Bread for Life

Bread for Life

Life & Light Community Church

Message from 9/24/2022

Life & Light Community Church began in the early months of 2020. What began as an opportunity for me, my wife and step-kids to continue to worship together, has now evolved into a ministry that has expanded to include close friends, family, and those who are simply hungry for the word of God. You can find us on Facebook, so please, feel free to reach out and join us.

“So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’ ” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. “But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

                                                                                  John 6:30–40 (NASB95)

How many times have we been confronted with a situation where someone is presenting themselves as an authority, telling us to do something that is supposed to be for our benefit, and responded, “Who do you think you are?” or “What makes you better than everyone else?” or my personal favorite, “Who died and made you God?” What about those times when we are approached by someone as a representative of a company, or an authoritative figure and we ask for identification. Prove to me you are who you say you are and that you are trustworthy. In other words, show me why I should believe you are who you say you are.

In our passage today, the people who were the recipients of the miracle feeding of 5,000 seem to be asking these very same questions, though they are wrapped in a pious attitude, these questions simply boil down to a matter of identity and trust. The people want to know if Jesus is the Messiah and if so, they want proof positive. The issue is the people are clueless and insensitive to the truth standing before them. Jesus is exactly what they are seeking, Bread for Life, the gift of manna, sent to give life to the world.

The people press Jesus for a sign, specifically, manna their fathers ate in the desert as bread from heaven. Jesus declares His Father gives true bread from heaven which gives life to the world. The people want this bread always, as Jesus declares I am the Bread of Life – the true Bread for Life that give eternal life, given to those who behold and believe in the Son.

While the people seek yet another miracle, specifically bread out of heaven, Jesus reminds the people it is His Father who give the true bread out of heaven. Jesus, as the Bread of Life, has come to do the will of the Father – to give eternal life to those who believe He is the Bread for Life – eternal life.

In this message we seek to answer the question, “What does it mean to believe Jesus is Bread for Life?”

When we believe Jesus is Bread for Life, we are believing in the One who satisfies our hunger and quenches our thirst.

1). To believe that Jesus is Bread for Life means we believe that Jesus has come down out of heaven.

Jesus is the true Bread out of heaven, come down to give life to the world.

Once again, we find the same crowd who were the recipients of the miracle at the feeding of the 5,000 men, plus women and children, asking for a sign that they might believe in Jesus. What began as a seemingly pious question, has suddenly turned into the same question the Judean Jews are asking of Jesus. It is not like Jesus was unwilling to substantiate His claims and teachings with miracles and signs. He has clearly shown them to the Galilean people, but not to the Temple authorities in Jerusalem. What is the real motivation for this question? At the core of this portion of Scripture, is the fact that Jesus refuses to submit His “candidacy” for Messiahship to the Jerusalem authorities.

Once again, the people in the crowd bring up an incident involving Moses – thus pitting Moses against Jesus. John’s gospel account portrays many of the representatives of the Judean system as clueless and insensitive to the truth, and once again, we see Jesus setting the record straight. It is not Moses who gives the people bread from heaven, but rather, it is God the Father who provides for the people. This argues that the Judean’s do not know the facts of the Torah they claim as their own. Jesus makes it clear that the true bread from heaven comes from His Father. But there is another point here we must understand as well.

The people specifically mention manna: “Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness:” Here is the point at which the people are truly insensitive to the truth. The manna given in the desert by God was a picture of the true sustenance for the human soul: Jesus, the incarnate, crucified, and resurrected Word of God. The manna is a picture of life in Christ – God has given His Son, just as He gave manna, to give life to the world, to His people. Now, there is an ancient Rabbinic teaching that fits with the theme of Messiah being manna from heaven, which may be applicable here.

Ancient Rabbinic teachings said that when Messiah came the age would be marked with the restoration of the gift of manna. There is some evidence that this teaching was still around while Jesus was walking through Jerusalem. While a longshot, it is just possible the people were citing this teaching as a sign of the Messiah. The people very well may have been asking Jesus if He were the gift of manna. A longshot to be sure, and whether or not this is true of the people, it is absolutely true that Jesus is the gift of manna, a gift that is meant to give life to God’s people.

As Christ followers, we are past the time of the Messiah and His first coming, we now anxiously await His return. For us the gift of manna is a spiritual gift, given freely to all who seek Christ. The gift of this spiritual sustenance can be seen in several ways throughout the Scriptures. We have the Holy Spirit to act as a guide and lead us into all truth. Truth is one gift of manna that feeds and sustains our faith. In addition, we have the full armor of God to support us in our spiritual battles. This armor covers us from the soles of our feet to the top of our heads and combats the enemy from all angles. There are others but the point is, these are spiritual gifts found in Christ. Jesus is our gift of manna – bread out of heaven, come to give us life.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

How have you submitted to the Messiahship of Jesus? If you have not, what is holding you back?

How has God fed you in your wilderness experience?

How is Jesus acting as your gift of manna today?

When we believe Jesus is Bread for Life, we are believing in the One who satisfies our hunger and quenches our thirst.

2). To believe Jesus is Bread for Life means we believe Jesus came to do the will of His Father.

The will of the Father is for those who behold and believe in the Son to be raised up on the last day.

The people respond with an answer that sounds very familiar, “Lord, always give us this bread.” Where have we heard something similar to this? Back in chapter 4 and the woman at the well. In the story of the woman at the well and here in chapter 6, the two most common human needs are in display, thirst and hunger. Jesus asks for a drink of water and the response is He has nothing to draw with. Jesus then says to the woman, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water I give him shall never thirst;” What was the woman’s response? “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” At this point, we can honestly say that the Samaritan woman’s faith, having only heard the words of Jesus, is compared, and contrasted with the unbelief of these people who have seen the miracles performed by Jesus and failed to see them as signs.

Here we find the first of the seven “I AM” statements made by Jesus throughout the gospel account of John. Jesus responds with “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” In Deuteronomy, the book most often quoted by Jesus, we read Moses’ reason for God’s provision of manna to the Israelites:

“He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.”

                                                                            Deuteronomy 8:3 (NASB95)

Once again, like it or not, just like Moses, Jesus too must prove Himself before He could be trusted. The Judean Jews who saw the miracles, were not able to see them as signs, and therefore they did not believe. Miracles were not enough for these Judean Israelites, and yet, God’s words were enough for the Samaritan Israelites. Perhaps this is why, in Matthew, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8 when He says, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” The implication here is clear, especially in John’s gospel account, Jesus is the word of God and as the word of God, Jesus has come to do His Father’s will. The will of the Father is that those who behold and believe in the Son have eternal life – that they be raised up on the last day. This is the resurrection at the return of Christ, the blessed hope of our faith.   

As Christ followers, though we have never seen Jesus face-to-face, He is our hope for today, tomorrow, and the future. He provides, not only physical bread, but bread for our spiritual wellbeing. It may come through the armor of God as He helps us fight our battles or it may come through the Holy Spirit as He leads us into truth as we combat the lies and deception of the enemy. In doing His Father’s will, Jesus will also guide us into the Fathers will, if we are paying close attention to the work of the Spirit in our lives. We cannot survive the spiritual battles we face on a daily basis. We need someone who is bigger than us, knows more than we do, and can see more than we can see. We need the gift of manna found in Christ more and more each day.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

How is Jesus satisfying your hunger and quenching your thirst during this season of life?

How is Jesus proving Himself trustworthy for you today?

How is the Spirit leading you into the Fathers will during this season of your life?

When we believe Jesus is Bread for Life, we are believing in the One who satisfies our hunger and quenches our thirst.

As Christ followers, each of us has been given to Jesus by the Father. What this means is that each of us, individually, was drawn by God to the Son. We are now part of His family. Jesus is the King of our lives, but perhaps more importantly, Jesus is the King of All Israel. He has come to unite Israel and return them to God the Father. Those who behold and believe in the Son will have eternal life in Christ. Behold is used of spectators, it means to gaze. It implies one who looks at a person or a thing with interest and for a purpose – usually indicating the careful observation of details. To believe is to be persuaded – to place confidence in, to trust, usually indicating a reliance upon.

Those who behold and believe are to be raised up – that is, resurrected – on the last day, the day of His return to this earth when Jesus claims His own. This passage, for the Christ follower and all who are willing to read and understand, makes it clear that Jesus is the Bread for Life, come to give life to the world. This means as the Bread of Life, Jesus is the Giver of Life. As the Bread of Life, He is also the Source of Life, for in Him we find our eternal destiny – eternal life.

We do all things for the glory of God, through Christ our Lord,

Amen and amen.

Next Week: John 6:41-50

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