Bread of Life
Today a sermon on communion - homily - be seen with the last 2 stories.
Read John 6:25-27 JN 6:25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"
26 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs 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. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
How when did you get here? Why were people looking for Jesus? Looking for me or for dinner? As a Santa Claus - for selfish reasons.
What do people want? LIFE
Life is more than eating, sleeping, working and making love - it is being loved, loving others. How can we get a grip on this?
Two ways to go at life
1 way leads to death,
1 way leads to true life, eternal life
Two kinds of food
Food that spoils, food that lasts
Food that satisfies, food that doesn't
Read John 6:28-34
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 miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: `He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' "
32 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, 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 he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
34 "Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread." (remember woman at well)
What Works? - only believe
One time for all time - walk the aisle, say the prayer?
Belief that grows with time
People say - we're not convinced, we're not buying it do a miracle, fix us dinner, child psychology - pit Jesus against Moses. Crowd tries to get Jesus back into their game plan. (you can't tickle me!)
Compare Manna to Jesus
Manna - white like fallen snow - Jesus pure spotless
Manna accessible, walk outside camp, its everywhere - pick it up or tramp on it. Bread gives life - staff of life - Bethlehem - house of bread
Manna, now let's get the story straight - it was God not Moses who supplied your three squares.
Father GIVES bread, present tense
Jesus begins to preach figuratively - most don't get it
Limits to literal imagination (from Pat W. e-mail)
The new Supermarket near our house has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh.
Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and the smell of fresh rain.
When you approach the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and smell the scent of fresh hay.
When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying. The veggie department features the smell of fresh buttered corn. I don't buy toilet paper there any more.
Read John 6:35-40
35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who 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 that 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 that 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 him up at the last day."
God is the giver of bread - I AM the bread
Jesus is clear - Belief gets you IN - I reject no one
If you have a 100% chance of being successful, admitted, why not enter in?
When you offer the chance of "whoever believes" you will have problems. Christians make a business out of sorting out who's in and who's out - not too different from Jews.
Read John 6:41-51
JN 6:41 At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42 They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, `I came down from heaven'?"
43 "Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. 44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: `They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
Crowd was angry and fought over Jesus' use of figurative language, not that they thought that He was wanting to be taken literally, but then - what did He mean?
Scandal of the incarnation - Isn't He the son of Joe and Mary?
Can Jesus be God - (Bread from Heaven) at the same time as the Kid Next Door
Don't lose the shock, the scandal - no man made idea here - those offended by Jesus - they thought they knew who He was, what He was up to
How and when does God draw people?
Literal has huge limitation, eat flesh, drink blood - YUK! Jews wouldn't touch blood let alone drink it
Jesus preaches a difficult message - just how difficult we will see in next week's sermon
Hard to talk when on two wavelengths, literal and metaphorical
God's singular work - the Big Idea - is to bring people to faith in Christ
Setting people free of things that stop or impede our path towards Him
You have hungers and thirsts that can only be filled by Jesus
Those who believe - they will never go hungry, never go thirsty
Free offer to WHOEVER! No one driven away - want in?