, and yet you do not believe. 37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39 This is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me but should raise them up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him will have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Bread of Life

“I am the Bread of Life.” Is the first of Seven Definitive Statements about Jesus’ Deity in John’s Gospel.
Remember the “I am” phrase ego eimi is Jesus Identifying himself with the God that led Moses out of Egypt.
When Moses asked who should I tell them sent me God responded “I AM WHAT I AM.”
And Jesus here is Saying “I AM” the same one Moses met with in the desert.
And as the Bread of Life he is saying that no one who comes to him will be hungry and thirsty again.
If we truly obey, submit, and trust in Jesus we will see the futility in all other pursuits.
All you have to do is ask someone who has tried it all.
They’ve tried the sex, drugs, and alcohol and come up empty handed.
They’ve chased after the dollar.
They’ve chased after relationships.
They’ve chased after making their place in this world.
But they always want more.
They want more money, relationships, fame, recognition.
And the reason they want more is b/c they aren’t satisfied.
Let me tell you how this played out in my life.
In my late teens through late 20’s I was habitually discontent with everything in my life.
I would claim to be a follower of Jesus, but I didn’t lean on him to satisfy my soul.
I would always want the newest coolest toy.
New Phone, New Car, New Job.
I was constantly seeking and searching for the new thing that would make me feel good.
I was extremely good at starting something and being hyper-fixated on it for about 3 weeks and then never following through.
It was because I thought that this new endeavor would satisfy me and when it came up short I abandoned it.
And I have to be honest, this is still somewhat of a struggle for me. Especially when I take my eyes off of Jesus.
But when I run to him with my problems.
Run to him with my inconsistencies.
Run to him instead of the things that temporarily satisfy I find true satisfaction.
There are many people in our circles of influence, at home, in our workplace, in our schools who are hungry for spiritual things.
They want to believe in a higher power.
They want to be a part of something bigger.
But in our post-Christian culture they seem themselves as God.
The seek satisfaction in their truth, their lives, their ability to attain some higher form.
What we need to do is to take them to the bread of life.
We need to take them to Jesus.
Because only there will they be satisfied.
And for sure not everyone will trust.
Not everyone will believe.
Even the people standing before Jesus right now in this passage don’t believe.
But we can rest assured that some will.
And the reason they will believe is b/c God will call them to himself.
And if God calls them to repentance and belief.
Jesus will hold them.
I want us to listen again to these comforting words of Jesus
John 6:37-40 “37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39 This is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me but should raise them up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him will have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.””
If you are drawn by the Father to the Son you will not be cast out.
You are not responsible for your own salvation.
Jesus is.
And there is nothing that you can do, if you truly belong to him to be cast out.
Because it is God’s will that Jesus holds on to those who are Saved.
And for those of us who believe in the Son.
Those of us who place our trust in the Son.
Those of us that are drawn by the Father to faith will be raised up when the end of Time comes.
Isn’t it amazing that this is the Will of the Father?
That people come to salvation.
That people are resurrected to new life.
That people are restored to fellowship with a holy God
And that if we are truly in Christ, If we are truly apart of his family we will not be cast out.
God wants to save sinners.
And we should want what God wants.
We should desire for sinners to come into a relationship with him.
So it is imperative that we Go and tell others about this God who saves.
Who restores.
Who takes what is broken and makes something brand new.
We should be overwhelmed with humility.
We should be overwhelmed with Joy.
We should be overwhelmed with excitement that God wants to be in relationship with us.
And as we are overwhelmed, we should be overflowing and people should know who we believe in and why we believe him.
Yet still, some will not like what Jesus has to say.
John 6:41–51 CSB
41 Therefore the Jews started grumbling about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Isn’t this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Stop grumbling among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God. He has seen the Father. 47 “Truly I tell you, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Bread From Heaven

Jesus hits a little bit of a roadblock with the Jews here in this Section.
A few things we need to know.
When John talks about “the Jews” he always talks about those in opposition to Jesus’ and his mission.
Those who Challenge him.
Those who don’t believe.
Also within the Jewish Worldview when things are said to come from heaven that usually means that it comes from God’s realm.
The domain of the Most High.
Thirdly, John is continuing with the Exodus Motif and Jesus as the Greater Moses even in this text.
How, you may ask.
Well he is very careful with the words he chooses.
And he purposely says that the Jews start grumbling about Jesus.
This grumbling is a call back to the Israelites after their salvation from Egypt.
Exo 15:24 “24 The people grumbled to Moses, “What are we going to drink?””
Exo 16.2 “2 The entire Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.”
Exo 17.3 “3 But the people thirsted there for water and grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you ever bring us up from Egypt to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?””
This same group of people is now grumbling at the New and Greater Moses.
At the Bread of life from Heaven.
People don’t really change until they are change.
And notice they wanted to explain away what Jesus said.
We know this kid.
He’s from Nazareth.
His father is Joseph.
We knew them.
How can he possibly be who he says he is?
And Jesus knowing their hearts and hearing their grumbling tells them to Stop and listen to him.
For the second time in this discourse, Jesus tells us that the only way that one can be born again.
The only way that one can come to believe in the Son.
The only way that someone can trust him is if they are drawn by the Father and given to him.
John 6:37 “37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.”
John 6:44 “44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Here’s the thing we can get a little uncomfortable with this reality.
We like to think that we have some power, influence, or control over our own salvation.
But in these two texts from the Lips of Jesus, we can see that the only reason and way we have any desire to believe in Jesus is b/c we are being drawn by the Father.
This takes salvation and belief completely out of our hands.
We are granted the ability to believe b/c of God the Father drawing us to Jesus.
Let’s not get all up in arms about this lets rest in the fact that I have no control over my own salvation.
Because if I was in control of my belief, my salvation, my coming to Jesus then I could have the power to lose it.
But Jesus tells us that He is the one that holds us.
This is the reality of those who are truly in Jesus.
There is nothing that we can do to lose what has be gifted to us.
This is the assurance of our salvation.
That the only reason we want a relationship with God is b/c he is drawing us to Jesus.
And if he is drawing us to Jesus then we are secure in Jesus b/c he protects us.
The Father Draws us, the Son protects us, and the HS seals us.
Jesus then quotes Isaiah 54.13, in verse 45
John 6:45 “45 It is written in the Prophets: And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to me—”
They are currently being Taught by God.
Jesus is the fulfillment of that Prophecy in Isaiah.
God is standing before them and teaching them the things of the Father.
And He can teach the things of the Father b/c he has come from the Father.
In fact, the is the only one who has ever seen the Father.
And if they have actually learned from God they would believe, but they haven’t learned from God.
They were more concerned with their traditions and worldview that they missed God standing right in front of them.
But Jesus tells us that if any one believes in him they will have eternal life.
Why b/c he is the bread of life.
Jesus goes forward and contrasts his life giving bread with the Manna that fell from heaven.
If you don’t remember, the Manna from Heaven was a special gift of God.
When the Israelites were rescued from Egypt by God’s Mighty hand they weren’t able to bring enough food with them to sustain them.
So God in his wisdom, grace, and mercy gave them Manna from heaven.
Exodus 16:13-16 “... In the morning there was a layer of dew all around the camp. 14 When the layer of dew evaporated, there were fine flakes on the desert surface, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they asked one another, “What is it?” because they didn’t know what it was. Moses told them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each person needs to eat. You may take two quarts per individual, according to the number of people each of you has in his tent.’ ””
And God didn’t provide this for them once, but continued to provide it for them as they wandered in the desert.
Exo 16:35 “35 The Israelites ate manna for forty years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate manna until they reached the border of the land of Canaan.”
Even the miraculous manna that came from heaven as the Israelites wandered in the desert didn’t sustain them forever.
They still died.
But the true, perfect, and life-giving bread from heaven has come so that all who believe may live.
Without the Manna from heaven they would have died from starvation.
So God generously provided for them.
God Saw fit to bless them with the miracle of fresh and free food everyday.
And here Jesus is telling them that without him they will die forever.
But God has generously provided for them the miracle of coming down to save them.
He saw fit in his grace, mercy, and kindness to provide for those who have no hope.
Physical Life and death was the issue in the wilderness.
Spiritual Life and death is the issue with Jesus the Bread from Heaven.
You can eat and live or you can starve and die.
But Jesus isn’t done with this whole conversation. And the Jews aren’t done being confused.
John 6:52–59 CSB
52 At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 54 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, 55 because my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 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. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your ancestors ate—and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.” 59 He said these things while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Eat and Drink

The Jews were confused about Jesus.
They started to argue amongst themselves.
So what does Jesus do?
He Doubles down on his teaching.
And he starts talking about eating his flesh and drinking his blood.
To the Jew this would have absolutely been abhorrent to talk about.
The law stood against eating and drinking blood.
The Jewish People were forbidden by God to consume any animal that still had blood in it.
So this would have shocked and angered those listening to Jesus.
Is Jesus suggesting that they turn to cannibalism?
Simply put no.
For some denominations this text is used to help prove their view on the Lord’s Supper that we actually eat Jesus’ body and drink his blood when we partake in the LS.
But that’s not what Jesus has in view here.
So what is Jesus talking about?
He is talking about acceptance of his death on the Cross.
This is a theological argument.
We have to believe and know that Jesus’ sacrificial death is the only thing that gives us life.
Listen, this teaching from Jesus may be hard for us to swallow, but Jesus is presenting the gospel in terms that will catch your attention.
If you want to live, you must believe.
If you are going to believe you must listen.
Jesus’ death and resurrection is the only way that you can have life.
Jesus’ death and resurrection is the only way that you can be saved.
The humiliation and sacrifice that Jesus gave is what will save you if you believe.
Nothing outside of eating and drinking this truth will save you.
You can never be good enough.
You can never do enough.
You can never plead enough.
You will only be saved if you believe.
You will only be restored if you believe.
You will only be renewed if you believe.
And this belief isn’t simply a mental understanding.
It is memorizing facts about Jesus.
It isn’t knowing the right things to say.
It isn’t speaking Christiaese.
It is about trusting in the work of Jesus.
That his blood shed on that cross will wash you clean. If you trust him.
There is no sin that is too much for Jesus’ blood to wash you.
There is no chasm too wide that the cross cannot cover.
Jesus’ power over sin and death is greater than you can even imagine.
So this is Jesus’ invitation to you.
Come and believe.
Taste and See.
Eat and Live.
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