Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A sermon for a communion service about seeking God’s bread in the present, not the past and feeding on Him through bread and wine.

“I am the bread of life” Jn 6:25 (6:25-40, 53-59) WBC 7/3/4pm

“I AM”

As we’re in a series on Jesus’ words- we need to be reminded that His use of ‘I am’ speaks volumes

This is the first of 7 ‘I am expressions’ in Jn

- 7 is significant in itself

- But his use of ‘I am’ is as well. Here and elsewhere

- Because it caused us some excitement in Alpha couple of weeks ago, let me refresh your memories

In Ex 3;14 God reveals himself to Moses by a name.

- Moses asks Him his name and God replies “I am”

- I am that I am… or “I will be what I will be”

o Conveys: name, self existence, eternal nature, power and His inability to be manipulated by others

- The Jews revered the name of God because it conveyed His nature. They ‘hallowed it’- kept it holy

o But to the point where nobody would say His name- “I am” (sounded like YHWH)

 Instead they would say “Adonai”, Lord

• Hence use of Lord for YHWH in OT

• Hence significance of calling Jesus Lord, often

But they took it a bit too far. To avoid using the name of God they would avoid saying “I am” at all!

- so wouldn’t say “I am a gardener”, would say “my job is gardening”

And Jesus comes on the scene saying (Jn 8:58) ‘before Abraham was I AM”

- and the Jews new EXACTLY what he meant. Picked up stones to stone Him

But he also uses the expression ‘I am’ anywhere he wants in talking, and also on occasions like this

- I’ve looked at the whole of the Greek in Jn and no-one else uses “I am”

o In fact it’s virtually nowhere in gospels (apart from centurion)

- And so, I reckon, the Greek conveys something of how Jesus would have spoken in His language (Aramaic, that sounds like Hb)

So- here He is saying “Yahweh the bread”!

Once you start doing a series on Jesus’ words you realise just how much they were about HIM

- ego-centric (without being ego-tistical)

- Christo-centric

So, there’s great significance in these expressions about Who Jesus is

These words are in the context of food. So not surprising He talks about bread

- feeding of 5000+

Rabbis taught that the Messiah would come and duplicate Moses’ miracle of feeding in the desert.

- lots of expectation about that

- so- after Jesus has fed the 5000, they hunt Him out and kind of say (v30):

- “we liked what you did yesterday- but today we want to see a REAL sign”: “DO IT AGAIN”

o “how about 6 days a week for 40 years?”

Jesus replies with 2 corrections

1- about the ‘vehicle’ (v32)

Moses didn’t give you the bread. God did

- “get the point- it’s God doing it again, slow-to-learn!”

o (in fact- there’s some big Christological points being made in these stories:

o 6:1f- who feeds you and give you 12 baskets over?: God.

o Who walks on water, lads? JOB 9:8 He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.

All these things build up the picture of the divinity, deity of Christ

His second correction is

2- about the bread (v33)

What Moses did was of God. It was a work of God. But that wasn’t the true bread from heaven. The manna was only earthly bread from a visible sky

- and because they wanted a repetition of the work of God, they were missing out on the REAL work/person of God- that’s Jesus

o now

ie “that was” a work of God BUT

“I AM” –the work of God. God Himself. The true bread. The real thing- that you’ve really been waiting for , inside

APPLY: you don’t have to be a Xian long before you begin looking back on some work of God… genuine work of God

- and it becomes the benchmark… target, even… for you:

o how electric Alpha was. “If only I could do it again”

o how the church used to be where you grew so much

o If Xian 10 years- Toronto, 1994

o Or… the pilgrimage you took

Found myself feeling ‘nostalgic’ about 4 years ago. Wrote down something like: “after Wimber, after Toronto, after going for Revival… keep me faithful to You. Following YOU”

You won’t know this but was considering going back to Nigeria, again, for a week (feb HT)

- cleared the date in my diary from Sept 03

- but felt I needed to have God’s permission/clearing before I could go

o as, in the end: have to live HERE, now… in this culture… with JESUS

- some past experience is not the goal or actual bread

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