Summary: Jesus declared himself to be the Bread of Life after encountering people with the wrong motives.
Halloween is over and it is time for Christmas. If you do not believe me, go into your local Wal-Mart. The day after Halloween all the remaining candy and costumes were thrown into a buggy to be reduced and sold. Over night, the shelves were filled with Christmas decorations. In fact, in mid-October you could find lit artificial Christmas trees for sale already. I think it takes away from the excitement of the holiday by starting so early. In addition, Thanksgiving does not seem to be a big deal anymore.
Of course, Christmas is the celebration of our Lord Jesus. We celebrate his birth at Christmas. Nevertheless, since the holiday atmosphere has begun already I thought we should join in and begin our Christmas celebration.
Jesus came into this world for a variety of reasons. He came to die on the cross and deliver us from our sins. He gave his life that we might have eternal life. We all know that. However, He also came for many other reasons. The Bible is filled with the reasons that He came. Another reason He came was to reveal himself to the people of this world; both the ones that existed when He walked the earth and those to come. With Christmas actually seven weeks away we will discover the seven “I ams” declared by Jesus.
The first “I am” is found in John 6:35. Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
To understand this declaration of “I am” we must travel back into time to a place in the desert at the base on Mount Sinai. A shepherd named Moses is watching over his father-in-laws sheep. He spots a bush that is on fire but is not being consumed. Out of curiosity, he approaches it and a voice from the bush calls his name. Moses answers and begins to get instructions that he is to go deliver God’s people from the oppression they are suffering in Egypt. Moses asks, “Who did I say sent me?”
God replies “I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” The Hebrew word is “haya”. (hay-yaw) It meant existing, being. God says tell them the one, who exists, who has always existed, and will forever more exist has sent you. The only one who can fulfill this role has sent you. Now back to the Book of John, Chapter 6.
Jesus and his disciples were sitting on the mountain near the Sea of Galilee when He noticed a large crowd coming toward them. The Passover festival was near so many of these folks were travelers and had limited provisions. Jesus knew they would need to be fed. The disciple Andrew found a young boy with five barley loaves and two fish. Jesus had the crowd, about five thousand in all, to sit down. Then He gave thanks for the food and distributed it to the crowd. They ate until they were about to burst. No one went away hungry.
However, the next morning they discovered they were hungry again. Only Jesus was nowhere to be found. They deduced that He had crossed over the lake and went to Capernaum. Therefore, they got into boats and went seeking him. And they found him.
When they found him, they said, “Rabbi, when did you come here.” It was almost like “Wow, Jesus. Imagine bumping into you again.” Jesus was not buying it. He told them you are not here because you are seeking signs. You are here because you want your bellies filled again.
I am not critical of these folks. In fact, I think we can relate to them. Those who attended the retreat last week had a blast. There were times for teaching, sharing, and fellowship. And there was a time for eating the buffet. Breakfast at eight; sausage gravy biscuits, eggs, and sausage. Four hours later lunch; ham, macaroni-n-cheese, fried okra and salad. Soon six o’clock rolled around and it was time to eat again; hamburgers, hotdogs, fried chicken, French fries, and salad.
Eight o’clock Sunday morning and time for waffles, eggs, bacon, and oatmeal. Sunday afternoon and its pizza, breadsticks, and chicken wings while watching the game. Enough food to last for a while you would think. But by Monday morning, the stomach begins to grumble because it has not been fed. It is looking for another buffet.
Let us read John 6:26. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. This was the mentality of those who sought and found Jesus. “Look yesterday was great but I need something today.” We must guard against that mentality. “Jesus when things were good in my life I followed you and it was wonderful. But things have a gotten a bit rocky now and if you want me too continue to serve you I need you to fix things. For me to be here for you, you need to be here for me.”