Summary: After the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus offers a spiritual feeding: The Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation

Weekend Message/Devotion

John 6:35, 41-51

August 12, 2018

Jesus Picks Up the Tab

Today’s gospel reading begins with Our Lord introducing Himself to the throngs that have followed Him, seeking more food – loaves and fishes that is.

As we talked about last Sunday, Jesus recognized right away that He was not exactly the object of their desires. These people came searching for Jesus with a desire to be fed (pampered and taken care of). So, Jesus opened up to them with the most amazing truth and the very root of the gospel:

“And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

Before they became vocal with their murmuring, I can just imagine many of them thinking: “Yeah, yeah get on with it. Let’s eat!” But when Jesus did not “get on with it” in the manner that they expected, they really became vocal and muttering, my bible says murmuring among themselves.

“Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” John 6:42

They just couldn’t get it. Remember now, these are Jewish folks raised and taught under Jewish Law. If you really stop and think about it, Jesus never asked the Jews to abandon their heritage or their religious beliefs. Jesus was the very fulfillment of Jewish prophecies. Jesus was Who the Jews had been praying for.

I find at least 37 prophecies in the Old Testament of Christ:

Genesis 3:15, 22:18, 49:10; Deuteronomy 18:15; Psalms 2, 16:10, 45:2, 68:18, 69:21, 110:1, 118:22, 132:11;

Isaiah 2:4, 7:14, 9:6, 11:1, 28:16, 42:1, 5:53, 59:16, 61:1, 63:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 9:25; Micah 5:2; Haggai 2:7; Zechariah 3:8, 6:12, 9:9, 11:12, 12:10, 13:7 and Malachi 3:1.

These readings take study and meditation in some instances to understand the essence of the prophecy. In other words, don’t expect to scan them and understand them. The Jews understood these prophecies to some extent and simply refused to believe that Jesus the Christ was indeed the Messiah they had been longing for and praying for.

We understand that the Jewish priests were reluctant to embrace this Messiah because it would mean giving up their power and entitlements.

One thing is for sure – these Israelites were great murmurers. They let loose at every inconvenience and lack of comfort. The journey was too long, hot and dusty. A steady diet of “manna” just didn’t cut it. Loaves and fishes were great, but they wanted more. With this “me first” attitude, it wasn’t long before they totally rejected Jesus.

The rejection of Christ had then and today has as much to do with not wanting to change or sacrifice certain comfort habits that get in the way of fellowship with Jesus.

That is why many church going Christians cannot (more likely will not) embrace any changes in worship style, music, format, or methodology. They understand and realize that it is sound doctrinally, but it simply isn’t compatible with their comfort zone. Some claim to try but what they do is tolerate not embrace and thus remain in discomfort and soon abandon one church for another until they find one that suits their personal taste, murmuring all the way.

Jesus did not seek to pacify the crowds that clamored for comfort. Jesus preached the message of salvation stating that all who fed upon His body and blood would neither hunger nor thirst.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” John 6:47-51

This is not an archaic message! This is a message unto all eternity. No matter where or how we receive this message, it is a message of truth. It is not a message to be tolerated. It is a message to be embraced. It is a message to be shared.

“He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” Revelation 19:13

Jesus is The Word of God. The bread of heaven and the cup of salvation are spiritual foods. What better place to feed on that spiritual food - the flesh and blood of Jesus – The Word of God than in Holy Scripture.

What is the price for such a meal? Zip – Zero – Nada! The tab was picked up by Jesus Himself at Calvary, He paid the price for you and for me, that we shall never hunger or thirst.

I pray that we can and will take more seriously the partaking of the bread of Life and the cup of salvation! It has so much more meaning than a communion service ritual!

Let us pray!

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