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Summary: Material things have a built-in mortality. No matter how much we exercise, how good our diet is, we’re eventually going to die. If you want something that lasts for eternity then you must partake of the one who alone is eternal.

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The Bread of Life

John 6:35-71

Rev. Brian Bill

February 6-7, 2016

For my dad’s 80th birthday, my four sisters and I met in California two weeks ago to surprise him. I think we pulled it off. I came to the front door with a bunch of balloons so he couldn’t see my face and declared, “Happy Birthday.” I think he thought I was a delivery boy. I then moved the balloons to the side and my dad exclaimed, “What are you doing here?” My mom then came to the door and had a similar reaction. While they tried to gather themselves, my sisters snuck in the back door and took their seats in the kitchen.

Here’s a one-minute video of what happened next.

[Play Video]

BTW, my dad had a health scare last Sunday but is fine. Thanks to many of you for praying for him. We had a blast as a family. We walked through the redwoods at Muir Woods, crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and visited Alcatraz. And, we ate…a lot. It’s interesting how important food is when you’re with family and friends, isn’t it? One of my favorite memories is eating clam chowder out of a sour dough bread bowl at Fisherman’s Wharf.

[Take bite of bread]

I’d like you to think about food right now. For some of us, that’s not all that difficult to do. In fact, some of you started planning your lunch as soon as the service started and you can’t wait to chow down before and during the big game. I learned this week that Super Bowl Sunday is America’s second-biggest eating day, after Thanksgiving. Here’s what we’ll consume:

• 1.2 billion chicken wings. That’s enough for everyone in America to have three wings apiece.

• 12.5 million pounds of bacon.

• 11.2 million pounds of potato chips.

According to Cornell University, the average American will eat more than 6,000 calories on Sunday. Not surpisingly, antacid sales increase by 20% on the Monday after the big game.

During our team time this week I asked the staff to shout out their favorite food places in the QCA. Restaraunts included: Johnny’s, Brady Street Chophouse and Biaggi’s. Nominees for best bread: Panera, Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse and Red Lobster. And for desserts: Lagomarcino’s, Old Towne Bakery, Aceine Allen, and Whitey’s. Did you know that Conde Nast Traveler has recently declared Whitey’s the best ice cream in the world? They beat out others on the list from California, the UK, Texas, Michigan and New York.

Have you ever noticed that even when you eat your favorite food, you still get hungry again in a few hours? Some of us have been on a search for something that will satisfy and we’ve come up short. A few of us have tried partying, relationships, purchasing things, or rooting for a favorite sports team! In the long run, we’re still starving as we search for satisfaction. Ravi Zacharias writes, “With all our ingesting and consumption, our hungers are still many and our fulfillments are few” (“Jesus Among Other Gods,” Page 83).

As we launch a new series today called, “Metaphors of the Messiah,” we come face-to-face with the Bread of Bethlehem. He’s the Savior who alone who can provide satisfaction. Some of you are experiencing spiritual hunger pangs that nothing in this world can fill. C.S. Lewis put it like this: “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

If we settle for material things, we’ll hunger again. If we partake of the Bread of Life, our hunger will be taken care of and all of our needs will be met.

We’re going to focus on each of the “I Am” statements found in the Gospel of John and one from the Book of Revelation. Didn’t Pastor Tim do a great job preaching the past two weeks? I’m still pondering the question he raised last weekend: “What are you saying ‘no’ to?”

Here then is how Jesus identifies Himself:

• I am the Bread of Life

• I am the Light of the World

• I am the Gate

• I am the Good Shepherd

• I am the Way, the Truth and the Life

• I am the Vine

• I am the Alpha and Omega

• I am the Resurrection and the Life. We’ll have 5 instead of 4 services Easter weekend. Our titles is“The Comeback.”

We’re return to our study of Mark after Easter.

The pronoun “I” means it comes from within and is very personal. The word “am” is in the present tense, not I “was” in the past, or I “might be” in the future, but I am…right here, right now. These metaphors of the Messiah are rich in meaning and are very comforting and yet there’s more to them than what meets the eye. I hope you’re ready to go deep today.

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