Summary: Sermon for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B.
Living Bread / John 6: 35, 41 - 51
Intro: My wife, Barbara, can tell you that I do not like to eat sandwiches. I think it goes back to junior high school where I ate a sandwich every day for lunch. By the time lunch rolled around my sandwich was always kind of nasty without refrigeration. The ketchup would have soaked into the bread and the meat was slimy. My mother tried everything to make the sandwiches more appealing; but, nothing seemed to work. She tried peanut butter and jelly; but, the jelly soaked into the bread just like the ketchup. She used “Wonder Bread” to make the sandwiches. I used to wonder what it was made from that made it soak up the ketchup and jelly. Maybe it was made of sponge! To this day, the only cold sandwich I will eat is peanut butter and jelly and that only if it is made right before I eat it.
I. Everyone knows that the essential element for making sandwiches is bread of some kind: pita, whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel. To make a sandwich you need bread. What kind of bread does one use to make a spiritual sandwich?
READ THE TEXT: John 6: 41 - 51
A. In a busy stock brokerage firm George leaned over to ask his co-worker, “What’s up, John?” Welcoming a brief break, John told him about his hectic weekend. George seemed a little distracted. After the conversation ended, John saw George lean over to another co-worker and say, “Hey, Robert, what’s the ticker symbol for Upjohn pharmaceuticals?” (Food With An Attitude by Paul Decker, SermonCentral.com)
B. The people in this story from John were having a difficult time understand ding Jesus. Jesus made some unusual and extraordinary claims.
C. “I am the light of the world / I am the door / I am the good shepherd / I am the resurrection and the life / I am the way, the truth and the life / I am the vine. Now Jesus says “I am the living bread.”
II. VS. 51 – “I am the living bread.” Jesus makes a comparison to the manna received from God by the people under Moses. He said that those who ate that bread died.
A. But this bread comes down from heaven also; but, the difference is that this bread is LIVING BREAD!
B. Jesus is talking about WONDER BREAD! (GK – άρτος HARTOS) The word used here means either bread or loaf. It refers to raised bread which was the staple of everyone’s diet at the time of Jesus. If you had nothing else to eat, you had to have bread.
C. Is Jesus saying that he is as important to us as bread? He is the center of our existence? If we have him, we need nothing else?
III. In this verse, the words do not indicate that Jesus is just any type of bread. He is WONDER BREAD / LIVING BREAD!!!!!
A. Jesus is Living Bread / the bread of life, The Greek words here can be translated either way. This is just ANY bread. This is LIFE BREAD. (GK – ζωή – ZOE)
B. The word ZOE has 2 meanings in Greek: 1) life in the physical sense / 2) of the supernatural life belonging to God and Christ, which believers will receive in the future, but which they also enjoy here and now.
C. VS. 44 – “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them.” Word is used 7 times in the NT: 1) to draw a sword, 2) to draw fish from the water with a net, 3) dragging people where they do not want to go.
Conclu: In every instance, the word draw always implies resistance to the power that draw . . . yet, the resistance is never successful. The power of God ALWAYS overcomes the resistance in those whom God has determined to give to Jesus. --- Resist if you will; but, God is going to win! God’s will for us will always prevail. --- What is that will for us? That we should have life and have it abundantly through Christ Jesus, the living bread! --- Bread sent for us.