Holy Week with Jesus – Tuesday

On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him, and they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?” Luke 20:1-2 (NASB)

According to Luke, Tuesday is one busy day for Jesus! As is their standard mode of operation, the religious leaders confront Jesus about His authority. In this passage the religious authorities are the perfect picture of people throughout the world today. We must make one of three choices when it comes to Jesus and His authority: (1) He came from God; (2) He came from man (3) remain silent and do nothing. In this passage Jesus is found teaching the people and preaching the gospel in the Temple. The unbelief of the religious authorities causes them all to turn a deaf ear to the TRUTH of Jesus’ teaching, and their unbelief then causes them to begin questioning His authority. In response to their question Jesus asks a question of His own and in the denial of a response by the religious authorities we can clearly see ourselves.

The first possibility to the question of “By what authority” Jesus is teaching is by the authority of God. John the Baptist points the way to God. John the Baptist is on record as having said of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God…” (John 1:29) and a few verses later he testifies to the Spirit landing and remaining upon Jesus (J0hn 1:34). John’s testimony is clear…Jesus is from God. If they acknowledge that John is from heaven, then it is clear that Jesus too must be from heaven sent by God. That makes the message of Jesus the message of the kingdom of heaven, straight from God the Father. This also means there is great hope for all people, hope to be saved from sin, death and hell.

The second possibility is that the authority of Jesus comes from man. Once again, whatever is true of John must then be true of Jesus. If John comes from man, then Jesus too must have come with the authority of man. However, if this is true, how would one explain so many changed lives? Thousands have repented and been transformed, turning their lives around and following God with a renewed zeal and vigor! To say that John was not from God and received his power and authority from man would be foolish and absurd, for the religious leaders know the people would rise up against them.

The final possibility when answering the question of the authority of Jesus is to simply remain silent and remain indecisive. For the religious leaders this was a no-win situation. To admit that Jesus is from God threatens the position and power; to say He is working under the authority of man is to cause an uprising that would once again, threaten their power and position. So, they choose to remain silent and indecisive. In fact, they only discuss the matter between themselves, never searching their own hearts nor are they seeking the truth. Their minds are already made up. They will not set aside what they have already decided in their minds, the are willfully and intentionally rejecting Jesus.

And now comes the time we must take for self-examination. Where are you in this passage? Are you fully accepting that Jesus acts on and with the authority of God? Or do you believe Jesus was simply a good teacher, filled with wisdom having no authority other than what He found from those around Him? Or do you find yourself being silent and indecisive about Jesus? This is, by far, the most dangerous position for anyone to find themselves holding to. If you find yourself being silent and indecisive to save face with your friends and family, afraid to seek the truth, then let me encourage you to know that Jesus accepts you where you are, as you are, with whatever baggage you might be carrying with you. However, know this as well, Jesus WILLNOT leave you where you are. His love for you is far deeper than your finite mind can understand.

As we sit in quarantine, practicing social distancing this Holy Week, now is the perfect time to open your heart and your mind to the truth of Jesus, the Son of God. He alone is the Way to salvation, the Truth of God and the Life-giving source for all people. People…get ready! Jesus is coming soon!

Holy Week with Jesus – Monday

Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling, saying to them, “It is written, ‘AND MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him, and they could not find anything that they might do, for all the people were hanging on to every word He said. Luke 19:45-48 (NASB)

According to Luke, Jesus was anything but laid back during holy week. As He entered Jerusalem for the Passover Feast, Jesus looks to the Temple as the place of worship and becomes dismayed with what He sees. Driven by holy zeal Jesus cleanses the Temple for three reasons.

First, the greed that has entered into His Father’s house seen in the selling of animals and other materials needed for sacrifice as well as the exchanging of money. Originally God had commanded that each family bring their own animals for sacrifice. This would make it a more personal experience. With the distance some worshipers traveled this became near impossible, so the religious leaders set up a system of exchanging foreign money for Temple coins and selling animals and the materials necessary for sacrifice. The problem with the system was the exchange rate of the money and the location.

Exorbitant fees and inflated rates of exchange made the religious leaders wealthy but did little to enhance the worship experience of those who traveled from great distances to enter the presence of God. Add to this the cost of the animals needed for sacrifice and worship became an expensive experience as the religious leaders took full advantage of travelers and their need for materials. Jesus quotes two Old Testament prophets, Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11, as His righteous anger drives Him to remove sin from the Temple.

Second, the exclusion of people from the act of worship in the Temple. The money exchangers and those selling animals had set up shop in the Court of the Gentiles. This is as far as gentiles were allowed to enter into the Temple if they wished to worship God. Imagine the noises, the smells and the general chaos Gentiles must endure if they wished to worship God. The bleating of sheep, the snorting of bulls and the fluttering of wings as animals are pushed, prodded and sold would do little to enhance the worship experience for the Gentiles.

Finally, Jesus cleansed the Temple because of His relationship to the Father. Jesus uses the possessive “My” as he exclaims “My Father’s house is to be a house of prayer!” The Temple belongs to the Lord and His relationship to God, My Father grants him full authority to cleanse the temple from sin. This symbolic act foreshadows what is to come at the end of the week when Jesus will go to the cross and remove sin from the world as the Lamb of God. Once again, His Father will grant Him full authority over life and death as He is raised from the dead.

This Holy Week I challenge each of you to look within yourself and ask some very tough questions. How do I bring greed into the church? How do I exclude others from worship? What is the status of my relationship with God the Father? Each of us brings greed into the church when we come to a worship service seeking only for what we can GET from worship rather than what we can GIVE in worship. Yes, corporate worship is a time to recharge and prepare for another long week ahead. But if we seek only to receive, we miss out on being a blessing to our Father in recognizing who He is rather than simply focusing on what He has done for us.

Secondly, we exclude others from worship every time we look at the exterior of a person; what he or she is wearing; how someone wears their hair or heaven forbid, if they are wearing a hat! God has stated clearly, simply and plainly NOT to look at the outside of a person, for God judges the heart of a person. By our standards today I doubt that David would stand little chance of being named king of Israel. He just doesn’t measure up to the clean-cut all-American, well put together hero we envision a king should be! And yet, God overlooked the much more handsome brothers of David stating, “Do not look at his stature.”

Finally, examine your relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ. You must first accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God before you can begin to call God your Father. If your relationship with Jesus is cut off then you have NO relationship with the Father. What do you seek in your worship? Are you seeking to spend time on the mountaintop in praise or are you prepared to spend time in true worship, drawing near to God so He can examine your heart and prune dead limbs from your life?

Jesus was anything but laid back this week. He is moving forward with intentionality toward the cross of Calvary where He will complete the work His Father has prepared for Him. Perhaps during this time of quarantine, rather than complain because the church doors are closed and locked, we as Christians, the body of Christ, can begin to cleanse our temple of the sin that has separated us from God the Father; perhaps we can remove the barriers that exist between the church and those who do not yet know Jesus; and perhaps we can reconnect with God the Father through prayer and personal worship so that when the church doors do open, we can return with a renewed heart and passion for worship every Sunday morning.

“I Am the Door”

“I Am the Door”

HomeChurch Devotional 4/5/2020

These devotionals were written during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic when area churches were not allowedto meet for fear of spreading the coronavirus. They were used in place of a full sermon as my family and I gathered for worship and communion.

So Jesus again said tothem, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of thesheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. Iam the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and outand find pasture. The thief comes only to stealand kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

 John 10:7-10 (ESV)

The shepherd and sheep area common and beloved image in Scripture, especially in the New Testament. Shepherds were considered to be among the undesirables of society because theywere “spiritually unclean” and there was not much opportunity for them to becleansed. Being a shepherd was a 24/7 proposition and required close contactwith the sheep herd. And yet God chose this group of undesirables to announcethe birth of His Son, Jesus Christ and they were the first to discover andworship the newborn King. In Scripture, we, the body of Christ, are often describedas the sheep of His flock. And there is little wonder we are associated withsheep, a hardheaded, stiff neck animal that simply seeks their own desires andselfish ambitions.

When Jesus claims to bethe gate of door of the sheep He is likely referring to the community sheep penwhere sheep were kept at night for safe keeping. This sheepfold had a singledoor/gate through which all the sheep and shepherds must enter or exit. When astrange and unfamiliar shepherd would enter the sheepfold most of the sheepwould scatter and run for cover, However, as the shepherd called his flock theywould emerge from the chaos and focus on him and follow him out the door/gateand enter the pasture and begin their journey to their home range. No othershepherd could claim sheep that were not his for they would flee from the soundof his voice and the only way to claim them was to steal or kill them.

However, there is another application to this statement that many do not know about or do not fullyunderstand. Psalm 23 is, perhaps, the most well known and beloved of allScripture passages. This Psalm actually walks us through a year in the life ofa sheep following his shepherd to the lush grazing lands atop the mountains,through the valleys and ravine, harsh weather and perfect sunny days and backhome again to the safety of their home range. On this journey, when the sheepwere to bed down for the night, the shepherd would find or have prepared aravine that formed a sheepfold from the natural lay of the land. This wasusually rocks and boulders from the land or streams that formed a protectivebarrier. In this sheepfold, once again, there would be a single door and theshepherd himself would lay across the opening and become the gate. This is theapplication for the body of Christ today, Christians.

As we celebrate theTriumphal Enter of Jesus into Jerusalem on this Palm Sunday this statement takes on a new and added importance in the life of believers. Jesus entered Jerusalem as the humble king riding on a donkey. The crowd following Him came from Bethany where He has called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead. The crowd had a sense of the kind of shepherd that Jesus came to be. But Jesus had a far deeper understanding of the shepherd and sheep. His journey had not yet reached the climax and as the people began to cry out “Hosanna” Jesus turned His face to the cross and the work that awaited Him.

When Jesus says “I am the Door,” not only is He referring to the sheepfold but there is a far deeper meaning for believers today. Jesus is the Door into God’s presence; the Temple veil will be torn from top to bottom allowing access to God’s presence. Jesus is the Door into God’s acceptance; by removing our sin through His shed blood Christ makes us able to stand before God justified and redeemed. Jesus is the Door to salvation; it is through Christ and His work on the cross that gives us eternal life. Jesus is the Door into heaven; no one can come to the Father but through Jesus and no one can enter into heaven or the Kingdom of God without believing that Jesus is the Son of God. Therefore, if we wish to be with God, enjoy His kingdom and have eternal life and fellowship with the Father and Sonwe must enter through the Door, Jesus the Christ.

All others who claim to bethe door are thieves and robbers. There are some who claim to be the door and to have the way to God. They claim to know the right way and to have the newest ideas and the latest truth and knowledge. They claim to have the right teaching,religion, works, maturity, philosophy, psychology, ideas, and novel concepts.They claim to be the door that opens into God’s presence. But Jesus says that they are thieves and robbers. They are out to steal the sheep, both their wool,in the case of believers, their possessions as well as their lives or their loyalty. They want both their wool and their lives, for if they have both they have the sheep’s permanent loyalty.

The proof that Jesus is the only Door and that all others are false doors is the sheep themselves. Thesheep do not hear the voices of false doors, not if they are the real sheep of theShepherd. The real sheep of God know the Shepherd’s voice and have the abilityto discern it. If they hear the voice of a false shepherd, they know that he andhis sheepfold are false. His voice and message are not the voice and message ofthe true door, the Son of God Himself.

The thief, like falseleaders or teachers, has evil intentions. Jesus pictured a heartless individualwho began by taking all he could and then killing what he couldn’t have.Anything else he destroyed. God’s people, Israel, had suffered through morethan their share of evil leaders, false prophets, and false messiahs. Bycontrast, Jesus gives life in all its fullness to his sheep. This speaks of thegift of divine, eternal life, a life which becomes the possession of everybeliever for now and for eternity. Jesus would provide his sheep with thiseternal life, and it would cost him his own life.

And so it did! Like thesheep within the sheepfold in the hill country, the shepherd literally becamethe door to the sheepfold. As he stretched out across the opening to become theDoor, no sheep could leave the fold without going over the shepherd and noenemy could enter without going THROUGH the shepherd! In Luke22:31-32 (NASB) Jesus warns Peter of what is to come  “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permissionto sift you like wheat; but I have prayedfor you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again,strengthen your brothers.” Satan stillhas access to believers today but he must first seek permission and as we learnin Job, he can only go so far before Jesus steps in! Our Shepherd, Jesus Christstands as our door through which our enemy MUST enter if he wishes to “sift uslike wheat.”

“I Am the Light of the World”

“IAm the Light of the World”

HomeChurch Devotional 3/29/2020

These devotionals werewritten during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic when area churches were not allowedto meet for fear of spreading the coronavirus. They were used in place of afull sermon as my family and I gathered for worship and communion.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, butwill have the light of life.”

          John 8:12(ESV)

Light plays a prominent role in the introduction of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. In the prologue to his gospel account, John introduces the Word as the Light of men and the true Light. This Light is the life of all mankind. Light shines in the darkness and darkness cannot comprehend or overcome the Light. In contrast those who hate the light will remain in darkness and reject the Light.

It is possible for the Light, Jesus Himself, to be in men,and for men to become children of Light.

Jesus used the word light often. John uses the word twenty-one times. So what, exactly, is meant by calling Jesus the Light? First, Jesus, the Light, is light by nature. Light is what He is within Himself, within His being, His nature, His essence, His character. Scripture tells us that God is Light; that Jesus is the image of the invisible God; therefore, “Jesus is Light.” He is “the Light of the world.” Secondly, Jesus, the Light, tells us that He is holy, righteous, and pure. Light is the symbol of purity and holiness. Light means the absence of darkness and blindness; it has no spots of darkness or blackness, nor of sin and shame.

Thirdly, Jesus, the Light, reveals. His light shows clearly the nature, the meaning, and the destiny of all things. His light shines in, spots, opens up, identifies, illuminates, and shows things as they really are. The light of Jesus Christ shows the truth about the world and man and God. The light of Jesus Christ reveals that He loves and cares forman and wants man to love and care for Him. Fourth, Jesus, the Light, guides. His light allows a man to walk out of darkness. People no longer have to grope,  grasp, and stumble about trying to find their way through life. The path of life can now be clearly seen. Finally, Jesus, the Light, does away with darkness and with chaos. His light routs, wipes out, strips away and erases the darkness. The empty chaos of creation was routed by the light given by God. Jesus Christ is the Light that can save man from chaos.

Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the Light of the world at the great Feast of Tabernacles. The very first ceremony of the Feast holds great significance for Jesus’ claim. It was called “The Illumination of the Temple” and was held in the Court of the Women. The center of the Court was surrounded by large sections of stadium-like seats. In the open space of the Court sat four huge candelabra. When darkness fell the candelabra were lit, and the elders danced and led the people in singing psalms before the Lord all night. The brilliance and glow from the burning flames of the huge candelabra were said to be so bright that the light could be seen throughout the whole city. It was against this background that Jesus cried out,”I am the Light of the world.”

By contrast, darkness is used in Scripture to describe both the state and the works of man. Darkness is very real in Scripture. First, darkness refers to the world of the natural man who does not know Jesus Christ. The natural man walks in ignorance of Jesus Christ; of God as revealed by Jesus Christ; of the real purpose and destiny of life as shown by Jesus Christ. The natural man stumbles and gropes about in this world. He knows nothing other than the things of this world as he sees them. His only hope is the hope of living a long life before death overtakes him. He walks in darkness, ignorant of real life now and hereafter.

Secondly, darkness symbolizes unpreparedness and unwatchfulness. It symbolizes the time when evil occurs. Thirdly, darkness is loved by men. Sinful men do their evil deeds under thecover of darkness. Men therefore hate the light because the light uncovers their evil behavior. Finally, darkness is hostile to light.

Not only does Jesus make a greatclaim by stating “I Am the Light of the world” He also made a twofold promise .First, all who follow Him will not walk in darkness and secondly, they will have the light of life. None of us possesses light, not within ourselves, not by nature. By nature, we are darkness. We are delivered out of darkness by following Jesus Christ. The Greek word indicates this is a continuous action. We must continue to follow Christ in order to receive light. John continued this theme in his first epistle:

In 1 John 1:5-7(ESV) John writes –

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

Those who claim to follow the Son must be living in thelight of God’s presence. They must be illumined by the truth of God’s character. To “live in the light” requires constant contact with God and no tolerance for dishonesty, hypocrisy, or sin. Living in the light comes from continuous effort to take on Christ’s qualities. This involves complete transformation from within.

Living in the light leads to fellowship with each other. This fellowship among believers results from each believer’s having fellowship with God. True spirituality manifests itself in community fellowship. One cannot say that he or she communes with God and then refuse to commune with God’s people. Such was the case with some of the false teachers of John’s day, and this situation exists among false cults today. Often their followers and leaders claim to have special relationships with God, but they don’t affiliate with other believers. They stay isolated and withdrawfrom everyone else. John’s point is that the natural result of living in the light (in fellowship with God) should be joyful relationships with other Christians.

Another result of living in the light is that the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. John emphasized that the death of Christ saves people, not the false teachers’knowledge. The verb cleanses also means “purifies.” Sin is not only forgiven,it is erased. How does Jesus’ blood do that? In Old Testament times, believers would symbolically transfer their sins to an animal, which they then would sacrifice. The animal died in their place to pay for their sin and to allow them to continue living in God’s favor. God graciously forgave them because oftheir faith in him and because they obeyed his commandments concerning the sacrifice. Those sacrifices anticipated the day when Christ would completely remove sin. Real cleansing from sin came with Jesus, the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

Those who “live in the light,” the true believers, will still find themselves at times in sin. Christians will notbe made completely perfect until Jesus returns and brings them into his Kingdom. When they do sin, however, God has already made provision to deal with those sins through the blood of his Son. That provision allows God’s people to continue to walk in the light—dealing with sin through confession and receiving his forgiveness so that fellowship with God and with others can remainunhindered.

In claiming to be the light of the world, Jesus defined his unique position as the one true light for all people,not just the Jews. Death brings eternal darkness; but to follow Jesus means not stumbling through the darkness but having the light that leads to life. Believers no longer walk blindly in sin, rather his light shows sin and the need of forgiveness, gives guidance, and leads into eternal life with Christ.

“I Am the Bread of Life”

“I Am the Bread of Life”

HomeChurch Devotional 322

These devotionals werewritten during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic when area churches were not allowedto meet for fear of spreading the coronavirus. They were used in place of afull sermon as my family and I gathered for worship and communion.

So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, 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 from heaven to eat.’” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 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. 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 whoever comes tome I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”                                                                                                                                   John6: 30 – 40 (ESV)

Bread is an important symbol throughout the life of Jesus. Jesus was born in Bethlehem which means House of Bread. In the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4:4 Satan attempts totrick Jesus into turning stones into bread. Jesus replies that “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”The word of God is our spiritual nourishment at all times. In Matthew 6:11 Jesus gives the disciples a pattern for prayer, what has become known as “The Lord’s Prayer” where he teaches the disciples to ask God to “give us this dayor daily bread” as we acknowledge God as provider for all of our needs. Andfinally, we have today’s passage, “I Am the Bread of Life.”

This passage comes after the feeding of the 5,000 in which Jesus has takes a few barley loaves to feed those who are following Him. Afterwards the disciples collect twelve baskets full of the leftover bread. As the people seek for yet another sign that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, Jesus speaks in spiritual terms the people cannot and will not understand.

Jesus had just made some phenomenal claims. He claimed to be the Son of Man; the One who feeds man,who gives man bread which issues forth eternal life; the One whom God hadsealed; the One whom God had sent into the world; and the One upon whom menwere to believe. The people demanded proof. Note two revealing things about thenature of man.

People focus upon the physical and material. They ignore all the signs, even the miracles of God which surround them. Christ had just miraculously fed the crowd, yet the crowd ignored the witness of that particular sign. It was not enough. They were so attached to the earth, to its physical pleasures and material goods, that they wanted more and more. To them Moses had fed Israel for forty years in the wilderness. Christ had fed them only once. Moses had fed Israel with manna falling out ofthe sky from heaven. Christ had merely multiplied bread from a few loaves in His hands.

People demand that they first see, then they will believe. This is contrary to true faith. It is not the way faith works. A man must first believe God, then he sees. However, faith is not fate; it is a matter of the heart, a matter of how the heart must relate to others. God relates with us just as we relate to others. If a person does not believe in us, they do not see; that is, they may ask all they want but it is unlikely that we will do what they ask. But if they believe and trust us, we usually do whatever they ask, and they see their desires and requests fulfilled by our hands. Repeating the above, a man must first believe God, then he sees. Faith must precede sight. Believe God and He will fulfill the desires of your heart.

The people’s complaint was twofold. Christ had not fed them enough—not enough to prove that He was who He claimedto be.  Christ had not fed them in the right way, not given”them bread from heaven to eat.”

People never have enough. They crave and crave, never beingfully satisfied. They experience a gnawing hunger, a restlessness, emptiness, loneliness, vacuum, and a lack of purpose, meaning, and significance. Even indealing with God, they never have enough evidence or proof to believe—not within their human nature. People always wants to tell God how to act and dealwith them and their life. People wants their needs met in certain ways. It isnot enough for God to meet their needs; people want their needs met as they will and desire. They try to dictate how God is to act and behave toward them.So much human religion is nothing more than this, nothing more than peopletrying to spell out how God is to act and behave toward them.

Christ is the true bread. Man cannot provide true bread,that is, true satisfaction. Only God can. Moses was not the one who gave Israel the manna from heaven; God was the One who gave the manna. A man has to do something if he wishes to have his hunger met; to be truly filled; to be completely satisfied; to be content; to be comfortable; and to be at peace. A person must look both beyond other people and beyond the things of this world. People and things cannot meet the gnawing hunger of mankind; they cannot provide true satisfaction, for they do not possess the true bread.

God alone provides true bread, that is, provides true satisfaction. Notice three things. First, Christ called God “My Father.” Second, The bread God gives is “true” bread. Finally, the “bread” or “manna” of God is not physical and material bread: it is spiritual. God may provide and actually does promise to provide for the physical necessities of His followers, but physical and material bread is not what Christ was talking about in this passage. Physical and material bread lasts only for a short while. Once consumed, it is gone. Its satisfaction passes and man’s gnawing hunger arises again. But the bread God gives is spiritual bread, that is, spiritual food for the soul. It is the bread that man really needs more than anything else on earth. It is the only bread that can feed and meet the need of man’s hungers, loneliness, restlessness, lack of purpose, emptiness, meaning and significance.

Christ is the Bread of God. In saying this, Christ made at least two points. The origin of the true Bread is God Himself. It is bread which came down from or “out of” heaven itself. This means several things. First, the bread of God is not bread which comes out of the clouds above earth. Rather, it is bread which comes “out of” heaven itself, out of the spiritual dimension of being, from the very presence of God Himself. It is bread which comes from the very household of God. Second, the bread of God is not physical bread. It is of the nature of God Himself, spiritual and eternal bread. Third, the bread of God is possessed by God; therefore, only He can give it, and man cannot have the Bread of God unless God gives it to man. Finally, the Bread of God was a person. Note the personal pronoun “He,” and the word “bread” which is masculine. Note that “He,” the Bread of God who feeds and nourishes man, came down or “out of” heaven. He was not born of the earth. He came from the very presence of God Himself.

The Bread of God gives life to the world. That is the purpose of bread is to give life. Bread gives life by nourishing and sustaining; satisfying; energizing and creating desire (the need) for more and being partaken on a regular basis.  Christ and the Word of God gives life to the believer by doing the same five things as bread. The Bread of God came from heaven to give life to the whole world. It was not just to one person or to one nation that He came. He came to the whole world. He came to sacrifice Himself, to feed and save a starving world.

When Christ said I am the Bread of Life, there are four significant points here. First, the people requested the Bread of God. The people called Jesus “Lord,” but how much they understood of His deity is not known. So, this is apparently just an address of respect. However, the point is clear in the Bible. When a person asks for the Bread of God, he must call Jesus “Lord” and be ready to submit to Him as Lord, serving Jesus day by day.

Also notice that the people requested: “give us this bread always.” This was a once-for-all request. The people wanted this Bread of God once-for-all, so that they might have a permanent provision. The Bible is again clear on this point. Salvation, that is, partaking of the Bread of Life, is to be a permanent experience. It is to be a once-for-all experience.

Secondly, in making the phenomenal claim of “I am the Bread of life” Jesus Christ made the claim: He was the true Bread; the Bread of God; and the Bread of Life.

Third, if a person comes to Christ, the Bread of Life, they will never hunger. People have a starving, craving need for life. People crave a life that is full and satisfying; is nourishing and sustaining; is energizing and has its desires fulfilled. If a person comes to Christ, they will never hunger. The gnawing of starvation, the craving for life will be fully satisfied.

Finally, if a person believes, they will never thirst. The picture (symbolism) is switched from hunger to thirst. Aperson’s need is more than met; not only is their hunger satisfied, but their thirst is quenched. Every need of life, of nourishment, and of growth is met. Nothing is left out or lacking. When a person comes to Christ and believes, a continuous action, meaning continuing to believe, every need of their life andgrowth is met. Of course, this does not mean they will never hunger after righteousness. They will, but their hunger and thirst will never gounsatisfied. They “shall be filled.”

In the end Christ was seen but rejected. The point is that the people were without excuse. They had every opportunity in the world. The Bread of God had “come down from heaven.” The Bread of God had come to give life to the world. The Bread of God had been seen. The Bread of God was being seen and proclaimed that very moment. Any of the people could have easilycome to Christ, yet sitting there and hearing the glorious news, they still did not believe.

Seeing the panic buying and hoarding as word of the coronavirus spread is an example of people seeking comfort and peace in the material rather than the spiritual. Bread was one of the first things people began to hoard. Bread shelves were emptied before meat, milk and disinfectants which soon followed suit. None of these will bring any relief from the coronavirus should anyone who has hoarded them become infected. It will still run its course; it will still cause some damage and it will still cause pain and heartache to those who lose a loved one. This is why it is so important to show your faith and have a ready answer for the hope you carry with you.

About Me

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and review my blog, sermons and videos. I hope you will find something encouraging, uplifting and strengthening as you explore my site.

I am a pastor in Southwest Lower Michigan. Much of my ministry career has been in Northern Indiana where I was born and raised. I began this new venture because God has placed writing on my heart; not just any writing but writing that will speak to people where they are today and hopefully, address some of the needs not being met in today’s society.

Most of what you will read here come from past sermons, devotional writings and article published in local newspapers. These are simple articles meant to provide a bit of encouragement, uplifting, strengthening, coming from God’s word to speak to some of the issue we face in our world today.

New content will be added as time allows, but I will make every effort to add something new every week. I know this blog and its content will not be to everyone’s liking and I never intended for it to be that. This blog, the sermons and videos that are posted, have developed because God placed them on my heart. I preach and teach the truth of God from His word…the Bible. It is not my intent to intentionally offend or hurt anyone. That being said, I will not “sugar coat” or “water down” the truth I preach from God’s word. Please enjoy yourself as you explore. My God bless you through His word on these pages.