Summary: Choosing what matters most from the word-picture Jesus paints of Himself as "the bread that gives life."
Choosing What Matters Most John 6:28-35 (NCV)
Part 2 of 3 in the Series, Jesus in Blue Jeans, Practical Advice for Everyday Spiritual Life
As we began the series Jesus in Blue Jeans last week we saw that Jesus is a down-to-earth Savior. He is God come to earth in human form – and not in a grandiose manner. He lived simply. He worked as a carpenter – a blue jeans kind of job. He hung out with normal people. He chose average guys as His apprentices. The word pictures He paints of Himself, like the Good Shepherd we covered last Sunday, are meant to show how He identifies with us in our every day lives. God cares about, and wants to be a part of, my daily life. He’s passionate about my ups and downs, my needs and concerns, my hurts and longings.
I’ve entitled this series, Jesus in Blue Jeans because you don’t have to be afraid to draw near to God. Reverence Him, sure, but don’t stand off in the distance from Him. Draw near to Him! Jesus came to earth to show us how much God wants to be our friend. So He came, not only as a human being, but also as the approachable God-man.
Today we’ll focus on another blue jean word picture Jesus gave to describe Himself.
He said, “I am the bread that gives life.” John 11:35 (NCV)
Bread is the most common of all foods. People in every culture on earth make bread of some sort. Jesus didn’t say, “I’m the caviar that gives life,” nor did He say, “I’m the truffles that gives life.” He said, “I am the bread that gives life.” He wanted everyone of us to be able to identify with the symbolism He uses here in our text Scripture from chapter six of John’s Good News Account.
The Jesus in Blue Jeans example for today begins with a question asked Jesus by some of the people after He had performed the miracle of feeding over 5,000 with five loaves and two fish.
“The people asked Jesus, ‘What are the things God wants us to do?’” John 6:28 (NCV)
That’s a pretty good question. They had seen the miracle and it piqued their curiosity. We should all sincerely ask God this same question: “What are the things you want me to do? What’s really important? What really matters so much in life that you want me to pursue it?”
I want to talk to you today about “Choosing What Matters Most.” There are a lot of things I can do with my life but I need to discover what really matters most. I need to find out the best things to do with my life.
This is important because the choices I make will determine whether or not I have God’s blessing on my life. As we saw last week, a life blessed by God is a “rich and satisfying life,” (John 10:10) and I actually get to choose whether or not I want to live a life blessed by God. God is in control of the universe but amazingly at the same time the Bible teaches that He has given me a choice. I can choose what matters most and have His spiritual blessing. Or I can choose less important things and miss His blessing.
This is a long-standing biblical principle. Moses put it this way to God’s people thousands of years ago.
“I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse. A blessing, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; but a curse, if you disobey these commands and turn away to worship other gods…” Deuteronomy 11:6-8 (GNT)
The Hebrew root of the word translated “curse” in our English Bibles means “light,” or “empty.” I think the Bible is saying that my choice is whether or not I want to live a life with God’s blessing or without it. Do I want to go through life “empty” of God’s blessings? My spiritual being is a container. (2 Corinthians 4:7) To go through life “empty” of God’s blessings is the meaning of a curse. It isn’t just that God pronounces judgement on me if I don’t choose to accept Him and His love for me. I have brought emptiness on myself when I don’t choose what matters most!
Do I want to “get by” or do I want to “get blessed?”
So the question was asked of Jesus, “What are the things God wants us to do?” is a very relevant question for us all.
Here’s Christ’s answer to this question.
Jesus answered, "The work God wants you to do is this: Believe the One he sent." John 6:29 (NCV) (Circle, “Believe the One he sent.”)