Summary: Jesus Is Real Wonder Bread 1) He is the bread that came down from heaven 2) He is the bread that leads to heaven
(Call children forward.) I need your help this morning. I want to make a sandwich but I’m not sure how to do that. First of all, can you tell me what ingredients I need to make a sandwich? Peanut butter, jelly, and bread? Is that right? Do we really need the bread? Of course we do! Eating peanut butter and jelly alone would taste good but it would sure be messy! Besides, peanut butter and jelly alone wouldn’t fill us up very well would it? Bread is the main ingredient of a sandwich; it’s what satisfies our hunger. Well I have some bread here that I think would work really well in a sandwich. It’s called Wonder Bread. I’ll bet they call it “Wonder” Bread because if you eat some of this bread, you won’t get hungry again. No? You don’t agree? You mean if I eat this bread, I’m still going to get hungry later on? If that’s true (and it is), it makes you wonder why they call it “Wonder” Bread?
This morning we’re going to hear Jesus call himself bread, not just any bread, mind you, but the Bread of Life. Or, we could say that Jesus is the real Wonder Bread. Why? Because Jesus is the bread that came down from heaven, and he is the bread that leads to heaven.
How was it that Jesus came to call himself, bread? A few weeks ago our gospel lesson from John described how Jesus fed over five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. The people were so impressed by this miracle that they chased after Jesus. They wanted him to provide every meal for them. Wouldn’t you like that? Wouldn’t you like to have someone pay for every meal you would ever eat? If there were someone willing to do that for you, you wouldn’t need to work. After all, isn’t life all about finding enough food to eat and stay alive? Not exactly. Jesus made it known to the crowds that there is something more important to life than finding food to keep our tummies full. Jesus said to the people: “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27a).
Aren’t we often like the people in our text? We get so wrapped up with life here that we forget that working to make enough money to pay the mortgage, or school, or to support a comfortable lifestyle is not to be our main concern. Rather we are to be more concerned with finding and eating the “food” that will connect us to eternal life in heaven. The crowd in our text too agreed and they asked Jesus for this food. Jesus declared to be that heavenly food when he said: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry” (John 6:35a). This wasn’t exactly the response the people expected and they began to grumble. They said: “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” (John 6:42) Jesus could maybe claim down in Jerusalem that he was from heaven, but everyone there in Galilee knew that Jesus was from Nazareth, and that his father was Joseph the carpenter. He couldn’t pull a fast one on them. They knew Jesus wasn’t from heaven!