Summary: Spiritual Food, Understand God's Word, Sacrifice
I AM - I AM the Living Bread
May 20, 2018
John 6:51 (p. 744)
Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread they will live forever. This bread is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)
Last week we talked about Moses’ encounter with God on the far side of the desert. Standing shoeless on Holy ground before God in a burning bush, Moses is called by God to go and deliver a message of freedom to Pharaoh and to the Israelites.
If the Israelites asked Moses who has sent him God says, “Tell them I AM sent you…This shall be my name forever. It was who I was to your forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and it will be who “I AM” to you. It will be who I will be to all generations.”
Moses doesn’t take this message to Egypt…to both Pharaoh and to the Israelites. But it takes 10 plagues demonstrating God’s power for Pharaoh’s hard heart to relent…the last of which being the most horrible…the death of every first born son in Egypt…including Pharaoh’s.
But even after he lets them go, Pharaoh changes his mind…chases down the Israelites with his army and chariots. As God divides the Red Sea, and the Israelites pass over on dry land, the Egyptian army follows…and God brings the waters crashing down on them.
Moses and the Israelites begin their journey to the promised land from Mount Sinai after God has given them His laws and commandments…He leads them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. His presence is visible at all times.
But they get hungry and grumble…and God does something amazing again…He sends down bread from heaven every morning…it’s white like coriander seed and tastes like honey…they call it “manna” which means “what is this?” God’s answer…“Bread from heaven!”
Every Jewish little boy and girl knew this story…It was an essential part of their history…Jesus’ audience in John Chapter 6 knows about “Manna from heaven…sent by God to supply His people’s needs.”
Jesus has just performed a miracle that did much the same thing…He’s used a little boys lunch of 2 small fish and 5 barley loaves to feed a crowd of 5,000 and there are 12 baskets of leftovers…God’s Word says “After the people saw this miraculous sign that Jesus did they began to say, ‘Surely this is the prophet who is to come into the world…and knowing they intended to come and make Him King by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself.” (John 6:14-15)
But they find Him on the other side of the lake and the crowd wants another free meal.
It is here that Jesus, the Great I Am in the flesh, reveals that He is much more than a prophet or a caterer…He is the Living Bread from heaven itself.
I. JESUS ISN’T FAST FOOD…HE’S THE FOOD THAT FILLS US FOREVER
Jesus has taken care of the physical hunger of more than 5,000 people…They want more…but Jesus tells them something important.
Listen to His Word…
JOHN 6:26-35 (p. 744)
Without a doubt Jesus understands human nature…Many will seek Him with selfish motives…Give me, give me, GIVE ME MORE!!!
Kyle Idleman wrote this to introduce his great book…“Not a Fan.”
“Jesus has a lot of fans these days. Fans who cheer for him when things are going well, but who walk away when it’s a difficult season. Fans who sit safely in the stands cheering, but they know nothing of the sacrifice and pain of the field, fans of Jesus who know all about him, but they don’t know him. But Jesus was never interested in having fans. When he defines what kind of relationship he wants, “Enthusiastic Admirer” isn’t an option…The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from.” (25)
When this crowd asks Jesus for another sign in verses 31 and 32 and they mention “The manna their forefathers received…What sign do you think they want from Jesus?”
They want fast food…they want another meal…They want Jesus to be the drive through window and fulfill their order for a Manna Burger.
They don’t really want to follow Jesus as His disciples…they just want the benefits of being near Him. They want to be fans.
But that’s not why “the living bread” came down from heaven. Jesus might understand our human nature that desires “give it to me now” fast food, but He will not leave that attitude unchallenged. It leaves people spiritually fat, lazy and immature.