“THE BREAD OF LIFE” John 6:35
CWBC – 9/9/18
INTRO – Bread has gotten a bad rap in our society today. Used to never think about whether or not I ought to eat bread. Just ate it. It was normal. It was good. It was good old white bread, “light bread.” Wonder Bread & Sunbeam were the best. Stick to the roof of your mouth when you made a sandwich w/ one of them.
Nowadays, seems that nobody wants to eat bread. Definitely not true in Peru. Had bread & lots of it at every meal. Large bowls filled w/ different types of rolls. In fact, a couple of our breakfasts were nothing more than rolls w/ jelly, & maybe a little butter or peanut butter. Don’t think they know anything about low carb diets in Peru.
But back in here in the States, Keto diets, low-carb or carb-free diets – all that stuff is making folks feel guilty for wanting to eat a good old PB&J these days. Feel like you’ve committed a crime if you grab the breadsticks at Olive Garden, or some cornbread w/ your turnip greens (whoever heard of eating turnip greens w/out cornbread!), or a biscuit w/ your eggs & bacon.
I’m announcing today that it is time for bread to be put back into its rightful place in our lives! Eat & enjoy! Get those carbs going again! Grab the light bread & make that sandwich! Grab the rolls today at lunch as you eat your fried chicken. Grab that awesome garlic French bread as you eat your spaghetti. Go out to Broad Street Bakery & sample their sourdough, their focaccia, their pumpernickel, their rye, their jalapeno cheddar brioche, their French baguettes. Bread has returned!!!
EXPLANATION – Open your Bibles or your Bible app & John 6:35 (page 892 in pew Bible).
John 6:35 (ESV)
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
Over the course of His teaching ministry, Jesus made some very significant statements about who He was. Seven of those statements are known as His “I Am” statements. We are going to look at each of those statements over the course of the next couple of months. And today, we are focusing on this one from John 6:35 where Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life.”
He had just performed one of His most well-known miracle the day before – the feeding of the 5,000. Let’s recap what happened in that miracle – John 6:1-14.
Jesus used this incredible moment – a life-changing moment for sure for those who experienced it – to move into an even more life-changing moment when He proclaimed that He was the Bread of Life, & that whoever came to Him would never hunger or thirst again.
Jesus was a Master Teacher. He, like any good teacher, knew how to take real-life situations & occurrences & use them to teach & reveal spiritual truth to His listeners & His disciples.
– Used a little child to teach His disciples about true greatness – Matthew 18:2-4 – “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.'”
– Used a Storm in Matt. 8 to teach His disciples about having faith in Him – “Why are you afraid, you of little faith…” (v. 26)
– Used the stones in the hand of the men who were waiting to stone the woman caught in adultery to teach them about taking a look at the sin in their own lives before they condemned her – John 8:7 – “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
He knew that the majority of these folks were coming to Him simply b/c they had seen the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 & probably wanted some more bread. But He also knew that this would be the perfect opportunity to let them know that there are much more important things in life than physical food. So He used the analogy of the bread since it was “fresh” on their minds & moved right into the foundational truth that we all need to know today – Jesus is the Bread of Life!
APPLICATION – In a world that is hungry for meaning & purpose, Jesus is the Bread of Life.
There’s no doubt that Jesus is making it abundantly clear to the listeners in that day & to us today that He alone can satisfy the deepest hungers in our lives. All of us are hungry & are going to look for ways to satisfy our hunger. The TV commercial for the candy bar may say that “Snickers Satisfies,” but that’s only a temporary satisfaction. Jesus Christ is the source of TRUE satisfaction – spiritual satisfaction. He alone can give us the spiritual nourishment we need. He alone is the Bread that can feed our great hunger, the hunger for meaning & purpose & direction in life that gnaws & gnaws away in our inner being. There is no other source that will satisfy our deepest hunger. Only Jesus Christ can do that, & He WILL do that for each of us today if we will let Him.
3 different places here in this passage that speak to Jesus being the Bread of Life. And in each of these places, we see 2 things: Proclamations & Promises.
v. 35 – “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, & whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
THE PROCLAMATION – “I am the bread of life”
THE PROMISES – “whoever comes to me shall not hunger, & whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
v. 48-50 – “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness & they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it & not die.”
THE PROCLAMATIONS – “I am the bread of life…This is the bread that comes down from heaven”
THE PROMISE – “…one may eat of it & not die.”
v. 51 – “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever…”
THE PROCLAMATION – “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”
THE PROMISE – “…he will live forever.”
SET JESUS APART – Not just any bread, but the Bread of Life, the true Bread, the Bread of God. There’s no other Bread like Him.
- All of His “I AM” statements are for that very purpose – to show that Jesus is different from any other god this world has. He’s the ONLY God who came TO us to save us. All of His “I AM” statements set Him apart. “I am…”
- The Light of the World
- The Door
- The Good Shepherd
- The Resurrection & the Life
- The Way, the Truth, & the Life
- The True Vine
SHOW HIS DIVINITY – Jesus isn’t man’s bread – He’s God’s bread. He’s the Bread that comes down from God. Look at v. 33 & v. 50-51.
- He’s the Bread that comes down from heaven itself, from the very household of God.
- The origin of the true Bread of Life is God Himself.
SEAL THE DEAL – No eternal life apart from Him. No meaning & purpose in life apart from Him. This Bread of Life does at least 4 things:
- Nourishes or sustains life
- Creates a desire for more & more
The Promises are:
CLEAR – Jesus makes it abundantly clear that this Bread is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to have eternal life, & ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to live the Christian life.
- Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
CONCISE – “Concise” means “expressing or covering much in few words; brief in form but comprehensive in scope”
- “shall not hunger”
- “shall not thirst”
- “not die”
- “live forever”
CRAZY GOOD – Man, does it get any better than this promise – “Eat this bread & live forever!”
- Charles Stanley – “Although the Lord is beyond our comprehension in so many ways, He sent us His Son in human form to be a living expression of Himself and His name. In the person of Jesus Christ, we see both the greatness and love of God for us. The Father loved us enough to send His Son into the world for our salvation, and Jesus demonstrated His love by dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. What an awesome God we have—the great I Am.”
CONCLUSION – You’re dying of hunger. I have a loaf of bread that I’m holding out to you. What’s your response? You have to step forward, take it, & eat it. That’s what is offered to you today.
“Bread of Life? Jesus lived up to the title. But an unopened loaf does a person no good. Have you received the bread? Have you received God’s forgiveness?” (Max Lucado)