Summary: A sermon on finding contentment through The Bread of Life.
John 6:35, 41-51
“Jesus Gives Us Real Life”
By: Rev. Kenneth Emerson Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
I heard a comedian recently who said to his audience… “Christians are so poor…”
…and the audience responded by asking: “How poor are they?”
The comedian replied: “Christians are so poor that they only have one God!”
This statement is certainly a dichotomy…because it is this very fact that actually makes us rich!…
…spiritually rich that is!
In our Gospel Lesson for this morning Jesus begins His statement with the words: “I am.”
This was the same message that God gave to Moses at the burning bush: “I AM Who I Am.”
It was the same message that Jesus used as a defense against the religionists: “Before Abraham was born, I am.”
It is the same message we hear Paul proclaim to the Colossians: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”…
…and this is the same message that is proclaimed by John in the Book of Revelation: Jesus is He “who is, and who was, and who is to come.”
Yes, Christians have only one God…
…and that one God has come into this world in the form of a human being in order to give those who believe in Him…REAL LIFE!
There are different ways of living for us.
We can just merely exist…or…we can really live the full and abundant life that is only possible through Jesus, the Christ.
So many of us are just “going through the motions” of living.
And this “going through the motions” only brings us unsatisfactory results.
I have a friend who has lived his life just going through the motions.
He went through the motions in high school…just to get by…so that he could get out!
Now he is going through the motions of life…getting up to go to work…coming home tired…and getting up the next day to do just the same thing all over again.
A few years ago this friend said to me: “If I had known that the best years of my life would be spent in high school…I would have made more out of those years.”
Well, I remember, he was miserable in high school and he’s miserable now…
…he’s going through the motions of life…for what?
…just to get by and get out?
This my friends, is not life at all…
…this is death…this is hell!
Hell on earth which will lead to hell for eternity!
And there are many people who are living just this way.
Of course Jesus…the One and Only true God… offers us the only alternative!
And what a great alternative it is!!!
In verse 35 Jesus declares: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
This is one of the greatest passages in John’s Gospel.
The metaphor that Jesus uses to describe Himself says to us that just as bread gives us physical life, Jesus gives us real life.
Bread nourishes our lives…it is essential.
Jesus sustains our spiritual lives…which is a radically new relationship between us and God.
Without Jesus, real life, which is much more than just mere existence, is not possible.
Many who are just going through the motions of life are very aware that that they are just merely existing…
…and therefore they have an insatiable hunger for some kind of “real existence.”
Ignoring the offer of Jesus Christ, many people look to the world for some kind of real life.
Therefore, they make gods out of athletes, movie stars, rock icons, the rich and the famous…
…and they try their best to become like them.
Of course, one only has to make a passing glance at some of the Tabloid Newspapers in the grocery line to see that the lives of the rich and famous are not necessarily happy nor satisfactory ones.
And as people try to emulate these false gods…
…they find that their lives as well are not satisfactory…
…as they give into the temptation to cheat on their wives…which leads to anger, resentment, distrust, divorce…
…and on occasion…murder and suicide.
As they strive to drive the most fancy cars…bringing themselves under the cloud of debt…
…which causes anxiety and worry.
As they do all in their power to be sexy and attractive…
…spending great amounts of time and money on the latest diets, fashion trends, plastic surgery…etc., etc.
Hey, but you know what…eventually, time is going to win that battle no matter who you are and no matter how much money you have.