Summary: Jesus promises to provide for our every spiritual need. He is ready and available to connect with you on a spiritual level and fill your life with holiness and love.
MORE THAN MANNA
READ JOHN 6:32-58
I. REFLECT ON THE HUNGER THAT IS PRESENT
A. We see that Jesus is trying to teach the disciples some spiritual truth. He is doing this by using a basic physical example that we all have experienced: “hunger.” This shows Jesus to be an excellent teacher. He is using the very basic to teach that which is lofty and holy… jumping off the feeding of the 5,000 He teaches us about the spiritual life.
1) We know that the human body needs food to live. When we have gone a certain amount of time, our body and mind begin to show signs of needing sustenance.
a) Our stomach growls d) Any smell may make us think of a meal
b) Our mood may change e) Blood sugars may go down
c) Our muscles may weaken f) Headaches
2) Eating food can stop these symptoms. One of the most basic foods today and even in Jesus’ day, was bread. If you’re hungry, eat some bread and you will find the symptoms of hunger will go away.
a) Everyone in Jesus’ day had access to bread which is why it is the perfect teaching tool. Even the poorest of the poor in Jesus’ day would be able to afford some oil and flour to make their own bread. It was ready available to aid in hunger relief.
b) Most people, I would hope that all of you, have access to bread. There are shelves and shelves of bread in the supermarkets. You can even have your choice of bread, brands, and even packaging.
B. Jesus does not dwell on this physical earthly portion of His teaching long. At the end of verse 32 and into verse 33, Jesus begins to speak about this spiritual bread: “true bread from heaven.”
1) I hope that you know that the human being needs spiritual food as well as physical food to live. When God created man in Genesis 1:27 and 2:7, He created not only a physical being, but a spiritual being. As a spiritual being, we need spiritual food to keep us spiritually alive.
2) Verse 34 shows us even further that this spiritual food is in need. This group of people directed Jesus to give them this bread that came down from Heaven. In fact, it sounds more like a demand than anything else… we do tend to demand when we are in great need.
3) Jesus reminds the disciples that once before bread fell from Heaven and this bread was called “manna.” This was bread that fed the physical bodies of the Israelites so that they could survive wandering in the desert for 40 years. This heavenly bread was needed for their very survival.
4) Jesus though, is not talking about manna, but is talking about something more than manna. He is speaking about true spiritual food that is needed.
ILLUSTRATION… In Ostrava and hunger (personal illustration)
II. REFLECT ON THE SUSTENANCE THAT IS PROVIDED
1) What is this “true bread from heaven”?
2) Where does it come from?
3) How can I get it?
5) What are the affects of this “true bread” upon our lives?
B. Verses 32-33 tell us that this spiritual bread comes only from God and it is He who
provides for us spiritually. God did not create us as spiritual beings with no way to
feed this spiritual need inside of us. He Himself is the answer.
C. Verse 35 explains to us all about this bread that is much more than manna. Jesus’ first declaration allows us to know in no uncertain terms what this “true bread” is: “I am the bread of life.” As a side note, Jesus was also commenting on His divinity because He said, “I AM.” (Exodus 3:14)
III. REFLECT ON THE FULLNESS SECURED
A. What is provided by Jesus as the “bread of life”, “true bread”?
a. Eternal Life (53-54, 58). When He told us to eat his flesh and drink his blood, he was telling us to continually feed our hearts and souls and minds on Him and to revitalize our lives with His life until the Last Day.
a) When Jesus speaks of life, He speaks of eternal life. Without Jesus we are
separated from God. Without Jesus we will not go to Heaven. All of us are
eternal creatures. [expand]
ILLUSTRATION… The March 1985 issue of Omni magazine
reported a study by Dr. Maurice Rawlings (at the time a devout atheist), cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University Of Tennessee College Of Medicine in Chattanooga and author of the book “To Hell and Back”. He and his emergency room colleagues are constantly treating such cases. It is now standard that those who have near death experiences later speak of having experiences of light, lush green meadows, rows of smiling relatives and tremendous peace. However, in his study, also reported in his book Beyond Death’s Door (Thomas Nelson Inc., 1979), Dr. Rawlings obtained new information by interviewing patients immediately after resuscitation while they are still too shaken to deny where they have been. Nearly 50 percent of the group of 300 interviewed reported lakes of fire and brimstone, devil-like figures and other sights hailing from the darkness of hell. He says they later change their story because most people are simply ashamed to admit they have been to hell; they won’t even admit it to their families. Concludes Dr. Rawlings, “Just listening to these patients has changed my whole life. There’s a life after death, and if I don’t know where I’m going, it’s not safe to die.”