Summary: In this passage, Jesus challenges the materialist and nationalist so tht they will become eternalists
Sermon: Jn 6:25-40: I am the bread of Life
Bible Marketing Plan
An Anglican priest, Roman Catholic priest and a Methodist minister went on a marketing course to learn to sell Bibles to supplement their incomes.
Before going on the course, they were asked to go around the week before - and see how many Bibles they could sell.
The Roman Catholic was able to sell 8 Bibles, the Free Church minister 9 Bibles and the Anglican 12 Bibles.
After a week on the marketing course, they were told to go out at the weekend and sell Bibles.
The following Monday they returned to report how they had got on.
The Catholic priest was pleased, he’d sold 28 Bibles.
The Methodist Minister was pleased, he had sold 29 Bibles.
The Anglican priest came in and reported he had sold 93 Bibles.
The tutor was utterly amazed. “Tell us your secret” he said
"Very simple" he said: "I go to a door and say"
"DDDo yyyyou wwwant to bbbuy a BBBible or ssshall I rrread it ttto yyou"
We live in a society that is highly influenced by marketing.
We often buy things that we would normally not have been interested in – simply because of its packaging.
Story: I bought a subscription to a magazine I had no interest in when living in Germany.
A woman came to the door who was disabled.
She told me a sob story about needing to sell the magazine to feed her children.
But Jesus was different.
He didn’t come to sell us what we did not need and to drag us into debt.
Instead, his teaching satisfies our deepest needs.
And this morning’s text is no exception.
I would like to look at one of the famous eight ergo eimi – the “I am” statements.
All of Jesus’ I AM statements are found in John’s gospel.
1. I am the bread of Life which came down from heaven (6:35,41,51)
2. I am the light of the world (8:12; 9:5)
3. I am the door of the sheep (10:7,9)
4. I am the good shepherd (10:11,14)
5. I am God’s Son (10:36)
6. I am the resurrection and the life (11:25)
7. I am the way, the truth, and the life (14:6)
8. I am the (true) vine (15:1,5)
And each one of the I AM ‘s represents a particular relationship of Jesus to the spiritual NEEDS of men and women.
And Jesus’ statement “I am the Bread of Life” is no exception
The philosopher Rene Descartes, the father of modern philosophy once said: “ I think, therefore I am”.
And perhaps in our modern materialistic society we might say: “ I shop therefore I am”
I wonder what you think the people listening to Jesus might have thought when Jesus said:
I am the Bread of Life
What responses would Jesus’ words have triggered
What do you think Jesus meant when he said:
“I am the Bread of Life” ?
To answer that question I need to first put this passage in context.
There was significance in WHERE he made this momentous statement and WHEN he said it
1.1 Let us start by considering where it was that Jesus speaking - in Galilee
Jesus was speaking in Galilee, one of the trouble spots of the Roman Empire.
Feelings against the Roman rulers ran high in these
northern hills of Galilee.
It was prime terrorist country – where bands of zealots planned their raids.
It was the “Helmand” province of Israel
1.2 Next let us look at when was Jesus speaking
John tells us in Jn 6:4 that this all happened at Passover time.
Earlier in the Chapter we read of Jesus feeding the five thousand from a little boy’s lunch box of five loaves and two little fishes.
Aside: You could imagine the Sun reporting this with the headline:
“Preacher steals little boy’s food and gives it away to 5000 people!!”
Jesus has fed the five thousand and so - not unnaturally - that miracle had sparked the interest of the zealots - who were looking for Jesus as a possible “political Saviour”
There were probably three sets of different people there that day,
i) the nationalists,
ii) the materialists and
iii) the eternalists.
Let’s have a look at the hopes and aspirations of each.
1. The Hope of the Nationists
For some, the nationalists, Jesus words
“ I am the bread of life” –
coupled with Jesus saying that he was the
“true bread that from came down from heaven”
would have triggered thoughts of Moses the freedom fighter.
Moses one of their great leaders had delivered them from slavery in Egyptian slavery and kept them alive with bread from heaven – manna as it was called
If Jesus was making such a claim surely Jesus could liberate them from the Romans.