Summary: A series on the I AM statements of Jesus and what they mean for us.
I AM the Bread of Life
May 3, 2020
There was a health-food restaurant with a billboard that read, “Eat here and live a long life!” Not wanting to be outdone, the barbeque place next-door put up a sign saying - “Eat here and die happy!”
Food, glorious food. For some food seems like a curse, they look at an apple and they feel their pants tightening. Others can eat whatever they want; pizza, steak, hamburgers, cake with ice cream; and you never gain an ounce.
The bottom line is this we all need to eat . . . and I will admit, I love to eat. And it seems with being home more, I am always on the lookout for food in the house. Have you ever had that?
Have you ever gone to your refrigerator, looked inside and found it was full, yet nothing appealed to you? Have you ever gone back 30 minutes later - - - hoping you either missed something on your first attempt and now, you’ll be pleasantly surprised or someone entered your home without your knowledge and planted a huge piece of Chicago pizza in your refrigerator.
Now that you’re all getting up and getting some food, wait, really wait - - - because the best food is coming in a few minutes.
This week and for the next several weeks I am starting a new series on the I AM’s of Jesus. We’re going to look at a number of His quick statements and what they mean for us.
Today, we’re looking at a passage from John 6. As a backdrop for this, the chapter opens with Jesus teaching the masses. Ultimately, they’re hungry and Jesus only has 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish to feed 5000. Jesus prayed and they had more than enough for everyone to eat and even had leftovers.
The people found Jesus the next day on the other side of the sea. You know, He walked over there! When they found Jesus, the following conversation ensued – again, this is a very accurate rendering. A few words are different, but it paints a great picture of what was going on.
SCRIPTURE VIDEO from YOUTUBE
These people wanted to find Jesus in part because He fed them the day before. We can be a lot like those people. They weren’t bad people, they were hungry. They wanted more, but they didn’t know what they were after.
It’s kind of like what’s been going on with the coronavirus. Early on, and even now, supplies have been in short supply. Shelves were barren. We panicked. People made sure their needs were more than taken care of. Buying out supplies.
To me, it’s a sign of our hunger and our fear all at the same time. We have this hunger, as Blaise Pascal said in the late 1600's - -
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
Isn’t that great! Doesn’t that hit home for so many of us. We go about hungering when what we really hunger for is a relationship with Jesus Christ. For so many years, I’ve believed that is the major culprit and reason we sin so voraciously.
We want this bread that Jesus has, but what will it mean for our lives? How much do I need to submit to Him? Will I really need to change my life? Do I have to give up the vices I love and which tempt me and which hurt me, but don’t know if I can survive without?
In his book, “Into Thin Air,” Jon Krakauer wrote about the hazards that plagued mountain climbers as they attempted to reach the top of Mount Everest. Andy Harris, one of the expedition leaders stayed at the peak too long and on his descent, he was in desperate need of oxygen.
Harris radioed the base camp and told them about his predicament. He mentioned he had come across a stash of oxygen canisters left by the other climbers but they were all empty. The climbers who had already passed by the canisters on their way down the mountain, knew these oxygen tanks were full. They pleaded with Harris to use them, but it was to no avail. Harris was starved for oxygen but he continued to argue that the canisters were empty.
The problem was that the lack of what he needed had so disoriented his mind, that even though he was surrounded by something that would give him life, he continued to complain of its absence.
Friends, what oxygen is to the body, the Bread of Life is to the soul. I believe so many of us are suffocating and starving and we don’t even know it. The answer is right before us. We think we’ve got Jesus figured out . . . but we don’t. Jesus is offering us life, yet we run around trying to satisfy our appetites.