Summary: Sermon for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B.
John 6: 24 – 35 / More
Intro: I want you to imagine this morning that you are a solitary traveler in a lonely desert. As you travel, you become very thirsty. Just ahead you see a rusty old pump at the edge of an oasis. Handing on the pump is a note that reads, “I have buried a bottle of water to prime the pump. Do not drink any of it. Pour ½ to wet the leather. Wait and then pour the rest to prime the pump. When you have drawn your fill of water, refill the bottle and bury it in the sand for the next traveler.” --- Will you drink the water from the bottle or follow the instructions?
I. This story poses an interesting dilemma for us. Do we only worry about our own thirst and drink the bottle dry? Or do we pour every drop of the water into the pump? The dilemma is this: do you trust the sign and risk or take care of your own needs?
A. VS. 26 – “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. You got what you wanted and now want more.
B. Variant translations: Very truly/ I tell you the truth / Truth – (ameth in Hebrew) Aleph – 1st letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Min is the middle letter, Tau is the last letter. This word reminded the Hebrew the truth that God was the beginning, middle and end.
C. Jesus implies that the people don’t want TRUTH they want to fill their bellies. They want whatever Jesus can give them. Do we want the truth of God or do we want what God will give us?
II. VS 28 – What must we do to do the works God requires?” Tell us what to do and we will do it! We just want more!
A. Generally, in our nation, we have all the food we desire. If we are really honest with ourselves, we all could lose a few pounds; some, like me, could give up more than a few pounds.
B. Obesity has become a huge problem in our society. We choose what is fast and easy rather than what is actually good for us. I want what I like: pasta, rice, brownies, German chocolate cake. I have joked that I do not have a “beer belly.” I’ve got a lot of time and money invested in this gut.
C. Though we are a nation that is physically obese, I suggest we are also a nation that is spiritually anorexic. Many are focused on getting more, having more. If a little is good, then more is even better. Yet few people today care about spiritual things. They are spiritually anorexic and will die because of it.
III. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and received a complimentary order of bread before dinner? When the bread arrives, everyone is excited. People munch down 1 or 2 pieces. When the main course comes, the rest of the bread remains untouched. At the end of the meal, people don’t even want to look at the bread and ask to have it removed.
A. That is how we are tempted to treat Christ Jesus – the living bread. We welcome Him until something more appealing, more appetizing or easier to swallow comes along.
B. John places this story in his gospel to remind the people that it wasn’t Moses who gave them the manna. It was God. It wasn’t Jesus who gave them bread and fish. It was God.
C. God has given the true bread from heaven. As bread gives life, so, God gives life through Christ Jesus and still people do not believe.
Conclu: Imagine once again that you are a traveler upon the planet earth in a city called Georgetown. You come across a book with 66 other books in it. As you read it you see that it can give the assurance, the strength and the conviction to live life to the fullest. But this book asks you to surrender yourself to someone else, to trust in the gifts this person has willingly given you. The message inside the book tells you that to keep the message you must pass it on to the next traveler. What will you do? Will you keep the message for yourself or will you give it away to the next traveler in need?