Summary: Jesus, the bread of life!
A Costly Meal, John 6:1-15, 35
A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I’ve gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."
This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
“I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals but I do know this. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!" When you are down to nothing God is up to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for physical and our spiritual nourishment!
This morning we will talk about the most costly mean of all. Jesus; the bread of life! In John chapter six is recorded the account of Jesus feeding of the five thousand. It is interesting to note that this is the only miracle which is recorded in all three of the synoptic Gospels – Mathew, Mark, and Luke – as well as John’s Gospel. That fact alone should alert us to the significance of this miracle.
While the synoptics most often use the phrase “miracles” to describe the mighty works of Jesus, John alone focuses on seven signs of Jesus. He uses the word signs to indicate that Jesus was divine; the seven miracles of John’s Gospel are presented as signs to the incarnation of God in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
John says that the sheer number of signs which Jesus performed is as innumerable as they could not possibly be recorded. The number of signs Jesus performed in light of the seven which John records indicates to us the great weight which should be given the eight which are recorded in John’s Gospel.
They were not chosen by happenstance or accidently. John is precise in His Gospel, as he wrote in John 20:30-31, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (NIV)
I love the Gospel of John. Indeed, I have studied it more frequently and return to it with greater passion than the other Gospels. While they are each of extreme value and are divinely inspired, John’s Gospel presents the eight signs of Jesus, the Eight “I Am” statements of Jesus which point to His divine nature, and the message of John’s Gospel centers around two key words, believe and live.
In his Gospel John declares, “Here is Jesus, the one who came in signs and wonders too numerous to recount, here are the eight of them which show us that He indeed is God. Here is Jesus, the one who declared Himself to be divine not only by His miraculous works but also by plainspoken declaration and here are eight ways He spoke it plainly, using the phrase of self existent deity; I AM. Here is Jesus, His words, His acts, that upon hearing you may believe and upon believing, you may live unto eternal life!”’
Upon entering my text, it is with fear and trembling that I handle such profound and precious a truth as this. It is with great weight of heart and earnestness of mind that I implore you to lend me your ear and the Holy Spirit access to your very will that in listening you might hear and in knowing you might be known. May it be we who are nourished this day by the bread of life!
In today’s text, a great crowd has gathered unto Jesus. The people were very curious about Jesus. Word was spreading about the man who had performed so many miraculous healings of the sick and the man who spoke with such authority to the religious leaders of the day; even with regard to their sin! Jesus was something of a celebrity and people wanted to see what all of the talk was about.