Summary: What did Jesus mean when he said: "I am the Bread of Life?"
Can any one remember what the theme of this year’s Family Services is?
Answer: The “I am” statements of Jesus.
And today’s I am statement of Jesus is:
“I am the Bread of Life.”
Bread in Jesus’ day was the staple diet of those on low income. It was usually made into flat cakes of wheat flour or barley flour. The grain was ground in a mill and the bread would be freshly baked.
It is made very simply. Let me show you.
TRICK for making bread
What do we need to make Bread?
A saucepan and ingredients
5. Sesame seeds
Heat - Light the ingredients with lighter fluid,
put the top over the pan and
out tumbles a loaf of bread!!!
So what did Jesus mean when he said, “I am the bread of Life?”
Question: Did he mean that he had suddenly become a piece of bread?
Answer: Jesus meant that he alone could satisfy our deepest needs
Let’s look at the background of the story.
Jesus has just fed a crowd of man and women who had come to hear him preach. He then left but the crowd followed him.
Why, because he had fulfilled a physical need – he had fed them when they were hungry.
Now Jesus challenges them:
“Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me not because you saw the signs but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for food that perishes but for food that endures for eternal life” (Jn 6:26,27)
What was Jesus’ mission on earth?
1. Was it to be a good teacher – well he was that
2. Was it to be a miracle worker - yes he was that
3. Was it to be a good example of how to live- yes he was that too.
But his mission on earth was to satisfy our deepest spiritual needs.
In other words when Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life” he is saying: I alone can fully satisfy you.
Question: Interestingly Jesus was born - where?
Answer: In Bethlehem, which means the “house of bread”.
Jesus came from the “House of Bread”. I wonder if God was telling us something with that.
Jesus will satisfy our deepest needs
So what are these deep needs. I could think of five of them
The first need Jesus satisfies is our need to belong.
We all have a need to BELONG.
Jesus came to this earth so that we could belong in the family of God. He died to enable us to be his brothers and sisters – to belong to God’s family. To be bale to call God the Father – Dad
“Our Father in heaven” in the Lord’s Prayer would more accurately be “Our Dad in heaven.” (Mt 6:9)
Jesus comes for satisfy our need to belong become his brothers and sisters.
2. Dear Friend
The second need that Jesus satisfies is that of friendship.
If you will cultivate that friendship, he will become a dear friend to you.
Jesus said: I have called your friends, for everything I have learned from my Father I have made know to you (Jn 15:15)
3. Answers our questions
The third need that Jesus satisfies is our curiosity. He answers our questions.
Nicodemus came to Jesus by night to ask Jesus questions. And Jesus gave him answers, though not in the way he was expecting them. (Jn 3)
The Pharisees asked Jesus questions – for example whether it was right to pay taxes to Caesar. It was a no win situation. If Jesus said “You should pay taxes to Caesar” he would have lost public support.
If he said “You shouldn’t pay taxes to Caesar” the Pharisees would have been able to deliver him to the Romans for execution.
Jesus answer is breathtaking. He asks them to bring him a coin and says: Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. (Mt 22.21)
Even Alistair Campbell would have been proud of that one.
Jesus is not afraid to answer our questions.
4. Relieve our fears
The fourth need that Jesus satisfies is that he will relieve our fears.
Just after the Resurrection, in Jn 20, the disciples were gathered behind closed doors for fear of the Jews.
Jesus walks through the door and stands in the midst of them and says:
“Peace be with you.” (Jn 20:19)
Another time, when the disciples were caught in a storm on the lake of Galilee, he relieved their fears by calming the storm.
Jesus relieves our fears.
5. Entertains our doubts
The final need that Jesus satisfies is our doubts. We all have doubts at times and Jesus entertains our doubts.